Springs closure imminent

Structural problems that have plagued the running of Watford Springs have forced the council to consider closing it for good. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Watford Council’s head of leisure Mr Ken Campbell said he would be recommending to councillors the leisure centre is shut down permanently because the council cannot afford the £8million needed to fix the extensive design and structural faults with the building. His announcement follows months of speculation over the centre’s future and its sudden closure last Friday, for one day. A council representative explained that it was temporarily closed after electrical faults were discovered.

[September 1, 2000]

Streets come alive

Lindy hop and boogie woogie dancers brought smiles to the faces of Watford shoppers despite rain on Saturday, during a new version of the town’s annual festival. This year, the council updated the Watford Show, renaming it Watford Streets Alive and moving it from its traditional location at the top of the High Street to the new town square near Charter Place. Drama, dance, music and magic were performed by local groups on two stages.

[September 1, 2000]

Fighting on for Camelot

Camelot is making further attempts at rescuing its bed to keep running the National Lottery by buying out the UK branch of GTech – the company responsible for supplying its software. Camelot, based in Tolpits Lane, West Watford, announced the buy-out of GTech last week, believing the move will increase their chances of being allowed to compete against rival Sir Richard Branson’s People’s Lottery. Camelot was required to take dramatic action to get back in the running after the National Lottery Commission rejected both bids but then said it would enter into negotiations with only The People’s Lottery.

[September 8, 2000]

WFC will not be moved

Land prices within the borough of Watford have forced Watford Football Club to commit their future to Vicarage Road, according to the stadium’s owners. The Hornets and Saracens Rugby Club were looking to relocate and develop a multi-sports complex but the asking price of almost £1million per acre for a 25-acre site has forced them to rethink and pledge their future to Vicarage Road. Watford and Saracens will now look to develop the east side of the ground, replacing the main stand, and would ideally seek to access the ground from the south – the Cardiff Road area.

[September 15, 2000]

War veterans honoured

Several generations of the RAF Association (RAFA) gathered in Hunton Bridge at the weekend to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. War veterans and new RAF cadets, led by a marching band, marched together from the Kings Head public house in Hunton Bridge Road to St Paul’s Church in Langleybury Lane, where they filled the church on Sunday morning for a special service. This was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial outside the church.

[September 22, 2000]

Church grant for theatre

The Palace Theatre Watford has been awarded £264,795 towards stage two of development plans for the Edwardian building in Clarendon Road. The grant was awarded in the latest round of capital grants from lottery funding through the Arts Council of England, which were announced on Wednesday. The Palace Theatre has applied for £5million from the National Lottery towards major refurbishments. To be successful, the theatre has to raise £1.5million match-funding over the next 18 months.

[September 29, 2000]

‘Disaster’ parking scheme

Teething problems have already started to set in just days after Watford’s match day parking scheme was introduced at the weekend. Residents and traders say they are disappointed with the long-awaited scheme, and have hurled vehement criticism at Watford Council, claiming there are now more parking problems and congestion. Mr Asmat Chaudry, 60, of Queen’s Avenue, Watford, said: “The whole scheme is a disaster.”

[September 29, 2000]

What was happening in the world in September 2000?

• World leaders attend the Millennium Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York (September 6)

• Britney Spears performs her hit single ‘Oops!... I Did It Again’ at the MTV Video Music Awards, one of the most iconic and controversial performances of the VMAs (September 7)

• The UK fuel protests take place, with refineries blockaded and supply to the country’s network of patrol stations halted (September 7)

• The 2000 Summer Olympics open in Sydney, Australia (September 15)

• The Real Irish Republican Army carry out an attacked on MI6 in Vauxhall, London using an anti-tank rocket (September 20)

• Anti-globalisation protests in Prague turn violent during the IMF and World Bank summits (September 26)