Saturday 27 January 2024



Ann Rattue

We were saddened by Ann's passing notified in the Watford Observer, the sort of news none of us relish, but indeed realise that it comes to all of us at some time.

Our history group was injected with a charge of brilliant light when about ten years back, this lady on two sticks walked into a meeting announcing her presence as she cleared a place at the table.  From that time on, we knew we had to keep going as we felt inspired by Ann's passion for making things happen.

We learned later that Ann had suffered sickness as a young person, lost very near and dear close relatives due to unexpected deaths and had generally not been given the best hand of cards in life. However, undaunted, even into her 70's and early 80's she continued to learn, pass on knowledge acquired over a lifetime, smile at adversity and be resolute in reaching goals.

One of the goals she wished to reach with us was to establish a place in history for the memorial etched bricks on the walls of Watford General Hospital.  These bricks, inscribed by male residents of the Watford Workhouse in the mid-19th century, are in jeopardy due to erosion and damage.  Ann wrote to the press and hospital authorities expressing our concern that if left unprotected and recognised, these memorials would eventually fall into obscurity.  Ann has guided and encouraged us to keep our Save the Bricks campaign in the public eye and information about the research and findings Ann and other members of our history group have made may be gleaned from our website.

We have lost a dear friend and as a tribute to her dedication to any cause or task she undertook, will continue with our campaign to save the bricks and to also ensure that other aspects of West Watford's industrial and social history remain an important part of our town's heritage.

Janet Golding

16th January 1951 - 24th May 2024

It was with sadness that we learned recently of the passing another Group member, Janet Golding.

Janet was a member of our West Watford History Group as well as Central Watford U3A and our spin-off group Blasts From the Past, inaugurated by Ann Rattue. She participated in our WWHG with frequent talks, wonderfully researched and illustrated, which included her 'Life As A Traffic Warden', 'Mr Gosling's Homes For Aged Women' (search drop down menu), the history of Market Street and not forgetting her excellent contribution to our Aspects of the Past - the Watford Workhouse exhibition in 2017.

Janet's ready smile, sense of style, as well as her welcome contributions to our group will be sorely missed.




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