Watford

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Watford is a town and borough
Non-metropolitan district
Non-metropolitan districts, or colloquially shire districts, are a type of local government district in England. As created, they are sub-divisions of non-metropolitan counties in a so-called "two-tier" arrangement...

 in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, situated 20 miles (32 km) northwest of central London
Central London
Central London is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official or commonly accepted definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally,...

 and within the bounds of the M25 motorway
M25 motorway
The M25 motorway, or London Orbital, is a orbital motorway that almost encircles Greater London, England, in the United Kingdom. The motorway was first mooted early in the 20th century. A few sections, based on the now abandoned London Ringways plan, were constructed in the early 1970s and it ...

. The borough is separated from Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 to the south by the urbanised parish of Watford Rural
Watford Rural
Watford Rural is a civil parish in the Three Rivers district of, Hertfordshire, England. The parish covers the areas known as South Oxhey and Carpenders Park, which although part of the Watford urban area, do not form part of the borough of Watford...

 in the Three Rivers District
Three Rivers (district)
Three Rivers is a local government district in Hertfordshire in the East of England. Its council is based in Rickmansworth.It was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of Rickmansworth Urban District and Chorleywood Urban District with part of Watford Rural District...

.

Watford was created as an urban district
Urban district
In the England, Wales and Ireland, an urban district was a type of local government district that covered an urbanised area. Urban districts had an elected Urban District Council , which shared local government responsibilities with a county council....

 under the Local Government Act 1894
Local Government Act 1894
The Local Government Act 1894 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in England and Wales outside the County of London. The Act followed the reforms carried out at county level under the Local Government Act 1888...

, and became a municipal borough
Municipal borough
Municipal boroughs were a type of local government district which existed in England and Wales between 1835 and 1974, in Northern Ireland from 1840 to 1973 and in the Republic of Ireland from 1840 to 2002...

 by grant of a charter in 1922.
The borough had 79,726 inhabitants at the time of the 2001 Census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

.
The most recent official estimates put the population of Watford at 79,600 at mid-2006.

The nearby areas of Croxley Green
Croxley Green
Croxley Green is a small town and civil parish of approximately 5,000 dwellings and 12,000 residents located between Watford and Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, England...

, Bushey
Bushey
Bushey is a town in the Hertsmere borough of Hertfordshire in the East of England. Bushey Heath is situated to the south east of Bushey on the boundary with the London Borough of Harrow.-History:...

, Rickmansworth
Rickmansworth
Rickmansworth is a town in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire, England, 4¼ miles west of Watford.The town has a population of around 15,000 people and lies on the Grand Union Canal and the River Colne, at the northern end of the Colne Valley regional park.Rickmansworth is a small town in...

, Chorleywood
Chorleywood
Chorleywood is a village and civil parish in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. It had a population of 6,814 people at the 2001 census. The parish of Chorleywood as a whole has a population of 10,775. The town lies in the far south west of Hertfordshire, on the...

, Kings Langley
Kings Langley
Kings Langley is a historic English village and civil parish northwest of central London on the southern edge of the Chiltern Hills and now part of the London commuter belt. The major western portion lies in the borough of Dacorum and the east is in the Three Rivers district, both in the county of...

, Abbots Langley
Abbots Langley
Abbots Langley is a large village and civil parish in the English county of Hertfordshire. It is an old settlement and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Economically the village is closely linked to Watford and was formerly part of the Watford Rural District...

, Carpenders Park
Carpenders Park
Carpenders Park is a suburb of Watford in the Watford Rural parish of the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire, England. It is located in the south western corner of Hertfordshire and close to the boundary with Greater London...

 and South Oxhey
South Oxhey
South Oxhey is a suburb of Watford in the Watford Rural parish of the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire, England. It is located in the south western corner of Hertfordshire and close to the boundary with Greater London.-History:...

, located in Three Rivers
Three Rivers (district)
Three Rivers is a local government district in Hertfordshire in the East of England. Its council is based in Rickmansworth.It was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of Rickmansworth Urban District and Chorleywood Urban District with part of Watford Rural District...

 and Hertsmere
Hertsmere
Hertsmere is a local government district and borough in Hertfordshire, England. Its council is based in Borehamwood. Other towns in the borough include Bushey, Elstree, Radlett and Potters Bar.-History:...

 districts, also form part of the Watford postcode area.
The Watford urban area, which includes much of the neighbouring districts, had a total population of 120,960 in the 2001 census, making it the 47th largest urban area in England.

Origins


Watford stands on a low hill near the point at which the River Colne
River Colne, Hertfordshire
The Colne is a river in England which is a tributary of the River Thames. It flows mainly through Hertfordshire and forms the boundary between the South Bucks district of Buckinghamshire and the London Borough of Hillingdon...

 was ford
Ford (crossing)
A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle. A ford is mostly a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, which is an artificial bridge that allows crossing a river or stream when water is low.The names of many towns...

ed by travellers between London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 and the Midlands
English Midlands
The Midlands, or the English Midlands, is the traditional name for the area comprising central England that broadly corresponds to the early medieval Kingdom of Mercia. It borders Southern England, Northern England, East Anglia and Wales. Its largest city is Birmingham, and it was an important...

.
This route, originally a pre-Roman trackway
Ancient trackway
Ancient trackway can refer to any track or trail whose origin is lost in antiquity. Such paths existed from the earliest prehistoric times and in every inhabited part of the globe...

, departed from the ancient Roman Watling Street
Watling Street
Watling Street is the name given to an ancient trackway in England and Wales that was first used by the Britons mainly between the modern cities of Canterbury and St Albans. The Romans later paved the route, part of which is identified on the Antonine Itinerary as Iter III: "Item a Londinio ad...

 at Stanmore
Stanmore
Stanmore is a suburban area of the London Borough of Harrow, in northwest London. It is situated northwest of Charing Cross. The area is home to Stanmore Hill, one of the highest points of London, high.-Toponymy:...

, heading for the Gade
River Gade
The River Gade is a river running almost entirely though Hertfordshire. It rises from a spring in the chalk of the Chiltern Hills at Dagnall, Buckinghamshire and flows through Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley and Croxley Green to Rickmansworth where it joins the The River Colne...

 valley and thence up the Bulbourne
River Bulbourne
The River Bulbourne is a river in Hertfordshire, England. It runs from Dudswell in Northchurch, through Berkhamsted , Bourne End and Boxmoor to where it joins the River Gade at Two Waters in Apsley near Hemel Hempstead. The total length of the river is 11 Km....

 valley to a low and easily traversed section of the Chiltern Hills
Chiltern Hills
The Chiltern Hills form a chalk escarpment in South East England. They are known locally as "the Chilterns". A large portion of the hills was designated officially as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1965.-Location:...

 near Tring
Tring
Tring is a small market town and also a civil parish in the Chiltern Hills in Hertfordshire, England. Situated north-west of London and linked to London by the old Roman road of Akeman Street, by the modern A41, by the Grand Union Canal and by rail lines to Euston Station, Tring is now largely a...

.
The modern High Street follows the route of this road.

The ford was close to the later site of a gas works site. The town probably originated in Saxon
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 times as a string of houses on the northern side of this ford. It was located on the first dry ground above the marshy edges of the River Colne. It is generally agreed that the town is named after the ford, but the origin of the first part of the name is uncertain.
Theories include the Old English words (wet), (wade), watul (wattle, a fence) or wath (hunter), Watling Street, and a hypothetical Saxon landowner called "Wata".

Early history


Watford is first mentioned in an Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 charter of 1007. It does not get a mention by name in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

, but was included in the entry for the then more important settlement of Cashio which stood half a mile away at the crossroads
Crossroads (culture)
In folk magic and mythology, crossroads may represent a location "between the worlds" and, as such, a site where supernatural spirits can be contacted and paranormal events can take place...

 of the St Albans road and Hempstead road near the modern Town Hall.

The settlement's location helped it to grow, since as well as trade along this north-south through route it possessed good communications into the vale of St Albans
St Albans
St Albans is a city in southern Hertfordshire, England, around north of central London, which forms the main urban area of the City and District of St Albans. It is a historic market town, and is now a sought-after dormitory town within the London commuter belt...

 to the east and into the Chiltern Hills
Chiltern Hills
The Chiltern Hills form a chalk escarpment in South East England. They are known locally as "the Chilterns". A large portion of the hills was designated officially as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1965.-Location:...

 along the valley of the River Chess
River Chess
The River Chess is a chalk stream which springs from Chesham, Buckinghamshire and runs through Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, in south-eastern England. The Chess, along with the Colne and Gade, gives rise to the name of the district of Three Rivers, in which it forms its confluence with the...

 to the west. In 1100 Henry I
Henry I of England
Henry I was the fourth son of William I of England. He succeeded his elder brother William II as King of England in 1100 and defeated his eldest brother, Robert Curthose, to become Duke of Normandy in 1106...

 granted a charter to Watford to hold a weekly market.


