Search

Flashback: Flat building, conmen posing as council workers and a lightning strike

PUBLISHED: 10:00 13 August 2017

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

1957:

Chairman of Romford’s Building and Town Planning Committee William Pike, was going to press his committee at the next meeting to support a suggested scheme to build a six-storey block of flats on the Highfield Road Estate.

The land was earmarked provisionally for maisonettes.

At the same meeting, Mr Pike was expected to ask the borough surveyor to find suitable sites where an 11-storey block could be built.

Revealing his proposals to the Recorder, he said: “I think the erection of multi-storey flats is the only answer to the acute housing problem in Romford.

“We are near the end of our building programme and there is no hope at all that our housing requirements will be met.

“At least 1,200 applicants will be left on the housing list at the completion of present housing schemes.

“Eleven-storey flats are the answer.”

1977:

An alert was raised in Havering to combat conmen posing as council workers who were believed to be on the lookout for empty houses to raid.

Havering Council launched a tough new campaign in a bid to beat the conmen by issuing 900 of its officials with special identity cards.

The war on swindlers came just as police issued a warning to residents to beware of people calling at homes, claiming to be from the council.

Ch Supt Alan Ratcliffe said: “Residents should always check the identity of a caller who claims to be an official.

“Never pay money to anyone until you are sure who the caller is.”

1997:

A massive bolt of lightning turned a councillor’s home into a fireball, then ricocheted across the road, nearly killing a hsuband and wife.

Labour councillor Chris Purnell, his wife Rosina, their 19-year-old son Richard and two guests, fled the house after being woken up by a neighbour at their Graysfield Drive, Rainham, home, in the early hours.

But the violent bolt of lightning had not completed its trail of destruction.

The home of Lesley and 
Ken Hanson, opposite, was 
hit as the lightning ripped through the Purnells’ home and arced across the road via a lamp post.

The lightning tore through 
the Hansons’ bedroom window, missing the couple’s heads 
by inches and seconds after 
Mr Hanson had removed a 
pair of metal plates he wore to help his circulation, from his hands.

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 22:27

A two-year-old boy is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in Rainham earlier today.

Yesterday, 17:01

A man and a teenager from Romford have been charged following the theft of a Mercedes sports car in Brentwood.

Yesterday, 15:29

London Fire Brigade’s borough commander for Havering Paul Hobbs discussed firefighters’ best resources, new technology and his role in an exclusive interview with the Recorder.

Yesterday, 12:00

Residents are invited to wear their best neon, colourful outfits for two 1980s themed nights organised by a Hornchurch charity.

Yesterday, 10:16

A police officer raped a 16-year-old student twice while they were on a date in Romford, a court has heard.

Yesterday, 07:00

A top cop has vowed not to take his foot off the gas in a battle against burglaries after declaring a recent crime wave “under control”.

Mon, 18:10

Sky customers in Romford have been warned that they will be without internet for eight hours tonight.

Mon, 17:55

Hot temperatures of 24 degrees didn’t deter these Havering London Marathon runners who took on the 26.2 mile challenge in record heat.

PROMOTED CONTENT

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Sean Watson, director at the family-run St Michaels Homes which runs Howard Lodge and Dudbrook Hall, answers the common questions people have about care homes.

NC Construction Services Ltd, based in Hornchurch, Essex, is branching out into residential home improvements and refurbishments after many years working in the commercial sector, in direct response to potential clients looking to add space and value to their property.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now