Congo cruelty exposed, and a rapturous welcome for Michael Foot

1oo years ago June 6 1908 The Guardians of the Hampstead Workhouse receive a letter announcing the safe arrival in Canada of a little girl named Boniface, aged four and a half. The father, mother and three children were sent to Canada about two years ago

1oo years ago

June 6 1908

The Guardians of the Hampstead Workhouse receive a letter announcing the safe arrival in Canada of a little girl named Boniface, aged four and a half. The father, mother and three children were sent to Canada about two years ago, at the cost of the parish, with a sick child sent on last year. Now the last child was well enough to travel in the care of a couple travelling to the same place.

A public meeting for men only is arranged in South End Green to hear an address on Congo Reform by the Rev JH Harris, who was for some years a missionary in the Congo Free State. He spoke of the methods employed to collect the rubber with details of cruel practices resorted to in compelling the natives to procure the desired quantities. In many cases the women and children left behind in the various villages were held as hostages, with terrible results.


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A building estate of 34 acres at Golders Green, on the main road near the Tube station, has been sold to the Hon William H Appleton. With an adjoining estate purchased some months ago, he now has about 60 acres ready for immediate development of new homes.

Thousands of people line North Road, Highgate to watch the departure of over 130 motorists as they start out from Highgate on the first stretch of the London to Edinburgh run under the auspices of the Motor Cycling Club.

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5o years ago

June 6 1958

The mayor of St Pancras - who has to travel by bus because the council will not allow a mayoral car - sends a telegram to the government about the bus strike, urging the government to use all its powers to bring about a settlement of the dispute without delay.

An organisation like Alcoholics Anonymous to help people who might attempt to commit suicide would be very helpful in reducing the number of suicides in Hampstead, which has the highest suicide rate in the British Empire. There were 22 last year, and the death rate from street accidents and TB is much smaller.

A drive is on to clean up Hampstead's clubland. Worried by the mushroom growth of drinking clubs in the borough - anyone can open on payment of 5s registration fee - police are determined to enforce the licensing laws. Already this year there have been six raids on clubs and more will come if proprietors do not toe the line.

One hundred years have passed since the Passionists first came and settled in Highgate and the life of the Parish of St Joseph's Retreat began. In April 1858 Father Paoli was shown the plans of a 300-year-old house on Highgate Hill that had once been The Black Dog public house, and declared that it would be difficult to find a more suitable place. He had no money but succeeded in his purchase. In 1888 the old building was demolished and the new church opend for public worship in 1889.

25 years ago

June 3 1983

Just one member of the public attended an election meeting by Geoffrey Finsberg, the Conservative candidate for Hampstead and Highgate. But the meeting went ahead in the presence of 15 Labour Party members, a handful of Tory Party workers and the one man who, although clearly a Tory supporter, described himself as an "Indian socialist". Afterwards Mr Finsberg said: "It was in no way an embarrassment... When people are content, they don't bother to come to political meetings."

Labour leader Michael Foot came home to Hampstead to a rapturous welcome and a forecast from the Labour candidate that Tory control of the constituency would soon be over. Several hundred people packed Hampstead town hall and gave Mr Foot a standing ovation as he arrived at the meeting. He said: "Our people are determined to march out on June 9 in one of the biggest protest votes against the Tories which the country will see."

While Derby Day punter crammed into Hampstead betting shops, a different drama was being played out nearby as a runaway horse careered down Frognal. A 53-year-old woman commandeered a car and pursued the fleeing charger into Redington Road before leaping out to calm it down and hand it over to the police. The incident began when the horse threw its rider in Spaniards Road and sped off towards Hampstead Village.

1o years ago

June 5 1998

The newly published report The Health Divide in Camden reveals a split between rich car-owning districts in the north of the borough and poorer areas in the south. Figures show more than 70 per cent of households in Hampstead and Belsize Park own cars - twice as many as in Somers Town and St Pancras wards. Rising car use, with less people walking and cycling, is contributing to worsening pollution, with short school-run car trips for private school pupils highlighted as a problem.

Unemployment rates range from 20pc in St Pancras to just 4pc in Hampstead Town ward. The number of people who smoke is about twice as high in Bloomsbury as it is in England as a whole, and 77pc of 14-year-old Camden pupils say they know someone their own age who has taken drugs.

The winner of a race across London using various modes of transport was a cyclist. Runners, drivers, cyclists and bus and tube passengers ran through the rush hour from Camden Town Hall in King's Cross to Covent Garden. "Cycling is defini-tely the best option in terms of speed," said an orga-niser, but he admitted the motorist faced special ob-stacles as he couldn't find a parking place.

Britain's first 24-hour accident and emergency unit for fee-paying patients is to open at a private Golders Green Hospital, Manor House Hospital in North End Road.

Compiled by Anne Rowe

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