Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

A Stranger's London

Speed cops book mercy nurse

A nurse was stopped for speeding as she rushed to get help for a dying cancer victim. The nurse, 52-year-old Mrs Luzia Hulbert, told the policeman who booked her that she was dashing to get painkillers from a doctor. "He just ignored me," she said yesterday.

Mrs Hulbert claimed she was delayed so long that by the time she got to the doctor's surgery, it was shut.

The cancer patient, a 46-year-old woman who has since died, had to suffer a night of agony. Mrs Hulbert, from Lipson, Plymouth, was later fined £30 for speeding. A police spokesman said: "It appears the officer did not think it was a sufficient emergency to justify break- ing the speed limit."

Tragedy of killer minister

Retired church minister Stanley Abel, killed his invalid wife Winifred because he was terrified of poverty.

The 76-year-old Pentecostal clergyman smothered arthritis victim Winifred, 73, with a pillow. He feared he had not enough money to care for her.

But, within minutes of her death, he found £1,700 in her handbag and her bank book showing £1,000 in a building society.

At Glasgow High Court a jury acquitted Abel of murder and found that he was insane when he killed Winifred at their home in Belcarves Avenue, Kelvindale.

Boys beat airport security

Two artful dodgers aged 10 and 13 were back home last week after an amazing stowaway journey to New York.

The young Irish adventurers, 10-year-old Keith Byrne and his pal Noel Murray, travelled without tickets or passports by boat, train, bus and plane.

They beat airport security on both sides of the Atlantic and slipped into New York with only a few pounds between them.

The boys were finally caught by a suspicious policeman when they asked directions outside New York's Kennedy airport.

Last night the pals were back home in Dublin.

Keith said: "I have never flown before. At first I thought the clouds were snow."

Keith said they did it because they wanted to see their hero, BA of television's A-team series.

This was their route:

A FERRY from Dunaloghaire to Holyhead.

A TRAIN to London and a BUS to Heathrow.

The boys tricked airline and airport officials but met their match in tough New York cop Richard Richards.

He became suspicious when they asked how to get to Manhattan and turned the stowaways in. They stayed overnight at a hotel before being sent home on an AerLingus flight.

Rescuers sued by man they saved

A surfer saved from drowning is suing his rescuers.

Andrew Grylls, 25, lost part of his foot when it became entangled in the rescue boat propeller.

The accident happened in the dangerous currents of Perranporth, Cornwall.

Lifeguards described it as a "hectic day", with more than a dozen swimmers having to be rescued. Mr Grylls was surfing in a wet suit when he got into difficulties with another man and a girl about 80 yards offshore.

Head Lifeguard Ken Watts, now in Australia, told the three to hold on as he steered the boat through the breakers. Then Mr Grylls' foot got caught between the propeller and a protective guard.

A Navy rescue helicopter lowered a diver and other lifeguards swam out to help.

Mr Grylls had to be taken to hospital still attached to the engine.

He is suing Perranporth parish council and the lifeguards who work for it. They are insured.

Council beach committee chairman John Nichols said: "The person would certainly have drowned but for the lifeguard. This makes things very difficult. If lifeguards think they might get sued they will think twice about taking risks."

Test-tube quads for a father aged 70

Toni Del Renzio is to become a father for the first time at the age of 70. And they'll be quads.

The four will be test-tube babies and Mr Renzio's wife Doris, 38, expects to give birth to them next month in Hammersmith Hospital, West London.

Mr Renzio, a retired lecturer, said at home in Canterbury: "Having four babies is a bit daunting for someone of my age. But I think they will give me a good excuse to keep on going." The couple had been trying to have a family without success since marrying 14 years ago.

Artificial insemination did not work and finally they tried in-vitro fertilisation, in which four fertilised eggs were implanted in Mrs Renzio.

Now her husband is about to become the world's oldest father of test-tube babies.

Flashes to ashes

So you think we've had a rotten summer... in August 1924, 9½ inches of rain fell in 24 hours in Somerset and as recently as August 1975 almost 7 inches fell in Hampstead, London, in three hours.

Author Richard Mabey, who admits he's obsessed by the weather and has written a book about it called 'Cold Comforts' says: "One of the funniest storms was in August 1975 when a cricket umpire was struck by lightning. "He had an iron leg and the bolt welded the joint in it solid."

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