- Around West Watford
- Brightwells Farm
- Cardiff Road - Gallery One
- Cassiobury Miniature Railway
- Colne Valley Light Railway
- Colney Butts
- Heritage Event 2017
- Isolation Hospital
- Museum Exhibition
- NHS@70 Exhibition
- New Memorial Cross at St. Michael's
- Old Postcard Views & Photographs
- Places of Worship
- Poppies, Poetry & Peace
- Street Plaques
- Sun Clock Tower
- Watford - Croxley Branch Line
- Watford Community Fair 2015
- Watford General Hospital
- West Watford Pubs
- Workhouse Bricks
- WW1 Exhibition - Heritage Weekend
- WWCA 40th Anniversary
Thursday, 24 December 2020
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
For all those interested in the Group's "Save The Bricks" Campaign, we would like to share with you an update on the situation. Our Secretary wrote to Watford MP Dean Russell, who had conveyed an interest in what we were trying to achieve and the following is the response we received:
"I’d like to reassure you and the members of the West Watford History Group that as an integral part of a listed building the workhouse bricks are not under threat of demolition or removal by WHHT.
Thursday, 2 July 2020
Wednesday, 10 June 2020
Whippendell Marine can trace its history back over 100 years to the early days of electro-mechanical technology. Over the years the Company has been an innovator of products for the controls industry and its equipment and systems can be found in a broad range of industrial applications across the globe.
1900 - Thomas Kesnor & Co Ltd., founded in Fulham, London.
1911 - The Company moved to its purpose built site on Whippendell Road, Watford.
In 1916 The Company changed its name to the Watford Electric & Manufacturing Company Limited as a consequences of its concentration on Automatic Switchgear.
The 1930's saw the Company grow rapidly with the development of many patented devices for motor starters, such as the Eddy Drag Retarding Device. In 1936 it became a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange.
During WWII the Company's output was concentrated on manufacturing for the armed forces, including electrical assemblies for the de Havilland Mosquito, and control gear for the Royal Navy, the foundation of today's business.
Throughout the 1950s the Company was active in many areas of industry, and in particular was building large switchboards and motor control centres for the power generation and water treatment industries.
During the 1960's the Company developed a range of modern contactors and fuse switches, as well as its shockproof MCA contactor range for use in Naval Applications. These components are still in use today across a wide range of industries and in the most demanding Naval Applications.
In 1967 the Company was bought by Harvey Hubbell Inc. of the United States for it's range of standard control products such as the UCA contactors and the UFS fuse switches.
1975 saw a management buyout of the systems business and the creation of Whippendell Electrical Manufacturing Company (Watford) Ltd (WEMCO). The new Company continued to supply a broad range of industries but with a special emphasis on Naval and Mercantile Marine applications.
During the 1980's the focus of the business switched more to Naval and Marine applications and the Company won major contracts on the Trafalgar Class and Vanguard Class nuclear submarine programmes.
With business expanding, the Company acquired The Electrical Apparatus Company (UK) Ltd., which helped expand its portfolio into embarked aviation ground power systems.
2000 - Development of the latest ground power control system was completed and the Company was awarded a contract from the UK MoD to supply a capability upgrade to HMS Invincible. 2 years later a further system was awarded for HMS Illustrious.
2004 - The Acquisition of RAMAC Engineering Ltd., in 2004, confirmed the Company's position as the leading supplier of aviation ground power systems to the UK Royal Navy and one of the world leaders in the field. Further contracts were awarded for the supply of the aviation ground power system to the Type 45 AAWD and a capability upgrade to the Type 23 frigates.
2005 - The Electrical Apparatus Company is renamed Whippendell Marine and the naval and marine operations of all the businesses are brought under one company.
2010s - The Company expands its support business and is awarded a contract to support aviation ground power systems across the UK RN and RFA fleet. Work also continues for the Astute Class submarines and in 2013 Whippendell Marine is selected to design and supply the aviation system for the new MARS fleet tankers.
2015 - Whippendell Marine was awarded Supplier of the Year by BAE Systems Marine Submarine Solutions for its work on the Astute programme.
2019 - After 107 years in Watford, Whippendell Marine moved to new premises in Milton Keynes, providing a modern manufacturing facility within a greener environment and more secure building.
In January 2018 plans to redevelop "an icon of Watford Industrial Heritage" were released.
