Very few of us love it, plenty of us loathe it but whether you are a fan of the ring road or not, it is an unavoidable part of daily life for so many people who live or work in Watford. And every so often it can become gridlocked.

This picture from the Watford Observer archive was taken just over 50 years ago on a wet November day in 1973 when vehicles were backed up bumper to bumper in Beechen Grove and seemingly going nowhere any time soon.

These were the early days of the ring road – it wasn’t completed for another eight years – but as this picture shows there were times when it was already struggling to deal with the volume of traffic it had hoped would be alleviated by its construction.

Watford Observer: Beechen Grove on November 10, 1973

The 50-year-old image also shows another aspect of the huge transformation the town was undergoing during this period, as behind the hoardings a digger continues to clear the site of what would become Charter Place.