Recession blamed for suicides

More men than ever before are taking their own lives and the Samaritans say the recession is largely to blame. This week, the local group confirmed the national trend by saying the male caller rate has been steadily increasing during recent years. The group blamed massive rises in personal debt and unemployment, and said redundancies at companies like Rolls-Royce and British Aerospace have inevitably added to the problem. Men committing suicide now outnumber women three to one.

[October 2, 1992]

Noise campaign to bring peace

Sound pollution has prompted Watford councillors to raise CAINE – the Campaign Against Intrusive Noise Emission. Following an increase in the number of complaints of noise pollution to the council’s environmental health department, CAINE has been set up to bring about a change in the law. It aims to increase the powers available to the police to stop flagrant breaches of the peace caused by preventable noise pollution.

[October 2, 1992]

Hitch for brides as club refits

Wedding parties have been left in the lurch by plans to redevelop Watford Town and Country Club, a tearful bride claimed this week. Plans are afoot to redevelop the private members’ club in Rosslyn Road and many events set to be held there have been put in jeopardy. Confusion and panic has hit couples who have arranged to hold their wedding receptions at the club, formerly the town’s Conservative Club. A tearful Miss Cullen, who booked her wedding at the beginning of the year, said: “The only other places around are much more expensive than we planned for and we may have to cancel the wedding because we cannot afford anywhere else.”

[October 9, 1992]

Ring-road chaos paralyses town

Shoppers flocked to the Harlequin Centre turning Watford’s ring road into a “highway to Hell” on Saturday. Thousands of people swamped rain-soaked Watford in search of a dry place to shop – many of them attracted to the town’s under-cover arcades by the shopping centre’s successful television advertising campaign. From mid-morning through to early evening traffic on the ring road came to a standstill as drivers tried to get into the Harlequin’s four car parks. Mrs Joyce Stevens of Abbots Langley said it took her an hour to get from the fourth floor to the third floor of the Queen’s car park.

[October 9, 1992]

Canny scheme

Having a crush at school will take on a different meaning following the launch of a recycling scheme in Three Rivers. Pupils at schools in the district will have the use of can crushers bought from funds donated to Three Rivers District Council by Marks and Spencer. Testing out one of the machines at York House School, Croxley Green, are pupil Patrick Ensor, district councillor Mr Terence Palmer and headmaster’s wife Mrs Carol Moore.

[October 9, 1992]

Last village bank closes

Residents and businesses in Croxley Green have joined forces to protest about the decision to close the village’s only bank. Barclays Bank in New Road will shut for the last time on Friday, November 27. A company spokesman said the costs of keeping the sub-branch open outweighed the benefits of maintaining a service in the village. Petitions were set up in shops all around the village this week as rumours about the closure were confirmed. New Road resident Mrs Marjorie Dennis said the closure of the village’s only bank is going to hit residents, particularly the elderly, very hard.

[October 16, 1992]

Student’s photo scoop

Photography student Andy Grant from Watford put himself in the frame on Monday by taking stunning shots of the Covent Garden pub wrecked by an IRA bomb blast, just seconds after the explosion. Andy is to receive £600 for his picture which was used on the front page of Today.

[October 16, 1992]

Princess graces school’s big day

Cheers and waves greeted Princess Margaret at the opening of the Wiltshire building at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls, Elstree, yesterday. Pupils from all years cheered on as Her Royal Highness arrived at the private girls’ school to visit the recently built technology and lower school block. Girls from the lower fourth entertained the royal guest with a couple of songs from their recent autumn concert and the toe-tapping numbers brought a smile to Her Royal Highness’s face.

[October 16, 1992]

Green light for Arches ring road

The “one and only” chance to build a gyratory road system around Lower High Street, Watford, has been snapped up by County Hall. But despite jubilation among Watford councillors there is fury a transportation study in Watford, which would have looked at problems like congestion and parking, will now be delayed until as late as 1995 because of cash shortages.

[October 23, 1992]

40% leap in town’s jobless

The number of unemployed people in Watford smashed through the 4,000 barrier this month, leaving almost 11% of the town’s workforce without a job. The latest rise in the town’s unemployment figures means Watford now has more people out of work than at any other time since the 1930s depression – and there is no apparent sign of any immediate improvement.

[October 23, 1992]

Station labelled crime black spot

The car park at Watford Junction station has been tagged Watford’s worst black spot for crime. The claim was made at Monday’s meeting of the Advisory Committee on the Needs of People with Disabilities. Committee members discussed their concern about the poor lighting, surfacing and accessibility at the car park and the safety of people using it.

[October 23, 1992]

Half-term blaze guts classroom

Fire completely destroyed a timber classroom at Queens School, Bushey, on Monday night, wrecking equipment, staff training records and work programmes prepared for students. But teachers have pledged pupils will not be seriously affected when they return to the school next week after the half-term break. The intensity of the blaze, which led to the total collapse of the single-storey engineering unit, also cracked windows, affected the roof and caused severe smoke damaged to classrooms in the main building 16ft away.

[October 30, 1992]

Simple fun or sinister celebration?

Tomorrow is Halloween – a time when spirits and ghosts are traditionally said to rise and roam the earth. Children across the country will be dressing up as witches, vampires and monsters, making lanterns out of pumpkins and taking to the streets to play ‘trick or treat’. But is Halloween really just harmless fun? In recent years concerns have arisen that Halloween could be a celebration of evil. We asked various church leaders in South West Hertfordshire what they thought about Halloween and whether they were happy for children to celebrate it. Most agreed that while on the surface Halloween seemed like an innocuous piece of fun, there were deeper implications – and that it could possibly lead to young people becoming interested, then involved, in the occult.

[October 30, 1992]

What was happening in the world in October 1992?

• Turner Broadcasting System launches Cartoon Network, the first all-animation television channel (October 1)

• A riot breaks out in the Carandiru Penitentiary in Brazil, resulting in the Carandiru massacre in which 111 prisoners were killed (October 2)

• After performing a song protesting alleged child abuse by the Catholic Church, Sinéad O’Connor rips up a photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live, causing huge controversy (October 3)

• The government of Mozambique signs a truce with RENAMO (the Mozambican National Resistance), ending the 16-year Mozambican Civil War (October 4)

• Tens of thousands rally in Washington DC, calling on the government to dedicate more funding to combating HIV/AIDs (October 10)

• The first three-way US presidential debate takes place between George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot (October 11)

• An earthquake in Cairo kills 543 people and injures more than 6,500 (October 12)

• Tens of thousands of coal miners march in London to protest government plans to close coal mines (October 21)

• Emperor Akihito becomes the first Emperor of Japan to stand on Chinese soil (October 23)

• The end of the world, predicted by the Dami Mission in South Korea, does not occur (October 28)

• The Roman Catholic Church reinstates Galileo Galilei after 359 years (October 31)