This week 10, 20, 30 years ago

10 years ago

An investigation was launched after a pensioner died in a fire at her flat, a day after being released from a mental health care home.

Eileen Cramer, 98, died on Saturday, November 27, 2011 after a blaze at her 13th-floor home at Tissington Court, off Rotherhithe New Road, Rotherhithe.

The South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust is now looking into the circumstances surrounding her release.

Mrs Cramer had been staying at the Beckett House mental health care home in St Thomas Street, Bermondsey.

Neighbours claimed fire alarms in the block did not sound when the flat fire started at around 9.30am.

A series of grisly murders, corruption that goes to the top of local government and a crime-ridden puzzle that the South London Press must help to solve…

That wasn’t a taste of what was to come in the following week’s paper, but the plot of a crime novel by South London author Annie McDowall.

Annie’s debut novel Charity Begins With Murder is set around Clapham and Streatham, where the charity world is rocked by a series of unexplained deaths.

A landmark daughter-to-mother kidney transplant operation was carried out at a South London hospital.

Complex medical procedures paved the way for Debra Gouldbourne to accept a kidney from her daughter Jade.

The transfusion was the first non-tissue compatible operation performed at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

20 years ago

A frustrated tenant whose flat was plunged into darkness by a billboard reclaimed his daylight with the help of a saw.

For the previous 12 months, daylight on the landing of Andrew Whiston’s privately-rented Wandsworth Road home had been blocked by a huge hoarding across his window.

So in front of cheering onlookers, the 34-year-old took action by cutting a window shaped hole and releasing white balloons.

Mr Whiston said: “I have been threatening to do this since the hoarding went up. I have been outraged for a long time.”

A battling trader defied the odds and got his business back up and running a week after losing everything in a fire.

Sahak Abdul’s efforts had given inspiration to other traders who suffered damage to their businesses when the blaze ripped through the Agora indoor market in Rye Lane, Peckham.

Many were not insured, including Mr Abdul, who said he lost £65,000 of mobile phone equipment in the fire, but was setting himself up again in a nearby shop after borrowing money from friends.

Mr Abdul said: “It has been a struggle. I was at a loss after the fire, but you just have to get on with it.”

A South London MP called for a council building to be put to better use after it had been locked behind a fence for a decade.

Camberwell and Peckham MP Harriet Harman said the education centre in Cator Street, Peckham was underused and should be open to the public as a community centre.

She said: “The grass is wonderfully kept, but no one has trodden on it for about 10 years because it’s behind a fence.

“This is scandalous. It should be used by local children as a safe place to play.”

30 years ago

Hospital chiefs were turning to their neighbours to put up heart patients and help avoid a bed shortage.

St George’s Hospital in Tooting launched an appeal for people to give heart transplant patients a bed for the night.

Spare rooms were needed to accommodate transplant patients returning for check-ups after their operations.

If the appeal failed the patients would have to take up valuable ward bed space.

A plan to shoot hundreds of Canada geese caused an outcry among councillors who warned that green spaces would be turned into “killing fields”.

Labour opposition councillors in Wandsworth were calling for a halt to the killings sanctioned by the leisure director.

England’s first deaf councillor was given an award for his achievements after overcoming his handicap.

Councillor David Buxton, 26, of Salter Road, Bermondsey, was elected to Southwark council at elections the previous year.

The Lib Dem councillor, who was born profoundly deaf, was named regional winner of the IBM Young Deaf Achievers Award.

He was to progress to the competition’s national finals.

Compiled by [email protected]

Pic: Plans to shoot hundreds of Canada geese caused outcry among Wandsworth councillors this week thirty years ago.



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