Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Sunset in Watford
Do you remember where you were or what you were doing on 4th February 1962?
Perhaps you were looking at the first issue of The Sunday Times Colour Section, as I was.
If you were you may remember the cover photo of Jean Shrimpton wearing clothes by Mary Quant taken by David Bailey.
Remember now?
Although this new venture lost money for over a year it established a trend few papers have been able to resist. The company which printed the first issues was Sun Printers in Watford. Printing companies seem to have been in a permanent state of merger and acquisition last century and Sun was no exception culminating in its demise at the hands of Robert Maxwell in 1982?. Sun moved from London to Watford in 1919 with a reputation for high quality photo-gravure work. (More about that later perhaps) I remember the building on Whippendell Road with a mosaic over the front door. I do not recall the curious bell tower illustrated here.

Drawing from 1934

Photo 2005 after demolition of the factory

In fact this was a pump house built over an Artesian well in Ascot Road to reduce the problems of water shortage which occurred from time to time. Sun was licensed to drqw 16,000 gallons per hour which they pumped to the boiler house and thence to the photo gravure press to steam dry the ink. When the buildings were demolished in 2001 a condition of the redevelopment was that this building whould be resored and preserved. ........

This is how it looks in April 2009

Some restoration!

By the way - this is the best angle of view. From any other viewpoint the clutter of street furniture is even worse.

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