The parish church
Parish church
A parish church , in Christianity, is the church which acts as the religious centre of a parish, the basic administrative unit of episcopal churches....

 of St Mary the Virgin was built in 1230 on the same site as an earlier Saxon church. It was extensively restored in 1871.

The great houses of Cassiobury
Cassiobury Park
Cassiobury Park is the principal public open space in Watford, Hertfordshire, in England. It comprises over and extends from the A412 Rickmansworth Road in the east to the Grand Union Canal in the west....

 and The Grove were built in the seventeenth centuries and expanded and developed throughout the following centuries.
Cassiobury became the family seat of the Earls of Essex, and The Grove the seat of the Earls of Clarendon
Earl of Clarendon
Earl of Clarendon is a title that has been created twice in British history, in 1661 and 1776. The title was created for the first time in the Peerage of England in 1661 for the statesman Edward Hyde, 1st Baron Hyde...

.

The Sparrows Herne turnpike
Sparrows Herne turnpike
The Sparrow's Herne Turnpike road was an 18th century English turnpike road from London to Aylesbury.Its route was approximately that of the later A41 trunk road, , and much of the original route is now numbered as the A4251...

 was established in 1762 to improve the route across the Chilterns, with the road maintained from charges levied at toll houses along the way. The location of a toll house can be seen at the bottom of Chalk Hill on the Watford side of Bushey Arches close to the Wickes
Wickes
Wickes is a do-it-yourself retailer based in the United Kingdom and owned by Travis Perkins, with more than 190 stores throughout the country. It focuses on supplies and materials for homeowners and the building trade...

 hardware store; set in an old flint stone wall is a Sparrows Herne Trust plaque.

Industrial Revolution


Watford remained an agricultural community with some cottage industry for many centuries. The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 brought the Grand Junction Canal
Grand Junction Canal
The Grand Junction Canal is a canal in England from Braunston in Northamptonshire to the River Thames at Brentford, with a number of branches. The mainline was built between 1793 and 1805, to improve the route from the Midlands to London, by-passing the upper reaches of the River Thames near Oxford...

 (now Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal
The Grand Union Canal in England is part of the British canal system. Its main line connects London and Birmingham, stretching for 137 miles with 166 locks...

) in 1798 and the London and Birmingham Railway
London and Birmingham Railway
The London and Birmingham Railway was an early railway company in the United Kingdom from 1833 to 1846, when it became part of the London and North Western Railway ....

 in 1837, both located here for the same reasons the road had followed centuries before, seeking an easy gradient over the Chiltern Hills
Chiltern Hills
The Chiltern Hills form a chalk escarpment in South East England. They are known locally as "the Chilterns". A large portion of the hills was designated officially as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1965.-Location:...

. The land-owning interests permitted the canal to follow closely by the river Gade, but the prospect of smoke-emitting steam trains drove them to ensure the railway gave a wide berth to the Cassiobury and Grove estates. Consequently, although the road and canal follow the easier valley route, the railway company
Railway company
A railway company or railroad company is an entity that operates a railroad track and/or trains. Such a company can either be private or public...

 was forced to build an expensive tunnel under Leavesden
Leavesden
Leavesden may mean:*An area near Watford, Hertfordshire, England*Leavesden Film Studios, a film and media complex owned by Warner Bros. on the site of the former Rolls-Royce factory at Leavesden Aerodrome...

 to the north of the town. The main Watford railway station was and remains outside of the town centre to the east at Watford Junction.

These developments gave the town excellent communications and stimulated its industrial growth during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Grand Union Canal, allowed coal to be brought into the district and paved the way for industrial development. The Watford Gas and Coke Company was formed in 1834 and gas works built. The canal allowed paper-making mills to be sited at Croxley. The John Dickinson and Co. Mill beside the canal here manufactured the Croxley brand of fine quality paper. The paper making influenced the development of printing in the town which continues today. There had been brewing in Watford from the seventeenth century and, by the nineteenth century, two industrial scale brewers Benskin’s and Sedgwick’s were located in the town.

Economy



Watford is a major regional centre for the northern home counties
Home Counties
The home counties is a term which refers to the counties of South East England and the East of England which border London, but do not include the capital city itself...

. It is the most westerly of these commercial centres and the only one in Hertfordshire. Hertfordshire County Council designates Watford and Stevenage
Stevenage
Stevenage is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England. It is situated to the east of junctions 7 and 8 of the A1, and is between Letchworth Garden City to the north, and Welwyn Garden City to the south....

 to be its major sub-regional centres, heading its list of preferred sites for retail development.
The primary shopping area is the Harlequin Shopping Centre
Harlequin Shopping Centre
The Harlequin Centre, in the centre of Watford, is the biggest shopping centre in Hertfordshire, in the United Kingdom, and is visited by over 17 million customers each year...

, a large purpose-built indoor mall with over 140 shops, restaurants and cafes built during the 1990s, opened officially in June 1992.

The High Street, running through the town centre, is the main focus of activity at night having a high concentration of the town's bars, clubs and restaurants.

The head offices of a number of national companies such as British Waterways
British Waterways
British Waterways is a statutory corporation wholly owned by the government of the United Kingdom, serving as the navigation authority in England, Scotland and Wales for the vast majority of the canals as well as a number of rivers and docks...

, J D Wetherspoon, Camelot Group
Camelot Group
Camelot GroupCamelot is a private limited company, its entire share issue is owned by a single shareholder, as detailed above. are the operators of the UK National Lottery. Camelot Group was awarded the National Lottery franchise in 1993 and was re-awarded the franchise in 2001 and again in 2007...

, operator of the National Lottery
National Lottery (United Kingdom)
The National Lottery is the state-franchised national lottery in the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man.It is operated by Camelot Group, to whom the licence was granted in 1994, 2001 and again in 2007. The lottery is regulated by the National Lottery Commission, and was established by the then...

; Iveco
Iveco
Iveco, an acronym for Industrial Vehicle Corporation, originally an alliance of European commercial vehicle manufacturers such as Fiat , Unic and Magirus. Iveco is now an Italian truck, bus, and diesel engine manufacturer, based in Turin...

, manufacturers of commercial vehicles; Haden Young, the building services division of Balfour Beatty
Balfour Beatty
Balfour Beatty plc is a British construction, engineering, military housing, rail and investment services company. It is one of the largest construction companies in the UK, and the 15th largest in the world...

; Bathstore
Bathstore
Bathstore.com Ltd., trading as Bathstore is a specialist bathroom retailer and is the largest in the United Kingdom. Bathstore was originally started in the early 1990s by Patrick Riley and Nico de Beer, with the idea to bring quality design led bathrooms into a wider retail arena...

, the largest bathroom retailer in the UK; construction firm Taylor Woodrow
Taylor Woodrow
Taylor Woodrow was one of the largest British housebuilding and general construction companies. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but merged with rival George Wimpey to create Taylor Wimpey on 3 July 2007.-Early years:Frank Taylor was...

; and Mothercare
Mothercare
Mothercare plc is a British retailer which specialises in products for expectant mothers and in general merchandise for children up to 8 years old. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.-History:...

, are located in the town. The borough is also the UK base of many multi-nationals including Total Oil
Total S.A.
Total S.A. is a French multinational oil company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world.Its businesses cover the entire oil and gas chain, from crude oil and natural gas exploration and production to power generation, transportation, refining, petroleum product marketing, and...

, Sanyo
Sanyo
is a major electronics company and member of the Fortune 500 whose headquarters is located in Moriguchi, Osaka prefecture, Japan. Sanyo targets the middle of the market and has over 230 Subsidiaries and Affiliates....

, TK Maxx, Costco
Costco
Costco Wholesale Corporation is the largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States. it is the third largest retailer in the United States, where it originated, and the ninth largest in the world...

, Vinci, and Beko
Beko
Beko is a domestic appliance and electronics brand of Arçelik A.Ş., owned by Koç Holding of Turkey.The company's products include washing machines, TV sets and laptop computers...

. International golf tournaments such as the 2006 World Golf Championship have taken place at the Grove hotel.

The town was home to the Scammell Lorries
Scammell Lorries
Scammell Lorries Limited was a British manufacturer of trucks, particularly specialist and military off-highway vehicles, from 1921 to 1988.-History:...

 Factory from 1922 until its closure in 1988. The site is now a residential area. Tandon motorcycles, founded by Devdutt Tandon, were also manufactured in Colne Way, By-Pass road, Watford from 1947 until 1959. Models included the Imp, the Milemaster, the Superglide and the Kangaroo.

Plans are underway to develop a new Health Campus complete with heliport adjacent to the site of the current Watford General Hospital.

Cycling


Watford town centre and the surrounding area is compact and the terrain is generally flat with more than 20 km of direct cycle routes avoiding busy roads. In Watford cycling to work makes up 2.26% of all journeys compared with 1.8% across the whole of Hertfordshire.

