Citizens ‘walk in fear’

People in a North Watford residential area are demanding protection from the hazards of the ever increasing amount of through traffic in the area. They claim that children and old people especially are in danger of being injured. In a letter to the Watford Observer, a “Shattered Resident of Gammons Lane” calls for the local authorities to act at once to force traffic onto the main roads which will have been improved and altered at considerable expense to the ratepayer.

[July 1, 1976]

Watford sizzles

Scorching Watford sizzled in its hottest ever June spell this week, with daytime temperatures soaring into the 90s. The sun brought a mixture of joy and headaching to sweltering households.

[July 1, 1976]

Experts probe coach fire

British Rail forensic experts were called in to investigate a fire which gutted a train coach in the sidings at Watford Junction Station on Friday morning. Clouds of billowing grey smoke could be seen miles away when the coach – part of a staff train derailed in an accident a month ago – caught fire.

[July 1, 1976]

First fete in four years

The first school fete to be organised at William Penn School, Mill End, for the past four years was held on Saturday. It raised over £500 – to be used to buy new textbooks and essential equipment for the school in anticipation of further economies likely to be imposed by the education authorities.

[July 8, 1976]

WFC’s loss

Watford Football Club made a staggering £22,000 loss on football trading last season. The figure, revealed in the club’s balance sheet, breaks the previous record deficit by over £40,000. Watford’s income from attendances at Vicarage Road fell short of the wage, travelling and administration expenditure by £82,005. The accounts underline the fact that Watford will have difficulty in sustaining Division Four football for very much longer.

[July 15, 1976]

Fish and ducks will return

The good news about Watford pond is that the fish and ducks are coming back. The bad news is timing. When they will return is not yet known. It is not enough to have just water! Ever since the pond was cleaned out a few weeks ago, people have wondered about the fate of the fish and ducks. Some have suggested it might be cruel to keep the birds there for the pleasure of passers-by. More peer into the murky depths hoping that life has returned to provide interest.

[July 15, 1976]

Pearly visit

Four royal visitors came to Watford on Saturday. The Pearly King and Queen of Chelsea, accompanied by the Pearly King and Princess of Hornsea, opened the fete at Watford Field School. Special features during the afternoon included the Grange School Band, a tug of war between the fathers and the pupils, and country dancing.

[July 23, 1976]

The cost of the heatwave

Road engineers in the county are busy assessing damage which may have been caused to roads during the recent heatwaves. Already faced with a severe cutback in money for road maintenance, the highways department could be in difficulties later on if they have to spend too much now.

[July 23, 1976]

What was happening in the world in July 1976?

• The Ulster Volunteer Force kills six civilians in a gun attack at a pub near Antrim, Northern Ireland (July 2)

• The heatwave in the UK peaks with temperatures reaching 35.9 °C (96.6 °F) (July 3)

• Israel rescues 229 Air France hostage passengers in Uganda (July 4)

• A chemical factory near Milan explodes, covering the surrounding area in dioxin (July 10)

• Jimmy Carter wins the Democratic presidential nomination in NYC (July 14)

• Ford launches a new small three-door hatchback, the Fiesta (July 14)

• The 21st modern Olympic Games opens in Montreal. 25 African teams boycott the games due to New Zealand playing rugby in apartheid South Africa (July 17)

• Nadia Com?neci becomes the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics (July 18)

• The first outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease (a form of pneumonia) kills 29 people in Philadelphia (July 21)

• The British Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, Christopher Ewart-Biggs, and his secretary, Judith Cook, are assassinated by a bomb planted by the IRA in his car in Dublin (July 21)

• An earthquake in China kills approximately 650,000 people (July 28)

• A fire destroys the pier head at Southend Pier (July 29)

• In New York City, the serial killer nicknamed ‘the Son of Sam’ kills one person and seriously wounds another in the first of his attacks (July 29)