A park bench dedicated to the memory of Watford’s greatest ever manager, a soggy scene caused by a burst water main, a visit by TV archaeologists to a school and a historic cup donated to a charity shop were among the stories making our headlines five and ten years ago


Elton John dedicates park bench to football legend Graham Taylor

Elton John has dedicated a park bench to friend and Hornets legend Graham Taylor.

The bench appeared in Cassiobury Park on Monday, with a plaque captioned: "In loving memory of friend Graham Taylor".

Watford Observer:

Sir Elton recently thanked fans for their support as he recovered from a "potentially deadly" bacterial infection which forced him to cancel a number of performances.

Sir Elton John described Graham Taylor as "like a brother to me" following the former Watford manager's death at 72.

Watford Observer:

The damaged water main has been confirmed as a 9" high pressure water main feeding the Croxley Green area

Emergency road closure after burst water main

An emergency road closure has been put in place after a burst water main in Rickmansworth.

Affinity Water is at the scene.

They said a third party company has accidently struck a water main during their work and asked residents not to use electrical appliances that require a water supply.

Watford Observer:

A young Anthony Joshua

Meriden 'absolutely proud' of local hero Anthony Joshua

It was hard to escape the furore that followed Anthony Joshua’s stunning knockout victory over Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday night.

For people living in the Meriden estate in Garston, it was a surreal experience watching one of their own becoming unified heavyweight champion of the world while at the same time overcoming a somewhat chequered past.

Speaking to residents and business owners on the estate this week, the sense of pride for their homegrown star is there for all to see.

Donald Langford, who runs Meriden Fish and Chips, has close ties with the Joshua family – AJ’s sister works at the takeaway and his brother is good friends with Mr Langford’s son.

Having seen the boy affectionately known as “Femi” grow up from a skinny youth to the six foot six behemoth he is today, Mr Langford says it was a strange experience watching him walk out in front of 90,000 people at Wembley.

“He must be the most famous person in the whole world right now. We’re absolutely proud,” he said.

“He wasn’t really a bad boy. He would always say hello to you – he was a nice kid.”


TV archaeologists visit Northwood school

Television archaeologists from Channel 4's Time Team visited Northwood Prep School this week to examine the remains of a Tudor mansion buried there.

The team, including presenter Tony Robinson and archaeologist Phil Harding, were digging at the Moor Park school all week, and filming from Tuesday until Thursday.

Watford Observer:

They were excavating the site and moving some of the heritage stones of the Royal Palace, in order to find out more information about The Manor of the Moor.

Phil Harding, archaeologist, said: "We are extending this trench because it contains the main turret for the gateway and we want to excavate it. The gateway would be the first thing people saw as they arrived so you would want it to look good.

"There is a lot of the building which we don't understand the function of. It will help us interpret and understand the layout of the building on the east side."

Watford Observer:

Dyche glad they are no longer 'little old Watford'

Sean Dyche is delighted the Hornets are no longer considered “little old Watford” and has spoken of his “love and admiration” for the players after the club finished the season in the top half of the table.

Watford’s victory over Middlesbrough last Saturday saw the club rise to 11th and secure their largest points tally in four years.

Dyche said: “It is a really good achievement for everyone concerned; it is good for me as a young manager who is learning his trade and was heavily criticised early on; there is more trust in what I try to do now. The staff have been terrific and they have been nothing short of magnificent in the support they give the players and myself. But it comes down to the players.

“I hear people say ‘players get you the sack’ but I don’t look at it like that.

“I love my players and I admire what they do; the way they work, the way they train and the way they go out there with honesty to deliver performances.

“They can’t always guarantee performances but I haven’t come away from a game once this season and questioned their drive and will to give a performance.

“It is a fantastic thing, as a manager, to see players working hard, developing, learning, looking after each other and delivering quality. Especially over the last couple of games.”

Watford Observer:

Volunteer Sue Gordon immediately realised the Wedgwood cup may be valuable

Historic Wedgwood cup donated to Watford charity shop

A tiny commemorative cup donated to a Watford charity shop has prompted interest from the town’s museum as it could prove to be a unique piece of the town’s history.

A mystery donor left the royal blue three-handled artifact, which was designed by the historic pottery firm Wedgwood, at the Keech Hospice shop in the Meriden.

The cup has an old version of Watford’s coat of arms and Latin motto ‘Audentior’ emblazoned on the front and two lyre-playing cherubs on the sides.

Staff at the hospice shop, in The Gossamers, said the cup came in a collection of 30 pieces.

However one volunteer at the shop, Sue Gordon, said workers immediately recognised the piece may be of special value.

“We were sorting through the pieces and came across it,” said the 57-year-old from Gadswell Close.

“We are trying to find out when it was made and the reasons for it.”