Goodbye to steam

Watford Junction Station turned over completely to diesel and electric power this week when the last of the steam engines were withdrawn from service “It’s just a move to keep up with progress,” said a British Rail spokesman.

[April 2, 1965]

Good wishes

The Palace Theatre Company had a pleasant surprise on Tuesday morning – the day of the Palace’s reopening as a civic theatre. It came in the form of a telegram which read: “All good wishes for the success of the new venture tonight and in the future.” The name of the sender – Sir Laurence Olivier.

[April 2, 1965]

Attempted murder

As the result of brain injuries received when, it is alleged, she was attacked with a butcher’s cleaver at her home in Chiltern Drive, Rickmansworth, on March 4, Mrs - - is still unable to talk or understand what is said to her, Watford Magistrates were told yesterday. But there is a good chance of at least some return of speech, a doctor told the court. Her husband appeared before the court charged with maliciously wounding his wife and causing her grievous bodily harm. He was committed for trial at the Central Criminal Court.

[April 9, 1965]

Firefighter Mayor

The Mayor (Alderman Arthur Reynolds) in an unusual role. With his family as passengers, he was at the wheel of a 1932 Leyland fire engine, one of the interesting vehicles on view at Watford’s Easter cavalcade of motoring in Cassiobury Park. Despite the cold weather, the town’s first council-sponsored Easter entertainment drew a large crowd.

[April 23, 1965]

Young Easter pilgrims

Members of St Peter’s Youth Club arrived at St Albans Abbey on Monday after their trek from Watford. With 3,000 young people from all over Beds and Herts, they took part in the 22nd Easter Youth Pilgrimage to the shrine of St Alban. The Watford contingent started out in the snow from Cassiobury Park and arrived at St Albans just after lunchtime.

[April 23, 1965]

Watford folk so tough

Wind, sleet, rain and bitter cold could not keep the crowds away from Cassiobury Park over Easter weekend, and thousands of shivering holiday-makers took advantage of Watford Corporation’s Easter programme.

[April 23, 1965]

Watford’s white Easter

It might have been midwinter, but this was, in fact, the scene of Leavesden Road, Watford, after Easter Monday’s mixture of hail and snow.

[April 23, 1965]

A message of hope

The famous Samaritan service is extending to Watford. From Monday, the advice to anyone in despair to the point of suicide is: “Don’t do it – dial Harrow 7777, there someone is ready to help.” Although the new extension of the service will be based at Harrow, the intention is to cover the Watford, Rickmansworth, Northwood and surrounding areas as well.

[April 23, 1965]

Archaeologists are angry

The Watford and South Herts Archaeologist Society, which fears that the proposed sewerage works at Aldenham, near Watford, threaten the remains of a Roman camp and villa, has gained the support of the council for British Archaeology, and a letter of protest has been sent to the Minister of Works.

[April 30, 1965]

What was happening in the world in April 1965?

• The first jet-to-jet combat of the Vietnam War took place when four US Navy Crusaders were engaged by eight fighters of the North Vietnamese Air Force (April 3)

• The first nuclear reactor launched into space, and the only one ever sent by the United States, was sent aloft from California (April 3)

My Fair Lady won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director (April 5)

• Australia’s Prime Minister Robert Menzies decided to commit 800 army troops to the Vietnam War (April 7)

• A plot to overthrow the leaders of Bulgaria was foiled (April 8)

• India and Pakistan clashed at the border between their two nations around the disputed Rann of Kutch (April 8)

• The first Major League Baseball contest to be played indoors took place in Houston (April 9)

• The Beatles released the song Ticket to Ride as a single in the UK (April 9)

• The Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt made by one of his bodyguards, who fired a machine gun at him as he arrived at the Marble Palace in Tehran (April 10)

• At least 47 tornadoes caused destruction in the Midwestern United States, killing 271 people and injuring as many as 5,000 (April 11)

• TASS, the Soviet news agency, announced that proof of an extra-terrestrial civilisation had been discovered by radio astronomers in Moscow (April 12)

• The first major demonstration against the Vietnam War was carried out by Students for a Democratic Society in Washington (April 17)

• Six American pilots completed a 34-day experiment by NASA to study the effects of a month-long confinement during a space mission (April 19)

• The Dominican Civil War began when Colonel Francisco Caamaño Deñó and Manuel Ramon Montes Arache led a mutiny in support of the deposed president (April 24)

• An initially peaceful gathering of 100,000 Armenians in Yerevan became a protest for independence from the Soviet Union (April 24)

• The FBI discontinued the wiretapping of Martin Luther King Jr’s home telephone after almost a year and a half of eavesdropping on his conversations (April 30)