A snapshot of life in July 1971

Liquorice allsort

An advance design team to stop “liquorice allsort” development in Watford will be set up if the borough council, at their meeting on Monday, accept a recommendation from the Special Management Committee. “We want to try to stop liquorice allsort development,” commented Mr John Preston, the council’s chief architect and planner. “One may be too late to eradicate some of the ills of the past, but there is no point continuing the same mistakes.” The four-strong team, if it is set up, will study the possible consequences of development before it starts.

[July 2, 1971]

Historic building

Watford Council are going to fight the Department of the Environment’s proposal to list Stapleton’s tyre depot at 195 High Street as a building of architectural or historic interest. The building is slap-bang in the middle of a road widening scheme planned as part of the central area redevelopment. It has always been intended to demolish the building – but some months ago archaeologists discovered that it is probably the oldest remaining structure in Watford and one of the most valuable relics in Hertfordshire. Now, the Department of the Environment, who have already agreed in principle to the road scheme, have given the council notice that they intend to make No. 195 a listed building. On Monday the council will be recommended to lodge a formal objection.

[July 2, 1971]

A hero’s welcome

England soccer star Geoff Hurst was besieged by excited fans and autograph hunters when he dropped in as promised to present the prizes at Harefield Village Fair. “He got almost a pop star’s welcome,” said the organiser Mr Sid George. Geoff left later in the evening to fly back to the south of France where he was spending a holiday which he broke especially to attend the fair. The fair was a great success and raised another £1,000 towards the long-awaited St Mary’s Church Hall.

[July 9, 1970]

‘Bring back school milk’

Labour councillor Mr Edward Harris brought the school milk battle into local politics at Rickmansworth Council’s meeting on Tuesday. He moved a motion (which was referred to the Community Services Committee) “that in exercising its powers and duties relating to public health the council should finance forthwith the supply of milk on each day of the term to all children who attend county junior schools from September 1971.” Mr Harris complained of “falling health standards caused by the Government’s withdrawal of free school milk and by their deliberate increase in the price of school dinners”.

[July 9, 1970]

What happens now, Watford?

A football club without a manager is, at best, a battleship without a rudder. We have watched Watford struggling for two seasons in the lower reaches of the Second Division; we have seen a glimpse of glory through the FA Cup and known fear and frustration as relegation has been avoided by the proverbial gnat’s whisker. We have suffered hours of agonised boredom, as have the public, as method football has subjugated flair and panache. We have recognised the thinking behind ground improvements and known they were necessary and costly. What happens now? First essential, says club chairman Jim Bonser, is to get the “best possible manager in the shortest possible time”. We just hope that the new manager will not have to sacrifice quality of play for results, important as results are.

[July 30, 1971]

What was happening in the world in July 1971?

• French rider Christian Ravel is killed in the Belgian motorcycle Grand Prix (July 4)

• The 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution lowers the voting age from 21 to 18 (July 5)

• 25,000 people attend the funeral of Louis Armstrong in New York City (July 9)

• 1,400 cadets take over King Hassan II’s palace in Morocco and kill 28 people, in the beginning of a coup attempt (July 10)

• A British soldier is shot dead by an IRA sniper at a British Observation post in Belfast (July 12)

• The United Red Army, a terrorist group, is established by revolutionaries in Japan (July 15)

• The South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City is topped out at 1,362 feet, making it the second tallest building in the world (July 19)

• George Klippert, the last person in Canada to be arrested, charged, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned for homosexuality, is released from prison (July 21)

• The UK opts out of the Space Race, with the cancellation of its Black Arrow launch vehicle (July 29)

• Apollo 15 astronauts David Scott and James Irwin become the first to ride in a lunar rover, a day after landing on the Moon (July 31)