Friday, 28 November 2008

Tenants fear being burned alive


News

Tenants fear being burned alive

Friday, 28 November 2008

Fire damage inside the lobby area (Rob Logan)

Fire damage inside the lobby area (Rob Logan)

TERRIFIED residents in a high-rise blighted by arson attacks fear a tragic tower block inferno is imminent.

In the latest attack, two men had to be rescued from their seventh-floor homes after being trapped by a ferocious blaze in Elkington Point on Kennington’s Elthelred Estate.

Sleepless tenants have made a grave warning to cash-strapped Lambeth council, which owns the building, that a major disaster could lead to massive loss of life unless action is taken to avert it.

Those residents believe the November 17 fire should act as a warning to council leaders and the heads of Lambeth Living Limited – the firm that manages social housing in the borough.

Leaseholder Steve Rice has campaigned against the concierge cuts on the estate and the lack of fire protection.

He told the South London Press his concerns had been ignored.

He said: “How much more serious does it have to be before they listen and do something?

"This is a disaster waiting to happen.

"The fires are getting worse and the latest one should act as a grave warning."

A Lambeth Living spokeswoman said: “We are confident that our fire system – which is regularly checked – complies with health and safety regulations.

“At Elkington Point, once activated by smoke, ventilation louvres are opened to whisk the smoke and fire away and the fire brigade can use the system to open all the smoke vents in the block.”

For much more on this story see the South London Press, out today (Friday).

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Lambeth Council and partners invite you to celebrate Peace on Lambeth's streets

Lambeth Council and partners invite you to celebrate Peace on Lambeth’s streets this Christmas.

On Monday 1st December 2008, Santa will be touring the borough on an open top bus accompanied by the Mayor of Lambeth, to switch on the Christmas tree lights. This promises to be a fantastic night of fun with:

· carol singing
· festive fare
· goodie bags and more

Local events that include a visit from Santa will start as follows:

· 3.45 Kennington, Oval (by Kennington tube)
· 4.15 Clapham, Clocktower (by Clapham Common tube)
· 4.45 Brixton, Oval (by Brixton Library)
· 5.30 Herne hill, Brockwell Park (opposite main entrance gate to Brockwell Park)
· 6.15 Norwood, St Lukes Church (near West Norwood Station)
· 7.00 Streatham, Odeon (47-49 Streatham High Road)

For more information visit www.lambeth.gov.uk/whatson

LAMBETH businesses welcome your support this Christmas.

Vote for Kennington Park

Vote for Kennington Park!

There is up to £400,000 up for grabs that could be put to work making major
improvements in Kennington Park. And all you have to do, to make sure your
park gets it, is vote!

It¹s part of the Help a London Park scheme, launched by London Mayor Boris
Johnson, to makeover ten of London¹s parks. Forty seven parks, including
Kennington Park, have been selected as candidates for a cash boost to make
them safer and more enjoyable.

Winning this vote for the money could be a major step in getting Kennington
Park up to Green Flag status, the benchmark of a good, safe park. The
Friends have already taken great strides towards this goal, not least with
the new playground, but there is still so much more to do. Resurfacing the
pathways. Landscaping. Planting. New signs. New entrances. Help us win the
vote and we can get started on it.

It¹s all within reach ­ if you vote now.

There are three ways to vote:
* Online www.london.gov.uk/parksvote

* By texting 'parks' and the post code SE11 4AS (not your own postcode) to
62967. Texts charged at standard rate.

* By post ­ call the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100 for a postal vote
form

Voting closes on Friday 30th January 2009 so vote now.

Friends' Chair Gordon Johnston urged people to vote. 'Kennington Park is the
hub of our community and is a vital asset for the many local people who
don¹t have gardens. The park is the green lung of the local area -­ this
money will breathe even more life into it.'

If you want a poster to put up in your window, school, workplace, shop or
library to publicise the campaign, you can get a pdf by emailing
friends@kenningtonpark.org

This kind of money could make a really big difference so get clicking and
texting and ask your friends to do the same ­ even if they don¹t live
locally (but remind them to use the postcode SE11 4AS or their vote will go
to their local park, not Kennington Park).

Mayor calls on Londoners to vote to 'Help a London Park'

Mayor Boris Johnson calls on Londoners to vote to 'Help a London Park'
25-11-2008 618
The Mayor of London is today (Tuesday 25th November) launching a scheme to makeover ten of London’s parks and Londoners are being given the chance to vote to decide which ones will get a £400,000 cash boost.

47 of London’s parks, with at least one in every borough, have been selected as candidates for a cash boost to make them safer and more enjoyable. The £6 million funding will transform ten of these parks across London over the next four years through grants of up to £400,000 each. The Mayor is calling on Londoners to vote to make sure their chosen park is one of the winners. As part of this the Mayor will also award a single grant of up to £2 million to one large park for a makeover. This grant will decided by the Mayor rather than by public vote, with advice of a panel of experts.

The link for the vote is:

http://www.london.gov.uk/parksvote/

More at http://www.london.gov.uk/view_press_release.jsp?releaseid=19845


FOR ADULTS IN LAMBETH

FOR ADULTS IN LAMBETH

MORLEY COLLEGE WOULD LIKE TO HOST AN ACTIVITY IN THE SCHOOL ON A MONDAY EVENING & WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THE COMMUNITY ARE INTERESTED IN ANY OF THE BELOW. THEY MUST HAVE 12 LEARNERS TO PUT ON AN ACTIVITY.