National Cycle Route 6 and 61 run to the south and east of the town along the Ebury Way and the Colne Valley Cycle Route. A cycle track runs through the pedestrianised parts of the town centre along The Parade and the High Street. Sheffield Hoop cycle parking is provided at intermittent points all along the High Street and throughout the town centre

Road


Watford is close to strategic roads – the M25 motorway
M25 motorway
The M25 motorway, or London Orbital, is a orbital motorway that almost encircles Greater London, England, in the United Kingdom. The motorway was first mooted early in the 20th century. A few sections, based on the now abandoned London Ringways plan, were constructed in the early 1970s and it ...

 that rings London and the M1 motorway
M1 motorway
The M1 is a north–south motorway in England primarily connecting London to Leeds, where it joins the A1 near Aberford. While the M1 is considered to be the first inter-urban motorway to be completed in the United Kingdom, the first road to be built to motorway standard in the country was the...

 that connects London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 to the Midlands
English Midlands
The Midlands, or the English Midlands, is the traditional name for the area comprising central England that broadly corresponds to the early medieval Kingdom of Mercia. It borders Southern England, Northern England, East Anglia and Wales. Its largest city is Birmingham, and it was an important...

 and northern England.

Bus


Watford is served by buses which link it to the wider surrounding area. These are operated by a number of different companies, including Arriva Shires & Essex
Arriva Shires & Essex
Arriva Shires & Essex is a division of Arriva, with operations in Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and London. It is one of many private operators of London Buses. Until 2002 its operations included Colchester...

, Arriva London
Arriva London
Arriva London is a division of Arriva which operates bus services in London, UK. It is made up of many previous bus operators including previously independent Grey Green...

, Uno
Uno (bus company)
Uno is a bus service operated by the University of Hertfordshire, England, serving members of the general public, and also its own students and staff...

, Red Rose Travel, Carousel
Carousel Buses
Carousel Buses is an independent bus company based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England which operates a network of local and inter-urban bus services.-History:Carousel Buses was formed in 2000...

, Mullany's Buses, Redline Buses and Tiger Line. Although the town is in close proximity to London, the majority of buses do not accept TFL
Transport for London
Transport for London is the local government body responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London in England. Its role is to implement the transport strategy and to manage transport services across London...

's Oyster Card
Oyster card
The Oyster card is a form of electronic ticketing used on public transport services within the Greater London area of the United Kingdom. It is promoted by Transport for London and is valid on a number of different travel systems across London including London Underground, buses, the Docklands...

 as a valid method of payment; however PlusBus, Intalink Explorer and Hertfordshire SaverCard is accepted on all but the London Bus routes.

Rail


The town is served by one of the principal National Rail
National Rail
National Rail is a title used by the Association of Train Operating Companies as a generic term to define the passenger rail services operated in Great Britain...

 north-south rail routes – the West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
The West Coast Main Line is the busiest mixed-traffic railway route in Britain, being the country's most important rail backbone in terms of population served. Fast, long-distance inter-city passenger services are provided between London, the West Midlands, the North West, North Wales and the...

 – which connects London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 (terminus at London Euston
Euston railway station
Euston railway station, also known as London Euston, is a central London railway terminus in the London Borough of Camden. It is the sixth busiest rail terminal in London . It is one of 18 railway stations managed by Network Rail, and is the southern terminus of the West Coast Main Line...

) to the Midlands, north-west England and Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. Some long-distance trains on this route serve Watford Junction
Watford Junction railway station
On 23 January 1975, an express train from Manchester to Euston derailed just south of Watford Junction after striking some stillages that had fallen on to the track. It then collided with a sleeper service from Euston to Glasgow. The driver of the Manchester train was killed, and eight passengers...

, where there are also frequent suburban and regional trains. There is a shuttle train service
St Albans Branch Line
The Abbey Line is a railway line from Watford Junction to St Albans Abbey railway station. The route passes through town and countryside...

 to St Albans
St Albans
St Albans is a city in southern Hertfordshire, England, around north of central London, which forms the main urban area of the City and District of St Albans. It is a historic market town, and is now a sought-after dormitory town within the London commuter belt...

, via some local stations in North Watford
North Watford
North Watford is an area in Watford, Hertfordshire.- Location :North Watford is situated between Central Watford and Garston. It links Watford to the M1 and M25 via the A41...

, and a direct rail connection to East Croydon
East Croydon station
East Croydon station is a railway station and tram stop in Croydon, 10.35 miles south of London Bridge in Travelcard Zone 5. It is the largest and busiest station in Croydon and the busiest in London outside Travelcard Zone 1 in terms of the number of passengers entering and exiting...

 via Clapham Junction
Clapham Junction railway station
Clapham Junction railway station is near St John's Hill in the south-west of Battersea in the London Borough of Wandsworth. Although it is in Battersea, the area around the station is commonly identified as Clapham Junction....

. London Overground
London Overground
London Overground is a suburban rail network in London and Hertfordshire. It has been operated by London Overground Rail Operations since 2007 as part of the National Rail network, under the franchise control and branding of Transport for London...

 services run from Watford Junction along a suburban loop to Watford High Street station and Bushey station
Bushey railway station
Bushey railway station serves the towns of Bushey and Oxhey and is situated on the Watford DC Line, north of Harrow & Wealdstone. The station was renamed from "Bushey & Oxhey" to "Bushey" on 6 May 1974, even though it is actually sited in the neighbouring town of Oxhey, and the nearest part of...

, continuing along the Watford DC Line
Watford DC Line
The Watford DC Line is a commuter railway line from London Euston to Watford Junction. Services on the line are operated by London Overground....

 to London Euston.

London Underground
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 serves Watford
Watford tube station
Watford is a station at the end of the Watford branch of London Underground's Metropolitan Line in the north-western part of the network in Zone 7, previously zone A.-Location and description:...

 Metropolitan Line
Metropolitan Line
The Metropolitan line is part of the London Underground. It is coloured in Transport for London's Corporate Magenta on the Tube map and in other branding. It was the first underground railway in the world, opening as the Metropolitan Railway on 10 January 1863...

 station at the outer north-western boundary of the Tube system. The station is located outside the centre of Watford, close to Cassiobury Park
Cassiobury Park
Cassiobury Park is the principal public open space in Watford, Hertfordshire, in England. It comprises over and extends from the A412 Rickmansworth Road in the east to the Grand Union Canal in the west....

. If the proposed Croxley Rail Link
Croxley Rail Link
The Croxley Rail Link is a railway engineering proposal to re-route part of a London Underground line in Hertfordshire, outside London, UK. The project would divert Metropolitan line Watford branch services after station away from station to via intermediate stations using a reopened section of...

 goes ahead, the Metropolitan Line branch would be diverted to Watford Junction via the disused Croxley Green
Croxley Green
Croxley Green is a small town and civil parish of approximately 5,000 dwellings and 12,000 residents located between Watford and Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, England...

 branch, providing two new Underground stations between Croxley and Watford Junction.

It has been suggested that Regional Eurostar
Regional Eurostar
Regional Eurostar was the name given to plans to operate Eurostar train services from Paris and Brussels to locations in the United Kingdom beyond London...

 services could run from Watford to Paris
Gare du Nord
Paris Nord is one of the six large terminus railway stations of the SNCF mainline network for Paris, France. It offers connections with several urban transportation lines, including Paris Métro and RER...

 via Kensington Olympia.
The Select Committee on Environment, Transport and the Regions recommended:


"We believe that Watford is well placed to become an integrated transport hub, and we recommend that the Government's review should consider what benefits and costs would be associated with direct services from Watford, and thorough services on the West Coast Main Line calling at Watford. Subject to the review's findings, we recommend that services from Watford to Paris should commence as soon as possible. The proposal for a Watford hub, as outlined in broad terms in ICRR's report is of interest to the Government. If there is a possibility that services to link the regions to the Channel Tunnel could be provided by such a link, the Government would be keen to see such a service operate."

Water


Watford is on the main Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal
The Grand Union Canal in England is part of the British canal system. Its main line connects London and Birmingham, stretching for 137 miles with 166 locks...

 route northwards from London. There is little commercial use, since the advent of the motorways, but the canal is used for recreational purposes.

The River Gade
River Gade
The River Gade is a river running almost entirely though Hertfordshire. It rises from a spring in the chalk of the Chiltern Hills at Dagnall, Buckinghamshire and flows through Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley and Croxley Green to Rickmansworth where it joins the The River Colne...

 and the River Colne
River Colne, Hertfordshire
The Colne is a river in England which is a tributary of the River Thames. It flows mainly through Hertfordshire and forms the boundary between the South Bucks district of Buckinghamshire and the London Borough of Hillingdon...

 also run through Watford.

Air


Regular and frequent bus and coach services connect Watford Junction station to Heathrow
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

 Airport and Luton Airport. Direct train services run from Watford Junction Station to Birmingham International Airport and also used to run to Gatwick
London Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport is located 3.1 miles north of the centre of Crawley, West Sussex, and south of Central London. Previously known as London Gatwick,In 2010, the name changed from London Gatwick Airport to Gatwick Airport...

 (since 2009 it is necessary to change train at Clapham Junction or London Euston and London Victoria Station).

