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West Watford History Group

History of West Watford and environs


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Holywell Festival

Posted by Watford on April 28, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Aspects of Our Past

Posted by Watford on January 10, 2019 at 6:30 AM

Aspects of Our Past - a new Exhibition. 

Please come and visit us at Watford Museum in the Lower High Street, Watford, where we will be hosting an exhibtion featuring displays and research from our previous outings, which will include the beginning of World War I, The Workhouse, poverty and slums, 70 years of the NHS and 100 years since the ending of World War I - including our Poppies, Poetry and Peace exhibition.  There will also be a section dedicated to the "Bricks" of the Workhouse.

Please see the poster on the Home Page.

Members of the group are hoping to be on hand each Saturday to meet with visitors, and hopefully on other days.

Do come along.

Thursday 17th January - Saturday 2nd February 2019


Posted by Watford on February 20, 2018 at 3:25 PM

70 Years of the NHS

Our forthcoming exhibition celebrating 70 years of the NHS will now take place on Sunday July 15th at the West Watford Community Centre, 15 Harwoods Road. We will once again be conducting walks across to the hospital to view the "etched bricks" in what was once the male courtyard of the Workhouse. Please book a tour on the day. 

If you work/worked in the NHS and would like to contribute to the 70 year celebration, we would welcome your memories and stories, especially how things have changed during your time in the NHS; for example qualifications needed, training, technology, uniforms, anything you would like to share. Please contact us by email in the first instance: 

lyndadmb@aol.com   or  ettridge17@aol.com

Thank you.  

Group Meeting

Posted by Watford on January 11, 2018 at 7:30 PM

First group meeting of 2018 to discuss the way forward in the coming year.

New members welcome. First meeting free. 

£2.50 towards hire of room.  Tea/coffee/biscuits £1

At West Watford Community Centre, 15 Harwoods Road, West Watford, WD18 7RB

Public Meeting

Posted by Watford on October 3, 2017 at 4:10 AM

Public Meeting of the West Watford History Group on 12th October, 7.30 to 9.00 pm at West Watford Community Centre, 15 Harwoods Road, West Watford. 

If you attended the recent Heritage Day event at the Red Lion and would like to give us some feedback or contribute to the way forward in getting protection for the Workhouse building and bricks, then please come along.  Or if you would just like to know more about the group, then join us for the evening.  All welcome. 

£2.50 entrance on the door.  50p for tea/coffee and biscuits.  We look forward to seeing you. 


Posted by Watford on September 9, 2017 at 11:00 AM


A History of Cycling

Posted by Watford on September 15, 2016 at 3:50 PM

Interested parties gathered at the West Watford Community Centre on Thursday 8th September for a talk by Peter Stray on the History of Cycling.

Peter brought along a lovely old racing bicyle and displayed it in all its shining glory on a stand in the corner - everyone had a chance at the end of the talk to check it over. There was a cigarette card book of very old models through to up-to-date ones, two or three guides to cycling and the maintenance of bicycles and a leather racing helmet about 30 - 40 years old that belonged to a friend of Peter and which was passed around for the group's interest. 

Peter spoke for just over an hour, first explaining that his area of expertise covered the activity in the 1920s and 1930s. However, he began by giving a brief description of how cycling evolved from the 1870s and how popular it became towards the end of the 19th century, "the golden age of cycling". 

This was followed by a look at how cycles changed over the years and how styles of dress are still influenced by what is best to wear whilst riding a bicycle. For instance, ladies in later Victorian times started to wear "rational dress, Plus 2s in tweed and a tweed jacket". 

The audience were asked to join in and much discussion took place about local bike shops and manufacturers.  The future of the cycle was also a keen topic.

With thanks to Peter Stray for the talk and Sue Ettridge for the write-up.

Forthcoming Exhibition

Posted by Watford on September 15, 2016 at 3:45 PM

Roger Kattenhorn is a member of the West Watford History Group. Check back for dates. 

We Need Your Help

Posted by Watford on June 16, 2016 at 5:45 AM

West Watford Shops 

We are currently undertaking a new project mapping the "lost shops and small businesses" of West Watford. Do you know of any shops that once stood on a corner of a road but have since gone? Or changed usage? Like the fish and chip shop that was once on the corner of Pretoria Road and Chester Road. 

If you remember these places, we'd love to hear from you. You can contact us via our email address:


or through the website's contact page. Just leave a message with a few details and we'll get back to you.

Thanks for your help and we look forward to hearing from you. 

Public Meeting

Posted by Watford on May 27, 2016 at 7:25 AM