London News Snippets

The Evening Standard 21-03-1983 – 27-02-1987

The Admiral Goes Gunning For Gold – 14-04-83. Vice Murders: Diplomat Held – 27-02-87. Bank Staff Who Can't Face TV – 28-09-83. Five-Letter Word Offends A Union – 23-09-83. Rent Pleas By Traders – 22-09-83. Victorian Homes Go Under The Hammer – 21-03-83

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The Admiral Goes Gunning For Gold

When David Loram was a 14 year-old midshipman he fired the torpedo which sank [British battleship] H.M.S. Edinburgh and her cargo of millions of pounds of gold bullion.

Today Vice-Admiral SirDavid would like to have just one of those gold bars to help his new battle – to raise £750,000 for a London hospital.

He has been appointed by the Governors of the Royal Marsden {Hospital] in Chelsea as their official fund raiser with the aim of buying a cancer treatment scanner.

In 1942 the young sailor on H.M.S. Foresight was ordered to aim the last torpedo at the stricken Edinburgh to stop it falling into the hands of the German navy.

Little did he know that the ship he successfully scuttled after action in Arctic waters would turn out to contain the fantastic cargo on its way to the Russian allies.

Almost 40 years later much of the gold was recovered by divers but Sir David is the first to admit it is ironic that the is now trying to raise £750,000 when once he had millions in his sights.

"Just one of those gold bars would be so valuable to us now," he said.

"The extraordinary thing is that the Royal Marsden is probably the leading cancer treatment hospital in Europe, yet we don't have a scanner."

"It is vital for diagnosing and planning the treatment of cancer patients. At the moment we have to send our patients to Surrey in ambulances because we haven't got one of our own."

Three out of 10 people will get cancer some time in their lives and Sir David believes it is time money was given for treatment rather than almost all applied to research.

Sir David hopes to raise part of the money by appeals to major charities. He is particularly anxious for donations, large or small.

Vice Murders: Diplomat Held

This front page lead story was sold exclusively to the Evening Standard as a developed news lead and subsequently written up by Adrian Shaw and Peter Kingston. It derived from a tip-off by a friendly police sergeant at Kensington police station.

A Mexican diplomat was arrested today in connection with the murder of two London vice girls.

The 42 year-old man walked into Kensington police station in the early hours after watching BBC TV's Crimewatch UK programme.

A detective said: "He had watched the programme and then called one of the numbers for Kensington police. He asked to speak to a detective and came to see us when asked. We found that although he said he was only a potential witness, his story did not add up at all."

The programme had included a new appeal for information about the murders of prostitutes Marina Monti and Rachel Applethwaite.

The Mexican chargé d'affaires in London, Mr Rafael Stegar, was immediately summoned to the Foreign Office and was told that if the man, a middle-ranking diplomat, was charged by police, then Britain would expect Mexico to waive his diplomatic immunity.

He was interviewed by the minister responsible for diplomatic matters, Mr Timothy Eggar...

...The double murder hunt began after the bodies of the two prostitutes were found within 24 hours of each other last month.

Marina, 27, who had been strangled, was found on waste ground off Scrubs Lane, Shepherds Bush. The body of 24 year-old Rachel was discovered the next day.

She also had been strangled but the cause of her death was severe head injuries. Police believe she was still alive when she was dumped in an empty lock-up garage behind Sumner Place, Chelsea.

Bank Staff Who Can't Face TV

Bank staff who work all day in front of visual display screens cannot face watching TV at night.

"They cover the set because they cannot bear to look at the screen," according to a new investigation into stress at work by the Banking, Insurance & Finance Union.

The union makes the claim after assessing written and verbal complaints from members and carrying out a health survey in finance houses which shows that 70 per cent may be due to stress at work and badly positioned VDUs.

Headaches, eyestrain, fatigue and backache are all reported by banking and insurance staff while one union member complains that almost all his colleagues suffer 'pinking' (seeing everything coloured pink) after an hour or two working with VDUs.

Now the union plans further research into stress in finance houses coupled with the VDUs should abide by a code of conduct to minimise stress and eye problems.

"It's certainly a serious problem," said Alan Ainsworth, London organiser of BIFU.

"We want all banks and insurance companies to sign a code of practice laying down the correct conditions for using a VDU. New staff should have their eyes checked before they start using VDUs and we would like a 15 minute break after they've been working on them for a maximum of two hours."

The problem does not exist... in centres where people work in correct lighting and other conditions, the union claims, and the real problem is small offices and branches where VDUs are introduced in the wrong conditions.

However, Dr Veronica Reading, a lecturer in visual science at the Institute of Ophthalmology claims that VDUs are unlikely to do any permanent damage.

"These sorts of complaints are quite common," she says. "The pinking effect is a quite natural reaction of the eye to a green screen. There is no serious consequence."

Five-Letter Word Offends A Union

Council staff in Haringey are smarting... over an advertisement for a receptionist 'of smart appearance'.

They say it implies the person being sought must be a fashion-conscious woman and is offensive to the disabled who might be discouraged or other people self-conscious about their looks.

Members of the National & Local Government Officers Association have issued a formal protest. Branch president Hugh Collis said: "As far as we are concerned we are running a borough council, not a model agency".

The advertisement was for the £7,000 per-year job of secretary/receptionist at Alexandra Palace.

It stated: "As this job involves dealing with members of the public and exhibition organisers the applicant must be of smart appearance and have an out-going personality".

The branch members say Haringey Council is supposed to be dedicated to equal opportunities.

In their protest they are seeking assurances that the words "must be of smart appearance, and have an out-going personality" or others implying similar criteria will no longer be used in job advertisements.

Opposition Tory leader, Douglas Smith, a member of the personnel committee said the issue was nonsense. "What they are saying is quite mad."

"The point is that all advertisements are scrupulously checked to see that there is no possible implication against blacks, disabled, women or anyone else."

"Alexandra Palace is supposed to be making a profit for the ratepayers."

"I don't understand how the words could offend anybody. The disabled can be just as smart as anybody else."

Rent Pleas By Traders

Neighbours of the Prime Minister have appealed to her to help stop big increases in their shop rents.

The three traders in Chelsea Manor Street say they will have to close if, as they fear, their annual rents increase from £1,600 to as much as £4,500.

Grocer John Shean, whose family has been in business in the area for 80 years, has appealed for help to Chelsea MP Nicholas Scott, Council Leader Nicholas Freeman and to Mrs Thatcher, who lives round the corner in Flood Street and is a grocer's daughter.

Kensington & Chelsea Council says it is still negotiating the new rents for the butcher, grocer and greengrocer's shops whose council leases expire next June.

Mr Shean, speaking also for his fellow traders, says he cannot see how he can remain in business if the proposed rent rises go ahead, coupled with competition from a large new supermarket near King's Road.

Victorian Homes Go Under The Hammer

Three blocks of flats in Chelsea were going up for auction today.

They are being sold by a property company which wants to concentrate on the lucrative development of luxury flats.

The 26 Victorian flats in Gertrude Street, Hobury Street and Lamont Road, in World's End, are expected to fetch about £655,000.

The present tenants pay rents of between £650 and £1,170 a year.

According to estate agents Aylesford & Company, Sunley Holdings are selling off the unmodernised properties which earn them more than £20,000 in rent each year to concentrate on more lucrative properties nearby.

The auctions are being held at the Cumberland Hotel and Kensington Hilton.

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© (1983-1987) Christopher Long. Copyright, Syndication & All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
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