IF YOU ARE COULD YOU PLEASE EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST BY HIGHLIGHTING THE ACTIVITY, ADDING YOUR NAME & PHONE NUMBER AND RETURN BY EMAIL TO BABS WRIGHT @ Archbishop Sumner School My email is babsiewabsie@hotmail.com

IF THERE IS ENOUGH INTEREST IN A PARTICULAR ACTIVITY I WILL INFORM MORLEY.

COURSES ARE FREE & USUALLY LAST 10 WEEKS.

Around exercise activity

Fitness & Nutrition

Local walks

Fitness & Yoga over 50’s (grand parents)

For women:

Introduction to Textile work & embroidery

Music interest:

Latin Percussion or Gospel for complete beginners

Art interest:

Painting or Mosaic or Photography

Telling your own story (voice recording)

YES I AM INTERESTED IN THE ABOVE (please circle)

NAME

CONTACT DETAILS

Invitation to Community Planting Event at Kennington Park

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Reg Varney



You are here:

  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Obituaries

Reg Varney

Comedy actor who achieved stardom in the 1970s television sitcom On the Buses but whose career later faltered

Reg Varney - On The Buses actor Reg Varney dies at 92
Reg Varney played main character Stan Butler in the 1970s sitcom On the Buses Photo: MOVIESTORE COLLECTION LTD

Reg Varney, who died yesterday aged 92, was an actor, comedian and singer who became a household name as the central figure in the popular situation comedy On the Buses, which began in 1969 and ran for seven series.

Varney managed to capture the quintessential spirit of a happy-go-lucky London bus driver in the character of Stan Butler, a cheeky barrel of laughs with an eye for the girls. And it is a testament to his skills as an actor that he managed to play so convincingly the role of an immature 35-year-old when he was in his mid-fifties.

Always conscious of his lack of formal training as an actor, Varney was an earnest man when on set. He took his work seriously, constantly learning and rehearsing his lines – as well as those of the other cast members, to give himself a complete understanding of the situation in which a comedy episode was set.

Although to a large extent he played himself in On the Buses, Varney went to considerable lengths to research the role, even taking bus-driving lessons and a test to gain a heavy goods vehicle licence so that he could be filmed driving a bus on the open road.

He would truly relax only at the end of a series, when he would throw a "Cockney party night" for the programme's cast and crew at his home in Enfield, north London. It was his little joke to get his co-stars eating whelks, cockles and jellied eels while he drank whisky or performed old East End songs at the piano.

In the 1960s and early 1970s he was rarely out of the public eye, appearing on the television screen in sitcoms such as The Rag Trade and Beggar My Neighbour as well as in 65 episodes of On the Buses and in three spin-off films.

The public, however, never fully forgave him for leaving On the Buses. His popularity waned, and his television and film career collapsed. He ended up working as an entertainer on cruise ships and touring Australia with his one-man show. He then contracted a severe viral infection which for three years made working hard for him; he decided to retire to Devon, where he painted landscapes and wrote his memoirs.

Reginald Alfred Varney was born on July 11 1916 at Canning Town, east London. His childhood was a happy one, although his parents struggled to make ends meet. His father worked in a rubber factory, and was a great story-teller and a talented pianist. The Varney household throbbed to the rhythms of East End social life: there were parties at which the women downed glasses of port and lemon and the men drank pints of ale while Reg's father entertained them with popular tunes on the piano.

Reg's show business career began when he was 15, at Plumstead Working Men's Club. The club's chairman booked him after hearing him sing Ramona in the front room of the Varneys' family home and declared: "I'm going to make this boy a star."

The young Varney's debut was a remarkable success: he reduced the audience – many of whom were elderly – to tears by rounding off his performance with a ballad about old people ending their days in a workhouse. He went home with 10 shillings, a princely sum in those days.

Soon he was a regular on the working men's' club circuit and was singing to great acclaim at most of the major venues in and around London.

But, as he admitted later in an autobiography, The Little Clown (1990), all the applause and flattery he received made him "self-opinionated, smug, cocky and swollen-headed". This culminated in an unfortunate night at a club in Kennington, south London, when he over-confidently performed the song Chapel in the Moonlight as an encore, even though he did not know the words. He left the stage to a humiliating silence.

Varney made his West End debut in May 1938 as a solo pianist at the Windmill Theatre. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers but failed at first to gain entry to the 30 Corps Theatrical Pool. Instead he started and took charge of his own concert party, the REME Revels.

Varney found juggling his soldiering duties with those of an entertainer and concert party manager utterly exhausting. He was working day and night and still expected to entertain others in his mess on the piano when he returned to catch up on his sleep.

After demobilisation he became an actor. He appeared at the Finsbury Park Empire, north London, in an act in which he pretended to be a ventriloquist and his dummy. He also worked in summer shows at Margate with Benny Hill as his stooge.

In 1950 Varney made his film debut in Miss Robin Hood. But it was not until 1961 that his television break came in the situation comedy The Rag Trade, set in the dressmaking workshop of Fenner Fashions.

The show was taped on Sundays allowing the producers the pick of actors on the West End stage, who would not have been available for work during the week.

The star-studded cast included Miriam Karlin, Peter Jones, Sheila Hancock and Barbara Windsor. Varney was aware that he was the only performer without West End acting experience and worked hard to make up for it.

