This week 10, 20, 30 years ago

10 years ago

A decade after unwittingly saving an acclaimed artist’s drawings and letters from a skip, a charity founder used his honeymoon to donate them to a Scottish museum.

Vinnie O’Connell found the material by illustrator Charles Bannerman in Herne Hill while he was clearing a garden shed.

He said: “I’m a nosy sod, so when I saw the drawings and letters in the skip I took them with the intention of researching who the artist was.”

Time passed and this spring, after Vinnie had popped the question to his partner Helen, their thoughts turned to the artistic mystery from the skip.

Vinnie, who founded New Leaf near West Dulwich railway station to help young offenders through gardening, said: “Helen and I were going through my stuff and she saw how good they were, so we decided to look into it.”

The letters mentioned the name Bannerman and were signed by Charles B.

They made reference to Cromarty in the east coast of Scotland and its pub the Cromarty Arms.

Vinnie said: “We phoned the Cromarty Arms and they told us ‘Charles B’ was Charles Bannerman.

We booked the honeymoon there and then.”

A plaque honouring people killed during a Second World War bombing raid has been unveiled on a South London estate.

Residents at the Honor Oak Estate off Turnham Road launched a campaign six months ago for the plaque to be put up.

Former resident Ellen Steel, 77, was six when the bomb hit her block, Hilton House, on March 19, 1941.

She said: “I lost my father, mother and baby brother in the raid and commemorating them and all the other families who lost their lives means the world to me.”

20 years ago

A war veteran who suffered a broken hip was unable to call for an ambulance after his phone was stolen by a bogus police officer.

Following an earlier burglary, Edward Minick, 81, was visited by a man at his Borough flat claiming to be a plain clothes policeman.

The man then took £10 cash and Mr Minick’s phone, which was bought specifically to call the emergency services.

Mr Minick’s son found him unconscious at his home and the pensioner was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital in Westminster Bridge Road for treatment.

Plans for a football academy in memory of murdered 21-year old Carlton McDonald were to be revealed at his funeral.

Mr McDonald’s relatives were to unveil details of the Crucial Urban Education Football Academy at the ceremony.

The 21-year-old was close to landing a contract at a professional club when he was stabbed to death.

And relatives believe that the academy in Brixton would have been a fitting tribute.

His cousin, Stephen Brown, 37, said that all Mr McDonald wanted was to play professional football, but was never given the chance.

Council housing campaigners were calling on Southwark council to postpone the Aylesbury ballot after the Government suggested local authority borrowing rules could change.

Residents on the Walworth estate were to vote on whether they wanted it to be passed to a housing association which had promised a £234million refurbishment.

The council had said the transfer was the only way the 2,700-home estate could be done up.

But campaigners claimed an announcement by Local Government Secretary Stephen Byers could pave the way for the council to carry out the work instead.

30 years ago

Comedian Ronnie Corbett brought laughs and cheers to sick kids when he presented a £500,000 cheque to build a new children’s intensive care unit.

The pint-sized comedian gave King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill the cash on behalf of the Variety Club showbiz charity.

The money was to be used for a new four-bed high-tech intensive care unit of the roof of the hospital.

Children were being treated in the adult intensive care unit at the hospital, alongside heart attack and stroke victims.

Hospital trust bosses had pledged to use their new independent status to boost the wages of low-paid staff.

Domestic workers at Guy’s Hospital in London Bridge and Lewisham Hospital were promised increased pay and better conditions.

The Guy’s and Lewisham Hospital Trust was able to improve wages above nationally agreed rates because it had opted out of local NHS control.

Helen Walker, trust personnel director, said: “We are determined to do something about low pay.”

Parents of pupils at a primary school that was set for closure were taking their fight to the very top.

The parents whose children attended Hearnville School in Hearnville Road, Balham, were to lodge a High Court appeal.

They acted after Wandsworth council’s education committee voted to close the school.

They were also considering an appeal to Education Secretary Kenneth Clarke to urge him to reverse the decision.

Fourteen pupils from the school had already taken a petition to the Prime Minister, John Major, over the closure plan.

Compiled by

Pic: sketches and letters by illustrator Charles Bannerman found in Herne Hill skip 10 years ago this week

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