Sunday, February 16, 2020

GEM.


Wates Residential organised an event last week, that was designed to educate local primary school pupils of the dangers of playing on building sites. Reader Julie writes:- "Ivor Goodsite (the mascot shown in the photo above - click on the photo to see a larger version) visited Peareswood Primary School to deliver a site safety assembly about the dangers of construction sites and to launch a competition for the children to design artwork for the nearby Park East construction site. The project, which is being delivered by Wates Residential and Orbit, in partnership with the London Borough of Bexley, will see 320 new homes built, of which 80 per cent will for affordable rent and shared ownership to ensure a mixed, aspirational and sustainable community for local residents. Ivor was joined by Wates Residential Construction Manager, Lawrence Baxter. The names from the photograph are: Victoria Oshunkoya (Year 6), Amelia Walker–Kane (Year 2), Millie Wade (Year 2), Laila Menebhi (Year 6), Mason Humpheries (Year 1), Amelia Rackley (Reception), Clayton Walker (Reception), Lincoln Walker (Year 1) Charlie Costen (Reception), Tommy George–Pankhurst (Year 2). Amelia, year two, said what she liked about the assembly, which took place last month, was “when I had to wear the hat because it was funny”. Victoria, year six, added: “What I liked about [the event was] when the builder came in and we got [to] see what they wore and told us what they do when they’re working.” If this initiative keeps just one child safe, then in my opinion it has been worth it. Observations and comments can be sent to me by Email to hugh.neal@gmail.com


Early last week, Caroline Field, the Head of Regeneration at Orbit Housing Association Emailed me. Over the last month or so, she has been researching local historical figures. The reason for this is that the forthcoming Park East development in Northend Road, Erith will need new road and apartment block names. Caroline is keen for the new housing development to represent local identity. Whilst undertaking her historical research, Caroline came across a story that I had not heard before. As I have written in the past, during The Great War, a large number of women took over jobs previously done by men. Many of these jobs were in heavy engineering and weapons manufacture in factories located in both Erith and Crayford. I had always assumed that the women were exclusively working class people from the local area, but Caroline's research has uncovered a different story, which may well surprise many readers. In a contemporary magazine article, an unknown journalist wrote:- "The first contingent of Titled Society ladies who volunteered to work for Messrs. Vickers, Sons and Maxim as shell makers. In this group are Lady Gertrude Crawford, sister of the Earl of Sefton; Lady Gatacre, Lady Colebrooke, Mrs Pearson, Mrs Greig and other well-known ladies. The caption details that 'delicacy of manipulation is a feminine instinct' and therefore the work is certainly not 'unsuitable'! In August 1915, Eve in The Tatler was also listing some of the new workers at the Vickers’ factory: "Erith is the latest craze. Here, at Messrs. Vickers’, a gallant band of women are really doing it. Not just playing about, you know, but living at a hostel and taking the regular rate of pay – I think it’s not quite enough to pay for two stalls at the newest revue each week. Lady Gertrude Crawford and Lady Colebrooke are among the toilers, and Lady Gatacre too … Lady Scott, Captain Scott’s widow, is also working at this particular factory, but hers is skilled electrical work. (*Kathleen Bruce, Lady Scott, spent much of 1917 manufacturing electrical coils at the factory. She also devoted time establishing an ambulance service in France, working at the Ministry of Pensions and, in 1918, put her talent as a sculptor to use helping to reconstruct the faces of wounded soldiers). Vickers are willing to take a lot more women to train during the week-ends so as to have them ready for work at the new munition factories, for there won’t be enough men to go round, I’m told." Lady Gertrude Eleanor Molyneux was referred to as GEM by her close friends and family. The lower of the two photographs above his is of her, which taken September 2nd, 1890. GEM became the first Chief Superintendent of the Women’s Royal Air Force – otherwise known as "the penguins". Article from inaugural edition ‘RAF Spirit of the Air’, 1st April 1918). She did not remain in this position long, feeling that she was little more than a ‘figurehead’ in the organisation. Shirley Grey - In 1901 Lady Gertrude was living in 3 Willow Place, Knightsbridge with 6 servants. Her brother Richard was a Lieutenant in the Royal Horse Guards, living in Hyde Park Barracks. Before the war Gertrude practised ornamental turning, like her father and grandfather. Ivory was turned at Croxteth Hall on a lathe. Gertrude continued this hobby after she was married to Captain John Halkett Crawford and she was awarded prizes at the Worshipful Company of Turners. Members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) worked in the air stations of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). The RFC and RNAS were to merge to form the Royal Air Force (RAF), however to ensure the specialised female workforce remained a separate service, the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) was formed on 1 April 1918. In 1918 Gertrude became the 1st Chief Commandant for the (WRAF). This organisation aimed to provide female mechanics to free up men, who were needed to fight on the front. Large numbers of women enrolled for various occupations, such as drivers and mechanics. Gertrude would have worked on a base in Britain. In May 1918 Violet Douglas-Pennant became the second Commandant for the WRAF. The WRAF was disbanded in 1920.


