• Father-of-four stabbed to death

    A FATHER-OF-FOUR from Croxley Green was stabbed to death in his home in the early hours of Friday, writes Dave Allen. A memorial darts trophy is to be set up for Mr Graham Binks, 30, of Fuller Way, who died after suffering three stab wounds to the chest

  • It's never too late to change careers

    CHANGING careers is always a difficult transition which takes courage and determination, particularly for older members of the workforce. One brave man taking the plunge at the age of 52 is Mr Chris Jordan, of Titian Avenue, Bushey Heath. After 34 years

  • Arthritis charity gets its replacement pool

    A WATFORD charity for people with arthritis is celebrating the success of a campaign to find a replacement hydrotherapy pool. In October, volunteer workers for the Watford branch of national charity Arthritis Care launched a search for a new venue after

  • Back in town to bring the house down. . .again

    THE man who cajoled Mohammed Al-Fayed into drawing a picture of his private parts in front of the TV cameras appears at St Albans' comedy club tonight. Mark Thomas has agreed to perform a stand-up show at the Shhh...Quiet Please club in Victoria Street

  • Bear comes to St Peter's

    THE Amadeus Chamber Orchestra begins the new year with a concert featuring music by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven on Saturday, January 31. Haydn's Symphony No 82, known as The Bear, opens the programme and is followed by Mozart's Bassoon Concerto and Beethoven's

  • Tough work but couple coped well

    THE West End production of David Mamet's play Oleanna caused a huge stir when it premiered several years ago, writes Steve Murray. Newspapers devoted many column inches to debating its themes and audiences differed hugely in their reactions to the play's

  • Health boss accused of 'snub' over petition to save hospital

    PROTESTERS have accused health chiefs of snubbing an 18,000-signature petition opposing the possible closure of Watford General Hospital. Health workers union, Unison, which has organised a rally against plans to streamline hospital services, has invited

  • 18oz baby Adam in fight for life

    A TINY baby born four months premature was fighting for his life yesterday (Thursday) after amazing doctors with his will to live. Adam Johnson weighed just 1lb 2oz when he was delivered at Watford General Hospital on Sunday, January 18. From there he

  • Being top provides consolation for an embarrassing victory

    WATFORD clawed their way back to the top of the heap on Saturday with a victory that was probably their luckiest since they left Grimsby shaking their heads in wonder back in October. Brentford were left to muse on the ill-fortune that usually dogs the

  • Robbers empty till in off licence raid

    TWO robbers threatened a shop manager and stole more than £100 from the till in a raid on a Redbourn off licence on Sunday. One of the offenders wielded a sharp weapon at the manager of Unwins in the High Street, before grabbing the cash and a handful

  • Fishnet flasher baits anglers

    A PLEASANT day's fishing was rudely interrupted on Saturday by a pervert who exposed himself while wearing stockings and suspenders. Police are hunting the man, who committed an indecent act on himself in front of a fisherman at the lakes on Shenley Lane

  • Departing hospital boss gets his running spikes on

    BEFORE leaving for Luton, hospital boss, Stephen Ramsden will be running for Watford. The Chief Executive of Mount Vernon and Watford Hospitals NHS Trust is leaving the area after nine years with a farewell gesture likely to put his personal fitness to

  • School transfer system set for major overhaul

    PARENTS of St Albans primary school children will be asked for their views on a proposed new secondary transfer system in the biggest-ever consultation exercise of its kind, writes Kate Werran More than 70,000 parents throughout Hertfordshire will be

  • Grip tightened at top of the table

    Rugby Union Kingsburians 7 Harpenden 40 HARPENDEN increased their stranglehold London Division Three North West by running in five tries in the first half against Kingsburians. However, despite the final scoreline's impressive look, they should have notched

  • Injuries hinder City plans

    WITH City manager Jimmy Neighbour in Gainsborough spying on Barrow at the weekend, the task of explaining away the Saints latest Ryman League defeat fell to the likeable Saints assistant manager Terry Harris. He said: "For 40 minutes or so we looked okay

  • Battered City reach last four

    Wokingham Town 0 St Albans City 3 by David Tavener A BRUISED and battered St Albans City saw off the physical challenge of Ryman League Division One strugglers Wokingham Town at Finchampstead Road last Tuesday to clinch a place in the semi final of the

  • Vees nearer to Twickenham

    Old Verulamians 24 Dorchester 22 OLD VERULAMIANS did not allow a last-minute change of opposition to knock them out of their stride as the reached the last eight of the NPI Cup and continued towards a final at Twickenham. With Gloucester Old Boys expelled

  • City fire blanks

    Ryman League Premier Division Sutton Utd 3 St Albans 1 by David Tavener ST Albans City gave a good account of themselves against Ryman League leaders Sutton United at Gander Green Lane on Saturday but the Saints slide towards the Premier Division relegation

  • Take the law to lawless group

    FOR too long Watford has been seen as a soft touch by travellers who bring misery to the town. How many more attacks like the vicious beating of a security guard at Office World must there be before the council decides to clamp down on this lawless community

  • Prince Charles visits to open music school

    THE Prince of Wales could become this century's first royal composer when he visits The Purcell School in Bushey today (Friday). Prince Charles, who has been patron of the prestigious music school since 1984, will open its new premises in Aldenham Road

  • Future of health services goes under the spotlight

    THE future of health services in west Hertfordshire will be open for discussion at a public meeting on Monday. This issue is very much on the boil, after the announcement of the closure in April of two elderly patient wards at St Albans City Hospital.

