Memories of Jays store demolished to build Watford flyover

The Watford Observer is again delighted to be teaming up with its friends at Watford Museum to take another journey back to the past to recall the key events and dates that helped shape the town’s future.

Part 31 of ’50 events and dates that shaped Watford’ recalls one of the businesses that had to be demolished to build the flyover.

The museum’s volunteer archivist Christine Orchard said: “The Exchange Road flyover was one of the links in our town’s ring road that had to be newly created. This meant that some of the shops built by William Judge in 1899 would have to be demolished.

“One of the businesses established here in early 1899 was F. W. Jays, a home furnishing business, who proudly advertised in the Watford Observer that their shop was a ‘newly built and enlarged premises’.

Watford Observer:

Jays were located in the first tall block in this elevated picture of the Parade from 1957

“The business remained here having expanded into an adjoining shop, until it was announced in September 1967 that their lease had ended. The building was earmarked for demolition ready for construction of the flyover.

Watford Observer:

The flyover pictured last year. Picture: Google

“Despite this loss of an old building, Judge’s original part of the Parade built in 1898, still stands today.”

Watford Museum is open Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. No booking is necessary but Covid prevention measures are still in place to keep visitors safe.

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