February 1-8 recalled from our archives

100 years ago 8 February 1908 o A fancy dress dance is held by the Hampstead Sketch Club with a judge for the best costumes. The ladies first prize, a silver shoe horn, glove-stretcher and button hooks in a case, is won by Mrs G Rose, who dressed up as H

100 years ago

8 February 1908

o A fancy dress dance is held by the Hampstead Sketch Club with a judge for the best costumes. The ladies' first prize, a silver shoe horn, glove-stretcher and button hooks in a case, is won by Mrs G Rose, who dressed up as Hiawatha.

The second prize, an ebony hand mirror, is carried off by Miss Ethel Bartlett. The gentlemen's prize is awarded to Mr Norman Legge, who represented a Bedouin Arab.

o A lecture on mental communication with the living is given to the Hampstead centre of the Theosophical Society. The lecturer says wireless telegraphy makes it easier for people to realise the possibility of mental communications between the minds of living men.

He says so too may the psychic emanations or particles thrown off by the psychic body of a man be sensed long afterwards by a medium.

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o A correspondent opposes a proposed tramway extension from Chalk Farm, up Haverstock Hill, on to Jack Straw's Castle and then along Hampstead Lane to Highgate.

"We should have the noble thoroughfare of Haverstock Hill, one of the finest in London, spoiled of its fine dignity and charm," he says.

"Hampstead High Street would be made horrible by the huge cars which are carried on the LCC lines. Along the Spaniard Road, the amenities of one of the most beautiful prospects in England would be completely destroyed, including the old turnpike house and a portion of the Spaniard Inn."

o A Cricklewood man is summoned to court for allowing a dog to be at large without wearing a collar with the owner's name and address. The defendant says the puppy was given to him because no one wanted it. The case is dismissed.

o A Clerkenwell man is charged with "shouting for the purpose of selling his goods", contrary to Hornsey Borough Council by-laws.

Residents of Cromwell Avenue had complained he had annoyed them by shouting "Horrible tragedy at Highgate" when trying to sell newspapers containing a report of the finding of the bodies of two women in a pond. He is fined five shillings with costs.

50 years ago

8 February 1958

o Hundreds of families in the largest blocks of mansion flats in Hampstead are told they must get out before the end of the year.

Residents of Greenhill, in Prince Arthur Road, and others in Eton Hall, Eton Rise and Eton Place receive notice from their landlords in what is believed to be the biggest mass issue of such statements since the Rent Act was introduced. The notices contain no covering note, no explanation and no offer to negotiate a new lease. "They are treating us like so many dogs," says a resident of 18 years' standing.

o A copy of a communist peace manifesto sent to St Pancras Council by the East German town of Gera is torn up in the council chamber by a Conservative councillor.

Gera's mayor wrote to the council to exchange news, views and delegations. The general purposes committee proposes a letter be sent conveying good wishes for 1958 and informing Gera the council supports the specific demands of the manifesto for banning H-bombs.

The Conservatives say: "We are simply making ourselves stooges of a communist local government body", but the recommendation is passed.

o More than 20 people, including schoolchildren, are trapped for 25 minutes when an old

lift becomes jammed at Hampstead tube station.

They are released after one man climbs through the hatch in the lift roof and shouts for help. "Absolutely disgraceful," says one passenger. "We all shouted like hell but no one came to help us."

o Drunkenness in the Highgate licensing division went up by nearly a third in 1957, mainly because of heavy drinking by young people.

A police superintendent tells the Highgate Brewster Sessions most of the people arrested were between 20 and 25 and there was no reason for it apart from an increase in money available to younger people.

25 years ago

8 February 1983

o Mass graves on Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill...a war HQ at Hampstead Town Hall...casualty-collecting centres dotted around Camden. This picture of nuclear-war Camden is sent to the council by the GLC.

o Christians who support nuclear weapons will be required to answer to God for their "morally outrageous complicity in destruction", says the Rev Graham Dowell, the vicar of Hampstead.

o Most pantomime productions, when casting the horse, settle for two people in a hot costume. But when staff at the Royal Free Hospital produce Cinderella, they give the role to a real animal. It also has a consultant neurologist as an Ugly Sister and an eye surgeon doing Liberace impressions.

Producer Mary Medawar says some patients had watched the show "to help take their minds off their operations in the morning".

o The impending 25 per cent cut in London Transport fares contains a bitter irony for Camden. Although the plan is largely inspired by Camden planners, its residents will not gain the full benefit of the cut.

In Camden, buses and tubes are used most often for short journeys, and for those the fares cut will be less than a quarter.

o A burst water main in Kentish Town is repaired by striking water workers after they learn that many of the 2,000 residents who have been left without heating and hot water are elderly. About 600 homes in Prince of Wales Road, Malden Road, Queen's Crescent and Marsden Street,are affected.

o Cutting corners by reducing the timescale for the closure of Friern psychiatric hospital from 10 years to five could mean severely ill patients "roaming the street" and creating problems for residents. This is the claim of one of the hospital's psychiatrists, Dr Julian Leff from Thurlow Road.

10 years ago

8 February 1998

o Health Secretary Frank Dobson calls for the Victorian Whittington Hospital, which is propped up with scaffolding in some places, to be modernised. He tells the House of Commons he supports the findings of a review of London health services that recommends urgent investment for the hospital on Highgate Hill.

o They have been nicknamed "The roadworks that time forgot". For six months motorists hoping to use West End Lane in West Hampstead have queued for up to 20 minutes to negotiate their way just 200 yards through roadworks from the junction with Quex Road to Abbey Road.

Thames Water blames the hold-ups on the other utilities - gas, water and telephone - which had supplied them with wrong information about the location of their pipelines under the street.

o Two rough sleepers are removed from the electoral register in Camden after there was "nobody home" when council officers called at the doorway in Shaftesbury Avenue where they live. They had been included on the draft register under new rules giving the vote to homeless people.

o She has been called many things including "Hampstead's First Lady", but a new title for Peggy Jay was revealed on her 85th birthday - Guts (granny under the stairs) - by one of her grandchildren. One guest reminds those at the party that Peggy had promised to "do a Swampy" if there is an attempt to redevelop the Coffee Cup restaurant.

o Camden Council wades into the escalating crisis over the building of a rail link from St Pancras to the Continent, demanding that the land around the station - described as London's biggest development opportunity - be handed over to the council.

Construction was due to start in 1998, with trains running by 2003, but the company London and Continental has run out of money.

o Poor Rod Stewart. The spiky-haired rock star, brought up in Muswell Hill, has suffered another blow to his reputation - weeks after being dropped as patron of the local Royal British Legion.

The millionaire singer's anthem D'Ya Think I'm Sexy had been chosen for the comedy The Full Monty, already one of the most successful British films of all time. However, the film-makers were refused permission to use it in the scene where the boys get their kit off. Instead, they went for Hot Chocolate's You Sexy Thing.