This week: 10, 20, 30 years ago

10 Years Ago

Nearly 300 homes were left without water after workers demolishing part of their estate damaged pipes leading from a pump.

Loughborough Park Estate, off Cold Harbour Lane, Brixton, houses 292 families and is managed by the Guinness Trust.

Residents first experienced a water shortage on Sunday, April 22 when the taps ran dry for around nine hours. Two days later, a number of families again found themselves with no water for another nine hours – and again overnight.

Peter Walsh, 44, who lives on the estate with his wife and six children, said: “The water shortage was a huge disruption to our daily lives.

“The Guinness Trust could have acted a lot quicker. We, like many others, had to go out and buy water while we waited for this problem to be resolved. “We are wondering when it’s going to happen again.”

Tony Swinden, project director of Guinness South, said: “The investigation into the cause of the water supply problems experienced by our residents in Loughborough Park is ongoing at this time.

“We take our responsibility as a landlord very seriously and we resolved the water supply problems as swiftly as possible.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience experienced by our residents. “If they have any further questions or need to alert us to an issue they should call our help desk on 03000 111 321.”

As the Troubles in Northern Ireland reached their peak, a man from Belfast instructed a shop in South London to sell off his entire collection of vintage motorbikes.

The 62 machines were shipped over from Belfast in 1972 and put on sale in a shop in Tooting Bec Road.

During one of several visits to the Northern Ireland capital, shop owner Brian Verall saw the damage done by loyalists and the IRA and said the bikes’ owner was frightened his prized machines would be destroyed.

The bikes dated from between 1904 and 1930.

20 Years Ago

Cops planned to launch a temporary police station in Brixton to combat crack dealers.

The station was to be set up to tackle dealing around the bus stops in Coldharbour Lane.

The news followed the success of Operation Loughborough, designed to clear the dealers from Loughborough Junction.

The police presence, in an empty shop in Brixton, had cut the number of dealers loitering around the town centre a week after it was opened, and plans were announced to make the police more visible.

A row of houses was razed to the ground after fire ripped through the new development of council homes.

Ten fire engines were needed to get the blaze under control in Milkwood Road, Herne Hill. As the flames swept through the terrace, the scaffolding collapsed and spilt out into the road, destroying several parked cars.

About 100 residents living nearby had to be evacuated.

A team of police paid a visit to Southwark on a fact-finding mission from South Africa.

The officers traded tips on tackling gun crime and drug control during their trip from Johannesburg, where the murder rate was about six times that of London.

Police from Southwark had already been to the African country earlier in the year. The South Africans also had the chance to see Southwark from above, with a ride on the London Eye.

30 Years Ago

A town centre was called one of the worst blackspots for pollution in the country.

Streatham High Road was named and shamed by Friends of the Earth, whose experts recorded high levels of nitrogen dioxide from car exhaust fumes.

The charity found the levels were twice the safe amount allowed under an EC directive.

The only road worse affected was City Road in Moorgate. The charity said there was not enough official testing for pollution levels in the capital.

A primary school courted controversy after announcing that it would be forced to put class sizes up to 40 to stay within its budget.

Dulwich Village Infants’ School, in Turney Road, had its budget slashed by Southwark council, and staff said the £354,000 allocation would not be enough to pay for the right number of staff to keep class sizes down.

The school, which had nine teachers and 270 pupils aged between four and seven, had expected to receive £395,000 for the year to April, 1993.

Transport bosses refused to be pinned down over future plans to extend the Jubilee Tube line into South-east London.

Plans for the multibillion-pound expansion of the route had been tabled earlier, with the promise of new stations in Bermondsey and Southwark.

But the company behind the expansion failed to get the £110million credit package it needed from the banks.

If the Canadian company Olympia and York failed to refinance its debts, it would be forced out of the scheme, putting it in serious doubt.


Pictured:  Loughborough Estate Brixton – Credit: Wikipedia




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