A snapshot of life in April 1993

Good year for museum

A direct descendant of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, USA, was among visitors from 28 countries who visited Three Rivers Museum during the past year. At its annual meeting on Friday, members of the Three Rivers Museum Society heard of the successful transition of the museum to Basing House last year. In his report, society chairman Mr Edmund Parrott said more than 3,000 people had visited the museum during the year. Among those who viewed the exhibits were the deputy mayor of a town in Germany, the Mayor of Watford Councillor Peter Kiely, and television personality Bob Holness.

[April 2, 1993]

Recession boosts second-hand trade

One area of Watford’s economy is continuing to report a thriving trade despite, or perhaps because of, the recession. Charity shops say that business is booming and they have finally shaken off their traditional dowdy, down-market image. Mrs Jayne Cooper, of Relate, who recently opened a shop in The Parade, Watford, said: “The recession has definitely helped business, we’re now used by anyone and everyone.” Relate also stresses the green credentials of second-hand shops. Mrs Cooper said: “We are part of the new environmental mood, what we do is recycling. It’s a very positive way to be green.”

[April 2, 1993]

Police prepare for IRA attack

Security measures to protect Watford against a terrorist attack by the IRA are being implemented by police. The decision to tighten existing security in the town comes after the IRA’s recent terrorist campaign on “soft targets”. Watford police said this week that after the “outrages” in Warrington, Manchester and Wood Green it would be introducing new measures, in a bid to make Watford a safe place for shoppers. Because many bombs have been planted by the IRA in litter bins, the police have plans to remove several of the least-used bins from the town centre in Watford.

[April 2, 1993]

New anti-racist group set up

Born from bitter words and the determination to confront harassment, a new anti-racist group was formed in Watford on Tuesday. More than 70 concerned members of the public gathered at the Multi Racial Community Centre in Durban Road, to hear the impassioned words of Mr Mark Wadsworth, national secretary of the Anti Racist Alliance. The meeting was held under tight security with stewards, both professional and volunteer, manning entrances and exits to the hall. Almost two hours later, after individuals had spoken about their own experiences of abuse and hatred in this town, a steering committee for a Watford branch of the Anti Racist Alliance was formed.

[April 23, 1993]

Nightclub gets green light

Revellers could be dancing the night away in a new nightclub as early as this autumn – despite heated objections from local residents. Plans to turn the Plaza ladies’ clothes shop in Lower High Street into a nightclub were given the go-ahead by Watford’s Development Sub-Committee on Wednesday. An alcohol licence has already been granted by Watford Magistrates, and a music and entertainment licence is the only thing now needed. Smaller than the town’s only nightclub Kudos, it will hold between 600 and 700 people. Councillors are hoping it will open the way for more night spots in the town. The news is bound to please the town’s young people who until now have had little choice in town centre night spots. But the go-ahead will infuriate local residents and businesses who claim it will create noise, rowdy behaviour, vandalism and parking problems.

[April 23, 1993]

What was happening in the world in April 1993?

• African National Congress activist Chris Hani is assassinated in South Africa (April 10)

• A 51-day stand-off at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ends with a fire that kills 76 people, including David Koresh (April 19)

• The World Health Organisation declares tuberculosis a global emergency (April 23)

• Eritreans vote overwhelmingly for independence from Ethiopia (April 23)

• An IRA car bomb in Bishopsgate, London, kills a news photographer and injures 44 others (April 24)

• Boris Yeltsin is elected president of Russia (April 25)

• All members of the Zambia national football team die in a plane crash en route to Senegal (April 27)

• Tennis player Monica Seles is stabbed during a match in Hamburg (April 30)

• Virgin Radio broadcasts for the first time in the UK (April 30)