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Flashback: Persuasive television personalities, bus vandals and a serious incident

PUBLISHED: 10:00 09 July 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.

1957:

Smiling television personality and mistress of the mysterious art of transforming Teddy Boys into “Little Eries” Mrs Cetwynd, swept into a crowded meeting organised by Romford Teachers’ Association and scored another victory.

In a humorous half hour speech delivered at Lambourne Hall, the pocket-sized Joan-of-Arc converted more than 400 Romford parents, teachers and councillors into enthusiasts for Britain’s newest education experiment - the comprehensive school.

Speaking as headmistress of Woodbury Down, the LCC’s first mixed comprehensive school which opened two years ago, Mrs Chetwynd said the school’s 1,250 pupils provided a complete cross-section of 11-18-year-old pupils drawn from more than 11 schools, including gramma school “rejects” who could not read or write.

The aim of the comprehensive school was to provide the children with “a full and manysided education in an atmosphere of social unity”.

1977:

Havering’s busmen were waging war on hooligans who vandalised buses and terrorised passengers.

The 86 bus route from Romford to east London was severely disrupted when crews took their vehicles off the road as a protest against hooliganism.

In Hornchurch, police were called in to deal with regular Friday night trouble.

Busmen complained of incidents including gangs of youths boarding buses and rocking them from side to side, terrorising passengers, obscene graffiti so bad that buses were taken off the road and seats being slashed and foam filling thrown out of the windows.

A Transport and General Workers’ Union representative of inspectors and supervisory staff at Hornchurch bus garage Ted Kind said: “On the 165 route to Rainham I have seen youths rock the bus from side to side and terrorise elderly passengers.

“The situation generally has been getting worse over the last three months and something must be done.”

1997:

A five-year-old girl was said to be critically ill in a London hospital after falling from a second floor window onto a patio in Collier Row.

The accident happened when the youngster fell from a bedroom home in her Turpin Avenue home.

Neighbours heard her screams and found her covered in blood lying on the patio.

The girl’s mother phoned for an ambulance and within six minutes, a rescue helicopter was on the scene to fly her to the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel.

A neighbour said: “When I heard the screaming coming from the garden, I ran around to see if I could help.

“I can’t describe the horror of seeing that girl lying there on the ground.”

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