At read-throughs of the script his performance would give the writers cause for concern. But on the day of recording, he would know his lines and the comic potential of the episode better than anyone.

He moved on to his own show, The Valiant Varneys, which ran for a year from 1964, and the next year starred in Joey Boy, a comedy feature film about the Army. He appeared in The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery in 1966.

Between 1967 and 1969 he played an affluent fitter in the sitcom Beggar My Neighbour, in which he co-starred with Pat Coombs, Peter Jones and June Whitfield.

But it was the television comedy On the Buses, written by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney, that made Varney a household name. Screened from 1969 until 1973, the series revolved around a bus driver's capers with his conductor, played by Bob Grant, their home life, and their efforts to put one over on the bus depot's lugubrious Inspector Blakey (Stephen Lewis).

Varney also starred in three On the Buses feature films, made by Hammer: On the Buses (1971), Mutiny On the Buses (1972) and Holiday On the Buses (1973). But when he finally left the role for good, his career suffered.

He made a television comeback in 1976 in Down the Gate, a series in which he played a Billingsgate fish porter. But, like the film The Best Pair of Legs in the Business (1973), in which he played a female impersonator, it did little to revive his career.

Retiring to Devon, Varney wrote a series of books about his life. These were noted more for their detail than fine writing style.

A dedicated family man, Varney was close to his daughter Jeanne, who lived nearby. He was much grieved when her first husband died suddenly of a brain tumour.

Reg Varney had been living in a nursing home at Budleigh Salterton. His wife Lilian died in 2002, and he is survived by his daughter.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Madman's notes throw new light on Ripper case



Madman's notes throw new light on Ripper case

11:00AM Friday Nov 21, 2008
By Andy McSmith
No one has ever been able to solve the identity of Jack the Ripper, but the killings stopped after Thomas Hayne Cutbush was locked up.

No one has ever been able to solve the identity of Jack the Ripper, but the killings stopped after Thomas Hayne Cutbush was locked up.

After years of secrecy, the Broadmoor authorities have released the medical records of a Victorian madman who was suspected of being the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.

Thomas Hayne Cutbush was a strange, disturbed and violent youth who was diagnosed as insane in 1891 and remained in Broadmoor until his death in 1903.

During the period when the Ripper was on the rampage in Whitechapel, east London, Cutbush was wandering the area's streets.

And the Ripper, whoever he was, did not kill again after Cutbush was locked up.

Visitors to the Berkshire Records Office in Reading can inspect the 26 documents that make up the records Broadmoor kept about Cutbush, as well as the letters from Ripper investigators pleading to see the documents.

Disappointingly, the documents do not prove that Cutbush and Jack the Ripper were the same man.

There is not even evidence that the Broadmoor attendants or medical staff believed he was a murderer. But there is enough to keep Cutbush on the suspect list.

He was - to quote an entry on his medical records - "very insane", a danger to the staff, other patients and even to his adoring mother.

He was convinced that others were plotting to harm him and fantasised aloud about getting his hands on a knife so that he could "rip" the staff and patients.

Until he was arrested and diagnosed, Cutbush had lived his whole life in Kennington, south London, within walking distance of the scene of the Ripper murders.

He was born on 29 June 1864, which would mean that he was 24 when Jack the Ripper started killing.

His father died when he was young and he was brought up by his mother, Kate, and her sister, who evidently adored him.

He worked as a clerk but in 1888, about the time the Ripper killings began, he went insane. It has been assumed that he contracted syphilis.

His death certificate says that he died from "cronic [sic] kidney disease" - although the document attributes his insanity to "heredity and overstudy".

There was certainly madness in the family. His uncle, a superintendent in the Metropolitan Police, shot himself in 1896 in front of his daughter.

The reference to "overstudy" refers to the evenings young Thomas spent poring over medical textbooks after he came home from work, until madness took hold.

He took to wandering the streets at night, returning sometimes covered in mud or - according to one report - in blood. He also became convinced that his doctor, Dr Brooks, or Brookes, was trying to poison him.

He wrote to Lord Grimthorpe, one of London's leading lawyers, demanding action, but then concluded that Grimthorpe was in on the conspiracy.

He was taken to a Lambeth clinic but escaped. While on the loose, a girl was stabbed nearby and another threatened.

A memo in his medical notes says: "Through the carelessness of the attendant he escaped. Smeared his face with mud so as to avoid detection. Came home at midnight. Man at Cottons Wharf says he was there when assault alledged [sic] was committed."

Cutbush was never convicted of a crime because the jury at his trial in April 1891 concluded that he was insane.

His mother protested that he had done nothing. But the medical notes accompanying his arrival in Broadmoor suggest that he was dangerous: "Is dazed and at times incoherent, strange and shifty in appearance. Has ideas of persecution, specially against Lord Grimthorpe."

"His aunt, Clara Hayne, says at times he has been violent or destructive, breaking glass and chandeliers. He has at times said he is poisoned and has refused all food except what she would prepare for him."

In May 1891, an attendant wrote: "At 8.20, I was talking to Gilbert Cooper in the gallery. Cutbush came up and without a word struck Cooper a violent blow in the face."

Another report warned: "Thomas Cutbush told Att. [attendant] Slater at dinner twice that he would stick a knife into any of us if he had one."

A few days later, Mr Bailey, the night attendant, reported: "[Cutbush] was using some very disgusting and threatening language: said that if he had a knife suitable for the job he would rip up the Atts or anyone else that upset him as soon as look at them."

