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Romford Pictures: Elm Park draws in crowds for 80th birthday celebrations

PUBLISHED: 15:31 21 July 2015 | UPDATED: 16:44 21 July 2015

Zoe Barden, seven, Phoebe Kenny, six, and Rachel Barden, five, enjoying the 80th birthday celebrations in Elm Park. Picture: Isabel Infantes

Zoe Barden, seven, Phoebe Kenny, six, and Rachel Barden, five, enjoying the 80th birthday celebrations in Elm Park. Picture: Isabel Infantes

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The community came out in force for a celebration where the residents themselves were the VIPs.

The Dagenham Girl Pipers at the 80th birthday celebrations for Elm Park with (left to right) Cllr Stephanie Nunn, Cllr Julie Wilkes, Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas and Cllr Barry Mugglestone. Picture: Cllr Stephanie NunnThe Dagenham Girl Pipers at the 80th birthday celebrations for Elm Park with (left to right) Cllr Stephanie Nunn, Cllr Julie Wilkes, Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas and Cllr Barry Mugglestone. Picture: Cllr Stephanie Nunn

A huge 1930s-themed party was held on Saturday to mark Elm Park’s 80th birthday, featuring dancing, music and much merrymaking.

The “garden city” was formally opened by government cabinet member Sir Hilton Young in 1935.

Organised by the Elm Park Regeneration Partnership, the anniversary celebration saw residents, many of whom were aged 80 and above, enjoy tea and cake at community hubs.

Guests included John Hans, 80, who founded Hans Electric, in The Broadway, 49 years ago, and Arthur Hall, 90, president of the Elm Park Horticultural Guild.

Both men celebrated their birthdays on the day, as did Cllr Stephanie Nunn, who attended alongside her fellow Elm Park representatives, Cllr Barry Mugglestone and Cllr Julie Wilkes, and Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas.

Cllr Nunn, also a member of the regeneration partnership’s committee, said: “It was my birthday and I certainly didn’t expect to be spending it dancing to a steel band in the streets of Elm Park this year!

“It was a lovely, sunny day with a wonderfully friendly atmosphere. It’s important to have events like these to draw people to Elm Park to visit our local shops.”

Two pop-up museums, at Elm Park Assembly Hall and Elm Park Cobbler, informed members of the public about Elm Park in the past and present.

John Hans, 80, (centre) who started Hans Electric 49 years ago, photographed with some of his staff in Elm Park during the celebrations for Elm Park's 80th birthday. John celebrated his birthday on the same day. Picture: Cllr Stephanie NunnJohn Hans, 80, (centre) who started Hans Electric 49 years ago, photographed with some of his staff in Elm Park during the celebrations for Elm Park's 80th birthday. John celebrated his birthday on the same day. Picture: Cllr Stephanie Nunn

Entertainment was provided by the Haverettes, the Dallaway Steel Band, the Dagenham Girl Pipers and more.

The pipers played at the opening of Elm Park station 80 years ago.

Bhups Battu, the partnership’s chairman, said: “Many people invested a lot of time and effort in this event; the group effort was amazing.

“As chairman, I take pride in this achievement of the group and I am sure we will have many more successful events in the future.”

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