For 160 years, into three centuries and through two World Wars, turbulence and peace, political and social upheavals, and technological revolutions, the Watford Observer has faithfully reported local news to the people of south west Hertfordshire. It has been a strong guiding force; a reliable and steady source of news and information on local matters. Each of its anniversaries needs to be recognised, after all the newspaper is an integral part of Watford’s history.

My father, local historian and documentary filmmaker Ted Parrish, was included in the Watford Observer’s Millennium Collection 2000 supplement of ‘movers and shakers of the century’; ‘people who shaped south west Herts’ history.’ He was a regular contributor, with articles on local groups, including Watford & District Branch of the RAFA, Kings Jazz Club, Watford Cine Society, Watford & South West Herts Archaeological Society, the Oxhey Village Environment Group and Watford Council of Youth. His local history contributions, often based on his own experiences growing up in Watford, regularly appeared in the newspaper. He was on good terms with many of the editors and reporters, including former Sports Editor, later Assistant Editor, Oli Phillips.

Watford Observer:

The Watford Observer has been part of my life. Every Friday from childhood onwards, it popped through the letterbox, to be read cover to cover by the household. Other newspapers and news magazines have come and gone but, with its good management and consistently dedicated editors and reporters, the newspaper has thrived. These days, I’m delighted to be writing regular articles for its nostalgia page.

On the occasion of Watford Observer’s 160th anniversary, which generations to come will read about in the town’s history, I say ‘cheers and very well done’.

Lesley Dunlop

  • A commemorative eight-page supplement will be on sale with tomorrow's Watford Observer to mark the newspaper's 160th anniversary. Make sure you pick up your copy.