He also threatened his mother, who visited him in April 1903, two months before he died. As they left, "Mrs Cutbush tried to kiss her son. He tried to bite her face and then commenced to swear at them".

The finger of suspicion was first pointed at Cutbush in 1894, by a tabloid newspaper, The Sun, which was no relation to its modern-day successor.

The report claimed that despite the popular supposition that the Ripper was dead, he was in fact a mental patient.

The Sun's detailed description was clearly that of Cutbush. The suspicion was that the Met covered up his guilt to avoid the embarrassing outcry that might have followed the revelation that the country's most feared serial killer was Superintendent Henry Cutbush's nephew.

One book has named Cutbush as the No. 1 Ripper suspect but others have poured cold water on this theory.

Its main weakness is that the last known Ripper victim died in November 1888, at the end of a killing spree that lasted 11 weeks. If Cutbush was the killer, it seems odd that he should commit five murders over so short a period and then stop for more than two years before committing one more assault, which his victim survived.

But there is almost no chance that the case can ever be solved and so for as long as the 120-year-old myths persist, Thomas Hayne Cutbush remains on the suspect list.

London's most enduring mystery:

Jack the Ripper was the name given to the serial killer who stalked the streets of London's East End during the late 1800s.

There is conjecture over exactly how many murders the Ripper was responsible for, though most historians agree he was responsible for the deaths of five prostitutes between August and November 1888.

Those five women were:

Mary Ann Nichols: Found with her throat cut and her lower abdomen partially ripped open on August 31, 1888 in Whitechapel.

Annie Chapman: Found with her throat cut, abdomen ripped open and uterus removed on September 8, 1888 in Spitalfields.

Elizabeth Stride: Found with an artery in her neck severed on September 30, 1888 in Whitechapel.

Catherine Eddowes: Found with her throat cut, abdomen ripped open, left kidney and most of her uterus removed on September 30, 1888 in Mitre Square, City of London.

Mary Jane Kelly: Found with her throat severed to her spine and her abdomen emptied of most organs, including her heart on November 9, 1888 in Spitalfields.

There has been much speculation over the Ripper's identity, with more than 20 potential suspects - ranging from small-time crooks and labourers to physicians and writers - having been named by various researchers.

- INDEPENDENT and NZ HERALD STAFF

Situation Vacant: Administrative Assistant part-time 2 days a week

Administrative Assistant

(Part-time 2 days a week, Tuesday/Friday)

The City & Guilds of London Art School is looking to appoint an administrative assistant to work 2 days a week in the School Office. This post is a job-share with the existing administrator who works 3 days a week. You will act as a focal point for enquiries, together with providing an administrative and secretarial service for the School.

You will be an excellent communicator, with strong administrative and IT skills and possess good organisational skills and the confidence to work on your own initiative. Experience of working in an academic environment would be an advantage but is not essential.

Salary will be in the range of £15,000 pro rata

Closing date: Wednesday 17 December 2008

For further details, please ring Susan Magee or Jon Hayes on 020 7735 2306 during normal office hours or e-mail info@cityandguildsartschool.ac.uk.

Kennington Gardens Society Christmas Social Thursday 11 December 7.30pm

Open Studios 6th + 7th December 10am - 6pm

ST GEORGE'S CATHEDRAL CHRISTMAS FAYRE at China Walk Tenants Hall



ST GEORGE'S CATHEDRAL CHRISTMAS FAYRE
Saturday 29 November
1pm-4pm at China Walk Tenants Hall, 15 Lambeth Walk
Southwark's RC Cathedral will be holding its Christmas Fayre
at China Walk this year due to the refurbishment work at the
Amigo Hall on Lambeth Road. There will be fun and games for
all the family and all the usual favourites: tombola, toy
stall, books, cakes, Father Christmas's grotto, Irish Coffee
and many other stalls.
Info & map: http://www.London-SE1.co.uk/whatson/event/5737

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Roots and Shoots Christmas Market, Sunday 7 December

PRESS RELEASE

21 November 2008

CHRISTMAS MARKET
Roots and Shoots, Fitzalan Street

London SE11 6DN

Sunday 7 December 2008; 11am – 4pm

Make sure of a special Christmas tree this year, get yours from Lambeth charity Roots and Shoots. Gorgeous trees* and all kinds of interesting and unusual presents will be on sale at this year’s Christmas Fair on Sunday 7 December.

Mulled apple juice, roasted chestnuts, mince pies and sizzling sausages will add to the festive spirit and among the gifts on offer will be elegant silver jewellery, floral printed fine fleece scarves, out of the ordinary crafts, outdoor plants to bring colour to a winter garden and the latest in Roots and Shoots’ successful Wild Garden card collection.

As well as Christmas cakes and puddings, organic fruit and veg, jams and chutneys and traditional bread, this autumn’s pressing of Roots and Shoots’ famous own label apple juice will be available, plus exotic honeys and honey products.

And while the grown-ups shop, the children will be entertained with candle making and Children’s Christmas cinema.

Carol singing, twinkling lights (powered, of course, by Roots and Shoots own photovoltaic panels) and the friendly welcoming atmosphere for which the charity’s open days are well-known, will add up to a really Christmassy day out.