Recently I have had  number of relatively new readers who have been asking me the same question. They all wanted to know where the name of this blog came from, as it appears so surreal and unusual. Well, I have told the story before, but it was rather a long time ago, and I seem to have picked up quite a few readers since, so I suppose the story could do with repeating. It all dates back to the beginning of 1987, when I first got involved with Bexleyheath based FM pirate station Radio Lumberjack (see the photo above of me taken in the Lumberjack studio in March 1987, a couple of years before I moved to Radio Caroline, and a big step up in the radio world). I got named “Arthur Pewty” by the chap who ran the station, after the meek and mild accountant character from the Monty Python sketch. Now I had a radio pseudonym, I needed a name for my late night show, which featured mainly album tracks. I was reading a book on the history of offshore radio at the time, and had come across the story of John Peel and his show on the offshore station Radio London, which was called “The Perfumed Garden”. I was trying to think of a suitably satirical alternative to this, when an incident from a few years previously popped into my mind. For a couple of years I took up coarse (fresh water) fishing, and would spend much of the school summer holidays either at Dartford Lakes or at Horton Kirby, unsuccessfully trying to catch a few fish. I sometimes used to go with a friend, who had a somewhat unique idea of practical jokes. On one occasion I was about to take a bite of a cheese and coleslaw salad sandwich when I noticed something wriggling around in the filling. I opened up the sandwich to find a small mound of maggots! My compatriot had filled the sandwich from his bait tin when I was not looking. Nice chap. Anyway, the idea came to me that how could I combine the bland and anodyne (Arthur Pewty) with something uniquely revolting (the Maggot Sandwich) and the name for my show was born. When I started blogging nearly fourteen years ago, it seemed logical that my web based voice to the world would follow my radio based venture from years before. The idea stuck, and back in 2010 it was voted the most unusual blog name in London, at the Online Conference hosted by Ofcom. So now you know.

The terrible, stormy weather we have had recently has had a knock – on effect with local drainage. A Thames Water pumping lorry has been parked by the foul water drainage pumping station in Appold Street, near the far corner of Morrison’s car park. I talked to one of the Thames Water operatives, and apparently the drains have been blocking up on an almost daily basis. The have rodded and jetted the pipes to remove the blockages, but they keep coming back. I recall this happened back in January 2012, when I wrote about how Morrison’s drainage contractors had to run a remote controlled robot equipped with a camera along a waste pipe that ran from Morrison’s to the waste pumping station. It would appear that the same thing is happening again, but from the opposite direction. The huge amount of additional rainwater that has been dropped on the area has also made the problem worse.  I would not be at all surprised if Thames Water end up digging up Appold Street to replace the pipework underneath; one beneficial side effect of this would mean that for a short period it might discourage fly tippers from dumping stuff – for some reason the road is a favourite for them. Only a couple of days ago I found an old, stained and smelly mattress dumped in the street. It had been carefully rolled up and tied with a length of rope, so the person dumping it had clearly planned the operation. The problem in Appold Street, and as previously mentioned, the nearby Morrison’s recycling centre, is that they are relatively quiet and secluded; someone with a van full of old lorry tyres or worn out furniture can easily dump their load and be off with little chance of anyone actually seeing them do it. I have spoken at length in the past to the Environmental Crimes Unit at Bexley Council, and they are acutely aware of the problem. The have told me that the area spanning Appold Street, James Watt Way and the recycling centre in Morrison’s car park has historically suffered some of the worst incidence of illegal fly tipping of anywhere in the whole London Borough of Bexley, though in recent months this has improved considerably. There are some plans afoot to further reduce fly tipping, but at this point I don’t know the details – and even if I did, it would probably not be wise to publish them.


