A snapshot of life in April 1982

New talks on soccer shuttle

A soccer train shuttle special to take fans to within a stone’s throw of Watford’s Vicarage Road ground is now being seriously considered. The club – destined for the First Division next season – the police, the borough council and British Rail met last week to thrash out the idea which stemmed from the January meeting of the borough’s Highways and Works Committee. If it did come off, with a platform somewhere near the Rookery End, visiting supporters would not have to be marched by police through the town from Watford Junction.

[April 2, 1982]

MPs divided over death penalty

The Tory MPs for Watford and South West Hertfordshire are on opposite sides over the Police Federation’s call for the return of capital punishment. Both have received many letters on the subject from constituents. Mr Richard Page, South West Hertfordshire’s MP, has been “absolutely deluged” by letters, and intends replying to every one saying he would support capital punishment for the murder of policemen and prison officers. Watford’s MP Mr Tristan Garel-Jones opposes capital punishment. He too will reply to all letters explaining his reasons.

[April 9, 1982]

No demolition for historic church

The Victorian Methodist church in High Street, Rickmansworth, has been spared from demolition – at least for the time being. And councillors, who last week refused developer Mr Geoff Mitchell permission to pull down one of the few remaining historical buildings in the town, now hope that an imaginative use can be found for the church. “All over the country buildings have been preserved and put to other uses. The church is part of the scene in Rickmansworth,” said planning chairman Cllr Ron Crockett, adding that he had always regretted what happened to The Swan and Swannell & Sly’s buildings – both demolished.

[April 9, 1982]

Met Line users set to rally

Commuters in Croxley Green are ready to do battle if London Transport goes ahead with a threat to close the Watford spur of the Metropolitan Railway line. A coupon to rally the troops has been inserted in The Resident, Croxley Green Residents and Ratepayers Magazine which is distributed to 5,000 households in the village. Anyone willing to group together to be “prepared for the worst” has been asked to return the coupon to the association’s committee, “because events may make it necessary to contact people at short notice.”

[April 9, 1982]

Splash at the marina

Compliments flooded in for the Cassio Bridge Marina during its official Easter opening. Television’s Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan was on hand to sign autographs and try a little hosework by courtesy of the Watford fire brigade. He will be back to draw the name of the lucky new owner of a second-hand £250 river cruiser, for which 25 bids were received.

[April 16, 1982]

Anger over new stadium

Plans for the phased redevelopment of Watford’s football ground have brought howls of protest around Vicarage Road. Letters were sent out telling families living nearby that the application was available for inspection – since when there has been a steady stream of callers at the Town Hall planning office. Vicarage ward candidates have been inundated with inquiries, and a public meeting has been called for next Tuesday. The plan is for a stadium-type development for 36,000 to 40,000 spectators. The Vicarage Road terraces would be excavated and replaced with two-storey accommodation incorporating offices and a social club. The playing area would be moved slightly south-west. A proposed Occupation Road stand is causing most concern.

[April 30, 1982]

Get ahead with Apple

To some people, personal computers are still just words. But to over 30,000 Apple computer users in Britain, these words mean increased productivity and job satisfaction. Behind the success and growth of Apple Computers in Britain is Mike Brewer, who formed Microsense Computers Ltd, sole distributer of Apple products since 1979. Apple Computer (UK) Ltd now has an annual turnover of £25million and over 100 employees. Apple Inc’s founder, Steve Jobs, is still only 27-years-old and continues to be president at its headquarters in California. Next month the company workforce will move into large new purpose-built offices in Hemel Hempstead.

[April 30, 1982]

What was happening in the world in April 1982?

• The invasion of the Falkland Islands begins when Argentine forces land near Stanley, beginning the Falklands War (April 1)

• Canada gains full political independence from the United Kingdom (April 17)

• Sally Ride is named the first American woman astronaut (April 19)

• The Provisional Irish Republican Army detonates bombs in Belfast, Derry, Armagh, Ballymena, Bessbrook and Magherafelt, killing two civilians (April 20)

• Dr Michael E. Bakey performs the first successful heart transplant (April 21)

• German singer Nicole wins the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Ein Bisschen Frieden (April 24)

• Argentina surrenders to Great Britain on South Georgia Island, near the Falklands (April 26)

• The trial of John Hinckley begins for the attempted assassination of US President Ronald Regan (April 27)