ADMISSION: £1 for adults; free for children. Refreshments will be available. Roots and Shoots is accessible from Walnut Tree Walk or Fitzalan Street. Lambeth North is the nearest tube station.

*It’s best to pre-order Christmas trees for

collection at the Christmas Fair. To order

please call 0207 587 1311 or email

admin@rootsandshoots.org.uk.

For more information visit

www.rootsandshoots.org.uk

ends here

NOTE FOR EDITORS: Roots and Shoots provides vocational training for young people from the inner city, mainly from the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, providing them with the skills and self confidence to equip them for work.

Each year more than 2000 schoolchildren visit the wildlife garden, which is also the home of the London Beekeepers’ Association, and the venue for its popular beekeeping courses.

For further information and hi-res photographs please contact Lindsay Swan on 07961 181982. Lindsay@lindsayswan.co.uk.

URGENT: Russian speaker needed!

Dear All,
I wonder if anyone could help me out.
I am marrying a couple this Sunday at midday, who are from the Ukraine and Lithuania. Their common language is Russian. They are a delightful older couple who simply want to get married because "it's the right thing", so it will be a very simple ceremony, lasting half an hour at the most.
It would be really fantastic if any Russian speaker out there would be willing to come and translate, to ease the communication process.
If you could help out, please let me know.
With much thanks,
The Revd. Alison Kennedy
Vicar, St. Peter's church, Vauxhall
alison_m_kennedy@hotmail.com

Garden Museum Christmas Concert - Friday December 5th at 7.30pm


Garden Museum Christmas Concert - Friday December 5th at 7.30pm

SATURDAY DOWN’S SYNDROME PLAY GROUP

SATURDAY DOWN’S SYNDROME PLAY GROUP

November 2008

Dear Parents and Carers,

A date for your diaries, the next session will be on:

Saturday December 6th

The sessions run from 10 am to 12.00 and are held at the Chandlers Hall, 15 Lambeth Walk, Kennington, London, SE11, in the yellow brick, round fronted building next to the doctors surgery on Lambeth Walk (labelled as community centre on the map below). Lambeth Walk is located between the Imperial War Museum and Lambeth Bridge, it is well served by local buses, 3, 59 and 159 from the south (Brixton, Streatham), 344 and 360 from Vauxhall/Clapham and Elephant and Castle/Liverpool St. On street parking restrictions do not apply on a Saturday and nor does the Congestion Charge.

Siblings are very welcome and we endeavour to have toys and activities available for children of all age ranges.

The sessions are open to all parents and carers with children with Down’s Syndrome and are run as informal ‘drop in’ sessions, you can just turn up at any time, have a tea/coffee and stay for as long or as little as you wish, depending on your other commitments. The sessions are free (we’ve secured funding through the local children’s centre).

Best wishes

Richard Hurry

Parent of Amy, aged 2 ½

Email: richard.hurry@infocorp.co.uk

Mobile: 07970 418199

Passing Kennington

dottido@hotmail.com writes:
I am trying to find out anything I can about the Kennington Underground Station back in (19)35, I have a poem called "Passing Kennington" and there is reference to a Knight and a Dragon and the tube station, ceasing to stop there. It is written by Edmond R Watson. This is complete shot in the dark, but you might be able to help. Seligor of http://seligorscastle.zoomshare.com/

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Patricia Moberly receives honorary doctorate from Trevor McDonald


Patricia Moberly receives honorary doctorate from Trevor McDonald
Patricia Moberly, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust chairman, has been awarded an honorary doctorate of science by London South Bank University.
http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/3615

Grandma's cold could kill Luke-John




News

Grandma's cold could kill Luke-John
Friday, 21 November 2008

Nickola Copley with son Luke-John. Linda Upton looks on in a picture taken two weeks ago. (Magnus Andersson)


By Lawrence Conway

A SIMPLE cold means a grandma who helps care for her terminally ill grandson has spent the week hiding from him, terrified she might pass on the infection and kill him.

Luke-John Copley is cared for round the clock by Linda Upton and her daughter Nickola Copley, 30, at their small Kennington council flat.

Luke-John’s weakened state means catching a common cold could trigger his death.

The five-year-old had been due to have the Synagis vaccine that would help him fight off common infections. But the treatment was cancelled and the family don’t know why.

Mrs Upton, 52, said: “I’m coming down with a cough and a cold. “I’m going to have to stay in my bedroom because I don’t dare go near Luke-John.

“This is a direct result of being denied the vaccine.

“We’ve been told the doctors treating Luke-John changed their minds because they didn’t realise his age.

"The vaccine is recommended for under-twos.

“But Luke-John is already on medications that are not recommended for people his age.

"The fact is he is so sick, we are doing anything we can to extend his life.”

Luke-John has Down’s syndrome, two holes in his heart, the rare genetic defect Williams syndrome, complex learning needs and other conditions.

On September 3, Lambeth PCT wrote to the family approving the treatment, but just six days later wrote saying the treatment would no longer go ahead.

Miss Copley said: “I had recommendations as recently as October this year from the specialists saying my son needs the treatment, despite his age.”

A Lambeth PCT spokesman said specialist doctors involved had changed their minds about providing the care, but he could provide no reason for the about face.

After an exclusive story about Luke-John in the South London Press last month, Lambeth PCT boss Kevin Barton said the decision was not made to save cash.

On Wednesday, Lambeth PCT medical director Dr Shera Chok said: “Doctors agree they cannot recommend Synagis for Luke-John because there is currently insufficient clinical evidence to recommend its use in children over the age of two.

