Lower High Street Watford

1950s

Janet Golding

I recall as a child sitting at the bus stop opposite the Benskins brewery building. I remember being fascinated by the ivy that grew all over the building, which also dissappeared down the chimneys!

The shops by the bus stop were swanns leather shop and Gestetner; a tyre shop, Westons fish shop.

Fast forward 30 years – I remember being in a hotel in Birmingham and happened to see an old TV screening of the professionals. A car chase occurred and I suddenly realised that it was taking place around the old Watford one way system.  As the car drove around Water Lane and turned left into the Lower High Street the old shops I remembered came into view. I had an immediate memory of the delicious aroma of fish and chips from Westons fish shop.  

This page was added on 15/05/2012.

Comments about this page

  • There was a coffee shop in the lower high street, the aroma of the different fresh coffees were amazing. Benskins was a big part of the lower high street them days, there head office was by Watford junction station, where the pennant pub was. Nice memories.

    By Graham (04/05/2021)
  • From 1971 We lived in Gazelda Villas on the lower High Street ( B &Q is there now) we used to go into the Hit or Miss pub on the corner of our road and we would suffer fumes from the Gas works opposite. My husband worked in the Engineering Company that was at the back of Gazelda Villas which was convenient for him to come home for his meal breaks. We had some good times there and my children used to attend Watford Fields school. In those days Watford was a lovely town and very handy for us to shop there. How I miss those days.

    By Janet Webster (01/02/2021)
  • My aunt lived on top floor rooms above the old post office next to Westons in 60s & 70s. My memories include:
    Friday night fish n chips from Westons.
    Taking in an injured stray kitten found at Westons.
    Meeting Sir Paul McCartney in 60s when he stopped his posh car in High Street to pop into my uncles pet shop! He had been to Watford Palace to see his girl friend Marianne Faithful. I got his autograph on the back of a post card, grabbed in haste from post office shop as we ran screaming up to the pet shop. The post card was a picture of a giraffe. Sadly Ive lost it!
    The powerful smell of the hops from the brewery.
    My auntys Miner bird imitating the sound of motor bikes & leaning forward off his perch!
    The rumble of the trains under the tunnel from Wat. High Street.
    Working in the ‘new’ Queens Road Sainsburys as a student. I recall the old one near Clements esp. there cherry pies!
    I lived with her for a year in the 70s and heard that dreadful train crash on the main line.
    Much of the lower High Street was demolished as part of Harlequin and one way project but the very old timber framed buildins were beautifully restored such as LUI shop. The tree from her rear garden was still around for many years as part of the landscaping!

    By Steph (26/04/2020)
  • I was born in a brewery house in The Crescent in 1959 and as a kid, Crown Passage was my gateway to the world (The High Street).
    We got our Friday night fish n chips from Westons and Grandad worked at Gestetners,
    In the 80s I worked in Hammonds Music shop on the corner of Water Lane and The One Crown was my local.
    The area always felt homely to me and it was sad to see it demolished for the road.

    By Chris Panks (11/08/2017)

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