A snapshot of life in April 1995

Studio pledges 3,000 new jobs

More than 3,000 jobs could be winging their way to Leavesden Aerodrome as part of plans for a permanent film and television studio. Initial plans for the development were unveiled this week to both Three Rivers District Council and Watford Council. Applicant Third Millennium Studios, backed by a mystery Malaysian consortium, has formally submitted its outline for the 280 acre site. A major film studio would be the prime facility on the site, which is currently being used as the set for the new James Bond film. Movie experts have described Leavesden’s facilities as “some of the best in Europe, possibly the world” for outdoor and indoor filming and they are hoping to make the site a permanent base.

[April 7, 1995]

Cassiobury gates could return to town

The much-mourned Cassiobury Park gates could be restored to Watford by the end of the century. Watford Council committed itself this week to replacing the gates to mark the start of the new millennium. Members said they wanted to celebrate the past as the town headed into the 21st century. Labour councillor Andy Head made the suggestion at a meeting of the council on Tuesday that the entrance gates should be rebuilt. Now members of the public are to be asked if they would like to see the gates restored to Cassiobury Park.

[April 7, 1995]

Langleybury School loses fight to survive

The six-month fight to save Langleybury School from closure ended on Wednesday when a final decision was made to unite it with Francis Combe in Garston. Staff and governors of Langleybury say they are relieved their site will stay open, even though the school will close in name, and they are still concerned about how the “takeover” will be implemented. Members of Hertfordshire County Council’s education committee decided to back the Labour group’s suggestion that Francis Combe should become an eight-form entry school from September 1996, incorporating part of the Langleybury site. They also agreed Langleybury pupils should be offered places at the enlarged Francis Combe and that Langleybury mansion should be disposed of.

[April 7, 1995]

Curtain falls on carnival

Decades of tradition will come to an end this year when Watford Carnival and Watford Horse Show are held for the last time. The decision to end two of the town’s longest running and best-loved family events at Cassiobury Park was made last Thursday. Organisers say Watford Council has hit the annual shows for six with its plans to reinstate a cricket pitch in the middle of the park. They say they are stumped for a solution as the reduced space will mean the events will no longer be financially viable. Although they intend to keep fighting, they feel the council has made up its mind. So the Horse Show held on spring bank holiday and the carnival, held on August bank holiday, will be cancelled from 1996 after more than 60 years.

[April 14, 1995]

VE Day street party

The spirit of the original VE Day street party in Blackwell Road, Kings Langley, will be recreated by villagers on Sunday, May 7. The event will be staged in the park next to the community centre in The Nap. A whole host of attractions have been lined up, including a bouncy castle, bowling for a pig, a tug of war and children’s and adults’ races. At the 1945 event a carnival atmosphere prevailed with some residents even playing pianos in the street. Committee members hope to capture the same atmosphere this year.

[April 14, 1995]

Villagers back name change

The spelling of Kings Langley could be about to change. More than 80 villagers at last Wednesday’s Kings Langley Parish Council meeting voted in favour of requesting the council to add an apostrophe to the first word in the village’s title, making it King’s Langley. Mr Ian Senior, who put forward the proposal, believes the grammatical feature should be added because it indicates the village used to belong to monarchs. He said: “There has been confusion over how to spell Kings Langley for at least 200 years and this confusion continues today. To add an apostrophe would strike a blow for good grammar.”

[April 21, 1995]

What was happening in the world in April 1995?

• Russian paramilitary troops begin a massacre of at least 250 civilians in Samashki, Chechnya (April 7)

• New York City bans smoking in all restaurants that seat 35 or more (April 10)

• Fascists give the Nazi salute at the funeral of Mussolini’s daughter (April 12)

• The Hubble Telescope sends back pictures of the Cats-Eye Nebula, the Cartwheel Galaxy and planet Mars (April 12)

• 168 people are killed and 680 wounded at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma by a bomb set off by terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols (April 19)

• British sitcom Father Ted premieres on Channel 4 (April 21)

• A package bomb, linked to the Unabomber, kills president of the California Forestry Association Gilbert B Murray (April 24)