Local technology guru and occasional Maggot Sandwich contributor Miles has a strong interest in electric vehicles; recently he sent me the photograph above - click on it to see a larger version. Erith has now got a couple of dedicated electric vehicle charging points. Miles writes:- "Not the most thrilling content I'll admit, but I decided to take a trip to the two Erith based EVSE chargers, looks like a collaboration between Bexley Council and BP Chargemaster. Both installations. I checked Sainsbury's Erith Road, and the London South East Colleges – Bexley Campus charger locations. They look quite nice, plenty of parking room and interestingly enough, Electric Vehicle only (I bet that'll go down well with the regulars). In theory both chargers can accommodate 2 cars where parking allows, both are close enough to the curb not to be an annoyance to any wheel chair or buggy pedestrians".  It will be interesting to see how much use the dedicated electric vehicle chargers get, as they do not appear to have gained much publicity at the time of writing. What do you think? Email me at hugh.neal@gmail.com.


This month marks the 75th anniversary of the murder of one of the most heroic figures in 20th Century history; and something that has not been commemorated as I feel that it should. Violette Szabo was a major hero due to her work for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II. Violette was born Violette Reine Elizabeth Bushell in Levallois Paris on the 26th June 1921. Her father Charles was English while her mother Reine was French. Violette had four brothers and the earliest part of her childhood was spent with her aunt in Picardy as her parents moved to London because of The Depression. Finally when Violette was eleven years old her family were reunited in Stockwell South London, while they ultimately settled at 18 Burnley Road where Violette is commemorated with a blue plaque. Violette was somewhat a Tom Boy probably due to the fact that she spent much of her time with her four brothers and cousins who were also boys. The competition to be as athletic as the males in the family must have been tremendous and Violette excelled at athletics, gymnastics, cycling and even shooting as her father taught her how to fire a gun. Violettes petite stature - she was only five feet tall, did not hinder her at all as she was said to be as strong as the next man. School days were spent in Brixton and Violette was a popular student who was much admired as she not only spoke English but French fluently. Violette left school at the age of fourteen and worked for a French corsetiere in Kensington, while later moving to a somewhat less exotic sounding Woolworths store located in Oxford Street in London. Violette had a happy childhood and although doted on by her father (who spoke only English and would sometimes feel left out of conversations) was head strong and would often have raging rows with him with one row resulting in her making her way back to France alone. By 1939 Violette was working in a department store in Brixton called Le Bon Marche where she sold perfume. In 1940 she joined the land army strawberry picking in the countryside followed by working in an armaments factory in London. In 1940 her French mother asked her to go out and find a French soldier who would come and spend Bastille Day with the family. It was while searching for a suitable candidate that Violette met Etienne Szabo, her future husband. The couple hit it off instantly falling in love and marrying within a very short time. Etienne was thirty one, while Violette was a mere nineteen years old but never the less knew her own mind. Once the couple had married Violette went to work as a telephonist at the GPO, while Etienne returned to duty in Senegal, South Africa, Syria and eventually North Africa where he was killed during an act of extreme bravery, as he led his men from the front in the Second Battle of El Alamein in October 1942. Violette had meanwhile joined the ATS but following her initial training found that she was pregnant so had to return to London. Her daughter Tania was born on the 8th June 1942 and Violette returned to work, this time in an aircraft factory, while Tania stayed with a child minder. It was only three months after Tania's birth that Etienne was killed in action therefore he never saw his daughter. Violette was devastated by Etienne's death and soon joined the SOE in order to become a field operative and courier. Violette would be extremely useful to the SOE as she could speak both French and English. Violette subsequently became Section Leader of The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, a title that was created in order to keep her real missions secret and undercover. Violette took part in strenuous paramilitary training in Scotland where she was instructed in Field Craft, Weapons, Demolition and Night and Day Navigation. Violette then attended training in Hampshire where she learned communications, cryptography, weaponry, uniform recognition and escape and evasion tactics. Finally Violette learned how to parachute jump out of a plane and passed the second time around as her first attempt resulted in a badly sprained ankle. Violettes first mission was as courier to Phillipe Liewer who was head of the SALESMEN circuit in Normandy. The poem "The Life That I Have" was given to Violette as her code poem by Leo Marks, Cryptographer at the SOE. This assignment was mooted to be extremely dangerous, not something that fazed Violette. She travelled to Rouen alone under a false identity in order that she could investigate the circumstances surrounding the capture of Claude Malraux and an SOE wireless operator the month before. Violette reported back that over one hundred French Resistance workers had been captured by the Gestapo. Violette returned to Liewer in Paris where she had left him to say that his network was crushed. The couple returned safely to England together.  