Vulgar holidays on the Heath, and ceremonies at Anna Pavlova's home

100 YEARS AGO 2 May 1908 Hornsey medical officer of health states in his annual report that the death rate last year was the lowest of the great towns of England and Wales, while infant mortality was almost the lowest on record. A 12-year-old schoolboy


2 May 1908

Hornsey medical officer of health states in his annual report that the death rate last year was the lowest of the great towns of England and Wales, while infant mortality was almost the lowest on record.

A 12-year-old schoolboy of Iverson Road, West Hampstead, is described in court as the ringleader of a gang of about 20 young thieves in Kilburn. He is sent to an industrial school for four years after being found with several other boys in the attic of a house in West Hampstead. The other boys are discharged with a caution.

A correspondent writes to ask why the LCC allows open spaces to be desecrated for the sake of vulgar holidays. Opportunities for enjoying the air and beauty are destroyed when Hampstead Heath is given over for three days to booths, shooting galleries, swings and other noisy nuisances, he complains. "The young green which Japanese would worship is spoiled and for what? For the pleasure not of hard-working people but for that of uncontrolled young folk."

Speaking at a meeting of the Psycho-Therapeutic Society the Rev BS Lombard, vicar of All Hallows, Gospel Oak, advocates a crusade against the vicious conversationalism which he says has become a social disaster. For the dweller of the noisy city, the overworked business man and the jaded society woman, he says the cure for broken nerves is silence. He advises daily retirement to a place where mind and muscles can relax and the healing power of silence can work its cure.

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2 May 1958

A plane tree outside Waterlow Park at the top of Dartmouth Park Hill has been holding up an urgent road widening scheme at Highgate's notorious "suicide corner" for more than two years. The LCC refuses to allow it to be felled, demanding instead that dual carriageways be constructed round it at a cost of more than £20,000. Hornsey's road widening scheme, involving the removal of the tree, has been approved by all the authorities concerned other than the LCC.

A two-year battle about newspapers is over. Readers at West Hampstead branch library will now have other papers beside The Times to read. Despite pleas that old-age pensioners had to walk over a mile to the central library in Arkwright Road if they wanted to read other newspapers, successive library committees had turned down the idea, but now the Manchester Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Daily Herald are to be provided. The committee said there was not enough space for a separate reading room and that even the extra newspapers might hamper the issue of books.

Five-year-old grey police horse Jove gets dozens of presents of extra lumps of sugar from policemen at Hampstead police station in Rosslyn Hill. He was frightened when on duty at the Enfield point-to-point races, bolted across the fields and caught one of his front legs on some barbed wire. Result: four stitches and a week "in bed".

A plaque is unveiled to Russian ballerina Pavlova at Ivy House, North End Road, Golders Green, her home from 1912 to 1930.


29 April 1983

Two units of the Met Police's trouble-shooting district support section were standing by at Finchley Road tube station, only 500 yards from where 300 football fans rioted in Swiss Cottage last month. But they were out of sight of the looting and in an "unfortunate" breakdown in communication, no-one told them what was going on.

Local residents in West Hampstead are furious that by bulldozing the old prefab homes and installing earth barriers on the Westcroft site, in its haste to prevent fly-tipping, Camden has made the rat problem worse. Camden Environmental Health Department admits it was unable to trace the drains where rats are believed to be breed, because they had been covered up by the earth barriers.

Barnet schoolchildren are not to receive free school milk, on the grounds that this could lead to widespread obesity. Two doctors claim that far from needing extra nutrition and calories, Barnet children have a tendency to become fat.

Police resources are being "totally wasted" by a mass of trivial responsibilities, says the Golders Green police chief. He said that the police shouldn't be expected to attend every incident and crime in person because there simply aren't enough men to go round.

St Pancras North MP Jock Stallard is defeated by Frank Dobson in the contest for the new Holborn and St Pancras candidacy. Mr Stallard, a St Pancras councillor since 1953 and then on the new Camden Council until his election to Parliament in 1970, says he will not withdraw from local politics.


1 May 1998

The battle over noise at Kenwood launched by actor Warren Mitchell, who objected to the sound of amplified music and firework displays, is not over. English Heritage, which organises the summer concerts, has lodged an appeal against Camden's decision to restrict the level of amplified sound and the number of firework events it can stage. Mr Mitchell had complained that the concerts had become "hell, bloody hell" and that the music was so loud that he couldn't hear the television in his own house even with the windows closed.

Mornington Crescent station reopens after six years in mothballs. The broadcasters who made the station's name famous in Radio 4 quiz I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue - Humphrey Lyttelton, Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer and Tim Brooke-Taylor - cut the tape to reopen the station.

o Statues worth £12,000 have been stolen by thieves from Golders Hill Park. Three bronze fish statues were reported missing after managers discovered they had been sawn off their stand. The fish formed part of a fountain called Tom's Statue - named after a character who turns into a fish in The Water Babies.

o London Underground is drawing up plans to remodel the scruffy and overcrowded Camden Town tube station into a Bond Street-style station with a shopping and travel centre.

Compiled by Anne Rowe