When two sisters got to celebrate Jubilee in style thanks to regal names

Our regular look back at the stories that were making the Watford Observer’s headlines five and ten years ago this week remembers when two sisters got to enjoy the jubilee in luxury, an old police station became a six-bedroom house, armed police were patrolling Watford in the wake of a terrorist outrage and it was General Election time.

Sisters celebrate Jubilee in style

Two sisters from Rickmansworth attended one of the most extravagant jubilee celebrations in the country thanks to their regal names.

To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years on the throne, three Cunard cruise ships sailed in to Southampton in formation.

Cunard, the owner of The Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2, held a competition to give away invitations to the event to anybody who could successfully link the three names.

Because of their unique combination of names, sisters Elizabeth Mary Searle, 36, and Victoria Queen, 40, from Rickmansworth were chosen to attend.

Watford Observer:

Old police station is home, sweet home

Rickmansworth’s old police station was once the town’s crime-fighting hub, but since the constabulary moved out, it has taken on a new life as a six-bedroom house.

In May, residents and fire fighters living and working next to the Rectory Road station were surprised to see beds and kitchen appliances being moved in.

The furniture belongs to its new inhabitants, employees of Camelot – a company which provides what it describes as “protection through occupation”.

The company employs “guardians”, who in return for subsidised rent in an empty building, are expected to look after the property and report any vandalism or unauthorised inhabitants.

Watford Observer:

Parade revamp plans go live to public

Residents in Watford will be able to get a closer look at and have their say on plans to revamp the top end of the town centre.

Watford Borough Council is planning to spend over £4m on renovating the northern end of The Parade to attract more business to the town.

Among the proposals are a new bridge over the pond as well as a spruce-up of the waterfeature.

Designers have also come up with plans for a much less cluttered Parade with less street furniture and more greenery.


Watford Observer:

Armed police and intu security staff have been working together to reassure the public

Armed police patrol intu Watford and town centre ‘to reassure public’

Armed police have been patrolling Watford town centre and the intu Watford shopping centre this week to provide a “reassuring visible presence in the community” following Saturday’s terrorist attack on London Bridge and Borough Market.

Hertfordshire Constabulary said it was reviewing its “staffing profile” in the wake of the attack, in which three extremists – Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba – drove a van at pedestrians before going on a stabbing rampage which left seven people dead and 48 injured.

Intu Watford manager Vicki Costello advised shoppers not to be alarmed if they spotted firearms officers in the shopping centre in the coming days.

Watford Observer:

Conservatives hold on to Watford seat but see majority slashed from 10,000 to 2,000

Labour has slashed Conservative MP Richard Harrington’s majority of almost 10,000 in Watford, in the first major scalp of the general election as results continue to come in.

Richard Harrington was appointed parliamentary under-secretary at the department for work and pensions in Theresa May’s first government reshuffle in July 2016.

He first became MP in 2010 when he won the seat with a majority of 2.6 per cent, and extended his lead in 2015 to 17.4 per cent.

But when the seat was declared at 3.02am on Friday morning it became one of Labour’s best result of the night so far, with the party’s candidate Chris Ostrowski taking 24,639 votes to Harrington’s 26,731.

Watford Observer:

Kevin Brown and Alison Warner of the Tough Ten committee with the Graham Taylor board purchased at auction

Graham Taylor memorabilia raises £700 for church where his funeral was held

Boards used to dress a derelict pub during Graham Taylor’s funeral have been sold to help refurbish the church where the service was held.

Watford BID sold the hoardings – which say There’s Only One Graham Taylor and Thank you G.T. – to raise money for St Mary’s Church in the Parade.

The Hornets legend, who died suddenly aged 72 from a suspected heart attack on January 12, made his name at Watford during 10 years in charge from 1977.

Thousands of supporters of all ages lined the streets in Watford as he was laid to rest in February.

Eight boards were placed in the windows of The One Bell pub, and have since been sold on eBay for £700.

All proceeds will be donated, with the agreement of Taylor’s family, to the £1.1 million refurbishment of St Mary’s Church.

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