Flashback: A ghostly visit, borough-wide search for weapons and Good Friday turns bad

PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 March 2017



Romford Library

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


A dead man’s appeal for help to find his half-sister Nene who lived in Romford, startled a large audience in Laurie Hall during a demonstration of clairvoyance by Dulwich medium Ethel Moss.

The incident occurred in the latter half of the meeting when Mrs Moss, standing on the platform in the full blaze of electric lights, suddenly clasped her head in her hands. Then she cried out to a middle-aged woman: “I’m getting an awful condition.

“A young man – he gassed himself. Oh my head, my head, my head.

“What that poor soul went through. It was quite a tragic business.”

“It was, most decidedly,” the woman in the audience said. The medium continued: “He’s calling Nene and wants you to help him. He’s crying: “Oh, if only they would understand.

I have been knocking, knocking.”

Later, the Recorder questioned Nene at her home. She explained the medium had addressed her by the nickname known only to her family. Nene confirmed that her half-brother’s suicide in Romford in 1956.


A team of crack detectives were scouring Havering in a search for dangerous guns and bullets. Following a tip-off, police discovered an arsenal of machine guns, shot guns, pistols and ammunition “up for sale”. But detectives believed more weapons may have been sold in pubs and clubs around the Romford and East End areas. And they were appealing to people to be on the lookout for firearms being offered for sale and ask anyone with information to contact them. The seized weapons included sub-machine guns, 38 revolvers, pistols, gas-pistols, shotguns and a light machine gun. All the weapons were completed with bullets, cartridges, clips and magazines totalling about 2,500 rounds. Detectives from East London’s No.9 Regional Crime Squad were handling the investigation. Forensic scientists were also test-firing the guns to see if they matched up with spent bullets used in firearms crimes.

The squad said the guns were mostly from the Second World War and may have been part of a collection.


Hooligans went on a double orgy of destruction, turning Havering’s Good Friday into Bad Friday. They wrecked parts of a major crematorium, the last resting place of thousands of relatives of Havering residents, and desecrated the war memorial in Romford’s Coronation Gardens. This followed 29 attacks on churches or church halls in the past month. Staff at South Essex Crematorium in Corbets Tey, Upminster, discovered the aftermath of the attack at the weekend. The main targets were two dovecotes where doves, the symbol of peace, were nesting. One dovecote was stolen, despite being on top of a 12ft support. The other was smashed beyond repair. The hooligans ripped up 10 benches, each bearing a commemorative plaque.

Two were smashed and the others were stacked up so the vandals could scale the metal poles.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

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.


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


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