That was the week that was..Feb 1988

That Was The Week That Was – 26 February 1988

HERE IS the latest in our series of features looking back at some of the news items to be found in the Thurrock Gazette archives from 25 years ago.

Kidney Gift Sandra Is Now a Mum

Sandra Philp, 29, of Camden Close in Chadwell revealed how her kidney donor operation gave her two lives – the re-birth of her brother and the new life of her fortnight-old baby son.

She commented that: “It proves that people with just one kidney really can enjoy a normal life. I just hope it encourages many more to become donors.”
Sandra’s story began eighteen months previously when her younger brother Kenny became ill and tests at Orsett Hospital indicated imminent kidney failure.

Having been referred to Bart’s Hospital in London, Kenny was placed on dialysis as the entire family was type-tested for compatibility and Sandra was found to be a near-perfect match.

“It was like drawing the winning ticket for a raffle. I was the winner because I could give Kenny life and I never even thought twice about it,” she said.

In January 1987, the operation, which was a complete success, took place and both were released from hospital after only ten days recovery. In preparation for the operation, doctors told Sandra to stop taking her birth control pills and, despite a gap of only a couple of weeks of usage, Sandra became pregnant.

“We hadn’t planned to have a baby but the more I thought about it the more wonderful it became. I lost a kidney but gained a son,” she said, adding “In the space of a year I was lucky enough to be able to save my brother’s life and have a beautiful baby son.”

Despite the danger of rejection, Kenny began living life to the full – playing football and going on his first holiday abroad.

“If I hadn’t been a suitable donor for Kenny he could still be waiting for a new kidney. There are married men with kiddies lying in hospital who have been waiting for up to 15 years for a suitable donor.

“I have talked about my experience to a lot of people in the hope they will see that being a kidney donor doesn’t mean your life changes.”

Tim Moves In With His Constituents

Thurrock MP Tim Janman fulfilled his election pledge of moving home to live in the borough, the first Member of Parliament to do so since the mid-1940s.

Mr Janman, the first Tory MP for Thurrock since the 1930s, moved into a house in West Tilbury six months after becoming elected and had been accepted for membership of the Chadwell Workingmen’s Club.

“There have been four MPs since the constituency was re-formed in 1945 and I am the first one to actually live here. I would think it would be silly not to, because it is beneficial to everyone.

“It means I am available to constituents more often than I otherwise would have been and it is a very positive move.”
Dr Oonagh McDonald, ousted by Mr Janman at the previous year’s General Election, often came under criticism for not moving to Thurrock despite promising to do so when she was elected.

Mr Janman also fulfilled his election promise by going public with his home telephone number which appeared in the next Southend area phone book.

The Big Crunch! Sewers Repaired By Hi-tech Mole

The antiquated sewage pipes between South Stifford and Tilbury started to be replaced by a crunching mole tunnelling machine after being found to be suffering from structural decay and being deemed inadequate for the then-current need.

The tunnel was to be bored by a 1.8m Iseki Poly-tech Crunching Mole and was believed to be the first usage of a crunching mole device of that size and capacity in Britain.

The work was due to be finished by 1991 at a cost reduction of 20% over conventional methods of tunnelling and in a way that would be less hazardous to the health of the workmen involved.

Rates Soar as County Feels Pinch

Residents faced a massive inflation-busting increase in rates as the finance committees of both Essex County Council and Thurrock Council recommended an increase of 19.2% due to start in April 1988.

A three-bedroomed house with a rateable value of £250 would see an increase of £2.04 a week to £12.64 per week.

County council spending accounted for a major part of the rate increase whilst the county blamed the size of national pay awards, the cost of service improvements and the loss of the Government grant.

Thurrock Council’s policy and resources committee recommended an increase of 17.5% in the borough rate at their meeting the previous week. The committee also recommended an increase in the council property rents of 8.7%, an average of £1.60 per week, to be implemented in September 1988.

Both councils had to ratify the proposed increases at meetings in early March.

We’re Britain’s Busiest Borough – That’s Official!

Thurrock was dubbed as “Britain’s busiest borough” in a report on Industrial Land Availability, published by Essex County Council.

The report stated that: “Thurrock is at the heart of Britain’s road, rail, sea and air links, and is unrivalled as a base for commercial and industrial development.

“Positioned directly on the M25, Thurrock can boast access to the major container/passenger port at Tilbury.

“Just 35 minutes away from the City of London, the borough is also within easy reach of Gatwick, Heathrow, Stanstead and Southend.”

In Other News…

Two goals from Nicky Crown took Grays Athletic to their first Essex Senior Cup Final for 23 years in a match against Walthamstow Avenue.

Local councillors were worried about a proposal for a pipeline for petroleum products along the length of Thurrock. They predicted mess, disturbance and nuisance along the route.

The Doctor Who stories “Spearhead From Space”, “The Day of The Daleks” and “The Robots of Death” were reported to be released on VHS for the budget price of £9.99.

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