Watford's closest airfield is Elstree Aerodrome
Elstree Airfield
Elstree Airfield is based in Elstree, located east of Watford, Hertfordshire, England.Elstree Aerodrome has a CAA Ordinary Licence that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee .-Bibliography:*Richard Riding and Grant Peerless,...

, 3 miles (5 km) east of the town. Several private charter companies and flying clubs are based there.

The Rolls Royce or de Havilland
De Havilland
The de Havilland Aircraft Company was a British aviation manufacturer founded in 1920 when Airco, of which Geoffrey de Havilland had been chief designer, was sold to BSA by the owner George Holt Thomas. De Havilland then set up a company under his name in September of that year at Stag Lane...

 factory as it was known in the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 at Leavesden was responsible for the manufacture of the Mosquito fighter bomber
De Havilland Mosquito
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft that served during the Second World War and the postwar era. It was known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews and was also nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder"...

 and the Halifax bomber and later became Leavesden Aerodrome, to the north of Watford. No longer operational, it was converted into Leavesden Film Studios
Leavesden Film Studios
Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden , is a film and media complex owned by Warner Bros.. The studios and backlot sit on the site of the former Rolls-Royce factory at Leavesden Aerodrome, which was an important centre of aircraft production during World War II...

, now famously the home of the Harry Potter
Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...

 films.

History




William Saunders noted in 1595 a "George Redhead, schoolmaster" of Watford, and in 1640 Francis Combe gave £10 a year to a Free School in Watford for teaching the poor to cast accounts, to read English and to write.
It was recorded then that, "The master hath the use of a room over two houses belonging to the Church Estate, nearest the churchyard."
In 1704, Mrs Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller founded a Free School for boys and girls in Watford, Hertfordshire, England. She is often called Dame Elizabeth Fuller, as a title of respect...

 of Watford Place built a new Free School for forty boys and twenty girls on her land next to the churchyard, with rooms for a Master and a Mistress.

In the mid-19th century, the only schools in Watford were Mrs Fuller's Free School, by now in a poor state, and St Mary's National School
National school (England and Wales)
A national school was a school founded in 19th century England and Wales by the National Society for Promoting Religious Education.These schools provided elementary education, in accordance with the teaching of the Church of England, to the children of the poor.Together with the less numerous...

s (separate schools for boys and girls) in Church Street.
All offered elementary education.
State-funded elementary schools began to appear in the 1860s and 1870s.
The Free School closed in 1882, and its endowment contributed to founding the Watford Endowed Schools, which provided secondary education and charged fees.
After these schools, now called the Watford Grammar School for Boys and the Watford Grammar School for Girls
Watford Grammar School for Girls
Watford Grammar School for Girls is an academy for girls in Watford in Hertfordshire, UK.Despite its name, the school accepts girls of all abilities, although a proportion are selected for academic or musical aptitude....

, moved to new sites in 1907 and 1912, the building housed the Watford Central School
Central school
In the English education system, central schools were selective secondary education schools between the more prestigious grammar schools and the secondary schools.Central schools were first established following the 1918 Education Act....

, which taught pupils up to the age of 14.
St Mary's National Schools closed in 1922, and the site is now a car park.

The London Orphan Asylum, later Reed's School, was located near Watford Junction station between 1871 and 1940.
The buildings are now the Reeds housing estate off Orphanage Road.

Primary schools



All the state-funded primary schools in Watford are co-educational
Coeducation
Mixed-sex education, also known as coeducation or co-education, is the integrated education of male and female persons in the same institution. It is the opposite of single-sex education...

.
Under an earlier system, schools were divided into infant school
Infant school
An Infant school is a term used primarily in the United Kingdom for school for children between the ages of four and seven years. It is usually a small school serving a particular locality....

s, covering Reception and Years 1 and 2, and junior school
Junior school
A junior school is a type of school which caters for children, often between the ages of 7 and 11.-Australia:In Australia, a junior school is usually a part of a private school that educates children between the ages of 5 and 12....

s, covering Years 3 to 6.
Most such schools have amalgamated to form Junior Mixed Infant schools or (equivalently) primary schools, and all new schools are of this type.
Within the municipal borough, there are now 6 linked pairs of infant schools and junior schools, and 14 JMI or primary schools, of which 2 are Roman Catholic.
The Watford urban area is also served by schools in the neighbouring districts of Three Rivers
Three Rivers (district)
Three Rivers is a local government district in Hertfordshire in the East of England. Its council is based in Rickmansworth.It was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of Rickmansworth Urban District and Chorleywood Urban District with part of Watford Rural District...

 and Hertsmere
Hertsmere
Hertsmere is a local government district and borough in Hertfordshire, England. Its council is based in Borehamwood. Other towns in the borough include Bushey, Elstree, Radlett and Potters Bar.-History:...

.

Secondary schools


Although all state-funded secondary schools in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

 are comprehensive
Comprehensive school
A comprehensive school is a state school that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. This is in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of a selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to the United...

, there is a great deal of differentiation in the southwestern corner of the county, centred on Watford but also including most of the Three Rivers
Three Rivers (district)
Three Rivers is a local government district in Hertfordshire in the East of England. Its council is based in Rickmansworth.It was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of Rickmansworth Urban District and Chorleywood Urban District with part of Watford Rural District...

 district and Bushey
Bushey
Bushey is a town in the Hertsmere borough of Hertfordshire in the East of England. Bushey Heath is situated to the south east of Bushey on the boundary with the London Borough of Harrow.-History:...

 in Hertsmere
Hertsmere
Hertsmere is a local government district and borough in Hertfordshire, England. Its council is based in Borehamwood. Other towns in the borough include Bushey, Elstree, Radlett and Potters Bar.-History:...

 district.
Within this area, there are:
  • partially selective school
    Partially selective school (England)
    In England, a partially selective school is one of a few dozen state-funded secondary schools that select a proportion of their intake by ability or aptitude, permitted as a continuation of arrangements that existed prior to 1997....

    s, which offer a proportion of places according to ability or aptitude, and the rest to siblings or those living near the school: Parmiter's School
    Parmiter's School
    Parmiter's School is a co-educational school in Garston, Hertfordshire on the outskirts of North West London, England with a long history. Although the school admits pupils of all abilities it is partially selective...

    , Queens' School
    Queens' School
    Queens' School, near Watford, Hertfordshire, is a state funded secondary school.It is currently designated a Specialist Sports and Science College.-History:The story of Queens' begins with two schools in Watford in the early 20th century....

    , Rickmansworth School
    Rickmansworth School
    Rickmansworth School , formerly Rickmansworth Grammar School, is a coeducational secondary school of around 1,200 pupils, situated in Croxley Green , near Rickmansworth.-Admissions:...

    , St Clement Danes School, Watford Grammar School for Boys and Watford Grammar School for Girls
    Watford Grammar School for Girls
    Watford Grammar School for Girls is an academy for girls in Watford in Hertfordshire, UK.Despite its name, the school accepts girls of all abilities, although a proportion are selected for academic or musical aptitude....

    .
  • Bushey Meads School
    Bushey Meads School
    Bushey Meads School is a foundation secondary school in Bushey, Hertfordshire, UK. The current head teacher is Mr Keith Douglas, B.A. Hons, M.A., who started as a new member of staff in the school in December 2005....

    , which selects 10% for technological aptitude and uses banded admissions to ensure a comprehensive intake for the remainder.
  • non-selective Roman Catholic
    Roman Catholic Church
    The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

     schools, whose intake is evenly spread: St Joan of Arc Catholic School
    St Joan of Arc Catholic School, Rickmansworth
    Saint Joan of Arc Roman Catholic School is a Catholic school in Rickmansworth. It is larger than average, mixed, voluntary-aided, comprehensive school taking students aged 11, Year 7, through to 18, Year 13. The catchment area for the school spreads over South West Hertfordshire, parts of...

     and St Michael's Catholic High School.
  • other non-selective schools, whose intake is markedly affected by the above partially selective schools: The Bushey Academy, Francis Combe Academy and Westfield Community Technology College
    Westfield Community Technology College
    Westfield Community Technology College is a secondary school for students aged 11–18, situated in the heart of the Holywell Estate . Westfield currently has around 1300 pupils of different nationalities...

    .
  • Falconer School
    Falconer School
    Falconer School is a Hertfordshire Secondary Special School for boys providing education for both day and weekly boarding pupils who either have experienced or are experiencing emotional and behavioral difficulties...

    , a school for boys with emotional and behavioural difficulties.


The partially selective schools and Bushey Meads School operate common admissions tests in mathematics and non-verbal reasoning each autumn.
In addition to those seeking selective places, all applicants to Bushey Meads and Queens' Schools are required to take the tests, so they are taken by the majority of Year 6 children in the area.
The partially selective schools also operate a common test and audition procedure to select children for specialist music places.

Results achieved by the schools at GCSE are also widely spread, including the three highest and the two lowest scoring state schools within Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

.
The area also has by far the highest incidence in the county of children allocated to schools to which they had not applied.

