Two positive carriers of the typhoid fever that killed a young woman have been traced to the ward she occupied in Leavesden Hospital until shortly before her death. But any scare of the dreaded disease spreading outside the hospital can be discounted. With this assurance, Dr Norman Taylor, Medical Officer of Health for the Watford Rural District said yesterday: ‘The search for carriers will continue. And all new patients are being carefully screened.’ [March 6, 1964]

Thanks for the memory

Just one more phase in the changing face of Watford, but for hundreds of cinema-goers a sad picture indeed. Demolition work on the old Odeon is now well-advanced.[March 6, 1964]  

Butter-less hospital diet

Mr John Fryd, chairman of Leavesden Hospital Catering Committee, said on Wednesday that the money allocated was so low that the hospital had been unable to provide butter for the 2,000 patients. He commented: ‘Mentally sub-normal patients are members of our community and entitled to the same sort of catering standards as the rest of us and yet we are compelled to ask them to live on a standard which cannot afford butter.’ [March 13, 1964]

Beat night petulance

Disappointment and pettiness robbed Kim and the Kineties, Sunday’s heat winners of the £500 ‘Herts Beat’ show, of any pleasure from their success. Although the Bishops Stortford group were adjudged the best by 5 of the 6 judges, their final number was greeted with boos and cat-calls by the large audience. The group’s head guitarist said afterwards that although he was naturally hurt by the reception they received from the audience, they received nothing but sincere congratulations from the other musicians. [March 13, 1964]

Carnival queen time

Days are lengthening, summer sunshine beckons, so once more it is time for all local young ladies between the ages of 17 and 25 to aspire to become Watford’s Carnival Queen or one of her two attendants. Only stipulation – entrants must be unmarried. [March 13, 1964]

Soldier’s crime

When a soldier from South Oxhey was arrested for taking a car without the owner’s consent he was found to be wearing trousers and a tie stolen from a barracks at Windsor. In a statement defendant said his “mates” told him he did not have enough “guts” to take a car and drive it up the road. He said: “I did it for a bet to prove I could still drive as I had a bad arm.” Defendant was remanded. [March 13, 1964]

Miss World escaped RAG plot

A car dash to London in a bid to kidnap ‘Miss World’ ended in failure on Wednesday for Watford ‘Rag Week’ students. It followed an earlier, abortive attempt to seize the Jamaican beauty from a fashion show in Woodlands Parade, Watford. The plan had been to kidnap ‘Miss World’, Carole Joan Crawford, and hold her to ransom for a donation to their fund for the British Empire Cancer Campaign. But the college principal’s warning to avoid stunts that might infringe the law, and Miss Crawford’s refusal to take part, persuaded them to drop the scheme. [March 20, 1964]

A new look for Watford

Eagerly awaited plans for “vital and exciting” redevelopment in central Watford are now on view to the public in the Town Hall. The proposals are tailored strategically to integrate a new road pattern and use of land in eight phases over the next 20 years. Shopping space would be increased by about 50 per cent and sufficient land would be zoned to double office floor space. [March 27, 1964]

What was happening in the world in March 1964?

• 85 people were killed when Paradise Airlines Flight 901 crashed into a mountain while on its way to a ski resort in California (March 1) • Mount Villarrica, a volcano in Chile, erupted suddenly, triggering an avalanche that buried the village of Coñaripe (March 2) • Malcolm X announced that he was forming a black nationalist party, having been suspended from the Nation of Islam (March 8) • The first Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line at the Ford Motor Company in Michigan (March 9) • Kitty Genovese was murdered outside her apartment in New York; police were dumbfounded to discover that 38 different people had witnessed the crime but no one telephoned the police until half an hour later (March 13) • Jack Ruby was found guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of US president John F. Kennedy (March 14) • Actors Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were married in Montreal (March 15) • Anti-Muslim rioting broke out in the Indian city of Rourkela after a trainload of Hindu refugees arrived from East Pakistan and described atrocities that had befallen them at the hands of Bengali Muslims. 115 people were killed during the night, mostly Muslims. The violence spread and the official death toll after 3 weeks was 346 (March 20) • The United States Ambassador to Japan, Edwin O. Resichaur, was stabbed and seriously wounded by a deranged teenager outside the US Embassy in Tokyo (March 24) • Ian Fleming’s twelfth James Bond novel, You Only Live Twice, was released (March 26) • The most powerful earthquake in the United States and the second most powerful in recorded history struck the city of Anchorage, Alaska, and killed 131 people (March 27) • Violent disturbances broke out between two youth gangs, the Mods and Rockers, at the seaside resort of Clacton-on-Sea (March 29) • The game show Jeopardy! made its debut in the US (March 30)