Flashback: Light-fingered shoppers, bank robbers and a factory relocating

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 December 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.

60-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library60-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library


Light-fingered gentlemen, with only 11 more thieving days to Christmas, were stepping up their seasonal “shopping”.

They garnered goods worth nearly £2,000, according to Romford CID Det Ch Insp Victor Cook.

Shops, houses, a factory and a Romford school had already been visited.

Thefts of cigarettes alone accounted for almost £1,190 worth of the missing property.

More than £300 in cash had disappeared.

Jewellery worth £100 was taken from Hornchurch.

Sewing machines, silverware and a tape recorder, together with £300, were missing from Heath Park Girls’ School in Romford.

But Elm Park tobaccomists Hollick’s, suffered the biggest loss.

After removing glass from a door and forcing iron bars, thieves took 100,000 cigarettes worth £1,000.


Raiders wielding sawn-off shotguns held up Securicor men as they were making a collection at Lloyds Bank in Station Lane, Upminster.

They struck at 9.35am outside the bank and within minutes, police launched an air search for the three me who escaped with £9,500.

Following a fierce struggle with Securicor men, in which the thieves’ getaway car, an Austin 1100, had a rear window smashed, the robbers drove off along St Mary’s Lane.

The Securicor men gave chase in their van but lost the Austin in traffic.

An off-duty police officer saw the raiders switch cars to a brown Rover in Greenbanks, Cranham.

A helicopter was circling around the scene in minutes and followed what looked like a brown Rover but it turned out to be a brown Triumph.


One of Havering’s major employers was in talks with Havering Council after revealing that its factory had to be relocated, in or out of the borough.

BAC Windows, which employed more than 500 people at its factory in Eastern Avenue, Romford, said it had reached the limit of the facility’s capacity and had to move out in order to expand.

BAC founder and chairman Eddie Coventry said: “We are a healthy company with great growth potential in a very competitve market.

“At the moment, we operate on three levels, with a star-shaped production flow, which is crazy.

“To expand, we must move to another site.”

The double-glazing company, which had a turnover of £50 million in 1996, wanted to sell its five-acre site to a developer, to be turned into a non-food retail park, creating 175 jobs.

With the proceeds, BAC would have bought land and built a modern factory, hopefully within the borough.


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, 15:00

Farming was very different 200 years ago as Prof Ged Martin’s story of an Emerson Park landowner shows

I’m not normally one to buy into conspiracy theories, they’re only put out there to keep us too busy to think about the real things that are going on.

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Yesterday, 08:00

It’s unfortunate that way back in the 1960s a well-meaning gesture to honour a Battle of Britain hero, went a little awry.

Fri, 17:00

Burke told police officers that he wasn’t sure if it was himself, or another man driving at the time.

Fri, 12:49

Jamie Brown of Archant Local Impact explains how you can build brand awareness.

Fri, 12:17

Emergency services were called to the crash at around 7.30 this morning.

Fri, 12:00

A habitat creation scheme hopes to bring a new haven of wildlife to the Rainham Marshes with the creation of more than 5km2 of continuous habitats.


Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now