Watford town centre revamp and church anniversary among archive stories


A facelift for the heart of Watford, a second chance for the striker who would become a Hornets legend, plans to transform a former bank and a prize-winning bakery were among the stories making our headlines five and ten years ago this week.

New-look Parade given go-ahead in Watford

A multi-million pound scheme to redevelop the top of Watford town centre has been agreed by politicians.

Watford Borough Council’s ruling cabinet voted through a scheme to revamp The Parade, which will see a bridge built over the pond, more trees and less clunky street furniture.

Artist impression of the new bridge over The Parade

The scheme, which should start early next year and take a year to finish, is designed to open the top of the town up to holding more cultural events.

The plans have been extended to roll out the refurbishment of The Parade as far down as Clarendon Road.

Three of the images that were helping to make our headlines five and ten years ago this weekTroy Deeney

Hornets boss insists striker Deeney deserves second chance

Gianfranco Zola believes Troy Deeney has paid for the mistake which resulted in him going to prison and has questioned why the striker shouldn’t be given a second chance by Watford.

Deeney was released from prison last week after serving two-and-a-half months of a ten-month sentence for affray, following a brawl outside a Birmingham nightclub in February.

The 24-year-old returned to training with the Hornets on Wednesday of last week and seven days later played in his first match since his release, as a Hornets XI lost 3-1 to Queens Park Rangers Under-21s in a behind-close-doors friendly.

Deeney played the first 45 minutes and Zola said that, while the striker is understandably not 100 per cent fit, his conditioning is impressive and the “signs were encouraging”.

Three of the images that were helping to make our headlines five and ten years ago this week1930s party helps church celebrate 75th anniversary

1930s party helps church celebrate its 75th anniversary

Past clergy and members of St Luke’s Church in Watford gathered together for a 1930s tea party to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

Around 150 people turned up for the Langley Way church hall bash on Saturday September 8, including 93-year-old Jimmy Moss, who was present at the church’s first ever service.

Vicars past and present were also at the celebration including the current incumbent Rev Dave Middlebrook, his predecessor Rev Canon John Kiddle and his predecessor, Rev Garry Guinness.

Jenny Stromberg, the church’s youth director, said: “The church was opened in 1937 so the party was set in the 1930s. Some people came in 1930s outfits, not everyone, but quite a few brave souls.”


Plans to turn former bank into coffee shop and flats submitted

Plans to turn a former bank into a coffee shop and 16 flats have been submitted.

Applicant Fairfield Estate Agents is hoping to demolish the rear part of the existing building at the Lloyds Bank site in St Albans Road, Watford, and erect a four-storey extension above the current listed building.

Three of the images that were helping to make our headlines five and ten years ago this weekThe earmarked site

The new development, which lies within the Nascot Conservation Area, is offering just two off-street parking spaces served from a service road, rather than off Langley Road. This service road is between the dental practice and the former bank, and is used by other people living in the area.

A disabled space will be provided, however the developer has failed to sanction cycle storage within their current plans. Retail units will be incorporated into the design on the ground.

Three of the images that were helping to make our headlines five and ten years ago this weekThe cars preparing to ‘run the ring’ on the M25

More than 600 VW fans lap the M25 for bereaved children

A Watford business owner is joining car enthusiasts to lap the M25 for bereaved children of soldiers.

John Emberton, a fan of Volkswagens, will join other VW cars, vans and campers in lapping the M25 in convoy to raise funds for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity support bereaved Armed Forces children.

The challenge, named “Run the Ring”, was conceived in 2016 and last year brought 400 vehicles together and raised more than £10,000 for the charity.

Mr Emberton and his colleague, Amanda, are hoping “Run the Ring 2” will raise even more money with a £15,000 target and an estimated 600 vehicles expected to take part on September 24.

Three of the images that were helping to make our headlines five and ten years ago this weekPaul Barker, centre, said he was humbled to win the award

Rising above the rest: Rickmansworth bakery scoops ‘baking Oscar’ for prized sourdough

A Rickmansworth bakery has risen to new heights after scooping a top award for its prized sourdough loaf.

Cinnamon Square claimed first prize in the speciality bread category at the Baking Industry Awards for its Church Street Sour – named after its location in the town.

The prestigious event, sometimes referred to as the “baking industry Oscars”, took place at London’s Park Lane Hilton hotel on September 6, and was hosted by television personality Denise van Outen.

Paul Barker, owner of Cinnamon Square, said: “We are humbled to win this category and it’s great to have an award-winning product that is named after our hometown”



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