Further Education


The Watford Campus of West Herts College
West Herts College
West Herts College is a college in Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. The College has campuses in Watford, Hemel Hempstead and Kings Langley.-Range of courses:...

 is situated on Hempstead Road just north of the High Street. It is the only Grade 1 College in the United Kingdom according to a recent Ofsted
Ofsted
The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills is the non-ministerial government department of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools In England ....

 report. (As of September 2011)

Higher Education


The Centre for Missional Leadership
Centre for Missional Leadership
The Centre for Missional Leadership is a branch office of the London School of Theology. It is based in Watford, 20 miles northwest of central London. CML teaches applied theology with the aim of equipping Christians for practical evangelism. Located on the Watford High Street, CML is an urban...

 (CML) is the Watford campus of the London School of Theology
London School of Theology
The London School of Theology is an English interdenominational evangelical theological college based in Northwood within the London Borough of Hillingdon. A second campus is based in Watford, 20 miles northwest from central London, known as the Centre for Missional Leadership...

 and is located on The Parade. The London School of Theology
London School of Theology
The London School of Theology is an English interdenominational evangelical theological college based in Northwood within the London Borough of Hillingdon. A second campus is based in Watford, 20 miles northwest from central London, known as the Centre for Missional Leadership...

 is Europe's largest evangelical theological college. The Centre for Missional Leadership
Centre for Missional Leadership
The Centre for Missional Leadership is a branch office of the London School of Theology. It is based in Watford, 20 miles northwest of central London. CML teaches applied theology with the aim of equipping Christians for practical evangelism. Located on the Watford High Street, CML is an urban...

 teaches an applied theology course in Missional Leadership, equipping Christians to go into the secular workplace. The course is accredited by Middlesex University.

Sport



Watford is home to professional football team Watford F.C.
Watford F.C.
Watford Football Club is an English professional football club based in Watford, Hertfordshire. It is often referred to as Watford F.C., Watford, or by the team's nickname The Hornets . Watford Rovers, Founded in 1881, entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1886, and the Southern League a decade...

, who reached the FA Cup
FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football and is the oldest association football competition in the world. The "FA Cup" is run by and named after The Football Association and usually refers to the English men's...

 Final
FA Cup Final
The FA Cup Final, commonly referred to in England as just the Cup Final, is the last match in the Football Association Challenge Cup. With an official attendance of 89,826 at the 2007 FA Cup Final, it is the fourth best attended domestic club championship event in the world and the second most...

 in 1984
1984 FA Cup Final
The 1984 FA Cup Final was contested by Everton and Watford at Wembley. Everton won 2–0, with one goal by Graeme Sharp and a particularly memorable goal from Andy Gray. He was adjudged by many to have fouled the Watford goalkeeper Steve Sherwood by heading the ball from Sherwood's hands....

 (as well as four other semi-finals), also finishing as league Division One (now the Premier League) runners-up in 1983
1982-83 in English football
The 1982–83 season was the 103rd season of competitive football in England.- First Division :Bob Paisley's last season as Liverpool manager ended on a high as they topped the First Division with a comfortable lead. Bob Paisley retired as Liverpool manager with a record 21 prizes in nine years. His...

. They were relegated from the old Division One in 1988. In 1996, Watford were relegated from the new Division One (now the Football League Championship
Football League Championship
The Football League Championship is the highest division of The Football League and second-highest division overall in the English football league system after the Premier League...

).

Watford won the then Nationwide Division Two
Football League Second Division
From 1892 until 1992, the Football League Second Division was the second highest division overall in English football.This ended with the creation of the FA Premier League, prior to the start of the 1992–93 season, which caused an administrative split between The Football League and the teams...

 championship in 1998, then the following season (1998–99) reached the Premier League by winning the First Division Play-Off Final
Football League Championship play-offs
The Football League Championship play-offs are a series of playoff matches contested by the teams finishing from 3rd to 6th in the Football League Championship table. The semi-finals are played over two legs, with 6th playing 3rd and 5th playing 4th, with the return fixtures following...

, beating Bolton Wanderers F.C.
Bolton Wanderers F.C.
Bolton Wanderers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the area of Horwich in the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, Greater Manchester. They began their current spell in the Premier League in 2001....

 at Wembley Stadium by two goals to nil. The club were relegated the season after.

After five years of uncertainty, Watford won the Football League Championship
Football League Championship
The Football League Championship is the highest division of The Football League and second-highest division overall in the English football league system after the Premier League...

 Play-Off Final against all the odds to achieve promotion to the Premier League once again in 2006, this time beating Leeds United A.F.C.
Leeds United A.F.C.
Leeds United Association Football Club are an English professional association football club based in Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, who play in the Football League Championship, the second tier of the English football league system...

 by three goals to nil. Again, as before they were relegated to the Football League Championship after a single season (2006–2007
FA Premier League 2006-07
The 2006–07 FA Premier League was the fifteenth season of the FA Premier League since its establishment in 1992. The season started on 19 August 2006 and concluded on 13 May 2007....

) in the Premier League.

Singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...

 Sir Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

 is a keen, long-term supporter of Watford F.C. and a former club chairman.
He still maintains his links with Watford as Honorary Life President.

Since 1997 the club has shared its ground, Vicarage Road
Vicarage Road
Vicarage Road, a stadium in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, is the home of the football club Watford and their tenants, the Saracens rugby union club. An all-seater stadium, its current capacity is 17,477.-History:...

, with Saracens Rugby Football Club
Saracens F.C.
Saracens are a professional rugby union team based in St. Albans, England – although they play their home games at Vicarage Road, in Watford. They are currently members of the Aviva Premiership, the top level of domestic rugby union in England...

.

Watford is also home to the Watford Cheetahs
Watford Cheetahs
The Watford Cheetahs are an American football team, based in Watford competing in Division 2 East of the BAFA Community Leagues , with their home games played at Fullerians Rugby Club...

 American Football team who play their home games at Fullerians R.F.C.

Cassiobury Park



Cassiobury Park
Cassiobury Park
Cassiobury Park is the principal public open space in Watford, Hertfordshire, in England. It comprises over and extends from the A412 Rickmansworth Road in the east to the Grand Union Canal in the west....

 was formed from the grounds of Cassiobury House
Cassiobury House
Cassiobury House was a country house in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, now demolished.-History:The house was started in 1546 by Sir Richard Morrison. On the marriage of his granddaughter it passed into the ownership of the Capel family, later Earls of Essex. It was demolished in 1927. The...

 and consists of 190 acre (0.7689034 km²) of open space. The house itself was demolished in 1927 and the original imposing gatehouse entrance – the Cassiobury Gates – in the 1970s, due to road widening. In July 2007, the park won a Green Flag Award
Green Flag Award
The Green Flag Award is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom. The scheme was set up in 1996 to recognise and reward green spaces in England and Wales that met the laid down high standards...

, which recognises the best green spaces in the country. It has a children's play area which includes a paddling pool, play equipment, mini train track for children's rides, bouncy castle, ice cream van and a kiosk where you can buy food and drinks. The Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal
The Grand Union Canal in England is part of the British canal system. Its main line connects London and Birmingham, stretching for 137 miles with 166 locks...

 passes through the park.

The name derives from a Celtic tribe the Cassii said to have inhabited the area in pre-Roman times.

Watford Colosseum


Formerly known as the Watford Town Hall Assembly Rooms, Watford Colosseum is a hall of exceptional musical merit. In 2009 Classic Concerts Trust, which presented orchestral concerts there for many years, commissioned a report on the acoustics from Paul Scarbrough of the US firm Akustiks which can be downloaded from this link.

Throughout the second half of the twentieth century the hall was used for concerts and recordings by leading orchestras and artists. Failing finances led to closure by Watford Borough Council in 1994, after which a lease was acquired for private operation. Subsequent to this Classic Concerts Trust revived orchestral concerts with presentations by the English Classical Players and in successive years built a strong and loyal following for concerts there. From 2007 an innovative business model helped stimulate further growth in public support and audience growth.

The Watford Colosseum was used to record the Lord of the Rings, the Sound of Music
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a musical by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers...

, The Star Wars
Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

 Trilogies, Sleepy Hollow soundtracks and is world renowned for its acoustic qualities, which are often said to be the best available in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

.
Among many famous classical recordings made there is Julian Lloyd Webber
Julian Lloyd Webber
Julian Lloyd Webber is a British solo cellist who has been described as the "doyen of British cellists".-Early life:Julian Lloyd Webber is the second son of the composer William Lloyd Webber and his wife Jean Johnstone . He is the younger brother of the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber...

's performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto, conducted by Yehudi Menuhin
Yehudi Menuhin
Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin, OM, KBE was a Russian Jewish American violinist and conductor who spent most of his performing career in the United Kingdom. He was born to Russian Jewish parents in the United States, but became a citizen of Switzerland in 1970, and of the United Kingdom in 1985...

.

It has housed performances from world renowned performers as The Who
The Who
The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey , Pete Townshend , John Entwistle and Keith Moon . They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction...

, Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams
Robert Peter "Robbie" Williams is an English singer-songwriter, vocal coach and occasional actor. He is a member of the pop group Take That. Williams rose to fame in the band's first run in the early- to mid-1990s. After many disagreements with the management and certain group members, Williams...

, Oasis and was well known for its Seventies Discos featuring Jensen D Groover & Carlos Fandango up until 2003.

It is regularly used to host concerts by the BBC Concert Orchestra
BBC Concert Orchestra
The BBC Concert Orchestra is a British orchestra based in London, one of the British Broadcasting Corporation's five radio orchestras. With around fifty players, it is the only one of the five which is not a full-scale symphony orchestra....

, in particular the long running Friday Night is Music Night
Friday Night is Music Night
Friday Night is Music Night is a long running live BBC radio concert programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra, broadcast most Fridays on BBC Radio 2 at 8.00pm. It is the world's longest-running live music radio programme....

. Laura, Austin and Amy from the X-Factor
The X Factor (TV series)
The X Factor is a television talent show franchise originating in the United Kingdom, where it was devised as a replacement for Pop Idol. It is a singing competition, now held in various countries, which pits contestants against each other. These contestants are aspiring pop singers drawn from...

 have also performed there.

After the management company collapsed in 2004, the hall was managed by Watford Council until April 2010, when it closed to undergo a major refurbishment. Reopen August 2011 - https://watfordcolosseum.co.uk/online/default.asp with new management.

Watford Palace Theatre



The Watford Palace Theatre
Watford Palace Theatre
Watford Palace Theatre, opened in 1908, is an Edwardian Grade II listed building on Clarendon Road, Watford.- Refurbishment :In September 2004 the theatre re-opened after a two year £8.8million Lottery funded refurbishment, which included more public space, two bars, a daytime café, air cooling and...

 is the only producing theatre in Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England. The county town is Hertford.The county is one of the Home Counties and lies inland, bordered by Greater London , Buckinghamshire , Bedfordshire , Cambridgeshire and...

. It presents a selection of comedy, drama, world premieres, family friendly shows and an annual traditional pantomime. Situated just off the High Street, the Edwardian
Edwardian architecture
Edwardian architecture is the style popular when King Edward VII of the United Kingdom was in power; he reigned from 1901 to 1910, but the architecture style is generally considered to be indicative of the years 1901 to 1914....

 theatre building is approaching its centenary and has recently been refurbished.

The Pumphouse Theatre and Arts Centre


The Pump House Theatre and Arts Centre is based in an old pumping station situated in Watford's lower high street. The building was converted for use as a theatre, with rehearsal rooms, and meeting place for local arts based groups. Current facilities include a 124 seat theatre, rehearsal rooms, and live music venue. Community groups currently meeting at the Pump House include Dance House (children's ballet), Pump House Clog Morris (women's Morris dancing
Morris dance
Morris dance is a form of English folk dance usually accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers. Implements such as sticks, swords, handkerchiefs and bells may also be wielded by the dancers...

), Pump House Jazz (jazz club), Open House (live open mic music), Woodside Morris Men
Woodside Morris Men
Woodside Morris Men are a UK Morris dance side based in Watford, Hertfordshire. The side dance Cotswold Morris locally in the towns and villages around Watford, Rickmansworth, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans, and further afield at events and folk festivals across the country, as well as occasional...

 (men's Morris dancing), child, youth and adult theatre groups.

"North of Watford" and "Watford Gap"



The phrase "North of Watford" is used in a light-hearted, yet derogatory sense—typically by those living in south eastern England—to describe any part of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 situated more than a relatively short distance north of London and the Home Counties
Home Counties
The home counties is a term which refers to the counties of South East England and the East of England which border London, but do not include the capital city itself...

. It is a euphemism for 'provincial' and by extension 'unsophisticated'. It is commonly understood that the term is in fact highly arbitrary and flexible, applying to an approximate latitude rather than the town of Watford itself, but its use has contributed to a mildly negative association with the place name. However, in modern usage the term generally denotes the English Midlands and Northern England. See Bombay Hills for a similar cultural border concept in New Zealand.

The phrase is also linked to the Watford Gap
Watford Gap
The Watford Gap is located at a minor gap between two slight hills in the county of Northamptonshire, England. Engineers from Roman times onwards have found it to be an appropriate route connecting the Midlands with the South East....

, a motorway service station on the main north-south M1
M1 motorway
The M1 is a north–south motorway in England primarily connecting London to Leeds, where it joins the A1 near Aberford. While the M1 is considered to be the first inter-urban motorway to be completed in the United Kingdom, the first road to be built to motorway standard in the country was the...

 motorway, which is located 50 miles north of the town.

Suburbs


Including areas outside Watford Borough:

  • Abbots Langley
    Abbots Langley
    Abbots Langley is a large village and civil parish in the English county of Hertfordshire. It is an old settlement and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Economically the village is closely linked to Watford and was formerly part of the Watford Rural District...

  • Aldenham
    Aldenham
    This article is about the village in Hertfordshire. For the London Transport Bus Overhaul Works, see Aldenham Works.Aldenham is a village and civil parish in Hertfordshire, approx. three miles north-east of Watford and two miles from Radlett. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book and is one of...

  • Bedmond
    Bedmond
    Bedmond is a village in Hertfordshire, England.Bedmond is the birthplace of Nicholas Breakspear, the only Englishman to ever be Pope. Nicholas Breakspear was born at Bedmond Farm around 1100 AD, and the site where his home stood is marked by a plaque....

  • Bricket Wood
    Bricket Wood
    Bricket Wood is a village in the county of Hertfordshire, England, approximately 4½ miles from St Albans. It is part of the parish of St Stephen. Its railway station is served by a London Midland service that runs between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction stations.Close to the village stands...

  • Bushey
    Bushey
    Bushey is a town in the Hertsmere borough of Hertfordshire in the East of England. Bushey Heath is situated to the south east of Bushey on the boundary with the London Borough of Harrow.-History:...


  • Carpenders Park
    Carpenders Park
    Carpenders Park is a suburb of Watford in the Watford Rural parish of the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire, England. It is located in the south western corner of Hertfordshire and close to the boundary with Greater London...

  • Cassiobury
    Cassiobury
    Cassiobury is a residential area of Watford in Hertfordshire, England.It is formed by two areas of housing: one to the north-east of Cassiobury Park and the other to the south...

  • Chipperfield
    Chipperfield
    Chipperfield is a village and civil parish in the Dacorum district of Hertfordshire, England, about 5 miles southwest of Hemel Hempstead and 5 miles north of Watford. The parish includes the hamlet of Tower Hill....

  • Croxley Green
    Croxley Green
    Croxley Green is a small town and civil parish of approximately 5,000 dwellings and 12,000 residents located between Watford and Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, England...

  • Garston
    Garston, Hertfordshire
    Garston is a village in Hertfordshire, England, more or less contiguous with Watford and now, despite retaining a local identity, is effectively, a suburb...


  • Hunton Bridge
    Hunton Bridge
    Hunton Bridge is a small settlement near Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, England with a historic royal connection. Its population in the 1991 census was 327....

  • Kings Langley
    Kings Langley
    Kings Langley is a historic English village and civil parish northwest of central London on the southern edge of the Chiltern Hills and now part of the London commuter belt. The major western portion lies in the borough of Dacorum and the east is in the Three Rivers district, both in the county of...

  • Langleybury
    Langleybury
    Langleybury was a country house and estate in Hertfordshire, England situated 2 miles north of the town of Watford on a low hill above the valley of the River Gade.-Raymond 1711-1756:...

  • Leavesden
    Leavesden
    Leavesden may mean:*An area near Watford, Hertfordshire, England*Leavesden Film Studios, a film and media complex owned by Warner Bros. on the site of the former Rolls-Royce factory at Leavesden Aerodrome...

  • Letchmore Heath
    Letchmore Heath
    Letchmore Heath is a village in Hertfordshire in England, situated about three miles east of Watford.-Locality:Letchmore Heath lies to the east of Watford, west of Radlett and south west of Aldenham. It is a pretty village of around 150 houses that due to its proximity to Elstree Studios has been...


  • Maple Cross
    Maple Cross
    Maple Cross is a village in Hertfordshire, England with a large proportion of the housing being either council owned or previously council owned. The area is served by junction 17 of the M25 motorway, which makes up one of the boundaries of the village...

  • Oxhey
    Oxhey
    Oxhey is a suburb of the borough of Watford in the county of Hertfordshire, England. It is located at and forms part of the Watford post town....

  • Rickmansworth
    Rickmansworth
    Rickmansworth is a town in the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire, England, 4¼ miles west of Watford.The town has a population of around 15,000 people and lies on the Grand Union Canal and the River Colne, at the northern end of the Colne Valley regional park.Rickmansworth is a small town in...

  • Sarratt
    Sarratt
    Sarratt is a village and civil parish in Hertfordshire, England, on the border of the county with Buckinghamshire. Sarratt is near Chesham, and the River Chess passes through the village....

