A snapshot of life in February 1975

Stop pub demolition

The fight to save the Green Man public house goes on… with moves to prevent demolition of the historic building. Immediately he read in the local press that Ind Coope plan to close the pub by the end of the year and pull down the building, director to technical services Mr Richard Brand asked the county planning officer to apply to the Department of the Environment for “listed building” status for the property. This week the Development and Property Committee voted in favour of making a preservation order on the building as being of special architectural or historical interest. The committee are to seek talks with Ind Coope on the Green Man’s future.

[February 7, 1975]

Support for Mrs Thatcher

Most Conservatives in Watford and South West Herts have welcomed the news that Mrs Margaret Thatcher is to be their new party leader. South West Herts MP Mr Geoffrey Dodsworth said on Wednesday: “I am delighted and glad to know the leadership question has been settled in such a positive fashion.” Mr Dodsworth thought the party could now look forward to a resounding victory in the next General Election because of the attractions of both Mrs Thatcher’s policies and personality. In Watford, both the association and the Young Conservatives have sent telegrams of congratulations and good wishes to the new party leader. Prospective parliamentary candidate Mr Tristan Garel-Jones said: “I am absolutely delighted. This is a new departure – having a woman leader and a potential woman Prime Minister.”

[February 14, 1975]

Forged tickets

More than 150 disappointed pop fans holding forged tickets were turned away from Elton John’s sell-out concert at Bailey’s Watford nightspot on Tuesday. They had bought tickets from touts for as much as £5 – but got no further than the shield of police and security officers at the doors, who had been warned to expect a flood of forgeries. Inside the club 2,000 lucky fans, who bought the £2.50 tickets from the joint sponsors, the Watford Observer and Watford FC Supporters Club, enjoyed a fine 80-minute show from the world’s number one pop superstar. Elton, a Watford FC director, agreed to give his free performance to help boost the testimonial year fund of the Hornets’ longest-serving player, John Williams.

[February 21, 1975]

‘Playtime’ revived

One of radio’s most famous shows, Workers’ Playtime, is being revived by actors from Watford Palace Theatre this month. Hundreds of workers at Rolls-Royce’s Leavesden plant will be treated to a special lunchtime preview of the civic theatre’s new show on February 28. The cast will entertain workers to a half-hour excerpt from Ken Lee’s musical play which recalls the jokes, songs and speeches that brought the country through the Second World War.

[February 21, 1975]

Foxes beware

An all-out attack to rid the district of foxes carrying infectious diseases to household pets has been approved by Three Rivers Council. Concern was expressed at Tuesday’s meeting about the rapid increase in the spread of rabies in European countries affecting humans and animals. This was also put forward as a warning that prompt action must be taken locally. Especially affected is the Oxhey area, although many foxes have appeared in the Rickmansworth and Chorleywood district. Cllr Gerald Ladell said that a woman in his ward had been “scared to death” when she saw a fox looking at her through her window.

[February 21, 1975]

Star soccer

Showbiz stars and ex-professional footballers took on the Bedmond FC team in a soccer game on Sunday – and raised £300 for the village club’s building fund. Five hundred fans watched the game, played at Bedmond’s Toms Lane ground, because the Woodside Stadium pitch – the original venue – was waterlogged. The Entertainers side, including stars Robin Newell and Dave King, and former England player Ray Crawford, drew 6-6 with the locals.

[February 21, 1975]

What was happening in the world in February 1975?

• The Haicheng earthquake, the first successfully predicted earthquake, kills 2,041 and injures 27,538 in Haicheng, China (February 4)

• Thieves break into the Ducal Palace art museum in Urbino, Italy, and steal three of the most famous Italian paintings from the Renaissance (February 6)

• Margaret Thatcher is elected as the new leader of the UK’s Conservative Party, becoming the first woman to lead a major British political party (February 11)

• Colonel Richard Ratsimandrava, inaugurated six days previously as the President of the Malagasy Republic, is assassinated (February 11)

• Heavy metal band AC/DC release their first album, High Voltage (February 17)

• The first major protest against the building of a nuclear power plant takes place in the city of Wyhl in West Germany (February 18)

• Former US Attorney General John N. Mitchell, former Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, and former presidential adviser John Ehrlichman are each sentenced to a minimum of 2 1/2 years in prison following the Watergate scandal (February 21)

• 50,000 people attend the coronation of Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Deva as King of Nepal (February 24)

• In the worst disaster of the London Underground’s history, 43 people are killed when their train speeds past its stop at Moorgate station and crashes into a wall (February 28)