FEBRUARY 1908: Boy of 10 gets the birch. IN 1998, councillors ponder 600 per cent pay rise

100 YEARS AGO 22 February 1908 o The Mayor and Mayoress of Hampstead entertain 270 aged residents of the borough at the town hall. The guests had to be over 60 years of age, poor, but deserving. A plentiful tea was served consisting of cold meats pies, ca


22 February 1908

o The Mayor and Mayoress of Hampstead entertain 270 aged residents of the borough at the town hall. The guests had to be over 60 years of age, poor, but deserving. A plentiful tea was served consisting of cold meats pies, cakes and tea. They were then entertained with cinematograph exhibitions, sleight-of-hand, a ventriloquial sketch, short stories and musical sketches. Upon leaving, each woman received a packet of tea and each man tobacco.

o At Highgate Petty Sessions, a 10-year-old Finchley schoolboy is charged with stealing a piece of pork from outside a shop and ordered to receive six strokes with the birch.

Another 10-year-old New Southgate schoolboy, charged with stealing a can of milk from a Muswell Hill doorstep that morning, is remanded to the Workhouse.

o A hawker of no fixed abode is charged with being a suspected person found in a Hornsey shop, supposed for the purpose of committing a felony. When arrested the prisoner said, "I shall get 12 months' for this, with my lot behind me."

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A long list of previous convictions was read out and he was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment with hard labour. Prisoner thereupon poured forth a volume of disgusting and abusive language, which was cut short by three constables who seized him and carried him bodily to the cells.


21 February 1958

o An orange-turbaned Indian landlord denies making advances to the wife of one of his tenants in Iverson Road, West Hampstead, at a rent tribunal. He said the only thing he did was to try to prevent her from hitting her husband with a broom when they were having a row. He wanted to evict them because of the rows and a lot of swearing.

o Mr George Taylor and his wife Lucy celebrate their golden wedding. They came to Hampstead in 1909 and he became a stoker fireman at the Hampstead baths, Finchley Road. He recalled the days in World War II when the baths were used as a mortuary for victims of the bombing. "I became a sort of mortuary keeper. Heartbreaking job it was. They brought the corpses to us. I think we had about 263 altogether."

o The head of Scotland Yard's forensic photography department gives a talk to the North-West London Camera Club in Hampstead. It turns out to be a gruesome affair. For nearly 90 minutes he showed them picture of people injured in razor and knuckleduster fights and wrecked cars in which people were killed. He said he had left the more horrific pictures back at the Yard as no-one likes to see them.

He said some people say they envy him his job, but he doesn't know why, "I've never had a satisfied customer yet and no one comes back and asks me to take their picture again. I suppose you could say my job is dead easy."


18 February 1983

o Hampstead Cricket Club has been told to open its doors to the unemployed or else forfeit a £5,000 Camden Council grant. The grant would be to lay all-weather surfaces on its five tennis courts and floodlight them. But Labour councillors insist that the club should allow the unemployed and social security claimants to use its facilities free of charge.

o Nyet - that is the Russians' apparent response to Camden Council's demand for more than £500,000 in back rates on the Soviet Trade Delegation building in Highgate West Hill. Hours after the deputy council leader had delivered six summonses for the money, the Soviets shoved the demands back through the door of the town hall.

o The press was excluded from a widely publicised public meeting organised by Camden's Women's Committee. After the meeting, the chairwoman Cllr Kate Allen was asked on what legal grounds she had allowed press exclusion from a publicly-funded meeting. She said it was a democratic decision she could not override and that certain journalists had come only to focus on a lesbian representing lesbian groups and she didn't think the woman should have to go through that ordeal with the press.


20 February 1998

o Railtrack is to start work in the autumn on the west coast main line to prepare for the arrival of Britain's first 'tilting' trains. Families living nearby in Primrose Hill and Camden Town could be evacuated into hotels to spare them months of night-time noise while the track is renovated.

o Cases of potentially deadly tuberculosis have risen 20 per cent in Camden over the last year, according to health authority figures. Health professionals say the disease, which once raged through Europe like a plague, can no longer be considered a problem of the past.

o St Richard of Chichester School, condemned to closure in August, has been given a clean bill of health by government inspectors. The latest Ofsted report praised every aspect of school life, from teaching to social activities.

o Bookshops in Hampstead have a difficult time selling their wares because of the high number of authors who live in the area, former book chain magnate Tim Waterstone tells Hampstead Authors' Society.

o Camden councillors were this week in the 'invidious position' of having to decide whether they should award themselves a 600 per cent pay rise, as recommended by a report by a panel of experts.

o Members of the Waterway Recovery Group are clearing decades of mud from two former ice wells in the London Canal Museum in King's Cross. They were built in the late 1850s, and once stored up to 500 tons of ice brought by ship from Norway and distributed daily to butchers and fishmongers across London.