  • South Oxhey
    South Oxhey
    South Oxhey is a suburb of Watford in the Watford Rural parish of the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire, England. It is located in the south western corner of Hertfordshire and close to the boundary with Greater London.-History:...



Twin towns


Watford has five twin towns
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

: Mainz
Mainz
Mainz under the Holy Roman Empire, and previously was a Roman fort city which commanded the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 (since 1956) Nanterre
Nanterre
Nanterre is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located west of the center of Paris.Nanterre is the capital of the Hauts-de-Seine department as well as the seat of the Arrondissement of Nanterre....

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 (since 1960) Novgorod, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (since 1984) Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delaware, United States, and is located at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine Creek, near where the Christina flows into the Delaware River. It is the county seat of New Castle County and one of the major cities in the Delaware Valley...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (since 1985) Pesaro
Pesaro
Pesaro is a town and comune in the Italian region of the Marche, capital of the Pesaro e Urbino province, on the Adriatic. According to the 2007 census, its population was 92,206....

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 (since 1988)

Notable people


Watford was the birthplace of:
  • Barbara Amiel
    Barbara Amiel
    Barbara Joan Estelle Amiel, Baroness Black of Crossharbour is a British-Canadian journalist, writer, and socialite. She is also the wife of former media baron and convicted felon Conrad Black.-Early life:...

    , journalist
  • Stephen Andrew
    Stephen Andrew
    Stephen Andrew is a Canadian journalist born in Watford, England and is best known for his work as a television news reporter and anchor. Andrew also works as a radio talk show host.-News career:...

    , Canadian television reporter, anchor and talk show host
  • Grant Benson
    Grant Benson
    Grant Benson is a British-born broadcaster and music consultant who currently works forRadio Number One in Milan, Italy....

    , broadcaster
  • Michael Bentine
    Michael Bentine
    Michael Bentine CBE was a British comedian, comic actor and founding member of the Goons. A Peruvian Briton by heritage as a result of his father's nationality, In 1971 Bentine received the Order of Merit of Peru because of his fund-raising work for the 1970 Great Peruvian...

     (1922–1996), comedian and ex-Goon
  • Anthony Berkeley Cox
    Anthony Berkeley Cox
    Anthony Berkeley Cox was an English crime writer. He wrote under several pen-names, including Francis Iles, Anthony Berkeley and A. Monmouth Platts.- Life :...

     (1893–1971), crime fiction author
  • Michaela Breeze
    Michaela Breeze
    Michaela Alica Breeze MBE is a British weightlifter. Breeze was born in Watford and raised in Cornwall and educated at Wadebridge School. She started weightlifting under the guidance of PE teacher Dave Allen...

    , weightlifter
  • LTJ Bukem
    LTJ Bukem
    LTJ Bukem is the stage name used by the drum and bass musician, producer and DJ Danny Williamson . He and his record labels Good Looking and Looking Good Records are most associated with the jazzy, atmospheric side of drum and bass music....

    , drum & bass DJ/producer
  • Sue Cleaver
    Sue Cleaver
    Sue Cleaver is an English actress. She is best known for her regular role in Coronation Street.She studied at the Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre and her first television appearance was a small part in an episode of A Touch of Frost...

    , actress, best known as Eileen Grimshaw in Coronation Street
    Coronation Street
    Coronation Street is a British soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Greater Manchester based on Salford. Created by Tony Warren, Coronation Street was first broadcast on 9 December 1960...

  • Jack Collison
    Jack Collison
    Jack David Collison is a Welsh international footballer who plays for West Ham United. Collison is a product of West Ham's youth academy and has quickly progressed from trainee to playing first team football in the Premier League since joining at age sixteen...

    , West Ham United and Wales
    Wales national football team
    The Wales national football team represents Wales in international football. It is controlled by the Football Association of Wales , the governing body for football in Wales, and the third oldest national football association in the world. The team have only qualified for a major international...

     footballer
  • Ray Cooper
    Ray Cooper
    Ray Cooper is an English musician. He is a session and road-tour percussionist, and occasional actor, who has worked with several musically diverse bands and artists including George Harrison, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, and Elton John. Cooper is commonly regarded by music fans, critics and fellow...

    , percussionist (performed in both Elton John
    Elton John
    Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

    's and Eric Clapton
    Eric Clapton
    Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, is an English guitarist and singer-songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and...

    's bands)
  • Chris Date
    Christopher J. Date
    Chris Date is an independent author, lecturer, researcher, and consultant, specializing in relational database theory.-Biography:Chris Date attended High Wycombe Royal Grammar School from 1951 to 1958 and received his BA in Mathematics from Cambridge University in 1962. He entered the computer...

    , database guru, author of the definitive textbook on the subject
  • Paul Field
    Paul Field (bobsleigh)
    Paul Field is an English bobsledder who competed in the early 1990s. Competing in two Winter Olympics, he earned his best finish of seventh in the four-man event at Albertville in 1992...

     1994 Gladiators champion, police officer
    Police officer
    A police officer is a warranted employee of a police force...

     and two-time Winter Olympian from South Oxhey
  • Steven Finn
    Steven Finn (cricketer)
    Steven Thomas Finn is an English cricketer. He is a right-handed batsman and a right-arm fast-medium bowler.Educated at Parmiter's School in Garston, at the age of 16 Finn became Middlesex County Cricket Club's youngest debutant in first-class cricket, beating the record set by Fred Titmus in 1949...

    , Middlesex
    Middlesex County Cricket Club
    Middlesex County Cricket Club is one of the 18 major county clubs which make up the English and Welsh domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Middlesex. It was announced in February 2009 that Middlesex changed their limited overs name from the Middlesex Crusaders, to the...

     and England cricketer
  • Cyril Fletcher
    Cyril Fletcher
    Cyril Fletcher was an English comedian; his catchphrase was 'Pin back your lugholes'. He was most famous for his Odd Odes, which was a section of the television show That's Life!. Fletcher had first begun performing the Odd Odes in 1937, long before they first appeared on television...

     (1913–2005), comedian
  • Declan Ganley
    Declan Ganley
    Declan James Ganley is a British-born Irish citizen, entrepreneur, businessman and political activist. He is founder and chairman of a political party, Libertas with pan-European ambitions...

    , businessman and political activist
  • Philip Glenister
    Philip Glenister
    Philip Haywood Glenister is an English actor, known for his role as DCI Gene Hunt in British television series Life On Mars and its sequel Ashes To Ashes.-Television and films:...

    , actor, Life on Mars
    Life on Mars
    Scientists have long speculated about the possibility of life on Mars owing to the planet's proximity and similarity to Earth. Fictional Martians have been a recurring feature of popular entertainment of the 20th and 21st centuries, but it remains an open question whether life currently exists on...

  • Robert Glenister
    Robert Glenister
    Robert Lewis Glenister is a British actor known for his roles as con man Ash "Three Socks" Morgan in the British TV series Hustle, and Nicholas Blake in the BBC spy drama Spooks.-Career:...

    , actor
  • Geri Halliwell
    Geri Halliwell
    Geraldine Estelle "Geri" Halliwell is an English pop singer-songwriter, author and actress. After coming to international prominence in the late 1990s as Ginger Spice, a member of the girl group the Spice Girls, Halliwell launched her solo career in 1998 and released her album Schizophonic...

    , singer and Spice Girl
    Spice Girls
    The Spice Girls were a British pop girl group formed in 1994. The group consisted of Victoria Beckham , Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell. They were signed to Virgin Records and released their debut single, "Wannabe" in 1996, which hit number-one in more than 30...

  • Kenny Jackett
    Kenny Jackett
    Kenny Jackett is a former Wales international football player, who has since moved into management. He is the current manager of Millwall, the longest serving manager in the Football League Championship and eleventh longest serving manager in England.A skilful player, equally at home in defence or...

    , Welsh International footballer who spent his entire playing career at Watford
    Watford F.C.
    Watford Football Club is an English professional football club based in Watford, Hertfordshire. It is often referred to as Watford F.C., Watford, or by the team's nickname The Hornets . Watford Rovers, Founded in 1881, entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1886, and the Southern League a decade...

     now manager of Millwall
    Millwall F.C.
    Millwall Football Club is an English professional football club based in South Bermondsey, south east London, that plays in the Football League Championship, the second tier of English football. Founded as Millwall Rovers in 1885, the club has retained its name despite having last played in the...

  • Vinnie Jones
    Vinnie Jones
    Vincent Peter "Vinnie" Jones is an English film actor and retired Welsh footballer.Born in Hertfordshire, England, Jones represented and captained the Welsh national football team, having qualified via a Welsh grandparent. He also previously played for Chelsea and Leeds United. As a member of the...

    , footballer turned actor
  • Matt King
    Matt King (comedian)
    Matt King is an English actor, writer of BBC sitcom Whites and comedian. He is known for his role as self-absorbed musician Super Hans in the British sitcom Peep Show....

