Fan is stabbed

A Sheffield Wednesday football supporter was stabbed in the stomach after the match at Vicarage Road on Saturday. Noel Appleyard, 19, of South Yorkshire, was taken to Watford General Hospital with wounds to his right lower abdomen. A hospital spokesman later gave his condition as “satisfactory”. The stabbing occurred while he was waiting for a train on the platform at Lower High Street Station just after 3pm. Football supporters also smashed windows and damaged garages at houses in Liverpool Road and Occupation Road as they were escorted from the ground.

[April 6, 1979]

Destroyed by vandals

Vandals have destroyed the bowling green of the Colne Valley Water Company in Eastbury Road, Oxhey. Holes up to six inches deep and two feet in diameter were dug in many places on the green some time after eight o’clock on Thursday evening. Head groundsman Mr Noel Finn described the damage as “the worst act of vandalism that I have ever seen on a bowling green.”

[April 13, 1979]

Print poaching

Accusations of poaching in Sun Printers’ acquisition of a £4million contract – previously held by the Liverpool printing giant, Bemrose – have been denied by the Watford company. They regard comments made by Bemrose chairman, Bruce Matthews, published in last week’s issue of Printing World, as nothing more than “sour grapes”. Sun personnel director Mr Alan Pankhurst said he did not want to get into a battle of words with Mr Matthews over his implication that the Watford firm had embarked on a price-cutting war. “I don’t blame Bruce Matthews for feeling like that. He has lost a big contract. But that’s life,” said Mr Pankhurst.

[April 13, 1979]

Watford flooded

Watford was still under water on Monday after one of the wettest Saturday nights on record. Over 29mm of rainfall was recorded at the Garston Building Research Station between 9am Saturday and 9am Sunday – 10 times the amount for the previous 24 hours! Almost 18 hours of continuous rain caused havoc in many parts of the town. Basements were washed out, roads blocked – and the River Colne broke its banks flooding fields in the Radlett Road area.

[April 13, 1979]

Tesco superstore

Tesco’s are expected to be confirmed as the company to build the proposed superstore on the Monmouth Arms site at the top end of High Street. Hopes are that a major development at the top end of the town will revive trade which shopkeepers complain has flagged in recent years. The scheme will include a public house, but ideas of a hotel as part of the overall plan have been dropped.

[April 20, 1979]

Super gala

For the first time since most can remember, the sun came out and stayed out for this year’s Easter Gala at Woodside Stadium. The three days were blessed with perfect weather. And the usual large crowds came to see the displays and sample the fun fair.

[April 20, 1979]

Big guns hit town

Despite all the political big guns who have been concentrating on Watford this week, there is little sign so far of election fever. While candidates and party workers continue the wooing and canvassing of electors, the majority of voters show few signs of excitement. Watford is a marginal seat, and it is in constituencies like this that the political complexion of the next Government will be decided. Hence the stream of top political figures from both the major parties who have appeared in the town.

[April 27, 1979]

What was happening in the world in April 1979?

• Iran’s government becomes an Islamic Republic by a 98% vote (April 1)

• The Pinwheel Network changes its name to Nickelodeon (April 1)

• A Soviet biowarfare laboratory at Sverdlovsk, Russia accidentally releases airborne anthrax spores, killing 66 (April 2)

• Josephine Whitaker is murdered in Halifax; police believe she is the 11th woman to be murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper (April 4)

• Student protests break out in Nepal (April 6)

• The Tanzanian army captures Kampala, the capital of Uganda, forcing dictator Idi Amin to flee into exile in Libya (April 11)

• A major earthquake strikes Montenegro and parts of Albania, taking 136 lives and devastating the town of Budva (April 15)

• Schoolchildren in the Central African Republic are arrested and around 100 are killed for protesting against compulsory school uniforms (April 17)

• Four Royal Ulster Constabulary officers are killed by an IRA van bomb in County Armagh (April 17)

• Fighting breaks out in London between the Anti-Nazi League and the Metropolitan Police’s Special Patrol Group; protester Blair Peach receives fatal injuries during the incident (April 23)