I was pleased to read a report in last week’s Watford Observer regarding Leavesden Country Park winning the award for the county’s best small attraction.

The award is in recognition of the park’s new heritage trail that commemorates the history and heritage of Leavesden village.

The heritage trail of nine sculptures and new play area symbolises how Leavesden Aerodrome, the De Havilland Aircraft Engine Company, the Rolls Royce factory, Leavesden Film Studios and Leavesden Asylum and Hospital played an important part of the history and heritage of Leavesden village.

READ MORE: Leavesden Country Park named small attraction of the year

Congratulations must also go to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Three Rivers District Council and Warner Brothers for funding to initiate this wonderful innovation.

I would also like to single out Will Lee, the chainsaw artist who created these woodwork sculptures. The amount of detail Mr Lee managed to reproduce in his sculptures is quite remarkable.

One of Mr Lee’s sculptures that is pictured with the report is a wood sculpture of a De Havilland Goblin jet engine and not a Rolls Royce Ghost jet engine as reported.

Rolls Royce never did build Goblin or Ghost jet engines. The De Havilland Aircraft Engine Company of Leavesden designed and built Goblin and Ghost jet engines between 1943 and 1961. The difference between the Goblin and Ghost engines was very easy to identify.

The Goblin was fitted with single combustion chambers whereas the Ghost was fitted with twin combustion chambers.

In 1943 during the Second World War Goblin jet engines were being used by the RAF in their Gloster Meteor jet aircraft, whereas the Ghost jet engines powered the world’s first jet airliners, De Havilland Comets one and two in 1947.

It was Watford Borough Council in 1945 who wisely decided to secure future employment for thousands of local people and recommended the Ministry of Defence grant a lease to the De Havilland Company, thus securing the future of the company and jobs for thousands of people for many years.

From January 1940 to June 1993 the De Havilland site played an important part in the history and heritage of Leavesden village.

Ernie Mackenzie

Gammons Lane, Watford