    , comedy actor, Peep Show
    Peep Show (TV series)
    Peep Show is a British sitcom starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. The television programme is written by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, with additional material by Mitchell and Webb themselves, amongst others. It has been broadcast on Channel 4 since 2003. The show's seventh series makes it...

  • Nick Knight
    Nick Knight
    Nicholas Verity Knight is a former England cricketer. Knight's middle name was in honour of the 1930s English Test bowler Hedley Verity who was killed in World War II and is a distant family relation...

    , cricketer
  • Nick Leeson
    Nick Leeson
    Nicholas "Nick" Leeson is a former derivatives broker whose fraudulent, unauthorized speculative trading caused the collapse of Barings Bank, the United Kingdom's oldest investment bank, for which he was sent to prison...

    , securities trader responsible for the collapse of Barings Bank
    Barings Bank
    Barings Bank was the oldest merchant bank in London until its collapse in 1995 after one of the bank's employees, Nick Leeson, lost £827 million due to speculative investing, primarily in futures contracts, at the bank's Singapore office.-History:-1762–1890:Barings Bank was founded in 1762 as the...

     in 1995
  • Tim Lovejoy
    Tim Lovejoy
    Timothy Paul Lovejoy is a British television presenter most famous for hosting Saturday morning football programme Soccer AM alongside Helen Chamberlain for over a decade.- Career :...

    , television and radio presenter
  • Craig Mackail-Smith
    Craig Mackail-Smith
    Craig Anthony Robert Mackail-Smith is a footballer who plays for Brighton & Hove Albion as a striker. He has also played for England C and at full international level for Scotland...

    , Brighton and Scotland
    Scotland national football team
    The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. Scotland are the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872...

     footballer
  • Gerald Moore
    Gerald Moore
    Gerald Moore CBE was an English pianist best known for his career as one of the most in-demand accompanists of his day, accompanying many of the world's most famous musicians...

     (1899–1987), pianist
  • Mo Mowlam
    Mo Mowlam
    Marjorie "Mo" Mowlam was a British Labour Party politician. She was the Member of Parliament for Redcar from 1987 to 2001 and served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.Mowlam's time as Northern...

     (1949–2005), Labour politician
  • J.D. Nicholas, singer with Heatwave
    Heatwave (band)
    Heatwave was an international funk/disco musical band featuring Americans Johnnie Wilder, Jr. and Keith Wilder of Dayton, Ohio, Englishman Rod Temperton , Swiss Mario Mantese , Czechoslovak Ernest "Bilbo" Berger , Jamaican Eric Johns and Briton Roy Carter .They were known for their successful...

     and The Commodores
    Commodores
    The Commodores are an American funk/soul band of the 1970s and 1980s. The members of the group met as mostly freshmen at Tuskegee Institute in 1968, and signed with Motown in November 1972, having first caught the public eye opening for The Jackson 5 while on tour...

  • Mark Oaten
    Mark Oaten
    Mark Oaten is a former British Liberal Democrat politician. He served as the Member of Parliament for Winchester from 1997 to 2010, and was his party's Home Affairs spokesperson from 2003 to 2006...

    , Liberal Democrat politician
  • Stuart Parkin
    Stuart Parkin
    Stuart Stephen Papworth Parkin, Ph.D. is an experimental physicist, IBM Fellow and manager of the magnetoelectronics group at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. He is also a consulting professor in the Department of Applied Physics at Stanford University and director of the...

    , physicist
  • Arthur Peacocke
    Arthur Peacocke
    The Reverend Canon Arthur Robert Peacocke MBE was a British theologian and biochemist.-Biography:Arthur Robert Peacocke was born at Watford in on 29 November 1924...

     (1924–2006), biochemist and Anglican theologian
  • James Pritchett
    James Pritchett (footballer)
    James Keith Pritchett is a football player who represented New Zealand as a defender at both age group and senior international level...

    , footballer for New Zealand
  • Paul Robinson, Bolton Wanderers
    Bolton Wanderers F.C.
    Bolton Wanderers Football Club is an English professional association football club based in the area of Horwich in the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, Greater Manchester. They began their current spell in the Premier League in 2001....

     football player
  • Terry Scott
    Terry Scott
    Owen John "Terry" Scott was an English actor and comedian who appeared in seven Carry On films. He also appeared in BBC1's popular domestic sitcom Terry and June with June Whitfield...

     (1927–1994), TV and Carry On
    Carry On films
    The Carry On films are a series of low-budget British comedy films, directed by Gerald Thomas and produced by Peter Rogers. They are an energetic mix of parody, farce, slapstick and double entendres....

    actor and comedian, blue plaque
    Blue plaque
    A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event, serving as a historical marker....

     at 32 Tucker St 51.650354°N 0.394242°W
  • Grant Shapps
    Grant Shapps
    Grant V Shapps MP is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Welwyn Hatfield in the United Kingdom and Minister of State for Housing and Planning...

    , Conservative MP for nearby Welwyn Hatfield
    Welwyn Hatfield (UK Parliament constituency)
    Welwyn Hatfield is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1974 as 'Welwyn and Hatfield'.- Boundaries :...

  • Kelly Smith
    Kelly Smith
    Kelly Jayne Smith, MBE is an English football forward currently playing for Boston Breakers of Women's Professional Soccer and is a member of the England women's national football team.-Youth and university:...

    , England
    England women's national football team
    The England women's national football team represents England in international women's football. The side has been quite successful of late, qualifying for three World Cups, 1995, 2007 and 2011...

     and Boston Breakers footballer
  • Gareth Southgate
    Gareth Southgate
    Gareth Southgate in Crawley, West Sussex is a retired English footballer and ex-manager. He is known as the "Penalty Misser of '96." He served as manager of Middlesbrough from June 2006, until he was dismissed in October 2009...

    , former football player for Crystal Palace
    Crystal Palace F.C.
    Crystal Palace Football Club are an English Football league club based in South Norwood, London. The team plays its home matches at Selhurst Park, where they have been based since 1924. The club currently competes in the second tier of English Football, The Championship.Crystal Palace was formed in...

    , Aston Villa, Middlesbrough
    Middlesbrough F.C.
    Middlesbrough Football Club , also known as Boro, are an English football club based in Middlesbrough, who play in the Football League Championship. Formed in 1876, they have played at the Riverside Stadium since August 1995, their third ground since turning professional in 1889...

     and England, also managed Middlesbrough
  • Simon Treves
    Simon Treves
    Frederick Simon Treves, known as Simon Treves, is an English actor, director and writer probably best known for playing Harold 'Stinker' Pinker in three series of ITV's Jeeves and Wooster.-Biography:...

    , actor and writer
  • Ian Walker, former Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City, Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper
  • Bradley Walsh, actor and comedian
  • Mark Walsh, professional darts player
  • Arthur Woodward
    Arthur Woodward (footballer)
    Arthur Woodward was an English professional footballer. Born in Watford, Hertfordshire, Woodward spent the whole of his professional career at his hometown club. He also played for British truck manufacturer Scammell's football team during the Second World War...

    , footballer who spent his entire career at Watford
    Watford F.C.
    Watford Football Club is an English professional football club based in Watford, Hertfordshire. It is often referred to as Watford F.C., Watford, or by the team's nickname The Hornets . Watford Rovers, Founded in 1881, entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1886, and the Southern League a decade...

  • Mike Duce, vocalist of Lower Than Atlantis
    Lower Than Atlantis
    Lower Than Atlantis are a four-piece Melodic hardcore/Rock band based in Watford, United Kingdom. The band was started in 2007. They have since released their debut EP, Bretton via Thirty Days of Night Records in January 2009...



Watford is the burial place of:
  • Thomas Webster Rammell
    Thomas Webster Rammell
    Thomas Webster Rammell was born in Dent de Lyon on the Isle of Thanet, Kent, United Kingdom. He became an engineer, working for the Metropolitan Board of Health...

    , engineer Crystal Palace
    The Crystal Palace
    The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, London, England, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. More than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered in the Palace's of exhibition space to display examples of the latest technology developed in...


See also

  • Mayor of Watford
    Mayor of Watford
    The Mayor of Watford is the head of the council in Watford, Hertfordshire, England. The holder of the position is a directly elected mayor elected using the supplementary vote, every four years...

  • Watford (UK Parliament constituency)
    Watford (UK Parliament constituency)
    Watford is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election...

  • Benskins
    Benskins
    Benskins was the pre-eminent brewery in Watford, and Hertfordshire's biggest brewer until its acquisition by Ind Coope in 1957.-History:Benskins had its roots in the brewery founded in Watford by John Pope, a local miller and baker around 1693...

  • Odhams Press
    Odhams Press
    Odhams Press was a British publishing firm. Originally a newspaper group, founded in 1890, it took the name Odham's Press Ltd in 1920 when it merged with John Bull magazine. By 1937 it had founded the first colour weekly, Woman, for which it set up and operated a dedicated high-speed print works...

  • Watford Observer

Thomas Rogers 1620 Mayflower Pilgrim . signed the Mayflower Compact.

External links