Public will get no say on fluoride

Fluoride will be running in Watford’s water again – whether people want it or not. The South West Herts Health Authority has taken the decision despite Watford Borough Council’s demands for an opinion poll. The chemical was withdrawn from the water supply last March after an overdosing accident at the Abbots Langley reservoir when more than twice the usual amount was added. Colney Valley launched investigations and the council decided in February to ask the public if they wanted it reintroduced. But councillors and anti-fluoride campaigners were furious to learn this week that fluoridation is going ahead.

[October 5, 1990]

Harlequin celebration

Construction workers and councillors shared cocktails on Wednesday evening when the Watford Harlequin Centre celebrated the opening of the first phase. Deputy Mayor Cllr Mohinder Chhina congratulated all involved on completing the first phase.

[October 5, 1990]

Duchess praises hospital work

The Duchess of York visited patients and staff at the Breakspear Hospital for Allergy and Environmental Medicine in Abbots Langley High Street yesterday. Onlookers said she looked radiant as she stepped from her car. Before entering the hospital the Duchess made an impromptu walkabout and received several posies of flowers from children. The Duchess said she was delighted to be able to visit the hospital and commended it for its work in fields such as hyperactivity.

[October 5, 1990]

Beds axed in hospital crisis

Another 16 beds will be closed at Watford General Hospital – in a bid to reduce overspending before April 1991. Routine surgery will be suspended with the exception of operations carried out in the temporary five day surgical ward opened last July in an attempt to reduce waiting lists. The decision was made just days before Health Secretary Kenneth Clarke told the Conservative Party Conference most people have no complaints about the NHS.

[October 12, 1990]

School cleaning crisis continues

Schools in Watford are facing a cleaning crisis as private contractors take over and are among the worst affected schools in the county, Labour county councillors have claimed. The changeover to privatised school cleaning required by law has affected schools through Hertfordshire but the situation in the Watford area is particularly bad, said education spokesman Eryl McNally.

[October 12, 1990]

£1m for school redevelopment

A major redevelopment is in store for Haberdashers Aske’s School following an anonymous donation of £1,000,000. Headmaster Mr Keith Dawson made the revelation at the Elstree school’s Junior Commendation Day on Friday when he not only reviewed the past year, which marks the school’s 300th anniversary, but looked to the future.

[October 12, 1990]

Commuter criminals cashing in

Affluent South West Hertfordshire is providing easy pickings for away-day villains with homes, shops and offices coming top of their hit list. They drive into the area from their homes in London, commit crimes and then speed away on the region’s excellent roads with their car boots full of loot and with smiles on their faces. Campaigns to raise public awareness about the problem, such as Neighbourhood Watch and crime prevention schemes, have failed to stop the number of such burglaries going through the roof.

[October 19, 1990]

Iraq captive returns home

Mohammed Gulahmhusein was released this weekend from crisis-torn Iraq. Mr Gulahmhusein is one of the first British men to be released from the country by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. He was stranded in the Gulf while leading a pilgrimage there when trouble erupted in July. He endured 11 weeks in the country before being released on Sunday and then finally arriving back on British soil the following night.

[October 19, 1990]

Westfield given another chance

Single-sex education at Westfield School is to continue after plans to admit boys to boost falling rolls failed to get local backing. The West Watford girls’ school, which has seen its first preferences drop over the last six years, has been given another chance to prove itself, said County Education Committee chairman Jack Fielder.

[October 26, 1990]

Shotgun terror in village bank

Armed raiders threatened to kill bank cashiers and a customer before snatching up to £300,000 on Wednesday. The raid at Barclays Bank in Kings Langley High Street took place at 3.15pm, just before closing time. Two masked men with sawn-off shotguns held a customer at gunpoint and demanded money from two terrified cashiers. The robbers forced them to open the safe in the secure part of the building and threatened to shoot all three if anyone pressed the alarm button.

[October 26, 1990]

What was happening in the world in October 1990?

• Tim Berners-Lee begins his work on the World Wide Web (October)

• The rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front invades Rwanda from Uganda, marking the start of the Rwandan Civil War (October 1)

• East Germany and West Germany reunify into a single Germany (October 3)

• Israeli police kill 17 Palestinians and wound over 100 near a mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (October 8)

• The first McDonalds restaurant is opened in Mainland China (October 8)

• Syrian military forces invade and occupy Mount Lebanon, ousting General Michel Aoun’s government (October 13)

• Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War tensions (October 15)

• South Africa ends segregation of libraries, trains, buses, toilets, swimming pools and other public facilities (October 15)

• Anti-war protest marches begin in 20 US cities (October 20)