Naughty novelties

Naughty novelties in a Watford joke shop window have caused a saucy stir because they show too much cheek! Buttocks and breasts on display at Giggles in Market Street are meant to raise a laugh, said mischievous manager Mr Bob James – but members of a religious group say his sense of humour is unacceptable. Mr Clemas for Christian Action Now said: “We advise people to go inside and confront the manager with their view. The window is revolting. It must be terrible to wait for the bus by it.”

[September 4, 1987]

A knockout success

Thousands flocked to the sun-soaked Bushey show boosting organisers’ enthusiasm after last year’s washout. Local celebrity John Conteh turned out to support the major local event. The former world boxing champion toured the show and fairground rides with his family. A constant stream of fun-seekers toured the stalls and exhibits inside the marquee. Outside the marquee thrills and spills were the order of the day as daredevil entertainment got underway in the afternoon.

[September 4, 1987]

Water water everywhere

Rickmansworth Water Carnival went off with a fantastic splash at the weekend. Thousands flocked to the Aquadrome on Monday to soak up the sun and join the experts messing about on the lakes. Water skiing, sailing lessons and windsurfing trials at special cut price rates were a real treat for youngsters.

[September 4, 1987]

Plans for new railway

Plans for a futuristic light railway between Rickmansworth and Watford Junction were slammed this week by commuters. British Rail and London Underground have appointed a team of top brains to discuss the feasibility of a Docklands-style link, but passengers branded the whole exercise as a farce. “We don’t want a light railway. We want a proper track using proper trains,” was the message to the boffins.

[September 4, 1987]

New kind of inmates

Plans for inmates to be held in the Mount Prison, Bovingdon, have taken a new turn with a Home Office announcement last week. The prison, due to open in the spring, is to become a youth custody centre. The building was originally intended for relatively minor criminals. Plans were later extended to include remand prisoners.

[September 4, 1987]

Gunman robs bank

A bank robber escaped unnoticed by nearby shopkeepers after forcing a woman cashier to hand over money at gunpoint in Kings Langley on Tuesday. No bank staff were hurt in the robbery. This latest raid comes just three months after an armed robbery at the Lloyds sub-branch next door.

[September 11, 1987]

Clues of the past

A missing medieval road, historic rubbish pits and traces of old buildings are just some of the things that could be unearthed in Watford town centre during the next few weeks. A team of archaeologists are spending the next eight weeks on their hands and knees in search of clues to Watford’s medieval past in one of the most important excavations to be staged in the town. The area behind the north side Lower High Street is soon to be cleared to make way for the new shopping and leisure complex, and experts are keen to explore its history before construction work begins.

[September 11, 1987]

Town centre spectacle

Anyone walking down Watford’s High Street at the weekend was likely to be accosted by a red Indian… or a cowboy. Fear not – they were friendly enough. There were even some cordial exchanges between the outlaws and the Indian tribes who appeared to have patched up their historical differences! The outlaws were in town to enact scenes from the Wild West during the Watford Show which was held this weekend. Even the wet weather did not seem to dampen the spirits of the crowds that thronged Watford’s town centre.

[September 11, 1987]

Glue-sniffing dens

Several glue-sniffing “dens” have been discovered hidden in thickets and farm buildings in Bedmond. Teenage youngsters are thought to be using the venues, which were found earlier this month by museum attendant Peter Gray. Mr Gray said: “More should be done to occupy the time of kids then they would not have the inclination to do such stupid things. It is not doing any of them any good. One of them could end up dead from the stuff they are using.”

[September 18, 1987]


Hertfordshire police will have villains under their thumbs with a new hi-tech fingerprint system. Hertfordshire Constabulary will be the first force to lay its hands on a new computer which can match prints in minutes. Boffins are perfecting the multi-million pound system which can flick through hundreds of specimens a second. At the moment police have to compare fingerprints themselves with their own eagle-eyes. This takes hours and is open to human error, but the new system will be hundreds of times quicker and less likely to make mistakes.

[September 18, 1987]

£100,000 raid

Armed raiders had cuffed petrified workers while they helped themselves to more than £100,000 worth of gold and diamond watches at a Watford jewellers on Wednesday morning. The three masked men, two carrying semi-automatic handguns and the other a 12-inch commando knife, lay in wait for staff to arrive at TRC Jewellers, in Greenhill Crescent. They forced TRC director David Hedge and stock manager Susan Pizans to show them the firm’s vault and trays of rare gold watches, kept in an upstairs office, before handcuffing them to a loft ladder. Police are appealing for witnesses.

[September 25, 1987]

Hospital faces cuts

Service reductions will be carried out at Watford General Hospital in efforts to counter overspending that is expected to reach £470,000 by the end of the financial year. Patients booking for a hospital stay over the next few months could find their reservations cancelled at the last minute.

[September 25, 1987]

What was happening in the world in September 1987?

• Donald Trump takes out a full page ad in the New York Times lambasting Japan (September 2)

• Conjoined twins Benjamin and Patrick Binder are separated at John Hopkins Hospital in Maryland (September 6)

• 25 Liverpool football fans are extradited to Belgium to face charges of manslaughter in connection with the Heysel Stadium disaster two years previously (September 9)

• The government unveils plans to abolish the Inner London Education Authority (September 11)

• The Guinness World Record winning biggest single issue of a newspaper was the 14th September 1987 edition of the Sunday New York Times, which weighed more than 5.4kg (12lb) and contained 1,612 pages (September 14)

• Pope John Paul II arrives in Los Angeles for a two day visit (September 15)

• The US and USSR sign an accord to remove mid-range missiles (September 18)

• Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida creates two states: Akwa Ibom and Katisna (September 23)

• Star Trek: The Next Generation, starring Patrick Stewart, debuts on TV (September 28)

• Didn’t We Almost Have it All by Whitney Houston hits number one (September 29)