  • Titanic struggle against sin

    THE most expensive film ever. More than likely to sweep up many of the Oscars later in the year. Some of the most amazing special effects ever. And a romantic storyline. The film Titanic will no doubt have been seen by many. Of course we know the outcome

  • New chief takes the health helm

    A NEW chief executive, who has pioneered controversial merger proposals in Essex, has been appointed to lead hospitals in west Hertfordshire, writes Tim Bowdler. Stephen Eames, who is the chief executive of Havering Hospitals NHS Trust in Essex, will

  • Hitting back at the bullies

    SOME victims of domestic violence endure as many as 35 attacks before issuing a cry for help. This is the stark statistic which illustrates the silence that cloaks the serious assaults committed behind front doors and net curtains. The reasons for this

  • Court hears shopkeeper 'fell in love' with boy, 14

    A MAN who indecently assaulted a 14-year-old schoolboy at his carpet shop in Harpenden has been jailed for 18 months. Luton Crown Court heard Peter Howard, 40, a partner in Roland's Carpets, Church Green Row, assaulted the boy in the shop, in his car

  • In the back of the Net by Oliver Phillips

    THERE was an item on the WML recently about product loyalty and how you would behave if you found a snail in your beer can. There have also been a number of other humorous mickey-takes, even the idea of having a hooligan enclosure where those who delight

  • Pub chain tackles fears over new bar

    FEARS a new pub in Rickmansworth would attract yobs and underage drinkers were tackled head-on by pub chain J.D. Wetherspoon at a public meeting on Wednesday. The meeting at Watersmeet Theatre was organised in a bid to ease residents' fears about a new

  • Lynagh shows he's still alive and kicking

    THE deafening silence of 10,000 people, knuckles white with anxiety, greeted Michael Lynagh as he meticulously prepared the deciding kick in Sunday's Tetley's Bitter Cup fifth round tie. Between the posts and Saracens were through, avenging their ignominious

  • Gravel plan blocked - protestors jubilant

    PROTESTERS in St Albans have won their battle to stop more than three million tons of gravel being extracted from land at Oaklands College, writes Steve Murray. Jubilant residents are claiming a victory for "people power" after St Albans Sand and Gravel's

  • Hundreds oppose road closures

    MORE than 600 people have signed a petition demanding a u-turn over "foolhardy" plans to close two roads to peak-time traffic in north Watford. Residents are calling door-to-door in Tudor ward, the Meriden estate and Lea Farm every evening to let householders

  • Could nine be the magic number for the Hornets?

    WATFORD are nine victories away from promotion. While, at this juncture, they may appear to need more to be mathematically safe, the probability is that nine would be sufficient. That would give the Hornets, who have 10 home games to play, 88 points.

  • Celebration of the fine art of the city

    ST ALBANS' musical heritage is well known far afield from the Roman city. But now, a new exhibition aims to highlight the city's substantial contribution to the visual arts. Artists St Albans is the latest exhibition at the Museum of St Albans and celebrates

  • A time for prayer and virtue

    FOR the past few days, one billion Muslims around the world have been looking at the sky for a tiny sliver of light - the appearance of the new moon, which will signal the end of Ramadan. Ramadan is the Muslim month of fasting, when eating, drinking,

  • Double puddle trouble

    ROUBLE on the ice literally turned out to be a real show stopper for the Russian Ice Stars during their performance of the fairytale favourite, Sleeping Beauty, at the Alban Arena, writes Diana Machin. Halfway through the otherwise flawless performance

  • Talented trio set to take centre stage

    THE Radlett Music Club welcomes a popular young string trio for its fourth concert of the season. The Leopold String Trio, who in 1995 was the first string trio to be selected for representation by the Young Concert Artists Trust, will perform at the

  • Moldovan on tenterhooks

    WATFORD hope to have the green light to go ahead with the signing of Moldovan international Serghei Clescenco. The striker impressed during his three-week stint but insiders at the club were hesitant about committing the Hornets to signing a player who

  • Police sergeant charged

    A WATFORD police sergeant charged with three sex offences was committed for trial at Luton Crown Court yesterday (Thursday). Stephen Howe, 34, of Wellbury Terrace, Hemel Hempstead, appeared at Stevenage Magistrates Court accused of indecently assaulting

  • Landlord fined for failing to repair rented house

    A LANDLORD was fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £2,700 after pleading guilty to failing to maintain a house in Watford. Watford Council brought the prosecution after repeated complaints from tenants renting the house in Westbury Road. The defects

