A snapshot of life in February 1973

Pressure on park plan

300 Cassiobury Estate residents are being invited to a meeting at Watford Grammar School for Boys tonight to voice public opinion about the development of Cassiobury Park. The borough council’s proposals for the park are due to be placed before a public meeting at Watford Town Hall on Tuesday evening. They involve a four-and-a-half acre boating pool, a model railway running through a tunnel, a new cafeteria, an ornamental garden and more car parks. They have already been criticised by Cassiobury Park Estate residents and by conservationists. Tonight’s meeting of estate residents is being called to form an organisation called the Friends of Cassiobury Park.

[February 2, 1973]

Girls went wild

Screaming youngsters threatened to engulf Radio Luxembourg disc jockey Paul Burnett when he visited the Top Rank Suite, Watford, on Tuesday evening. Security men had to act as human shields to prevent the 1,700 fans spilling onto the stage as Burnett threw T-shirts, posters and records into the crowd. The Watford visit was part of a nationwide tour of Top Rank Suites by Burnett.

[February 9, 1973]

Pubs’ strip problem

Lunchtime stripping has brought headaches for two public houses in St Albans Road, Watford. A confused county official has visited the Leviathan, which has staged striptease for a month. He feared Sunday strip might be illegal. Meanwhile, at the Verulam Arms, manager Maurice Weller’s plans to stage striptease ran into trouble from Allied Breweries. They banned strippers because of the uncertain legal situation.

[February 9, 1973]

Is play plan ‘sick’?

Many people thought the idea of using land at North Watford and Vicarage Road cemeteries for playground areas was sick, Councillor Irene Tunstall-Dunn told the town council on Monday. She also criticised a plan to set up the town’s first adventure playground at Harwoods Recreation Ground. The site was too near houses, a hospital and old people’s homes.

[February 9, 1973]

Oxhey Week is off

Oxhey Week, 1973, due to take place in May, has been cancelled. After a long discussion at Tuesday’s committee meeting, the chairman, Mr Norman Wright, cast a deciding vote against continuing with arrangements for what was to have been the third such event. Plans for a bigger and better Oxhey Week were well advanced, and included a visit by the showbiz football team, BBC Radio One club, and an exhibition by local clubs.

[February 16, 1973]

Grenades warning

A warning that children must not pick up strange objects on Chorleywood Common was given by Mr R. Shepherd, chairman of the Commons and Open Spaces Committee, at a meeting on Tuesday. He was referring to a report that county council workmen had dug up another hand grenade when excavating the new path alongside Common Road. This makes the fifth live grenade found over a period of five years. A grenade practice ground was sited on the common during World War I.

[February 16, 1973]

Nostalgic night

Sunday was a night of nostalgia at Watford Palace Theatre. For singer and songwriter Twinkle Ripley it was a return to the stage after an absence of seven years, and for Colin Blumstone a return to the town where he got his first big break in 1964. Colin was a member of the Zombies group who won the Herts Beat contest at Watford Town Hall nearly nine years ago. Soon after that they were signed up for recording – which produced the hugely successful She’s Not There hit. Since the Zombies split, Colin has been pursuing a solo career – again with notable success. At the Palace, assisted by a fine four-piece group, he was in fine form and obviously pleased to be back.

[February 16, 1973]

What was happening in the world in February 1973?

• Elton John has his first US number one single with Crocodile Rock (February 3)

• British Army snipers shoot dead a Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteer and three civilians in Belfast (February 4)

• The People’s Republic of China and Japan agree to re-establish diplomatic relations (February 5)

• The United States Senate votes to establish a committee to investigate Watergate (February 7)

• Male voters in Liechtenstein vote against introducing women’s suffrage in a referendum (February 11)

• Muhammad Ali beats British heavyweight boxing champion Joe Bugner in Las Vegas (February 14)

• In the UK, rail workers and civil servants go on strike (February 27)