Flashback: Rent rise, continental shopping and a court case

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:03 07 November 2016



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


Rents of thousands of families in Romford and Hornchurch was going to rise under the proposed Rents Bill which the government hoped to place on the Statue book by Easter.

It would have affected tenants in more than 18,700 Romford houses and flats which fell within the new rent control limits and tenants in more than 29,000 similar properties in Hornchurch.

The main provisions of the Bill - which would have not affected council house tenants - were:

To unfreeze rents of better-class houses - those with a rateable value of more than £30.

This affected tenants living in more than 8,500 houses in this category in Romford and more than 2,400 houses in Hornchurch.

To remove rent control on any house which fell vacant even if it had been formerly controlled and to raise rent limits in houses which would continue to be rent-controlled.


An exciting plan to airlift continental tourists to Romford for bargain shopping sprees was unveiled.

Business and store chiefs were meeting to discuss the project which offered Havering increased prosperity, perhaps more jobs and a cash bonus for ratepayers.

Havering Council had already announced full backing for the idea dreamed up by one of their members Cllr Johnny Johnston.

The aim was to “cream off” some of the huge numbers of Europeans after converging on the Channel ports and central London for the intense shopping sprees and attract them to Romford’s multi-million pound shopping complex.

John Gowland, secretary of the Romford Chamber of Commerce, said: “German visitors from Havering’s twin-town of Ludwigshafen are delighted with our new shopping facilities so I think they would appeal to others from the continent.”


The man accused of battering to death the 27-year-old daughter of Cllr Caroline Hurlstone, told police he did not have murder on his mind when he confronted the stable girl armed with an iron bar but then hit her until he was “out of puff”, a court heard.

Farm hand Stephen Webber, 39, appeared before Exeter Crown Court accused of murdering Jessie Hurlstone 13 months ago in her caravan home in Devon.

Jessie was head stable lass for top National Hunt trainer Mr Richard Frost at his stables close to Exeter.

The jury heard Webber, who denied murder, became obsessed with Jessie and showered her with presents but she humiliated him publicly, spurning his advances.

Roderick Denyer, QC, prosecuting, said: “There were 10 major injuries and fractures.

“Her brain was effectively pulped.

“The defendant eventually admitted killing Jessie and that once he started hitting her he kept on going until he ran out of puff.”


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Latest Romford News Stories

28 minutes ago

Four men threatened staff at knifepoint and made off with a large amount of cash at a pizza shop in Romford.

A man has been charged with a number of offences following a collision on New Year’s Day.


Havering councillors have decided to create a second planning committee to deal with large scale applications.

Five firefighters were called to extinguish a flaming car in Romford this morning (March 22).

A faulty c2c train at West Ham has created disruption across the entire rail line serving Limehouse, Barking and Upminster.

A man accused of beating an alcoholic to death said he landed “one lucky punch” on the victim during a fight, but did not cause the injuries that killed him.

Yesterday, 17:00

A councillor is warning residents to be wary of giving any personal details over the phone, as fraudsters have been targeting people in the borough.

Yesterday, 15:04

Pupils at an Upminster primary school learned about the importance of resilience from creative writing workshops taught by West Ham United’s Foundation.


Fed up with haggling on people’s drives over a used car, only to find out later it’s on its last legs?

Many drivers will be heading to the showrooms in March looking to pick up a car bearing the shiny new 18 registration plate.

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

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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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