Over eight decades, members’ paintings recorded many of the changes that took place in the district. Many local scenes no longer exist or have changed beyond recognition. It concerns for instance Home Farm in Hempstead Road, Cassiobury House, Findlaters Wine Merchants in the High Street, and, the Cassiobury Park Gates. Watford Council bought and displayed some of members’ paintings. They took pride place in the Town Hall and Central Library, later to be moved to the Watford museum. The museum now owns about 90 works by former members of the Society.
In the early years some restrictions applied to new applicants. They had to submit four works to be judged by a selection committee before ‘associate member’ status was granted. These divisive rules don’t exist anymore, the Society is now fiercely proud of its ‘open-to-all’ membership policy. It is ensuring a warm welcome to all, whatever their level.
The Society has a large membership; and, a high proportion of members turn up at our regular monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of every month. These meetings are held at Tennet Hall, Watford Grammar School for Girls, Lady’s Close, Watford WD18 0AE; to which visitors are also welcome. In addition, a wide range of other events and activities are held for members throughout the year.
So much for the past and present. The support of its members and the work of its committee will shape the future. However, it is confident that it will continue to meet the original objectives, set down now over 90 years ago; that is “to bring together, for mutual help and inception, artists and craftsmen and all interested in the fine arts”. A worthy aspiration.