New scanner

Patients at Watford General Hospital will soon benefit from a new spiral CT scanner – the very latest in medical healthcare. There are only two other spiral scanners in England, and Watford’s procurement of the advanced model should secure the future of the accident and emergency department will into the next century. The new scanner will replace the present seven-year-old machine, which cost the regional health authority £1million. About £500,000, raised by the Watford Observer’s scanner appeal, has been used to maintain it. Remaining funds will be used to lease the new model, which health chiefs hope will arrive in the spring.

[November 3, 1995]

Hospital shuts down

Hundreds gathered on Tuesday to see Leavesden Hospital close its doors after 125 years of service. The occasion was marked with a celebratory service, which chronicled the life of the hospital and signalled the end of an era. Attitudes have altered greatly from when Leavesden first opened as an asylum to treat “quiet and harmless imbeciles”. At its peak, the hospital looked after almost 3,000 people.

[November 3, 1995]

New breed of smugglers

Bootleggers beware – this is the message from a crack squad of Watford police and customs and excise officers, working on a joint operation to smash a new wave of smuggling. Stringent new measures have been taken to clamp down on the large number of duty opportunists who travel to the continent each day. Since duty laws on tobacco and alcohol were relaxed in January 1993 an increasing number of tax evaders have been slipping through the net.

[November 3, 1995]

New cinema will create 800 jobs

The new £8m cinema complex at north Watford is set to create more than 100 jobs next year. The state-of-the-art, eight screen multiplex will give a welcome economic boost to the area by creating both full and part-time posts, claims Warner Bros, which is behind the project. The cinema is nearing completion at the Woodside Leisure Centre and is set to open in January.

[November 3, 1995]

Filmmakers buy airfield

Investment totalling £200million has been pledged to develop a world-class film and television studio at Leavesden Aerodrome. Millennium Group Limited announced on Monday it had exercised its option to buy the former engine site from Rolls-Royce for £42.75million. And it has also promised additional investment of more than £150million over the next three years. The acquisition clears the way for a film and television studio complex with an integrated family entertainment centre to be built on the 280-acre site.

[November 10, 1995]

Remembering fallen heroes

The soldiers who sacrificed so much for the sake of our future were remembered and honoured in services across south west Hertfordshire on Sunday. In this, the 50th anniversary year of the ending of the Second World War, the area has already taken part in VE and VJ day commemorations. But there were still strong turnouts – of not only brave veterans and their wives, but also young adults and children – at Remembrance Sunday services in and around Watford.

[November 17, 1995]

Fire chief defends cuts

Fire boss Bob King has defended plans to slash Watford’s firefighting service by half. Mr King, Hertfordshire’s chief fire officer, told a packed meeting at the Town Hall: “The fire risk in Watford has gone down. You might want to dispute that and you are entitled to ask for as many fire engines as you want. But in my professional opinion the risk has gone down.” It is thought that £1million will be lost from the fire and rescue service’s current budget next year to meet a forecasted 5.8 per cent reduction in funding.

[November 24, 1995]

New chapter for book store

Bestselling author Terry Pratchett famous for his Discworld sci-fi fantasy novels, opened the new branch of Waterstones in Watford on Tuesday. The shop, in The Harlequin, will display 70,000 titles, including an extensive children’s section on the lower ground floor.

[November 24, 1995]

Festive lights switch-on

EastEnders soap star Pam St Clement offered her support to the Radlett celebrations at the weekend by switching on the Christmas lights. The larger-than-life actress, better known as the Square’s brassy grandmother Pat Butcher, was swamped by excited fans outside the Post Office in Watling Street.

[November 24, 1995]

What was happening in the world in November 1995?

• The Indian government officially renames the city of Bombay, restoring the name Mumbai (November)

• Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated at a peace rally in Tel Aviv (November 4)

• Andre Dallaire attempts to assassinate Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien (November 5)

• Typhoon Angela leaves the Philippines and Vietnam devastated, with 882 deaths (November 7)

• The first James Bond film starring Pierce Brosnan, GoldenEye, is released (November 13)

• A suicide bomber kills 16 in the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad (November 19)

• Princess Diana admits she cheated on Prince Charles in a TV interview (November 20)

• Rosemary West is sentenced to life in prison for killing 10 women and girls (November 22)

• The first-ever full length computer animated feature film, Toy Story, is released (November 22)

• Operation Desert Storm officially ends (November 30)