Flashback: Family made homeless, a football club chairman dies and a race hate dog attack

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 December 2017

60 years ago.

60 years ago.

Romford Library

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

40 years ago. 40 years ago.


Carrying their possessions on their backs, a mum and her four children trudged slowly from Suttons Hostel, Hornchurch, in the drizzling rain.

They were starting the new year homeless.

Rosina Hibbert, 37, who had been in the hostel for seven years, was evicted from Suttons.

20 years ago. 20 years ago.

Essex County Council, which controlled the hostel, ordered the family to Abridge Hostel, which Rosina described as “10 times worse than Suttons”.

Families in the Abridge Hostel had to live in communal huts, with each family allocated a space in which to huddle together.

Husbands and children over 15 were not allowed in and two of Mrs Hibbert’s children were older.

She said: “I would never leave them.

“I am not going to Abridge.”


Vic Nicholls, well-known chairman of Romford Football Club, died on Boxing Day.

For four years, he had suffered a heart condition and just before Christmas, he was taken to Harold Wood Hospital where he died, aged 77.

His wife Margaret, 78, was staying at the home of her youngest son Keith in Billericay.

The couple lived at Colchester Park, Harold

Since his retirement from the Civil Service 17 years earlier, Mr Nicholls devoted all his time supporting voluntary work.

He had been vice-chairman of the Havering Community Health Council, chairman of Harold Wood Hospital League of Friends, vice-chairman of Romford War Memorial Old Folk’s Club and vice-president of the Romford Carnival Association.

Havering Council’s public relations officer Norman Chisman said: “His death is a tragic loss and he will be missed from the Havering scene.”


Three race hate thugs whipped up their bull terrier-type dog into a vicious frenzy and then set it loose on a five-year-old Indian girl.

The child, from Goodmayes, was with her father and other family members shopping in Romford Market when the three thugs began walking behind them, shouting racial taunts.

The girl’s 34-year-old dad told police they continued walking, trying to ignore the taunts, which did not stop.

Pc Paul Donnelly, of Romford police, said: “Suddenly, they set the brown bull terrier-type dog onto the child, yelling and shouting at it.

“It tried to bite the child but her father fended it off with a shopping bag which the dog ripped with its teeth.

“The attackers fled towards Market Link when the father used his mobile phone to call the police.”


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Latest Romford News Stories


Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Sue Spong is one of Saint Francis Hospice’s Family Support Services and is marking her 60th birthday by running her 17th London marathon.


Katie Beal, 35, was inspired to take on the challenge of running 26.2 miles after she had a pre-cancerous tumour removed from her pancreas in August, 2016.

It may have started off as a joke, but Danny Stokes is in full training mode for the London Marathon and all set for race day.


Headmaster and CEO of the Hornchurch Academy Trust, Chris Hobson, was inspired to run the London Marathon after he was diagnosed with the same heart condition that a 12-year-old pupil died of.

It was refreshing to read Andrew Rosindell MP last week in Romford Recorder talking about our community and values.

Yesterday, 21:33

Andy Brownlie has been training six days a week for his first marathon, egged on by the fact that as a boy he watched his father complete the world famous race not once but twice.

Yesterday, 15:00

This year’s Virgin Money London Marathon follows the usual route from Greenwich Park to the Mall.


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.

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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.

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