This week 10, 20, 30 years ago

10 years ago

Legal fees relating to the Lakanal Fire were set to cost a town hall almost £3million.

Southwark council had already spent almost £2.4million and was due to approve another £500,000.

The fire in the tower block on the Sceaux Gardens Estate in Camberwell killed six people, including three children, on July 3, 2009.

A three-week-old baby was among the victims.

Councillors were set to be asked to approve an additional £500,000 payout to lawyers.

A Southwark spokesman said: “To December 2011, external legal fees have amounted to approximately £2.4million.

“The majority of the costs have been accrued by the very high number of witness testimonies and evidence that the council has been gathering to assist the investigation.”

Hardy swimmers marked the extra day of the leap year by taking the plunge in a lido.

Members of the South London Swimming Club gathered at Tooting Bec Lido for two leaps on February 29 – a date which only comes round every four years.

Sue Rentoul, 51, a club committee member, said on Wednesday: “I jumped in at about 8.45am, it was lovely, really nice.

“It was great fun. There was quite a crowd, about 15 or 16 people who all leapt in at one time.

“This morning the water was between 6C and 7C which is cold, but not absolutely freezing.”

The club’s keen swimmers take to the pool all year round, so wouldn’t have found the special leap too much of a challenge.

Sue, from Furzedown, said: “This is the first year we have done the leap-in for the leap year – one of the members suggested it and we thought ‘why not?’.

20 years ago

A man who thought his mother’s ashes had been scattered discovered that they had been stuck in a crematorium cupboard for years.

Ron Large, from Forest Hill, decided to have his mum Phyllis Broad cremated after her death at 74 in December, 1999.

He then directed Lewisham Crematorium, via staff at St Thomas’ Hospital where she died, that her ashes be scattered at Hither Green Cemetery.

But more than two years later, he got a call from the crematorium asking what he wanted it to do with Mrs Broad’s ashes.

Lewisham council, which ran the cemetery, apologised for the mix-up.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone – standing firm in the face of intense criticism – put pen to paper and signed off Transport for London’s congestion charging scheme.

As of February 17, 2003, drivers crossing into an 8sq mile section of central London between 7am and 6.30pm would have to pay £5 per day.

South Londoners living outside the zone and boundary roads feared the scheme would make traffic in their neighbourhoods worse, not better.

Kennington, Oval and Vauxhall Forum chairman Chris Cossey said: “It is a well-intended decision, but I feel Kennington is being used as an experiment for the wider good.”

30 years ago

Stodgy staples such as shepherd’s pie and sausage and chips were off the menu at hospitals in South London.

Hospital chiefs were instead serving up vegetarian, foreign and high-quality English dishes in a drive towards healthy eating.

Patients could expect vichyssoise, ratatouille tart and Greek salads as typical hospital food under the new regime.

Food writers Caroline Waldegrave and Claudia Roden had been drafted in by Guy’s and Lewisham Hospital Trust to advise on its new menus.

Women in South London were waiting longer than anywhere else in the country for the results of cancer tests.

Women in the Camberwell Health District had to wait an average of 11 weeks to see if they were threatened by cervical cancer – when the Government target was four weeks.

The information was obtained by shadow health minister and Peckham Labour MP Harriet Harman in answer to a Parliamentary question.

A Camberwell Health Authority spokesman said a team of external technicians had been drafted in to clear the backlog.

An action group claimed a fatal accident was waiting to happen at a crossing while transport bosses failed to act.

The residents were fighting for traffic lights at an unprotected zebra crossing which straddled East Dulwich Road, East Dulwich, just before its junction with Adys Road.

The group had won the backing of Conservative Dulwich MP Gerry Bowden.

He said: “This particular crossing is a threat to the lives of all who use it.” A Southwark council spokeswoman said its traffic management subcommittee would look into the issue and decide whether any further action could be taken.

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Piture: Hardy swimmers took the plunge into Tooting Bec Lido this week ten years ago.




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