‘Bobby’s girl’ in town

‘Bobby’s girl’ (pop singer Susan Maughan) came to town on Monday – and what a to-do there was! Susan stayed for an hour at the Turntable record shop in Watford High-street autographing snapshots and records, and the teenagers had a field day. Police had to help control the crowd, which seemed to be made up mainly of schoolgirls and shop assistants.

[March 8, 1963]

Olympic course

Frank Turner, Watford’s Olympic gymnastics coach, was kept busy on Saturday instructing 22 Hertfordshire teachers in basic Olympic gymnastics movements. Frank and other instructors from the British Amateur Gymnastics Association were officiating at an Olympic course at Watford College of Technology. In our picture, Frank offers some expert advice to Janet Derrington, of Welwyn Garden City, the only woman to attend the course.

[March 15, 1963]

Offices to ‘invade’ Watford?

In a Government White Paper this week Watford was named as one of the towns to which firms could transfer their headquarters to relieve congestion in central London. It could result in Watford being swamped by hundreds of people looking for homes, places to eat, and somewhere to park their cars. This seems to be the inevitable picture of the future if businesses decide to follow the Government’s advice. But one thing is certain – the newcomers will have to find their own accommodation.

[March 1, 1963]

Watford go out of the cup

Watford’s Cup hopes died on the bone-hard, balding turf at The Dell on Wednesday evening in a brawling fourth round game which reached heights of enthusiasm, if not skill. The Hornets’ chances, which looked good at the start, fair at half-time and better when they equalised, finally crumbled in the 77th minute.

[March 1, 1963]

Police shortage shock

Herts Police, fighting a desperate battle with rising crime and traffic figures, are in danger of being beaten through lack of manpower. That is the shock disclosure in the Herts Constabulary report for 1962. It contains a sorry tale of increases in every department of police work being dealt with by weary officers working “extra time, week in week out, as well as on public holidays”. The report states that “at least another 200 men are needed to give adequate protection throughout the county.”

[March 15, 1963]

Shotgun woman is cleared

Without hearing a word of evidence for the defence, a jury at Herts Assizes last Thursday acquitted 27-year-old Chipperfield housewife and mother of three, - -, of Croft Lane. She had pleaded not guilty to attempting to discharge a loaded shotgun at her former lover with intent to maim him. She was also acquitted of possessing the shotgun with intent to endanger life.

[March 29, 1963]

Dear – but dirty – Watford!

‘A pleasant town, except for one or two things’, commented Miss Thirza West, immediate past-president of Watford Business and Professional Women’s Club, at its seventh birthday dinner on Thursday. ‘Litter!’ Miss West exclaimed accusingly. ‘I have never seen a place as dirty as Watford. It is not the fault of the Town Hall, but the people need educating. I would install a publicity officer and make his first job the spring-cleaning of Watford.’

[March 29, 1963]

What was happening in the world in March 1963?

  • The first attempt at liver transplant in a human being was made by a team in Denver (March 2)
  • In Paris, six people were sentenced to death for conspiring to assassinate President Charles de Gaulle (March 4)
  • In Tennessee, country music singer Patsy Cline was killed in a plane crash along with fellow performers Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and Cline's manager and pilot Randy Hughes (March 5)
  • Great Britain's longest, coldest winter in the 20th century finally came to an end after snow had been on the ground since a blizzard on December 29 (March 6)
  • Mount Agung erupted on Bali, killing 1,150 people, following an eruption in February, after being dormant for more than a century (March 17)
  • The Alcatraz Island penitentiary in San Francisco Bay was closed (March 21)
  • The United States Food and Drug Administration gave approval for the first vaccine against measles (March 21)
  • The Beatles released their first album, Please Please Me (March 22)
  • Quentin Tarantino, director and screenwriter, was born in Tennessee (March 27)
  • The first direct dialled trans-Atlantic telephone calls were made between the United Kingdom and the United States (March 30)
  • The 1962 New York City newspaper strike ended after 114 days (March 31)