  • Nursing homes see adult abuse claims increase

    AN "unprecedented" number of reported cases of adult abuse in west Hertfordshire nursing homes has prompted tighter controls on staff recruitment processes, writes Tim Bowdler The Hertfordshire Inspection Unit's interim report revealed four separate incidents

  • Prisoner still on the run after two weeks

    AN inmate is still on the loose from The Mount prison in Bovingdon, nearly two weeks after he "wandered off" from outside the prison gates. William Kendall, 47, who comes from the Kent area, absconded from the Chesham Road prison on Monday, January 18

  • Minister outlines jobs aid for disabled

    EMPLOYMENT minister Alan Howarth spoke about the Government's plans to provide better opportunities for the disabled at Shendish Manor in Kings Langley on Wednesday. Mr Howarth, Minister for Employment and Equal Opportunities, was guest speaker at a two-day

  • MP offers a boost to M-way protest

    PROTESTERS fighting to stop a service station being built on the M1 near Redbourn have received a boost from MP Peter Lilley. Mr Lilley, whose Hitchin and Harpenden constituency includes Redbourn, has called for the inspector carrying out a public inquiry

  • Police hunt witnesses to hit and run

    REVELLERS could hold the key to police investigations into a hit and run incident in Holywell Hill on Friday night, writes Stuart Hutchison. Colin England, 31, of How Wood, Park Street, was hit by a car as he crossed the road near the Jet petrol station

  • Shock as Royals win

    THE wait for Watford Royals is over at last. After a series of competent performances in recent weeks where luck and brief lapses of concentration robbed them of their first win, it finally arrived at Worthing Bears on Saturday night. On the south coast

  • Sheffield Wednesday 3 Watford Ladies 2

    WATFORD Ladies almost pulled off a shock to reach the last 16 of the Women's FA Cup against a side three divisions their senior. The game finally got under way after the debacle last week which saw Watford travel to Yorkshire only to be told the pitch

  • Vintage year for wine company

    MAJESTIC Wine plc, based in Watford, saw a record year as sales rocketed by more than 20 per cent. Pre-tax profits for 1997 doubled to more than £1 million for the half year ending in September. This profit windfall triggered further growth in the company

  • Safety urged for burial grounds

    COST-cutting stone masons who build cheap memorials in cemeteries are putting lives at risk, according to an award-winning Bushey company, P Brant and Sons. Boss Philip Brant says visitors to cemeteries could be injured or killed by badly made tombstones

  • In and Out (12) reviewed by Simon RIcketts

    BASING a whole feature film on a single idea is known in the business as "high concept". Among most cinema audiences, though, it's known as "rubbish". In & Out is definitely in the rubbish category. Despite some big names, clever moments and a decent

  • Falling off ladders is too easy

    IN Hertfordshire during the past 12 months four construction workers fell to their deaths and others suffered permanent disabling injuries. Falling from a great height is the biggest single cause of fatal and serious injuries in the construction industry

  • Released Talboys looks to start a new business

    STEVE TALBOYS, granted a free transfer earlier this week, is looking to continue in the game while developing a celebrity, hospitality business. "I have started my own business and, at the same time, I have spoke to a couple of clubs," said 31-year-old

  • New painting is jewel in crown of centre revamp

    A NEW painting was unveiled at Hunton Park conference centre, in Abbots Langley recently to celebrate achievements of the past three years, writes Diana Machin. It was the crowning moment of the centre's refurbishment plan, which aims to attract top companies

  • Watford laundry is home and dry

    ONE of the biggest employers in Watford looked back on nearly a century of family tradition last month as it celebrated its 90th anniversary, writes Diana Machin. The prestigious Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington was the ideal venue for the birthday party

  • Leisure scheme a great success

    A PILOT scheme which aims to improve the leisure time and social life of people with learning disabilities is being lauded a huge success as organisers celebrate its first anniversary. Leisure Together, which was launched in February last year in Bushey

  • Unison in challenge to city MP

    ST ALBANS MP Kerry Pollard has been challenged to support the fight to protect health services by leading a protest against hospital closures at a public meeting. Kumar Sandy, regional officer of health union Unison, has written an open letter to Mr Pollard

  • Chimes may sound for the Millennium

    THE historic Carillon chimes could ring out across St Albans once more to welcome in the Millennium. The Carillon, a mechanism for playing automatic chimes, was donated to the city by Earl Spencer during his year as Mayor in 1765. It rang out in St Albans

  • Schools record league success

    THE new primary school league tables show that youngsters in the St Albans district are out-performing their peers in other areas of England. Most schools in the area are beating the national average scores for the three core subjects, English, Mathematics

  • Armed robber waves gun at school bus

    AN armed robber waved a gun at a bus full of schoolchildren as he made his getaway from Safeway in Hatfield Road on Monday afternoon. Police are appealing for witnesses after the balaclava-clad man hit a security guard in the face with a handgun outside

  • Police picture way to cut domestic violence

    POLICE will carry Polaroid cameras in their patrol cars in a pioneering attempt to tackle domestic violence in St Albans. The cameras will provide admissible evidence of abuse and it is hoped they will help victims "break the silence" surrounding domestic