We’d noticed the old plaque (?) space on the side of refurbished Rembrandt House on Whippendell Road and tweeted out a few things about its early history. 140 characters doesn’t do it justice so here’s a little more …
We’d heard the building had been a large printing works and had assumed this had always been the case. Not so. Originally it was the Watford Speedometer and Magneto works, providing parts for planes and other vehicles. After some digging we found out the following advert showing the wider plan of the site and its rural backdrop:
The company, founded in 1905, supplied parts to Vickers and Rolls-Royce, which suggests that the plaque on the site of the building might have been a war memorial, reflecting the military connection. At the time of writing we’ve not been able to verify this, but anyone interested in the later history of the company might want to visit this blog, which explores Watford speedometers and their use on cars and motorcycles.
We’re excited about visiting the current exhibition at Watford Museum exploring the history of printing in Watford, and hope to find out more about Rembrandt House there (has this been poorly advertised? We only chanced across it in a tweet!).
From the outside it appears that the conversion of Rembrandt House into flats is almost complete. You can find out more about the project on the developer’s site.