A snapshot of life in August 1977

A dozen shot

Twelve people were shot in Sarratt Village Hall on Monday, but not to worry – Patrick MacNee of the New Avengers dealt personally with the villain, a rascally Russian soldier found hiding in the village church. He also found time to sign a few autographs. But the latest sequence of the New Avengers – just returned from scenes in Paris for a spot of filming in Sarratt – will not be seen until next year.

[August 5, 1977]

Sun lose Tit-Bits

Sun Printers have lost the contract for Tit-Bits, which has been printed in the Whippendell Road, Watford, works for some 15 years. But Sun’s loss is Odhams’ gain – for notices went up in the North Watford works on Tuesday informing staff that IPC General Magazines Group, who publish Tit-Bits, had confirmed that Odhams had secured the printing of this periodical with effect from the first issue in January of next year. But news of the transfer of contract comes as neither shock nor surprise to either Sun Printers management or employees. It was a strong possibility which had been very much on the cards for some time, and the managing director, Mr Clive Bradley, seemed quietly confident that it was a situation with which the company would cope.

[August 5, 1977]

From park to precinct

The decision to take the Watford Show away from Cassiobury Park is in many ways a disappointment, for the park was the ideal summer setting for an occasion on which the town’s many organisations went on show. The concept of a comprehensive town show in which people were able to get to know the diversity of social life offered through the range of societies and organisations was an imaginative one which benefited both public and organisations alike. Now, financial considerations have had their effect, and on September 3 the Watford Show 1977 will be a six-hour affair held within the limits of the town centre area, around the central library and the pond. It should still be an enjoyable show and we wish it well. It will obviously lose some of its impact in its new, more confined surroundings, but the important thing perhaps is that the council have not dropped it altogether.

[August 5, 1977]

Another part of old town is going

Another part of old Watford is to vanish without protest. Watford Field House, Watford Field Road, once occupied by Froud Coachworks, is to be demolished. The company, who hold the lease, will be allowed to knock down the old building and put up a single storey replacement building. Watford Council, the landlords, have given consent for the new building to be sub-let. Mr Tony Rawlins, chairman of Watford and South West Herts Archaeological Society, said: “We have examined the building quite thoroughly and there is not an awful lot of good building left in it.”

[August 12, 1977]

Setting the standard

Football fans are notoriously optimistic in assessing their team’s prospects, but it is safe to say that in recent years few seasons at Vicarage Road have opened with a greater degree of expectation. This in itself is a tribute to the impact Watford Football Club’s new manager has already made. Graham Taylor, young, enthusiastic and articulate, has not taken long to stamp his sense of purpose on his new club. The indications are that determination and effort are marked as “musts” in Mr Taylor’s book – no bad thing, this, for these are essential qualities for any bid to escape from Division 4.

[August 19, 1977]

What was happening in the world in August 1977?

• Hulk Hogan debuts as The Super Destroyer for Championship Wrestling from Florida (August 9)

• David Berkowitz is captured in New York after over a year of murders as the ‘Son of Sam’ (August 10)

• The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University, receives a radio signal from deep space; the event is named the Wow! signal for a notation made by a volunteer on the project (August 15)

• Rioting breaks out in Birmingham, England, during demonstrations against the National Front (August 15)

• Elvis Presley dies in his home in Graceland at the age of 42 (August 16)

• Comedian Groucho Marx dies of pneumonia in Los Angeles at the age of 86 (August 19)

• The United States launches the Voyager 2 spacecraft (August 20)

• Actor/dancer Danny Lockin is murdered in California (August 21)

• A new, smaller £1 note is introduced in England (August 23)

• The National Assembly of Quebec passes a charter making French the official language of the Canadian province of Quebec (August 26)