Oakford Homes planned to turn the Whippendell Marine site on Whippendell Road into 81 homes comprising 51 one-bedroom and also 27 two-bedroom apartments. In a letter to residents of the area and ahead of their planning application, Oakwood Homes stated that:
"All the buildings on site are in a poor state of repair and there has been no interest from other companies to buy the site for continued employment use due to concerns about access for larger lorries and the changing nature of the area".
As of 2020 the site is under development.
Watford Observer - January 2018
Photographs by Lynda Bullock taken 2012
Monday, 18 May 2020
Sunday, 3 May 2020
The following developed from an original post by Brenda Ambrosone on The Original Watford Memories and History Group page in April 2020. The post garnered a lot of interest and the following accounts are from various contributors, a large amount of information being from a Mr Rob Cassidy who submitted the following:
From a newspaper article posted by Mr Rob Cassidy from:
Mr Cassidy then provided a link to the Journal of Mental Science, Vol 35, p385 - 389
(copy and paste the link into your search bar if you wish to see actual pages, but it is reproduced below in full)
'Case of Walter Taynton, Charged with killing his Sister, by Geo. H. Savage, M.D.'
Thursday, 19 March 2020
Wednesday, 18 March 2020
From 'The Making of Oxhey Park' (original research by Jean and Keith Alexander - edited by Lynda Bullock)
Thursday, 12 March 2020
The Spectre of Hagden Lane
At the end of the last (18th) or beginning of the present (19th) century, a man known as Jockey Fenson, who resided at the Lower Infirmary, then known as the Pesthouse, committed suicide and as at that day, felo-de-se * was not admitted to Christian burial, a hole was dug in a dell in Hagden Lane, a short distance beyond the turning to Tolpits and Polecat Farm, and he was buried there.
Soon a rumour spread that a spectre clad in white walked the lane nightly and might sometimes be seen sitting on the gates or gliding noiselessly over the adjoining fields, and a great fear seized the children of the town and neighbourhood; indeed, many adults refused to pass the dell or go anywhere near it. The perturbation of the people became so great that the parochial authorities had the body removed and, I understand, it was re-buried at night one corner of the old churchyard.
*felo-de-se - Latin, literally translated "a person who commits suicide or commits an unlawful malicious act resulting in his or her own death"
From History of Watford and Trade Directory - Henry Williams 1884
Charitable Endowments - Holywell
Also from Henry Williams's History of Watford and Trade Directory is a reference to charitable endowments in relation to Dame Fuller's Free School, 'without which the income it possessed in the time of the foundress would have proved wholly inadequate to carry her pious intentions into effect had it not been for the benevolent consideration of subsequent benefactors who bequeathed certain sums to supply the deficiencies'.
However, mention is made of a circumstance noted by Mr Clutterbuck in connection with the said school. He says: "Mr Jonathan Cox Lovett, of Holywell, in this parish, by his will dated the 1st of May, 1780, made a reversionary devise of certain estates consisting of Holywell Farm, etc., to the trustees of this school; this devise, however, from having been made within twelve months of his decease and from not having been enrolled in Chancery, became void by the Act of the 9th of George II. c.36, called the Statute of Mortmain. Had this devise taken effect, the rents of the estates so devised would have been fully adequate to the future support of the school; under existing circumstances, however, its income must, in process of time, from the causes I have mentioned, be insufficient to defray its expenses."
Isolation Hospital Through the 18 th and up to the late 19 th century, if you were unfortunate enough to contract an infectious dise...
Brightwells Farm A History Brightwells Farm lies at the southern end of Vicarage Road, just over a mile from Watford and about a qu...
Watford Workhouse Bricks The building fronting Vicarage Road next to the football ground, formerly known as Shrodells, was initially...
Watford Glass Company The Watford Glass Co Ltd appears to have been in manufacturing from the late 1920's to the early 1990's....
The following presentation was displayed in September 1914 at the Church of St Michael and All Angels in West Watford as part of the 2014 ...
S.W. Hertfordshire from a map of 1610 West Watford - A Brief History Much has been researched and written about the town of Wa...
Rembrandt House in Whippendell Road is a locally listed Edwardian building from the early 1900s, once the Watford Speedometer and Magneto W...
1st Watford South Scout Group (Countess of Clarendon’s Own) incorporating 82nd Watford South A History Scouting became popu...
The Sun Clock Tower, as it is known, is a former industrial pump house and clock tower located to the south of the junction of Ascot Road ...
The following is a transcript of a talk given by Mary Reid at a meeting of the West Watford History Group in April 2012. ~ o O o ~ ...