What does Watford mean to you? Did you grow up here? Were you here when Watford Football Club lost the FA Cup to Everton?
The Watford Palace Theatre wants you to share memories and memorabilia relating to the town, dating back to that historic day in 1984.
The one-off community day, on September 10, will feature back stage tours and a display of objects from Watford. The theatre is collecting objects or digital copies for Watford Museum and University of Hertfordshire Heritage Hub, who they have been collaborating with ahead of the event.
You can also record your memory and experiences in an interactive video booth and share your stories.
“When I moved here I noticed that Watford has a very strong send of community,” says Hema Teji, head of participation at Watford Palace Theatre.
“People are very proud of it and its history. Watford has a deeply historic past, it is mentioned in the Domesday Book for example. There is a real pride and obviously there’s the football club. The open day is celebrating that.
The event comes a couple of weeks ahead of Elton John’s Glasses opening at the theatre, on September 27, which is set and Watford and ties back to 1984. The play had its world premiere at the Watford Palace Theatre 20-years-ago, so also ties into the town’s history.
It is a Watford comedy about sibling rivalry, football and unlikely friendships. One character, Bill, with only a VCR for company broods over the death of Watford FC’s hopes of glory at the infamous Cup Final – all thanks to a certain notorious pair of glasses.
“As soon as I knew it was going to come on I thought it was such a relevant local story, people will connect easily and understand the themes. So we applied for heritage lottery funding to help people engage with it.
“The open day is also to let people know we have a play on that is relevant to you, to your stories and to your past. It is entertaining, it’s a comedy about two brothers and we have a Watford resident acting in it.”
The theatre wants to know what that day meant to you, or what Watford has meant over time.
“We’re hoping the community open day will attract those football supporters who can also talk about their ‘what ifs’ or tell us if they were there.
“We did some research on social media and got stories from a police who were there and patrolling the town, which was completely empty because so many people were holed up in their houses after the loss, someone who was a steward, someone who was actually a mascot.”
Sourced from: ‘Come and tell us your story’: Watford from 1984 to now