Flashback: Town centre changes, dangerous chemicals and a family reunion

PUBLISHED: 15:00 07 May 2017

40-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

40-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

Romford Library

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


Romford’s battle between churchmen and planners was going to be carried a dramatic stage further when Romford Council was expected to approve by majority vote, the ambitious plan to revolutionise the town centre.

Church leaders feared it would threaten the future prospects of Romford’s famous church school St Edward’s.

Under proposals, St Edward’s Primary School would stay where it was and a new secondary school and playing fields for 1,000 pupils would be created outside the parish. Vicar of Romford, the Rev F R Wright, said: “Our 250-year-old school has always been associated most closely with St Edward’s Church.

“It is of the utmost importance that the school should not be moved farther from the church.”


An Alderman gave a grim warning that chemicals were stored so hazardously in some schools that there would be a “catastrophe” if laboratories were wrecked by vandals.

Bill Cole claimed that the situation was so bad in some schools that children and staff were in jeopardy.

Fire brigade chiefs revealed they inspected 12 schools in the borough and recommended improved safety measures at 11 of them.

Ald. Cole, a governor of three schools, believed it was the mere tip of a “terrifying problem” throughout the borough.

He also claimed that pleas by science teachers for top safety storage facilities had been ignored by Havering Council.

While investigating the potentially dangerous situation, the alderman said he had found problems at schools including highly inflamable cleaning fluids kept in a boiler-house for lack of storage space elsewhere and dangerous chemicals being kept on open laboratory shelves.


A widowed Romford Market trader told of the joy of being reunited with the sister he last saw more than 60 years ago in London’s East End.

No words could describe the joy of Ted Moss, 75, from Harold Hill, as he hugged his long-lost sister Rose Morris, in a tearful reunion.

They were happily making up for all the lost years.

Ted, of Edenhall Road, revealed at a neighbourhood housing committee meeting how he was reunited with his sister.

It was when he decided to make a will three years ago that his Harold Wood solicitor Raymond Ashdown and his wife Rosemary, both keen amateur family historians, took up the search. Ted’s mother, Polly Casey, was sent to a mental home for having children out of wedlock. Ted and his sister were looked after by relatives and various institutions until he was adopted by a family.

He said: “I can’t thank Raymond and his wife enough.”

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 18:00

Before you start your car journey, bear in mind maintenance work could mean delays in the following roads over the next few days.

Yesterday, 16:30

Shocking figures have shown that more than 27,00 children in Havering didn’t make a visit to the dentist last year.

Yesterday, 16:07

Celebrities and former West Ham players are set to take part in a charity football match to raise funds for a three year-old from Hornchurch who has a rare form of cancer.

Yesterday, 15:45

A man was taken to hospital after a car flipped in a police pursuit through Rainham last night.

Yesterday, 15:00

A West Ham legend and his wife have been named as the new patrons of St Francis Hospice.

Yesterday, 14:02

A person had to be rescued by firefighters after they spent more than 10 minutes trapped in a lift following a power outtage at a block of flats in Romford this morning (Friday, March 16).

Yesterday, 12:45

Havering’s Labour party has launched it’s manifesto ahead of the 2018 local elections.


Many drivers will be heading to the showrooms in March looking to pick up a car bearing the shiny new 18 registration plate.

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


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


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now