That Was The Week That Was – February 19 1988

By Myles Cook.

Once gain, we dip into the Thurrock Gazette from 1988 to see what was happening in the borough.

Two Dead In House Of Horror

Reclusive widow Mary Marley hid the dead body of her lover in his bedroom for more than two years because of her fear of authority, it was revealed.

Police broke into Mrs Marley’s maisonette in Seabrooke Rise, Grays, on Monday afternoon after concerned neighbours called police, having not seen the widow for days. Officers found Mrs Marley’s body slumped on her sofa where it had been for about a week.

Upstairs, police found the decomposing corpse of Mr Maurice Griffin, 53, on a bed. It was revealed that the body had been there for between two and three years.

Post mortem examinations concluded that both died of natural causes although the exact nature of Mr Griffin’s death was undetermined. Mrs Marley died of dehydration and starvation.

A Grays Police spokesman emphasised that: “There is nothing at all suspicious about the cause of these deaths”.

A neighbour, who wished to remain un-named, stated that: “She was the kind of woman who was very worried about talking to anyone she thought was an official, and we think she was probably too scared to tell anyone the man had died”.

Government Speeds Up Bridge Plans

The new Thames bridge next to the Dartford Tunnel was to be ahead on schedule, the Government announced.
Secretary of Trade for Transport Paul Channon revealed on Tuesday that the Government had reconsidered the need for full wind shielding on the bridge, a design requirement set at the Select Committee stage.
Fears had been voiced that full wind shielding would increase the costs by millions and delay construction for up to 18 months.

Thurrock MP, Tim Janman, said: “This is good news for the people of Thurrock and good news for motorists throughout the country. It means the bridge will hopefully go ahead as planned in terms of time scale and implementation”.

Tenants Opt To Stick With The Council

Tenants in South Ockendon gave a resounding “No” to the privatisation of their council homes.

A public meeting organised by South Ockendon Residents And Tenants Association on the subject drew the association’s biggest turn-out and ended in a unanimous vote against the privatisation of massive estates in South Ockendon and Aveley.

Speakers at the meeting included Thurrock MP Tim Janman, council leader Mrs Ann Geaney and other Thurrock councillors.

Dilys Stone, long time association leader commented that: “Unfortunately, Mr Janman had to leave after about an hour to go to a vote in the House of Commons. But he was left in no doubt as to people’s feelings on the issue.”

She continued: “Points people were especially worried about were the rights of children of council tenants to take over the tenancy when their parents died, the loss of housing transfers, and the fact there have been rent increases when housing associations have taken over estates in other areas.

“We were also worried about the effect the loss of council homes would have on waiting lists and the problem of homelessness.

“People decided that they would be better off sticking with the council.”

Happy Hart Shines Again For Thurrock

Tim Hart, member of Thurrock Swimming Club, earned himself a share in the top boy of the meet award in the 15/16-years section with Ben Rees (Wycombe & Dist) and James Kearney (Nova) in the Wycombe and District Long Course open meet against top clubs Stockport Metro and Nova Centurian.

Tim won the 100m butterfly, came second in the 100m free and 200m fly, third in the 100m back and fourth in the 200m individual medley.

Other finalists included Caroline Hall, James Stevens, Stephen Miles and Lisa Evans.

Bloodcurdling! Enough Arms To Start A War!

The offensive weapons amnesty, despite being less than a week old, netted a large number of flick knives, a machete, a crossbow and a butcher’s knife that were due for destruction.

Even clips of high-powered ammunition were dropped at one Thurrock police station.

Chief Inspector Keith Bevell commented: “There has been a good initial response. And we hope that with further publicity many more people will be encouraged to hand in these weapons”.

In other news…

Thurrock councillors called for the Government to halt cuts to the health service in fear that Orsett Hospital would become run down or eventually have to close.

The management of Orsett Hospital had to drop plans to charge staff £2 for a plastic parking pass following massive outcry amongst hospital staff.

Thurrock nurses were set to reject calls for strike action in a nationwide ballot by the Royal College of Nursing.

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