“If his doctors change their decision and recommend the vaccine for Luke-John, we will fund it.”

Luke-John’s consultants Dr Shakeel Quereshi, Dr Ingram Schulze-Neick and his GP Dr Mark Ashworth failed to return calls at the time of going to press.

Email: lawrence.conway@slp.co.uk

Update: Tributes left to tragic mum Natasha



News

Update: Tributes left to tragic mum Natasha

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Natasha Mullings

Natasha Mullings

A TRAGIC mum who died in a flat fire could have a building named after her at the nursery where she touched so many lives.

Tributes to Natasha Mullings, 35, who died in a fire at her home early on Saturday morning, have poured in since we reported the news of her death on Tuesday.

Natasha worked at Ethelred Nursery School in Kennington for 15 years and had been out celebrating its outstanding Ofsted report just hours before she died.

Parents, colleagues and former kids at the nursery have inundated the South London Press with messages of love and respect for the mum-of-one.

Glenda King, headteacher at the nursery, said: “She brought light and life into everything she did and the response from parents, children and staff has been overwhelming.

“She was excellent at her job and her love of children just shone through.

“I’m not just saying these words, this is actually from the heart and we have been absolutely torn apart by her death.

“She was irreplaceable. But what’s carrying us through is that everywhere we look at Ethelred we see something she did.

“We’ve got children from 15 years ago still coming in to pay their respects.

“There has been a constant stream of people deeply shocked at what’s happened.”

Staff at the nursery have been so affected by the early years’ educator’s death they have called in counsellors from Lambeth council.

Some could not bear to work on Monday and had to go home.

The pupils have been told about Natasha’s death and on Monday they all sang some of her favourite songs.

Staff came into school on the Sunday after her death to set up a display in her memory and it will be closed on the day of her funeral.

Natasha was killed in the early hours of Saturday morning when a fire ripped through her second-floor flat in Croxted Road, Dulwich.

Her 15-year-old daughter was rescued just minutes earlier.

Mrs King said: “I still can’t believe it but we know that Natasha was really, really happy in her personal and professional life.

“She had a lovely daughter, Shanice, who has now been left without a mother but she will always have an excellent role model.

“We all loved her mum and this place won’t be the same without her.

“We were her second family.”

Natasha was halfway through a teaching qualification when she died.

The school now hopes to name a new building after her.

Natasha’s parents, Louis and Carmen Mullings, ran the New Queen’s Head pub in Stockwell Road, Brixton, for some years.

The fire brigade is still investigating the cause of the fire but it is not being treated as suspicious.

Email: jenny.clover@slp.co.uk

Christmas Fayre

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

It's Christmas all over Lambeth!



It's Christmas all over Lambeth!

18 November 2008

Town centres across Lambeth will enjoy a magical visit from Santa this year as Lambeth’s Christmas lights are switched on in style on 1 December.

The council with its partners will once again be ensuring that the borough has a festive spirit by lighting up the borough with magical Christmas lights and trees, decorating town centres from Waterloo in the north to Streatham and Norwood in the south.

Santa will be touring the borough on 1 December on an open top bus accompanied by the Mayor of Lambeth for the big switch on.

Local school children will be leading the festive fun at each location with carol singing, festive fare, goodie bags and much more.

The bus will be accompanied by a magical Christmas float touring the borough and will be stopping off at Kennington, Clapham, Brixton, Herne Hill, Norwood and Streatham.

The Mayor of Lambeth, Councillor Angela Meader, will have help to switch on the Christmas tree lights at each location in what promises to be a fantastic night of Christmas fun. Timings will be announced next week and all residents are invited to join the fun.

The council is encouraging residents to support Lambeth businesses this Christmas by buying presents and Christmas goods locally. The bus will be promoting the joint messages of ‘Peace in Lambeth this Christmas' and 'Lambeth Businesses Welcome Your Support This Christmas.'

A traditional German Christmas market will be another one of Lambeth’s Christmas highlights this year.

The Cologne market will bring an authentic taste of Germany to the Southbank from 10.00am to 10.00pm seven days a week from 21 November - 23 December, filling the air with the aroma of mulled wine and gingerbread.

The market along Queen's Walk (between the London Eye and the Southbank Centre) will see around 30 authentically decorated wooden chalets selling a wide range of unique hand-crafted gifts and unusual Christmas presents such as wooden and tin toys and delicate glass Christmas tree ornaments. It has been organised by the South Bank Employers' Group, and supported by Lambeth Council.

Visitors will be able to sip warming "Glühwein" (German Mulled Wine), enjoy a famous German Bratwurst, a "Kölsch" (famous Cologne beer) and nibble on roasted nuts, gingerbread hearts, and many other delicious treats.

As well as shopping, there will be a carousel in the centre of the Christmas Market with traditional Christmas music. Children will be able to Meet Santa Claus or decorate an edible gingerbread card with Mrs Claus at Santa's Secret Village.

Councillor Mark Bennett, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport on Lambeth Council, said:

"We are determined to support Lambeth shops and businesses by making sure our town centres have a real Christmas sprit, and the big switch on promises to be a fantastic evening and I encourage people to come along.

"The German market promises to bring a magical atmosphere to the Southbank and it will certainly offer something a bit different this Christmas. The Southbank is one of London’s top attractions and is the perfect setting for this market and I for one am really looking forward to seeing what it has to offer.

