Flashback: A visit from the Queen, a heartbreaking collision and a wartime-style evacuation

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 October 2017

60 years ago.

60 years ago.

Romford Library

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

40 years ago. 40 years ago.


Cheering Romford crowds, which swelled to thousands as darkness fell, were rewarded by a fleeting glimpse of a smiling, waving Queen and Prince Philip as they returned to Bucking-ham Palace after their triumphal visit to Brentwood and Harlow.

Hundreds of flag-waving pupils from two Harold Hill schools which closed for the afternoon, and youngsters from Harold Wood Hall, an Essex County Council home, were among those with special places on the route.

As the crested Royal car rounded the traffic island at Gallows Corner – 20 minutes late – Prince Philip, sitting forward on the near side, waved and smiled.

20 years ago. 20 years ago.

The Queen, radiant but obviously tired, sat back smilingly acknowledging the acclamation of the crowd.


A mum screamed in horror at a bus driver to stop as they drove past an accident in which her son had died.

The 19-year-old died after he was thrown into the windscreen of the van he was driving after a collision involving a giant earth digger.

The accident, happened just yards from the spot where an 18-year-old girl was killed two weeks before.

The young man’s mother said: “Someone said there had been an accident so I turned away, not wanting to look – and to my horror saw it was his.

“I got off the bus and saw that the road was covered in blood.”

The accident happened outside Pinch Contractors, Upper Rainham Road, Hornchurch, as the teenager from Elm Park, was on his way to Stapleford Abbotts, where he worked.

In his spare time, he enjoyed listening to music and he often acted as a disc jockey at parties.

His disco equipment was in the back of the van.


Thousands of Rainham residents were set for a wartime-style evacuation from their homes, after a massive Second World War bomb was discovered.

The A13’s Purfleet to Dagenham stretch was due to be closed from around 3am until at least 5pm.

Nearly 5,000 residents living within a 1,000 metre radius was going to be evacuated, while army bomb disposal experts made the 250kg German bomb safe.

Havering Council sent more than 80 workers to knock on the doors of residents and notify them of the evacuation,

A special leaflet had been issued, advising people to stay with relatives, ensure pets were safe and homes secured, as a precaution against opportunist thieves.


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


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”.

Yesterday, 18:10

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

Yesterday, 17:55

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

Yesterday, 16:06

A secondary school in Upminster has been placed in special measures by Ofsted.

Yesterday, 15:00

A Romford firm that has seen a £104million profit turnover in the last year has placed in the top 20 of a league table that ranks Britain’s private companies.

Yesterday, 13:38

Hundreds of patriotic residents flocked to Romford Market at the weekend to celebrate St George’s Day.

Yesterday, 13:00

Nearly a third of people in the borough don’t manage thirty minutes of exercise a week, a national sport survey has shown.

Yesterday, 11:13

A man has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm after it is believed that he assaulted a 30-year-old man before the victim was hit by a bus.


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