On June 7, 1944, the day after Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, Szabo was dropped back into France to disrupt German communications. She quickly established contact with resistance forces, including a young man named Jacques Dufour, and on the morning of June 10, the two set out on a mission by car, Szabo’s bicycle thrown in the back and her Sten gun up front. As they approached Salon-la-Tour, they came across a German road block. Dufour stopped the car about 50 yards from the soldiers and told Szabo to be ready to run. He leapt out and began firing his machine gun—and noticed, to his surprise, that Szabo stayed with him, firing her Sten Gun and hitting several Germans. He ordered her to run toward a wheat field while he provided cover, and once she got there she fired at the Germans from the flank, enabling Dufour to join her. The two began to run, taking cover in the tall wheat as they headed for the woods. Soon they heard vehicles in pursuit. Running, crawling, they tried to retreat to safety but found nowhere to go. Szabo was bleeding and her clothes were ripped; exhausted, she told Dufour she couldn’t go any further. She insisted that he flee while she tried to keep the Germans at bay, and fired judiciously for a half-hour while he found refuge under a haystack. When she ran out of ammunition, the Germans closed in. Dufour could hear them questioning her about his whereabouts. Szabo simply laughed. “You can run after him,” she said. “He is far away by now.” Szabo was turned over to the Gestapo, who interrogated, tortured and sexually assaulted her. She refused to cooperate, however, and was transferred to Paris, held by the Gestapo and tortured some more. Fearful that the Allies might mount a rescue mission, the Germans transferred her to a series of camps and prisons. On one transfer near Paris, British planes strafed the prisoner train carrying her. The German guards exited to take cover, but a group of male prisoners were trapped as the bullets hit. Szabo secured a jug of water from a bathroom and crawled to the wounded, even with another woman chained to her ankle, so she could pass jug around and calm them. By the end of 1944, Szabo had arrived at Ravensbruck, still wearing the dress she’d been captured in months before. There, she joined Denise Bloch and Lilian Rolfe, where they were put to hard labour, digging wells and clearing boulders for an airfield. They were subjected to more beatings, and women around them were succumbing to tuberculosis and dysentery; Szabo hatched several plans to escape, but to no avail. In August of that year Violette, Denise Bloch and Lilian Rolfe were deported along with thirty seven others to Saarbrucken Transit Camp located just inside the border of Germany. Their train was bombarded by allied aircraft and it was during this attack that the three women managed to get water for the other prisoners. Ten days later the three women were taken to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp North Germany, where thousands of women died during the war, then on to Torgau. The women were put to work in Torgau and survived under horrendous conditions albeit they were left in a much weakened state. Returning to Ravensbruck the women were placed in solitary confinement where they were brutally assaulted. Around February 5th 1945 Violette Szabo was executed by a shot in the back of her head aged just twenty three. Her two companions Denise Bloch and Lilian Rolfe met the same fate although these two brave women were so weakened that they were unable to walk to their deaths. Cecily Lefort who was also an agent of the SOE was put to death in the gas chamber, while all the bodies were cremated in the camp crematorium. The SOE had fifty five female agents of which thirteen were killed in action, twelve were executed, one died from typhus, and one died from meningitis. All the operatives who died whether in camps by execution or otherwise were listed as killed in action. Violette Szabo was the second woman to be awarded the George Cross for bravery. Her award came posthumously on 17th December 1946, and was collected by her daughter Tania. Violette was also awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French government in 1947 along with La Medaille de la Resistance in 1973. Violette is also listed on the Valencay SOE memorial as one of the SOE agents who died liberating France. Violette and Etienne were the most decorated married couple of World War II.