The traditional Cologne Christmas Market runs from 21 November – 23 December 2008 from 10.00am to 10.00pm along Queen’s Walk (between the London Eye and the Southbank Centre). It is open seven days a week.

30 things you never knew about the Prince of Wales

Times Online Logo 222 x 25

From
November 16, 2008

30 things you never knew about the Prince of Wales

From underage drinking to nude photos, Roland White reveals the unknown Charles

1When he was born, on November 14, 1948, the fountains in Trafalgar Square ran blue “for a boy”

2It was the first royal birth since the 17th century that wasn’t witnessed by a government minister

3There was no worried pacing up and down outside the labour suite for the Duke of Edinburgh: he was playing squash

4Charles was christened using water from the River Jordan, a royal tradition thought to stretch back to the Crusades

5If he succeeds to the throne later than September 2013 - and, frankly, that’s looking pretty likely - Charles will be the oldest person to become monarch of the United Kingdom

6William IV is the current record holder. He became king at the age of 64

7Charles is often criticised for having his valet put paste on his toothbrush, but that’s a royal myth. It was his private secretary - and only when the prince had his arm in plaster after a polo accident

8He was voted one of the 11 best-dressed men in Europe - at the age of five

9He’s a big fan of Leonard Cohen (which won’t help his reputation for being introspective and gloomy, will it?)

10During a trip to Fiji as a young man, he was entertained by topless women who performed a fertility dance for him. “It’s better than the Changing of the Guard,” he said

11Not content with being Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall, he is also Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. He holds the rank of admiral in the navy, air chief marshal in the RAF, and general in the army

12While he was studying at Cambridge, a detective was assigned to look after the prince’s laundry in case a student prankster was tempted to steal the royal underpants

13His first public speech - in Welsh - was heckled by nationalists who were beaten away by ardent monarchists armed with handbags

14On a visit to Manchester in 1983, somebody threw a custard pie in the prince’s face, having first asked permission

15When he was in the navy, Charles - scruffy and unshaven at the time - was approached by photographers. “Where’s the prince?” they asked, failing to see through the beard. “Oh, he won’t see you,” Charles replied. “He’s a pretty nasty piece of work, you know”

16His Aston Martin Volante, given to him by the Queen as a 21st birthday present, now runs on bioethanol converted from English wine. (Now that’s what you call a vintage car)

17He was caught drinking underage at 14 when he ordered a cherry brandy at the Crown hotel in Stornaway. He didn’t know a freelance reporter was in the same bar

18When he married for the first time, the South London Press newspaper, desperately searching for the local angle, carried the headline: “Kennington landowner weds”

19The Rev Ian Paisley refused to attend the ceremony because Cardinal Hume, the Catholic archbishop, would also be present

20Charles appeared on Coronation Street in 2000, visiting Vera Duckworth in hospital (and risking the jibe that this was the closest he’d get to any coronation for many years to come)

21He also appeared on Jackanory in 1984, reading his own children’s story, The Old Man of Lochnagar

22He is a member of the Magic Circle of magicians

23He spent two terms studying in Australia, where he attempted to throw a boomerang for the first time. It was not a great success. He hit himself on the head, fell over and landed in cow dung

24You can buy a Prince Charles latex face mask on eBay for £14.99, plus a set of Prince Charles ears for £2.80

25Charles exhibits paintings at the Royal Academy summer exhibition under the name AG Carrick (from Arthur George, two of his four Christian names, and Carrick from one of his spare titles)

26As a young man, he was criticised by a Free Church of Scotland minister for skiing in the Cairngorms on the sabbath

27He has his own official harpist, currently Claire Jones from Crymych, Pembrokeshire

28Asked once why he and the Duke of Edinburgh walk with their hands behind their back, he said: “We both have the same tailor. He makes our sleeves so tight that we can’t get our hands in front”

29He is the only member of the royal family to have appeared nude in a magazine. Paris Match once printed a picture of him standing naked at the window of a French chateau

30A video on YouTube claims to offer proof that Prince Charles is the Antichrist

Sex attacker 'kidnapped' baby boy

Sex attacker 'kidnapped' baby boy

A sex attacker raped three young women, made one of them pregnant, and then kidnapped her baby son shortly after he was born, a court was told.

Jordan Shodeke, 26, punched the woman to the ground and grabbed the eight-day-old baby from the pushchair, jurors at the Inner London Crown Court heard.

It was allegedly the final act of a three-year campaign of degrading, physical violence towards the women.

Mr Shodeke, from Kennington, south-east London, denies six counts of rape.

Charming and polite

He is also accused of kidnap, putting all three victims in fear of violence and falsely imprisoning two of them.


He would brag he could get away with anything he did to them
Karen Holt, prosecuting

The court heard that to begin with each of his alleged victims thought Mr Shodeke was "charming, polite, funny and kind".

But it was no more than a facade, behind which lurked a "manipulative and intimidating" rapist, it was claimed.

"When each woman rejected a sexual relationship with this defendant or he suspected the involvement of other men in their lives, he subjected them to incessant harassment with repeated phone calls, threats to them and members of their family, humiliating treatment and, indeed, assault.

"He would brag he could get away with anything he did to them."

