A visit from the Queen

The Queen has accepted a personal invitation from Parmiters School in High Elms Lane, Garston, to lay a foundation stone for new buildings. It was announced from Buckingham Palace on Monday that Her Majesty will visit the school on Friday, December 11.

[August 7, 1981]

Holes hold up hospital

Holes in the structure of the ground have put back the expected completion of the £18.5m Watford General Hospital development by six months. The holes, known as swallow holes and which often contain water, were found when contractors began digging the site for the kitchen complex. So far six of the seven floors in the new building are up, complete with conduit pipes for heating and electrical appliances.

[August 7, 1981]

Hot stuff at fire station

Real life dramas were re-enacted for the crowds at Watford Fire Station’s annual open day on Saturday. Crews from Watford, Garston and Hemel Hempstead were on display all afternoon to show off their impressive fire-fighting equipment and skills. Children even had the chance to sit at the wheel of a fire engine in the adventure playground at the station.

[August 7, 1981]

Bringing them sunshine

Comedian Eric Morecambe took time off from recording his new series with Ernie Wise last week, when he presented a Sunshine Coach from the Variety Club of Great Britain to the school at Haperbury Hospital, Radlett. Eric, who was accompanied by his wife Joan, was in good spirits as he presented the coach to the school’s headmistress, Mrs Miriam Yescombe.

[August 7, 1981]

Watford to get it all taped

Watford have just completed a deal which will enable them to have their home matches recorded on video this forthcoming season. Highlights of each match will also be selected and available to the board, guests, 1981 Club members and the Press for viewing within half an hour of the final whistle. “I have spent a long time thinking about this because video is always changing and the facility is not cheap,” said Graham Taylor this week. “But after long discussions I have now felt able to justify the expense to the board.”

[August 7, 1981]

The brave new bombed world

Watford has made its War Plan available for public inspection. It is only the second authority in Britain to do so. The War Plan has been drawn up because the risk of nuclear war cannot be entirely discounted. Members of the Watford branch of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament have welcomed the decision. But they describe the plan and others like it as “just part of an attempt by the Government to condition the people of Britain into accepting the concept that a nuclear war could be fought and even survived”.

[August 14, 1981]

Deadly anniversary

Last week marked the anniversaries of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 8). In the 36 years since those terrible events, politicians throughout the world have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing. Every day that passes sees the escalation of world tensions and the quickening pace of the arms race. As the slope towards mass destruction steepens, the need for positive moves towards the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction becomes paramount if we are to avoid more Hiroshimas and Nagasakis in the future.

[August 14, 1981]


Sea Scouts’ rescue plans for a 40-year-old former Admiralty seaplane tender went through an exciting moment on Monday. Four-ton Geronimo was tenderly lifted from the Grand Union Canal at Rickmansworth and re-floated a short distance away on the tiny River Colne where she is now moored next to Batchworth Sea Scouts’ headquarters. Restoration work started immediately and the Scouts hope to return Geronimo to the River Thames before next summer.

[August 21, 1981]

Days of steam

It was a case of second time lucky for farmer Roy Lipscomb with his 1981 Elstree Hill Steam Rally last weekend. The sun shone throughout the two days and crowds flocked to Edgwarebury House Farm for a nostalgia peep at farm and road vehicles from the vintage and veteran past.

[August 21, 1981]

Home Office to probe race literature

The Home Office is to investigate a neo-Nazi movement’s comic strip style literature which parents feel could kindle race hatred in Watford schools. Watford Trades Council called for action after the leaflets were found in Garston Park. Mr Dennis McGrath, secretary of the trades council, said: “The leaflets are a clear incitement to racial intolerance. If they are, in fact, being distributed in schools in this area, it must give rise to serious concern in the Watford community.”

[August 28, 1981]

What was happening in the world in August 1981?

• MTV goes on air for the first time in the US (August 1)

• Frederick Mellinger introduces thong underwear to the US (August 2)

• A day after a rebellion broke out at Santa Cruz, General Luis Garcia Meza is forced to resign as President of Bolivia (August 4)

• President Reagan orders the firing of 11,359 American air-traffic controllers who walked out of their jobs on strike (August 5)

• The Percheron rocket explodes on the launch pad at Matagorda Island, Texas (August 5)

• President Regan gives the go-ahead for US production of the neutron bomb (August 6)

• The Washington Star publishes its final edition, with the headline ‘128 Years of Service Ending’ (August 7)

• Major League Baseball resumes after a 59-day-long strike and the cancellation of 713 games (August 9)

• The very first AIDS fundraiser takes place at the New York City apartment of activist Larry Kramer (August 11)

• The IBM PC, the first personal computer designed for the ordinary user, is introduced at a press conference in New York (August 12)

• The Inkomo Barracks, main arsenal for the Zimbabwe National Army, is destroyed by South African engineers in a series of three explosions (August 16)

• Typhoon Thad kills 40 people and leaves 20,000 homeless in Japan (August 23)

• Voyager 2 makes its closest approach to Saturn (August 25)

• Two men fire guns and throw grenades into a synagogue in Vienna during worship services (August 29)

• A bomb planted by Mujahedeen terrorists at the office of Iran’s Prime Minister Bahonar kills both him and Iranian President Raja’i (August 30)