This week 10, 20, 30 years ago

10 years ago

Comedian Arthur Smith was to join a sponsored walk celebrating World Mental Health Day.

The Balham-based broadcaster was due to take part in CoolTan Arts’ BIG Largactyl Shuffle from the Maudsley Hospital in Denmark Hill to the Tate Modern at Bankside tomorrow.

The walk, organised by the Camberwell-based charity, raised awareness about mental health and funds to support its work.

That year’s walk had been called “No health without mental health” and highlighted changes to mental health care within the NHS.

Arthur, the self-styled Mayor of Balham who has been performing since the 1980s, said: “Supporting CoolTan’s sponsored walk and promoting World Mental Health Day is something I am pleased to do, especially as I have had friends and family who have had clinical depression.

“I love both walking and London so I’m very much looking forward to the walk and to discovering more about Southwark, the area where I grew up.”

A milestone was reached on the London Overground extension at the weekend when a new bridge was placed over Surrey Canal Road.

The 27m long, 250-tonne bridge is part of a new 1.3km stretch of railway that links the East London line’s Surrey Quays station with existing tracks near Old Kent Road.

The extension serves Queens Road Peckham, Peckham Rye, Denmark Hill, Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road and terminates at Clapham Junction.

20 years ago

A South London mosque had submitted plans to the Government to open the capital’s second state-funded Muslim primary school.

If it went ahead, Balham Mosque’s voluntary aided Muslim school would teach 420 pupils at a new building in Tooting.

The school was to be run by the Al-Risalah Trust which was connected to Balham Mosque and Tooting Islamic Centre.

In a new parliamentary White Paper, the Government had pledged to increase the number of faith schools.

There were no Year 7 places remaining in a borough for more than 100 children who were left without a school.

Lambeth council announced all its secondary schools were full and there were no extra places left.

Eighty children without a place were being taught at a temporary school called The Woodfield Centre in Dingley Lane, Streatham.

A council spokesman said some of them may have found places outside the borough, but that the authority had not been informed.

The mum of tragic teenager Stephen Lawrence said she hoped a new educational centre, built as his legacy, would become an inspirational landmark.

At the unveiling of the first designs for the Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford Bridge, Deptford, his mum Doreen said: “They look so impressive.”

The £9.2million centre was being organised by the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust set up by Doreen and her husband Neville.

30 years ago

Best-selling novel The Silence Of The Lambs had been banned from a borough’s libraries.

Bookworms in Lambeth were unable to borrow the thriller because the borough’s chief librarian was concerned it depicted a mass murderer as a stereotyped “gay character”.

The novel by Thomas Harris was made into a hit film starring Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecter.

Library-user Barbara Powrie, of Leigham Court Road, Streatham, said: “It is incredible. The council should not be acting as censors.”

A council spokeswoman said the library service had limited funds for new purchases and it was decided not to buy the book as it might have caused offence.

Aborigines were due to visit a museum to demand their ancestors’ skulls be returned to their homeland.

Traditional spirit leader David Mowaljalrie and Queensland elder Bob Wetherall wanted to give the skulls displayed at the Horniman Museum in London Road, Forest Hill, a decent burial in Australia.

Their visit was part of an Aboriginal campaign for the return of skulls and skeletons to Australia from museums and other scientific institutions worldwide.

Aborigine Rikky Shields, who had settled in Kinglake Street, Walworth, was heavily involved in the campaign in Britain.

But Horniman curator Dr Gordon Reid said the return of the skulls was impossible because of complications about their ownership.

Hundreds of former soldiers joined serving paratroopers for an emotional return to the killing fields of Arnhem.

Every year, veterans of the battle in September, 1944, made famous by the film A Bridge Too Far, make a pilgrimage to the Dutch town.

Around 400 soldiers from the 10th Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, including Two Company based in Blackheath, parachuted into the drop zone to mark the anniversary.

Compiled by [email protected]

Main Pic: The first designs for the new Stephen Lawrence Centre were unveiled this week twenty years ago.



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