This Week 10, 20, 30 years ago

10 Years Ago

A damp problem that plagued a pensioner’s home since the 1980s was so bad he could no longer live there – and said it nearly cost him his life.

Arthur Guidotti, 86, who had been in hospital for nine weeks, lived in his rented flat in Brockley for 50 years.

The former driving instructor says he had complained to letting agents about the mould there for three decades.

In April, he fell ill with a severe chest infection and woke up in a Lewisham Hospital bed 10 days later to news that he had almost lost his life.

When he regained consciousness, Mr Guidotti says he was told by Lewisham council social services his home was declared unsafe.

Council inspectors were called in, and he claims his illness was caused by his living conditions.

He told the South London Press: “I was told I was lucky to be alive. I’ve been in hospital for nine weeks now but I can’t go back home because it could kill me.”

One hundred young fathers took to the streets to urge others to take leading roles in their children’s lives.

The day before Fathers’ Day, the 100 Dads Walk involved men from across Lambeth joining together to walk from Brixton to Brockwell Park in a show of solidarity.

The march aimed to encourage fathers to take an active role in the lives of their children and was organised by Streatham-based family welfare charity St Michael’s Fellowship and support group Lambeth Dads.

20 Years Ago

An outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting hit more than 90 people at a yoga seminar.

About 10 per cent of the 850 delegates were struck down with food poisoning after the conference at the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace Park.

Delegates were also warned that they could pass the bug on to others they came into contact with.

Determined residents who battled to save a treasured green space from being absorbed by a new primary school celebrated the opening of a community garden on the site.

The garden in Lambeth Walk Open Space, in Fitzalan Street, Vauxhall, was to become a building site for a new school, but it was saved from the developers by residents,
Children from nearby Vauxhall Primary School were to move on to the site of the new school after the borough experienced a squeeze on school places.

The battle went all the way to the High Court and campaigners won a judicial review against the build.

Lambeth police announced a blitz on illegal minicab drivers in a series of checks at trouble hot spots.

The initial round of checks resulted in a drink driver being arrested for touting for business in Kennington Park Road. Another was found to have already been banned from getting behind the wheel.

As part of the crackdown, police set up roadblocks and sent plain clothes officers out to try to catch unlicensed minicab drivers red-handed.

Twenty-two cars were found to be unfit for the road, with faulty breaks and bald tyres.

30 Years Ago

The show went on as usual after a bomb exploded outside the Royal Festival Hall, stalling the early performances at a charity event.

But the afternoon performances went on regardless. The blast was strong enough to blow out windows at the venue on the South Bank and a craft shop was badly damaged.

The IRA claimed responsibility for the attack, which was carried out using what anti-terrorist squad officers called a “small amount of high quality explosives”.

About 80 people were in the venue for an AIDS awareness concert.

More than 2,000 South Londoners awaiting operations were told they would be placed on a “Twilight Zone” list to help hospitals meet waiting list targets, according to a health watchdog.

Several of London’s biggest hospitals including Guy’s, King’s College and St Thomas’ were on the verge of signing an agreement to keep waiting list numbers down.

Patients who could not receive their operation within 12 months were told they would be treated as outpatients in a move which London Health emergency watchdog staff said was “cooking the books”.

John Lister, from the watchdog, accused health bosses of “blatant figure fiddling”.

South London ran the risk of a nuclear disaster every five days, according to campaigners.

In 1991, 40 trains carrying nuclear waste were sent through South London from the Dungeness reactor in Kent and from Europe.

Campaigners feared that the Sellafield plant on the Cumbrian coast would mean more waste would be sent to the plant on the Kent coast through South London.

British Nuclear Fuels, which ran the Dungeness plant, claimed the material was safe and posed no threat to residents as it was stored in strong lead casks.

But Greenpeace and Kent Against Radioactive Environment group remained unconvinced.


Picture Credit: Pixabay/epicantus





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