On the Nostalgia pages of last week’s Watford Observer there was a report from the April 10, 1992, edition of the Watford Observer regarding protecting our heritage. This report, which is 27 years old now, draws our attention to the woeful way history and heritage is being destroyed.

READ MORE: Nostalgia: Cash sought for Croxley rail link scheme in April 1992

The report says one wonders what hope there is for preserving architectural heritage amid current economic pressure, then highlights concern for the recent degradation of the old Odhams print factory that stands adjacent to the A41. How pleasing it is to see this very attractive building still standing therefore avoiding the demolition wrecker’s ball.

Over the years the building has become a bit of a landmark for motorists. Viscount Southwood opened Odhams in 1935 and turned it into the biggest photo gravure printing company in the world. In its peak in the 60s Odhams explored three-and-a-half thousand people. In an average month in the 60s Odhams would cut 540 cylinders, handle 2,330 magazine pages, stitch print and bind 52 million copies of magazines, perfect bind 300,000 copies, and book case bind 240,000 copies.

The old building that once was Odhams Ltd, and that still stands adjacent to the A41, is quite often confused by the public for a church, when actually it was designed and modelled on a Stockholm town hall. It was designed by London-based architect Yates Cook and Darbyshire. The principal company architect was T.S. Darbyshire, who was a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

I just hope the town’s history and heritage will be kept in existence for future generations to enjoy.

Ernie Mackenzie

Gammons Lane, Watford