Averting danger

Looking like characters from a science fiction film, workmen are tackling some of the potentially lethal asbestos found buried in the path of the M25 motorway at Kings Langley. Work was under way throughout this week, first to uncover the mounds of contaminated material and then to rebury it in a safe location. Some 3,000 cubic metres of waste has to be shifted so that the motorway construction can go ahead. The find was made at Dellshot Spring near Langleybury School and will be buried in a noise embankment at Oldhams Lane off Langleybury Lane, also near the school.

[May 3, 1985]

Call for strike

Strike for your future! That was the message given to hundreds of schoolchildren who met in Charter Place, Watford, to protest against new Youth Training Scheme proposals. They were campaigning against Government plans to withdraw supplementary benefit from school leavers who refuse YTS places.

[May 3, 1985]

Blaze horror safety pledge

The horrors of the Bradford City Football Club inferno shocked officials at Watford into immediate action to ensure such a tragedy never occurs at Vicarage Road. Hours after seeing the alarming television coverage of the tragic blaze in which 52 people died, a complete review of safety procedures was ordered at Watford’s ground. In accordance with the Safety at Sports Grounds Act, Vicarage Road already has a certificate of safety. But Hertfordshire’s Licensing Officer Mr John Shopland will join the fire brigade on an inspection of the ground next Thursday to re-assess the needs and provisions in the light of the Bradford disaster.

[May 17, 1985]

Carnival mood

All the people of Rickmansworth seemed to be out on the sunny streets at the start of Ricky Week. Waving flags and cheering they lined the procession route eagerly waiting for the magnificent floats to pass by – and they were not disappointed. More than 17 colourfully decorated lorries, cars and even a pram marched the short distance from Field Way to Bury Lane. They were led by Rhanee the elephant.

[May 24, 1985]

Driven out of district

Young people are being driven away from Three Rivers District by the council’s housing policies resulting in waiting periods often longer than three and a half years, Housing Committee members heard this week. The criticism was set against a report to the committee that included comment from the council’s director of planning, following a survey of housing needs, that “the majority of new housing in the district has not met local needs”.

[May 24, 1985]

Chained protesters

Hymn-singing demonstrators chained themselves to the railings of the HMS Warrior Nato base on Tuesday and had to be cut free by police. There were 16 arrests at the demonstration, organisd by Christian CND as a follow-up to its Bank Holiday protest outside the Ministry of Defence, Whitehall. The arrested people, including two priests, were put in police vans and taken to Watford Police Station. Police knew the demonstration was planned, but as the time approached for the CND’s arrival only one policeman was on duty trying to persuade the protesters to move to open land nearby.

[May 31, 1985]

Carnival beats the weather

Watford Carnival was here again over the Bank Holiday weekend – and so was the rain! Dismal weather has become almost as traditional as the three-day package itself. But it enabled Watfordians to carry on their own tradition of knuckling under and enjoying the bumper event – come rain or shine. More than 6,000 people passed through the turnstiles of Cassiobury Park over the three days to make the most of a host of entertainment.

[May 31, 1985]

What was happening in the world in May 1985?

• Soekarno-Hatta International Airport officially opens, becoming the new international gateway into Indonesia (May 1)

• The FBI brings charges against the suspected heads of the five Mafia families in New York City (May 11)

• Fire engulfs a wooden stand at the Valley Parade stadium in Bradford, England, during a football match, killing 56 (May 11)

• Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode orders police to storm the radical group MOVE’s headquarters to end a stand-off. 11 MOVE members are killed and 61 homes are destroyed in a resulting fire (May 13)

• An explosive device sent by the Unabomber injures John Hauser at the University of California (May 15)

• Argentinian President Raul Alfonsin terminates Argentinian administration of the Falkland Islands but does not relinquish the Argentinian claim over the islands (May 15)

• Scientists of the British Antarctic Survey announce discovery of the ozone hole (May 16)

• A View to Kill, the last James Bond film starring Roger Moore, premieres in San Francisco (May 22)

• 10,000 people are killed when Bangladesh is affected by the storm surge from Tropical Storm One (May 25)

• 38 spectators are killed in rioting on the terraces during the European Cup final between Liverpool FC and Juventus at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium (May 29)