REVIEW OF THE YEAR: Missing piglets and trapped squirrels – 2018’s five weirdest stories

Josh Salisbury (04 January, 2019)

From a squirrel trapped in the loo to piglets stolen in the middle of the night there was no shortage of weird stories in Southwark in 2018

21854An RSPCA officer used a mop pole to rescue the squirrel

As 2019 begins and we leave 2018 behind, the News takes a look at the five weirdest Southwark stories of the past year.

MAY: You wouldn’t normally expect to find a squirrel in your loo.

But that’s exactly what a group of Southwark students did find, sparking a bizarre RSPCA rescue mission.

RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Kirstie Gillard used a mop to rescue to unfortunate creature before cleaning it off and wrapping it in a warm blanket.

“Fortunately the squirrel wasn’t injured at all and I could release him back into the wild where he belongs,” Ms Gillard told the News.

READ THE FULL STORY: Help! We have a squirrel in our loo

Video footage shows a council refuse truck dumping piles of rubbish on an estate in Peckham in the middle of the night

Video footage shows a council refuse truck dumping piles of rubbish on an estate in Peckham in the middle of the night

JULY: Shocked residents on Peckham’s Cossall Estate filmed a fly-tipping council truck, seen dumping garden furniture and bags of rubbish across the floor.

One resident who filmed the 1.50am dumping told the News he was “shocked” as the rubbish contained nails and screws left strewn on the ground.

Embarrassed council officials said the truck was not on council business at the time but said it would investigate it as a “matter of importance.”

The investigation result is not known.

READ THE FULL STORY: Council truck dumps heaps of rubbish on estate in the middle of the night

Inside Monstrous Festival at Printworks in Rotherhithe (Lynsey Mitchell)

Inside Monstrous Festival at Printworks in Rotherhithe (Lynsey Mitchell)

AUGUST: Parents paying up to £120 for the Monstrous Festival in the Printworks had a monstrous time – and furiously demanded refunds.

The ‘unicorn’ at the family event had to be led away because it was scared of the lights, a 990ft inflatable had to be split into parts to fit in the venue and a ‘beach’ turned out to be two inflatable toys without sand.

A festival spokesperson admitted to the News that it had experienced “major issues” at the event and was collating feedback to improve.

READ THE FULL STORY: Furious parents demand their money back after Monstrous Festival ‘turned out to be like a really bad school fair’

SEPTEMBER: Utter swines stole eleven two-week-old piglets from Surrey Docks Farm, Rotherhithe in a mysterious overnight raid, with no signs of forced entry.

Distraught staff at the farm appealed for the rare Oxford Sandy Black piglets to be reunited with their parents Winnie and Marmalade, as they needed round-the-clock feeding.

“Unless, whoever stole them knows how to take care of them, without their mothers feeding them they will die,” weekend manager Rachel Smith, 46, told the News.

However, the piglets were never found.

READ THE FULL STORY: You swines! Eleven piglets stolen now feared dead

Human Osteologist Niamh Carty examines the booted man’s skeleton (c) MOLA Headland Infrastructure

DECEMBER: Archaeologists working on a Thames super-sewer site in Bermondsey made an unusual discovery – a 500-year-old skeleton wearing thigh-high leather boots.

Experts poring over the mystery man believe that the boots, suitable for wading, mean he made his living from the river.

Inspections also revealed deep grooves in his teeth, suggesting he may have held rope in his mouth as a fisherman might.

However researchers warned the mystery of the man’s identity may never be solved.

READ THE FULL STORY: Archaeologists discover rare 500-year-old skeleton in Bermondsey – still wearing thigh high boots

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Review of the year 2018