Dogs get Palace audition

Twenty-four Chihuahuas have been offered to the Palace Theatre in response to their request through the Observer last week for one of these dogs, the smallest in the world, to play a part in “Separate Rooms”, opening at the theatre on September 28. Producer Bill Redmond says: “I will line them up on the set on the first day of rehearsal and put them through their paces.”

[September 4, 1964]

Shave their heads?

‘Birch for the boys, shaved heads for the girls!’ These are among suggestions made by young people of Holy Trinity Church, North Bushey, who advocate making the punishment fit the crime for young vandals. It was thought that the Mods v Rockers phenomenon is a surface cause, an excuse rather than a motive, for outlandish behaviour. The general feeling apparently was that young people have too much money and too much time on their hands. Instead of having to work for their pleasures, they merely go out and buy them. The result: they go looking for excitement and often step beyond the bounds of law and order. The young people of North Bushey “rather surprisingly” blame many parents as far too slack in ensuring that their children toe the line. The Press is also blamed for giving young culprits too much publicity.

[September 4, 1964]

‘We want cinema’

4,000 people have signed a petition for a cinema in Rickmansworth. And behind the petition, which will go to the Rank Organisation, is a remarkable story of a dozen or so schoolboys, average age 14, who conducted their own opinion poll and collected the signatures. It all started when, some weeks ago, Rickmansworth resident Mr B.F. Biggs wrote to the Observer stressing the need for a cinema in the town. Some of the boys got in touch with him and a plan of campaign was mapped. “We have proved that there is a strong demand for a cinema in the town,” they said. They added that the increased cost of travelling to Watford on the buses was an added burden on those who wanted to see a film. Rickmansworth was a ghost town at night since the Odeon closed.

[September 11, 1964]

A blow to Watford’s prestige

Why is Watford, home of Europe’s two greatest gravure set-ups – Sun and Odhams – not printing the Daily Telegraph’s new colour supplement, due out today? Why did the order have to go to Germany? Could Watford’s equipment and craftsmen not cope? These questions are being asked, both within and outside the printing industry in Watford, whose claim to be the greatest printing centre in the world is no idle one. Its prestige has done a grand public relations service for Watford in the eyes of the world. Print workers blame lack of planning and say they could have done the job.

[September 25, 1964]

Connery stops the traffic

Sean Connery stopped Watford’s Sunday traffic… without even coming to Watford! Queues outside the new Odeon cinema, currently showing Sean Connery as James Bond in ‘Goldfinger’, merged with equally large queues streaming from the Carlton, where Connery stars in ‘Marnie’. At times the road was impassable.

[September 25, 1964]

Watford gets the top brass

The Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, and the leader of the Labour Party, Mr Harold Wilson, are both visiting marginal Watford during the election period and both are here on the same day. Sir Alec addresses a conservative open-air rally in Bucks Restaurant car park at 4.30pm on Wednesday, October 7. Mr Wilson speaks at the College of Technology in the evening.

[September 25, 1964]

Five day shopping week?

Watford Chamber of Commerce executive committee will have another look at the five day shopping week, after fresh facts and figures have been produced. The five day week, Mr S. Gray said at the chamber’s meeting on Monday, was a problem for every trader and ultimately the shopping public. Some High Street shops were already operating a five day trading week. There was also staff shortage, getting worse, with the risk of less and less service to the public.

[September 25, 1964]

What was happening in the world in September 1964?

• Robert F. Kennedy is nominated as the New York State Democratic Convention’s candidate for US senator (September 1)

• FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover initiates a counter intelligence program against various Ku Klux Klan organisations (September 2)

• Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman of Malaysia proclaims a state of emergency after concluding that Indonesia is preparing to stage a massive attack on the Malaysian mainland (September 3)

• James Coburn is put to death in the electric chair in Alabama after being convicted of a robbery, becoming the last person in the US to be executed for a crime other than murder (September 4)

• Public schools reopen in Prince Edward County, Virginia, for the first time in five years, after the county was ordered to comply with the desegregation requirements of the Civil Rights Act (September 8)

• Pope Paul VI invites women to be present at a session of the Vatican Council for the first time (September 14)

• The first issue of The Sun Newspaper is published (September 15)

• Popular TV fantasy sitcom Bewitched begins the first of eight seasons (September 17)

• The latest James Bond film, Goldfinger, opens in London (September 17)

• In Athens, King Constantine II marries Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark in the last royal wedding in Greece (September 18)

• The Warren Commission, charged with investigating the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, holds its final meeting before submitting a report to US President Johnson (September 18)

• The island nation of Malta becomes independent after 164 years of rule by the UK (September 21)

• In East Berlin, representatives of West Germany and East Germany sign a one-year agreement to permit residents of West Berlin to visit relatives in the Communist nation during designated holiday periods (September 24)

• The Mozambique Liberation Front launches the Mozambican War of Independence against the colonial armies of Portugal (September 25)

• Queen Elizabeth II signs a proclamation dissolving ‘the longest peacetime parliament of modern time’ (September 25)