We continue the Watford Observer review of the year, looking back at the news, sport and celebrities making the headlines in May and June 2023.

Hospitality workers are given a boost as Watford MP Dean Russell secures victory for his Tips Bill campaign.

Earlier this year he proposed the legislation as a Private Members Bill to guarantee workers in pubs, bars and restaurants tips from customers.

Watford Observer: Dean Russell MP with Virginia Crosbie MP, who took the Bill through when he was a minister.Dean Russell MP with Virginia Crosbie MP, who took the Bill through when he was a minister. (Image: Dean Russell)

Speaking in May, Mr Russell said: “Hard-working people working in hospitality in Watford and across the country will be able to retain their tips, knowing that they will now have a fair deal.”

Street parties are held across Watford to celebrate the King’s Coronation – with a ‘Big Lunch’ hosted in Cassiobury Park.

Events mentioned in the Watford Observer included parties St Andrew’s Church, on Church Road, Goodwood Avenue and Denmark Street.

Watford Observer: Residents celebrate the King's CoronationResidents celebrate the King's Coronation (Image: Supplied)

Resident Jennifer Jones said “The children of Denmark Street participated in history, celebrating the Coronation of King Charles III. Having lived here for 16 years, I can vouch that Denmark Street is one of the best streets to live in, everyone helps each other.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made an appearance at Mill End Lunch Club’s celebrations. He was joined by his wife Akshata Murty to celebrate the coronation.

Watford Observer: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets people during King's coronation celebrations at Mile End Lunch ClubPrime Minister Rishi Sunak meets people during King's coronation celebrations at Mile End Lunch Club (Image: PA)

Toxic ‘forever chemicals’ are found in the River Colne. Expert analysis shows some of the pollutants found are ‘hazardous to humans”.

Professor Andrew Johnson of the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology said “it is the dose that makes the poison” and the presence of toxic chemicals in low quantities is not necessarily harmful.”

Funding for the redevelopment of Watford General Hospital is announced. Conservative secretary of state for health and social care, Steve Barclay, said it will “transform healthcare.”

The move was cautiously welcomed by political opponents, as Watford MP Dean Russell said he was “overjoyed” with the news.

In June concern over knife crime is heightened with a spate of stabbings over six weeks – the most recent on June 6 near Croxley Business Park.

Watford Observer: Police in Croxley Business Park on Tuesday

This follows others in Forest Road, north Watford and an earlier attack in Cassiobury Park. No arrests are made and police did not link the unrelated attacks.

It’s revealed Watford FC’s hopes of making its temporary training dome permanent to support their next Premier League bid are set to be refused. The Hornets have had planning permission for a temporary pitch cover at their London Colney training ground since 2018, granted for a maximum five-year period. Hertsmere Borough Council planning officers consider the dome “inappropriate development”.

Firefighters battle an electrical fire in the basement at Watford General Hospital. No-one was injured.

Watford Observer: Watford General Hospital basement fire in JuneWatford General Hospital basement fire in June (Image: KK)

Watford FC sports reporter Andrew French secures access to the fans’ forum with owner Gino Pozzo and chairman Scott Duxbury as the men at the helm discuss everything from manager appointments, players, performance and the club’s board.

Rare pictures of Elton John in Watford are discovered in our archives offering a glimpse into the early career of the musical mastermind.

Watford Observer: Elton John leaps across the stage at Baileys in May 1976.Elton John leaps across the stage at Baileys in May 1976. (Image: Newsquest)