North Watford History Group

13 Sept 2008 — Heritage Open Days Walking Tour

Time 11:00am
Date 13 September 2008
Duration The tour is expected to take about one hour
Cost Free
Booking required No
Venue Meet on the northern side of St Albans Road bridge near to the bus stop. map
By train:

Watford Junction station is served by London Midland and Virgin trains on the West Coast mainline, from London Euston, the London Overground suburban service, and the Abbey Flyer branch line from St Albans Abbey station.

On leaving the station, turn right, towards the Flag public house, and cross the service road leading to the station car park. Turn right along this road, towards the car park. Before reaching the bridge, there is a ramp that leads up and to left, to a footpath that runs parallel to the rail lines. Follow this footpath to St Albans Road, using the subway to cross the road. When emerging from the subway by the steps, turn left to the meeting point, on St Albans Road between the bus stop and the car dealer.

By bus:

Most bus services to Watford call at the bus station alongside Watford Junction railway station. If alighting here, walk to the front of the rail station, and follow the directions above. Additionally, routes 1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 320 and 321 stop at the bus stops on the St Albans Road bridge.

Organiser Guide
Contact Use the form on the Contact page to receive e-mail updates about this event.
Additional information Heritage Open Days web-site

To coincide with the national Heritage Open Days scheme, North Watford History Group will be conducting a walking tour, taking-in places of interest in the North Watford area. The Heritage Open Days scheme is an annual event, which this year is being run over the weekend of 11-14 September, however the events run by North Watford History Group are taking place on 13 September only.

The tour starts from the former site of Watford Junction station, and people should meet on the northern side of St Albans Road bridge at 11:00am. There is no need to book in advance, just arrive for the tour.

The tour will be on the public highway, so participants will need to take care when crossing roads, and should be considerate to members of the public. Although the route is entirely on paved surfaces, please remember that this is a walking tour taking about one hour, and that it is outside, so suitable clothing and footwear should be worn. The tour does not include any refreshment or toilet breaks.

View Larger Map

We shall start on St Albans Road where the old/"lost" station building is, which is now a second-hand car dealer. As with most of the buildings highlighted, we will not be able to gain access, but the exterior can be seen from the street. Both here and along the route, some history of the railway in Watford will be given, and its obvious impact on the area can be seen.

Watford in general, and North Watford in particular, has associations with the television and film-making industry. People may well have passed the film crews and their vehicles assembled in the Homebase car park, on the opposite side of the road; we don't know whether there will be any there on the day.

The perimeter wall of the Tyre Centre on St Albans Road betrays the outline of one of the "lost" cinemas in North Watford. The site had been in-use before the cinema was built; find out what was there beforehand.

Walking down Bedford Street, the significance of the railway coming to North Watford becomes clear again, as many of the buildings arose from the needs of the railway and the people that working on it.

From Bedford Street, the route cuts-through to Leavesden Road, via Copsewood Road. Apart from the buildings and history present on Leavesden Road, there are some gems to learn about the side streets, and who once lived there.

Cecil Street is used to return to St Albans Road, along which the route completes its triangular path, taking-in some of the war history, including the story of the rediscovered air-raid shelter. The architecture on St Albans Road will also be discussed on the final leg of the tour, which includes a visit into Christ Church.

[Added by Glen: 7:48pm 10 Aug 2008]
[Last updated by Glen: 8:00pm 14 Sep 2008]

This page was last updated on 10 May 2009.