Now for the weekly local safety and security updates from Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association. Firstly the report from Barnehurst ward:- "There have been no burglaries reported in the last week. The team have made two arrests, of offenders wanted for failing to appear at court and for breaching a court order. We have also been patrolling the ward and have searched several people for drugs. We continue to patrol drug hotspot areas. There has been mainly vehicle crime reported in the last week, three vehicle stolen and a further two number plates stolen. Between Friday 7th and Saturday 8th Feb – Silver Honda, GK52MPU, stolen from Eversely Avenue. Between Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th Feb – Registration plate stolen, ML60PKV from Swallow Close. Between Sunday 9th and Monday 10th Feb – Registration plates stolen, KY63BHU from Parkside Avenue. Tuesday 11th Feb – Black Yamaha, LG61WND, stolen from Parkside Avenue. Between Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 2th Feb – Black BMW, BD60VEM, stolen from Parkside Avenue. Please remain vigilant and report and suspicious activity, that you have seen around these locations. If you can assist with any information in relation to any of these incidents please make us aware". Belvedere ward:- "Recently, there was a reported burglary that took place at a vacant property in Gideon Close. Access was gained to the property via the wooded area of Franks Park that borders the rear of the property and the back door was damaged to allow access. As the property was vacant there were no high value items taken from within. The team have continued to carry out several high visibility patrols of affected areas/ surrounding areas. There also appears to have been a significant decrease in garage burglaries on the ward in the last few weeks. Over the last few months, we have been made aware of several discarded vehicle registration plates that have been found in Halt Robin Road. Should anyone witness any suspicious activity around that area of the ward, or discover any of these discarded items, please contact the team. We have also been made aware of several males that have been gathering from time to time to the rear of houses in Ripley Road. There have been several mopeds observed at this location when the males are present and it is suspected that drug dealing is taking place – the team have included this area in our patrols but have not seen any activity taking place thus far". Bexleyheath ward:- "01/02/20 1355 - 1410 Theft of Purse from handbag The Works Bexleyheath 29/01/20 1030 – 1200 Catalytic Convertor Stolen from Broadway Car Park 01/02/20 1430 Robbery of phone, bag and personal belongings, knife seen Town Park behind Asda – suspects arrested 01/02/20 1800 – 02/02/20 0600 Gravel Hill Close Theft from Motor Vehicle, damage to Motor vehicle x2 – coins taken from car, also car scratched and another car wing mirror damaged 02/02/20 1430 Attempted Burglary Gravel Hill Close male knocked the door, tried the handle and had another male waiting in a vehicle parked across the driveway. No entry gained 01/02/20 2250 – 02/02/20 0900. Criminal Damage - Bexleyheath Methodist Church window smashed by bottle being thrown at it. 03/02/20 1125 -1130 Theft of Purse Asda Car Park. Purse was put in open top of handbag and as victim was putting shopping in the car a male approached and spoke stating there was an issue with the car underneath getting her to look. He distracted her and after he left the purse was missing. 04/02/20 1200 – 05/02/20 0440 Theft from Parking Meter – coins taken Albion Road Car Park 04/02/20 0620 – 2230 Damage to Motor Vehicle Broomfield Close 06/02/20 1145 – 1200 Criminal Damage to Roof – male knocked the door pretended that roof tiles had fallen off got paid £60.00 to repair but roof wasn't in need of repair – resident has been deceived 06/02/20 1250 – 1400 Burglary car and keys taken entry gained through rear window Meadow Close 06/02/20 1900 – 07/02/20 0730 Criminal Damage to Motor Vehicle Braemar Avenue 09/02/20 1900 – 2100 Burglary Rydal Drive. Building items and tools stolen 09/02/20 – Attempted Burglary Braemar Close damage to back door and window – No Entry gained and nothing taken 05/02/20 0000 – 09/02/20 1805 Theft from Parking Meter – coins taken Albion Road Car Park. It appears that there are opportunists going around trying to gain money by deception and looking for properties to target. Please please do make sure that properties are as secure as they can be; thankfully although there are a couple of attempted burglaries they have been foiled by having excellent locks, lights, cameras etc".  