Hollywood stars

Planned demolition of Watford’s Victorian villas; Film of Hollywood stars in Sarratt

Concerns over plans to demolish Victorian homes, Hollywood stars filming in a village, children locked in a paddling pool and a director’s retirement were among the stories making headlines five and ten years ago this week.

‘Watford’s history is fading’: Concerns over plans to demolish Victorian villas

Concerns have been raised over plans to replace two historic Victorian villas and five trees protected by a 12-storey office block and high-level walkway, fearing the town’s history could “disappear”.

Watford Council has granted planning approval for the development of new office space in Clarendon Road, which will house the new European headquarters of TJX Europe, the operator of the TK Maxx.

The Victorian villas at 73 and 75 Clarendon Road

Erica Sutton, of Trowley Rise, Abbots Langley, believes Watford’s “irreplaceable” heritage must be protected.

She said: “The physical remnants of our past must be valued and protected for their own sake, as they form a central part of our common cultural heritage.

“They are an irreplaceable document that contributes to our understanding of the present and the past.”

Watford Observer:

Stars of Sarratt: part of new Ridley Scott film to be shot near Biggerstaffs Garage

Hollywood stars arrive in town for the filming of a blockbuster movie

A number of Hollywood actors will grace the streets of Sarratt as part of the filming of a blockbuster movie.

Kevin Spacey, Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams star in All the Money in the World – a crime drama from Oscar-winning director Sir Ridley Scott, chronicling the early life and kidnapping of John Paul Getty III.

Filming will take place at two locations in the village on Sunday July 30 between 10am and 6pm: Biggerstaffs Garage in Dimmocks Lane and New Road/North Hill.

A letter sent to residents of the village informs them of the impending road closures resulting from the large-scale operation.

Watford Observer:

Shady Lane facility could be replaced by apartments

Talks over future of Watford police station reach ‘advanced stage’

Discussions over the future of the Watford police station have reached an “advanced stage”.

In May, we revealed plans to knock down the existing building on Shady Lane, along with the redundant magistrates’ court, to make way for 55 flats.

The plans are part of a joint proposal for the future of the station, submitted by consultants on behalf of the Department of Justice, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the Hertfordshire Constabulary.

The hope is to make more efficient use of police buildings, sharing with local councils and using the estate to deliver the best value to the public.


Tempers unravel at delay in pool opening after attempted break-in

Bureaucratic boxtickers have been accused of blocking hundreds of children from accessing a Watford paddling pool on the hottest day of the year as repairs were carried out to a vandalized gazebo.

As temperatures soared above 30 degrees, tempers rose among parents and youngsters who had come to the park hoping to cool off and soak up the sun.

Watford Observer:

The combination of the first week of summer school holidays and one of the first sunny days of the year saw thousands descend on Cassiobury Park, but many were left disappointed.

The delay was caused by an attempted overnight break-in to a gazebo at the edge of the site, which forced the entire area to be cordoned off as a crime scene while forensic officers investigated.

Watford Observer:

Village of the Year Award Ceremony

Dignitaries including the Queen’s cousin visited Kings Langley to officially present the Hertfordshire Village of the Year award.

Sir Simon Bowes Lyon KCVO, chairman of the Hertfordshire Campaign to Protect Rural England, who was also Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire between 1986 and 2007, traveled to make the presentation.

The village won the prize for the west of the county, narrowly missing out on the overall title as the judges called it “a real hive of activity”.

Watford Observer:

School marks principal’s retirement

Hundreds of balloons were released at Highwood Primary School in Bushey on Friday to mark the retirement of the school’s principal.

Staff and enthusiastic pupils gathered at Mead Way School for the outing, which also meant the end of term.

Poula Budge, manager, said: “It was nice to have the balloon release, there were over 300 balloons, which isn’t bad considering we had 460 in our roll call.

“All have been tagged and named, so it will be great for students to know which one travels the furthest.

“I’m retiring after seven years at the school. It’s been an amazing time and I’m sad to leave. But I’ve seen the new build come to fruition and it’s time to hand over to someone. another, someone younger.”