He insists all sex was consensual.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/england/london/7736319.stm

Published: 2008/11/18 18:03:22 GMT

© BBC MMVIII

Madman's notes throw new light on Ripper case



Madman's notes throw new light on Ripper case

The medical records of a key suspect finally go public, 117 years after he was locked up

By Andy McSmith
Wednesday, 19 November 2008

During the period when the Ripper was on the rampage in Whitechapel, east London, Thomas Cutbush was wandering the area's streets. And the Ripper, whoever he was, did not kill again after Cutbush was locked up

Rex Features

During the period when the Ripper was on the rampage in Whitechapel, east London, Thomas Cutbush was wandering the area's streets. And the Ripper, whoever he was, did not kill again after Cutbush was locked up

    Lunatic's notes shed light on Ripper mystery

    belfasttelegraph.co.uk

    Lunatic's notes shed light on Ripper mystery

    Wednesday, 19 November 2008

    After years of secrecy, the Broadmoor authorities have released the medical records of a Victorian madman who was suspected of being the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.

    Thomas Hayne Cutbush was a strange, disturbed and violent youth who was diagnosed as insane in 1891 and remained in Broadmoor until his death in 1903. During the period when the Ripper was on the rampage in Whitechapel, east London, Cutbush was wandering the area's streets. And the Ripper, whoever he was, did not kill again after Cutbush was locked up.

    Visitors to the Berkshire Records Office in Reading can inspect the 26 documents that make up the records Broadmoor kept about Cutbush, as well as the letters from Ripper investigators pleading to see the documents.

    Disappointingly, the documents do not prove that Cutbush and Jack the Ripper were the same man. There is not even evidence that the Broadmoor attendants or medical staff believed he was a murderer. But there is enough to keep Cutbush on the suspect list.

    He was – to quote an entry on his medical records – "very insane", a danger to the staff, other patients and even to his adoring mother. He was convinced that others were plotting to harm him and fantasised aloud about getting his hands on a knife so that he could "rip" the staff and patients.

    Until he was arrested and diagnosed, Cutbush had lived his whole life in Kennington, south London, within walking distance of the scene of the Ripper murders. He was born on 29 June 1864, which would mean that he was 24 when Jack the Ripper started killing. His father died when he was young and he was brought up by his mother, Kate, and her sister, who evidently adored him.

    He worked as a clerk but in 1888, about the time the Ripper killings began, he went insane. It has been assumed that he contracted syphilis. His death certificate says that he died from "cronic [sic] kidney disease" – although the document attributes his insanity to "heredity and overstudy".

    There was certainly madness in the family. His uncle, a superintendent in the Metropolitan Police, shot himself in 1896 in front of his daughter. The reference to "overstudy" refers to the evenings young Thomas spent poring over medical textbooks after he came home from work, until madness took hold. He took to wandering the streets at night, returning sometimes covered in mud or – according to one report – in blood.

    He also became convinced that his doctor, Dr Brooks, or Brookes, was trying to poison him. He wrote to Lord Grimthorpe, one of London's leading lawyers, demanding action, but then concluded that Grimthorpe was in on the conspiracy. He was taken to a Lambeth clinic but escaped. While on the loose, a girl was stabbed nearby and another threatened. A memo in his medical notes says: "Through the carelessness of the attendant he escaped. Smeared his face with mud so as to avoid detection. Came home at midnight. Man at Cottons Wharf says he was there when assault alledged [sic] was committed."

    Cutbush was never convicted of a crime because the jury at his trial in April 1891 concluded that he was insane. His mother protested that he had done nothing. But the medical notes accompanying his arrival in Broadmoor suggest that he was dangerous: "Is dazed and at times incoherent, strange and shifty in appearance. Has ideas of persecution, specially against Lord Grimthorpe".

    "His aunt, Clara Hayne, says at times he has been violent or destructive, breaking glass and chandeliers. He has at times said he is poisoned and has refused all food except what she would prepare for him."

    In May 1891, an attendant wrote: "At 8.20, I was talking to Gilbert Cooper in the gallery. Cutbush came up and without a word struck Cooper a violent blow in the face." Another report warned: "Thomas Cutbush told Att. [attendant] Slater at dinner twice that he would stick a knife into any of us if he had one."

    A few days later, Mr Bailey, the night attendant, reported: "[Cutbush] was using some very disgusting and threatening language: said that if he had a knife suitable for the job he would rip up the Atts or anyone else that upset him as soon as look at them."

    He also threatened his mother, who visited him in April 1903, two months before he died. As they left, "Mrs Cutbush tried to kiss her son. He tried to bite her face and then commenced to swear at them".

    The finger of suspicion was first pointed at Cutbush in 1894, by a tabloid newspaper, The Sun, which was no relation to its modern-day successor. The report claimed that despite the popular supposition that the Ripper was dead, he was in fact a mental patient. The Sun's detailed description was clearly that of Cutbush. The suspicion was that the Met covered up his guilt to avoid the embarrassing outcry that might have followed the revelation that the country's most feared serial killer was Superintendent Henry Cutbush's nephew.

    One book has named Cutbush as the No 1 Ripper suspect but others have poured cold water on this theory. Its main weakness is that the last known Ripper victim died in November 1888, at the end of a killing spree that lasted 11 weeks. If Cutbush was the killer, it seems odd that he should commit five murders over so short a period and then stop for more than two years before committing one more assault, which his victim survived. But there is almost no chance that the case can ever be solved and so for as long as the 120-year-old myths persist, Thomas Hayne Cutbush remains on the suspect list.