UXBs, housing, cancer champions, maths and run for pets

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts detonate an unexploded Second World War bomb in the Thames estuary

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts detonate an unexploded Second World War bomb in the Thames estuary off Shoeburyness in 2018 - Credit: PA Images

Some dangerous relics of history

Dr Leonard Restall B Ed, M Ed (Hons), New Zealand, formerly from Barking, writes:

The report on the finding of unexploded bombs in the Thames (Post) brings a replay back to memories of some of the bombing raids over London during the war 1939-45.

Many bombs were dropped either on the way to London or on the return and in such places, close to the Thames Estuary, bombs may have been randomly dropped anywhere to get rid of them before the aircraft returned to its base. 

Barking received more than a fair share of them. In my district on the Becontree Estate, we had numerous types dropped - including incendiary bombs.

It was more than likely there would have been numerous delayed action bombs dropped as well, those malfunctioning and if dropped randomly could have finished in the Thames or close by.


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I can remember seeing an unexploded bomb being defused in a residential area near Barking Park. Had it exploded on the impact, it would have destroyed many houses and may have killed many people.

It is not unusual for countries that had experienced air raids to now be finding many dangerous relics of the past, but fortunately not in immediate dangerous positions and may have landed in rivers or in the sea. But the defence forces are more than able to cope with them when they are located to reduce any possible future harm.

People are reminded to report any that may be found to local authorities, such as the police. 
This story reminds one that there is nothing hidden that shall not be eventually revealed.

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Road safety

Lynn Manning, Dagenham, full address supplied, writes:  

Donne Road in Dagenham has been a disaster area with broken slabs and massive holes in the road for at least 16 years. Hey presto, the road has been resurfaced. 

Could this have anything to do with the parking zone that has been introduced? It would’ve been impossible to draw markings on the unkempt road.

Still nothing has been done to the pavement - that remains a minefield.

Future planning

Sian Berry is fighting to get funding to child services reinstated. Photo: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire

Sian Berry is fighting to get funding to child services reinstated. Photo: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Sian Berry, Green candidate for mayor of London, writes:

Londoners need more small sites for new homes, greens spaces and community facilities, but London’s current planning policies aren’t working. 

I want to bring bottom-up leadership to planning. As the first Green mayor of London I will set up a People’s Land Commission so that local people in every part of London are supported and empowered to map their areas and put forward ideas for underused land.  

I will back their plans by finding funding and support to get what each area needs, whether that’s new playgrounds, green spaces, community centres, space for small businesses or new homes.

And I will push the government for a community right to buy in law, like they have in Scotland. 
In my London, the people will plan the future of our city, bringing the fresh thinking we need more than ever as we plan for the recovery and build more resilience into our communities for a brighter future. 

Cancer champions

Sarifa Patel and Kris Chadwick, Macmillan Cancer campaigners, write:

Hundreds of Londoners have signed an open letter urging London mayoral candidates to become cancer champions once elected.

We are asking the candidates to pledge to stand up right now and support the 210,000 people living with cancer in the capital who need support now more than ever.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, thousands of vital cancer treatments, appointments and care were postponed or cancelled. Since the start of the pandemic, 15 per cent fewer people in London have started cancer treatment compared to the year before.

Macmillan Cancer Support hears every day from people in desperate need of help. People still can’t get the timely support they need and the emotional impact of the outbreak is continuing to take its toll on people already struggling.

The mayor of London can be the voice of people living with cancer and work with Macmillan to offer vital support. So, we are asking the candidates to agree, if they are elected, to:

  1. Work with Macmillan to make sure everyone knows how to get cancer support.
  2. Meet people living with cancer from London within the first 100 days of getting elected.
  3. Take part in World’s Biggest Coffee Morning this September to help raise funds for people living with cancer. 

We think cancer matters. Do you?

Maths fun

Jenna Lloyd, schools service manager, NSPCC London and South East, writes:

Children’s lives have been turned upside-down due to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, with many spending extended periods of time out of school.

The NSPCC’s Childline service has heard from thousands of children who have found this time really challenging. Some have felt overwhelmed with home-schooling, whilst others have missed their friends and family, and many have seen their mental health deteriorate.

To help us be here for children and young people as lockdown restrictions ease, and to remind them how Childline can support them, we are encouraging schools across the country to get involved in the NSPCC’s Number Day on Friday May 7.

Primary and secondary schools can sign up for the annual fundraising day to enjoy maths games and challenges.

This year, we’ve created a new game called Buddy’s Key Challenge where pupils can complete maths puzzles to create a key that can unlock a door so the charity’s mascot Buddy can visit their school.

There are different activities for all age groups and teachers will be provided with relevant resources.

The money raised from Number Day will help the NSPCC in its mission to make 2021 a better year for children.

  • To sign up, visit the NSPCC’s website, search for Number Day and fill in your school’s details using the registration form.

Running for pets

Michaela Strachan, ambassador, Blue Cross, writes:

It’s National Pet Month and I’m urging animal lovers to take part in the Blue Cross Rescue Run to help the charity care for pets in need.

Complete 26.2 miles between and May 1 and 31 however you like – hop, skip, jump, walk or run, you can even take part with your dog. 

Every penny raised will go towards helping the thousands of homeless, abandoned, sick and injured pets the charity takes in each year and each participant receives a special medal when they have completed their virtual marathon.

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