A snapshot of life in September 1982

Rules hit art shows

Open-air exhibitions by the Watford and Bushey Art Society may be abandoned because of a Town Hall ruling. The borough council has decided to stop a spate of commercial activities in the Charter Place precinct after complaints by traders. The art society, which has staged open-air exhibitions for 31 years and has become a colourful part of the town centre scene, has even pulled out of this weekend’s Watford Show as a result.

[September 3, 1982]

Hornets’ debut

Jubilant Watford Football Club have made a dream start to their First Division debut. With two victories under their belt from their first two matches, the Hornets are doubly delighted and now stand with the Manchester giants at the head of the First Division table. There was delight on Saturday as the Hornets broke their receipts record, taking £45,000 through the turnstiles, before beating Everton 2-0 at Vicarage Road in front of the television cameras. There was more to follow on Tuesday as Watford won 4-1 at Southampton to move to the top of the table. “It’s terrific,” said chairman Elton John, who has delayed his departure for a recording session in the West Indies in order to take in an extra game.

[September 3, 1982]

This loot can kill

Police are hunting thieves who took cyanide-coated brass bars from a Chorleywood metal company’s yard. The haul is lethal and could kill in seconds. The firm, BAT Metal Polishers, in Common Road, is offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the ten solid brass anodes which are used in electroplating processes. A police official said: “The thieves could be dead if they put their hands to their mouths. The same danger would exist for children and other people if the anodes were dumped.” The thieves also took some nickel anodes from a vat filled with a non-toxic solution, and the total haul is worth nearly £30,000.

[September 10, 1982]

Show’s success

The success of the first show to be staged in the Town Hall for 33 years by the recently revived Borough of Watford Horticultural Society, should ensure that the event is back to stay. Those who enjoyed the fun, frolics and other Watford Show festivities in the town centre without visiting the exhibition in the assembly halls missed a spectacle of colour, splendour and gardening expertise.

[September 10, 1982]

Borough buys Palace

The Palace Theatre now belongs to Watford. The borough council this week bought the listed building in Clarendon Road for £180,000. The theatre was handed over by the Midlands-based Blackburn development group which is putting up a luxury office block on the old Carlton Cinema site next door. Demolition work begins on Wednesday.

[September 17, 1982]

Works come to a halt

Only emergency operations went ahead at Watford Hospital this week as Health Service workers walked out for the Day of Action to back their wages claim. Three of the town’s biggest employers – Rolls-Royce, Odhams and Sun Printers – were at a standstill when thousands of trade unionists downed tools for the day in support. Print workers from other companies, teachers and Labour councillors were among those who joined a 250-strong rally in Watford’s Charter Place to hear speeches from the union leaders and the town’s prospective Labour candidate, Mr Ian Wilson. The rally then marched to the Peace Memorial and Watford Hospital.

[September 24, 1982]


What was happening in the world in September 1982?

  • Rolling Stone Keith Richards’ house burns down (September 2)
  • The massacre of more than 1,000 Palestinian refugees at Chatila and Sabra begins (September 16)
  • Streetcars stop running on Market Street in San Francisco after 122 years of service (September 19)
  • Sitcom Family Ties, starring Michael J. Fox, premieres on NBC (September 22)
  • Knight Rider, starring David Hasselhoff, debuts on NBC (September 26)
  • Tylenol laced with cyanide kills seven people in Chicago (September 29)