This week 10, 20 30 years ago

10 years ago

Postcards penned by a renowned war poet were found stuffed inside books donated to a charity shop.

Gavin Monaghan was looking through boxes of books donated to the Oxfam branch in Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, with a colleague last year who found what she thought were two bookmarks in a book.

Following months of research they have been confirmed as being postcards written by one of Britain’s most distinguished poets, Siegfried Sassoon.

They are addressed to a VW Garratt of London and Harrogate in January and October 1930.

Mr Monaghan told the South London Press: “I looked at them and couldn’t believe it when I saw the name. I did a bit of research on the internet to make sure it was his signature. I was trying to find out who he sent them to.

“Because of the context – he’s having a go at Robert Graves – it is quite exciting.”

Sassoon, who died in 1967, was a heroic soldier, once capturing a German trench almost single-handedly.

In 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry.

A cancer charity is on course to reach its fundraising target thanks to an army of walkers.

More than 250 people braved the rain on Sunday to take part in walks to help raise £30,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support’s Mad Hatter’s Walk.

Most of those taking part were wearing home-made hats, and there were prizes for the best creations.

Winner of the best individual hat was Petronella Klenner, who was part of a 56-strong team from the Langham Hotel in central London.

Her albatross headgear landed her a hat designed by top celebrity milliner Louis Mariette as a prize.

Other people taking part to help Macmillan included Zoe Davis, from Greenwich, who was walking with her friend Tina Colquhoun and their labradors Soloman and Cookie.

Ms Davis said: “We thought it would be a great way to walk the dogs and raise some money for Macmillan.

“It does a great job for people with cancer and we wanted to do our bit.

“The dogs have loved it, although it has been a bit wet.”

20 years ago

Steve Bruce stepped into the Crystal Palace hotseat and immediately set his sights on getting the club back into the Premiership.

The former Wigan boss had been given a three-year contract at Selhurst Park, with Steve Kember taking over as his assistant.

He said: “It’s the start of a new chapter for both me and Crystal Palace. The one thing I need is stability.

“This club has had 10 managers in eight years and it needs stability too. My aim is to get us into the play-offs otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here.”

London Mayor Ken Livingstone joined a fight to block the threat of a further two years of road works causing chaos in New Cross.

He was pressing Railtrack to release a consultants’ report on the work needed along a stretch of the A2 and said the length of restrictions that would be needed were “unacceptable”.

Part of the road, which is the main route into South London, passes over the railway bridge close to New Cross Gate station.

The work had already caused a traffic nightmare in the area with the four-lane road bridge being reduced to two.

One in 250 babies was born with HIV in South London, according to figures revealed in a health authority report.

Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham’s HIV/AIDS rate had reached the highest in western Europe, with fears it would worsen.

Johannes Ligiam, operations director at a Brixton-based support group for black HIV-positive people, said: “We haven’t achieved a change in behaviour.

“We need to take a new approach, targeting youngsters at school with regard to HIV and sexually transmitted disease.”

30 years ago

Health Secretary William Waldegrave was warned that his NHS reforms were steering South London hospitals towards disaster.

A top professor, a senior consultant and a health watchdog group criticised the new NHS trusts as cash cuts and redundancies were confirmed.

Almost 100 staff were to be laid off from Guy’s and Lewisham hospitals as part of a £13million cost-cutting drive.

The staff members were due to be made redundant by the newly established Guy’s and Lewisham Hospital Trust.

Disappointed protesters held an emotional farewell party to say goodbye to a historic public baths and laundry on the day they closed down.

Members of the Save Lambeth Walk Baths Campaign gathered at the building in Kennington and pledged to fight against the closure – which was part of Lambeth council’s £25million cuts programme.

They called for the resignation of the Labour councillors who voted for the cut.

Compiled by Alexandra Warren

Main Pic: Poems by famous poet Siegfried Sassoon were found in Herne Hill, Oxfam donation box 10 years ago

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