Crayford ward:- "Just four crimes of note this week. Between 22.00 on 05/02/2020 and 10.00 on 06/02/2020 someone has badly damaged a garage door to the rear of shops in Crayford High Street, buckling the door, rendering the garage unusable, nothing was stolen. Front and rear numbers plates LV54HZX were stolen on Tuesday 11th February between 09.00 – 17.00 from a grey Fiat Punto whilst parked in Mayplace Avenue, close to Thames Road. On Saturday 8th February at 04.00 photographic equipment was stolen from a Vauxhall Astra whilst parked at Mulberry Court, Bourne Road Industrial Site, the suspect who was riding a bicycle was seen on CCTV smashing the vehicle window to gain entry. On Tuesday 11th February at 18.10 a motorcycle, registration number GD14OOH was stolen without keys whilst the owner was at the ATM at Sainsbury's, the victim saw two males wearing black crash helmets". Erith ward:- "Theft from and of Motor Vehicles across Erith is still high, we are getting out patrolling the areas that are worst affected, this is in both uniform and plain clothes. We have been carrying out weapon sweeps, so far we are pleased to say we haven't found any weapons in and around Erith.Theft of Motor Vehicle, Thursday 6/02/2020 West Street, Theft from Motor Vehicle Saturday 8/02/2020 Winifred Road, Theft of Motor Vehicle Saturday 8/02/2020 Erith Road, Theft from Motor Vehicle Monday 11/02/2020 near Farmfood, Erith High Street, Shoplift value £200 Tuesday 12/02/2020 Wilkinson, Erith High Street, Making off from petrol station,Tuesday 12/02/2020 James Watt Way". Northumberland Heath ward - no report received this week. Slade Green and Northend ward:- "Great partnership work this last week by our SNT along with Orbit Housing, Bexley Council and London Fire Brigade. Threats were made to a flat in Orchard House last week. We conducted door to door enquiries for reassurance and to gain intel on if anyone saw anything. Steps were made by the council and Orbit to get the victim out of the property and the flat was made safe by Orbit and LFB. Reassurance patrols will continue by us over the coming days. An attempted shed burglary was made overnight on Saturday 8th to Sunday 9th of February in Ely Close. Access was not gained and the door has been made much more secure now". Thamesmead East ward:- "Attempted Murder - Manordeane Road On Friday 7/2/20 6:03pm A 28 year old male received a gunshot wound to the stomach, two suspects have been arrested and charged to court. Residents from Grange Crescent, Manordene Road were visited by the team to give reassurance. Motor Vehicle Crime - St Martins Close Tuesday 4/2/20 10pm – 5/2/20 8am Number Plates removed by suspect/s unknown. Kale Road Tuesday 4/2/20 midnight – 6am Passenger side wing mirror removed by suspect/s unknown. Pointer Close Friday 7/2/20 6:30pm – 8:30am Front and rear number plates removed by suspect/s unknown. Thamesbank Place Sunday 9/2/20 8:20pm – 8:40pm victim disturbed a male under victims Lexus with a torch probably looking at the catalytic converter. On Saturday PC's Nana and John attended The Thames Innovation Centre to give a talk about violent crime, youths from Lion of Judah International Christian Ministries age 11 and above attended". West Heath ward:- "Excellent news this week no burglaries have been reported to us. On Monday February 3rd at just after 4am, two males were seen trying car doors in Canberra Road he first male was described as being in his late twenties, F600. The second male was described as being quite small and younger than the other male. The next drop in police surgeries will be held on Friday February 7th at 2pm, Thursday February 13th at 4pm and Saturday February 22nd at 1pm. These sessions will be held at the Bostall Library, King Harolds Way. One residential burglary in Preston Drive on Sunday 9th February between 02.59 – 03.01.The victim was woken upstairs to hear the dog barking downstairs . The victim looked out of the upstairs bedroom window and saw a vehicle running and parked in front of her house in the middle of the road. The vehicle was black and the victim believed it looked similar to a Toyota Prius but could not see the number plates. It was not until the following morning that the victim realised that a burglary had taken place. Entry was gained via the front door and a black North Face jacket was stolen. Two commercial burglaries in Hadlow Road and the Pantiles both in the early hours of Sunday February 9th.On both occasions an attempt to gain access to the premises was made by damaging the shop shutters. Entry was not gained. One theft of a front registration plate in Osbourne Road between the hours of 1200 on Sunday February 9th and 20.20 on Monday February 10th. A set of number plates were also stolen from a vehicle parked in Burcharbro Road Saturday February 8th between Midday and 22.30. Theft of a catalytic converter in Knee Hill on Thursday February 6th at 13.20. The team spoke to a female in Leckwith Avenue following concerns that she had been sleeping in a vehicle with the engine running all night .The female had recently been made homeless and left the location after speaking to officers and has not returned".

The end video this week features Erith Model Railway Exhibition 2020, which took place over the weekend of the 26-27th of January, and was held at the Longfield Academy. Please feel free to leave comments by Emailing me at hugh.neal@gmail.com.