Flashback: Reshaping of the town centre, armed raiders and a historic campaign

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 April 2018

60-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

60-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

Romford Library

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

40-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library40-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library


A new main road joining Market Place and Western Road, a modern “pedes-trian only” shopping street to link the new road with Western Road, and an extra quarter of a million square feet of office accommodation was all on the cards for Romford.

The whole scheme would reshape 12 acres of the town centre, within three years it was suggested.

The aim was to make the town one of the biggest and best shopping centres in the Home Counties.

20-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library20-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

There would be office work for thousands more in the town.

Because the project was being carried out by the property owners involved – working amicably with the county planning authority – it was said the cost to ratepayers would be negligible and the town would gain from an increased rateable value.


40-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library40-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

Armed raiders snatched £1,300 in a terror raid on a Corbets Tey sub post office.

The two robbers, one wielding 
a sawn-off shotgun, forced the postmistress and her assistant into a back 
room while they looted the safe.

Then the raiders raced out of the post office and grocery store in Ockendon Road, crashing into and injuring a woman shopper.

They made their escape in a stolen BMC 1800 saloon car, leaving the poor postmistress, Majorie Haben, and her assistant locked in the back room, yelling for help.

Customers and staff from the cafe next door kicked down the door to release them.

Mrs Haben said: “I only saw one of the men briefly when he was pushing my assistant out into the back where they locked us in.

“We had to shout so that someone could come help us.”


Historians and politicians joined a Recorder campaign to properly commemorate 55 men, women and children who died in the worst night of terror and mayhem Havering had ever known.

That week marked the 57th anniversary of this huge loss of life.

All were victims of Hitler’s Luftwaffe which rained thousands upon thousands of pounds of high explosives upon London in 1941 during the dark days of the Second World War.

Thirty-eight of the victims died in Essex Road.

The majority of the rest of the victims from that awful night died in Brentwood, including nine from one family.

Twelve of the 55 victims were never identified and are buried in four unmarked graves.


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