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Nostalgia: Havering in history from March 29 in 1953, 1973 and 1993

09:45 29 March 2013

The Recorder front page, week 13, 1953

The Recorder front page, week 13, 1953

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This week in history - 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

Romford and Hornchurch Recorder front page, week 13, 1973Romford and Hornchurch Recorder front page, week 13, 1973

1953

Romford Council had attracted the government’s censure over its restrictions on licensing private building.

The minister of housing and local government had quashed the council’s policy and declared there would be “building licenses for all”.

The decision followed a meeting with the minister during which rules imposed by the “socialist-controlled housing management committee” at the council were criticised.

Romford Recorder front page - week 13, 1993Romford Recorder front page - week 13, 1993

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A Rainham farmer was fined for killing three pigs without the government’s say-so.

Thomas Tarry, a pig breeder and dealer of Gerpins Farm, Gerpins Lane, was ordered to pay £20 after admitting killing the pigs – so he could give pork to his swill suppliers for Christmas.

Romford court how Tarry had “succumbed to the entreaties of his swill suppliers, who asked for pork in their Christmas boxes instead of cash.”

The farmer, who owned about 250 pigs, was entitled to kill two a year for his own food, but was otherwise required to supply his livestock to market.

On average, Tarry supplied about 650 pigs to the Ministry of Food each year.

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The Mayor of Romford had sent a telegram to the Queen following the death of Queen Mary, her grandmother.

Queen Mary’s death ended the unusual period of British history that had seen three queens alive simultaneously – Mary herself, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and Queen Elizabeth II.

The telegram from Alderman George Roberts JP concluded that “Queen Mary will long be remembered with love and affection by the people of Romford.”

Mr H. W. Hole, chairman at Romford Magistrates’ Court, also paid tribute to the dead queen, with the court standing in silence as a mark of respect.

1973

A Rainham woman was jailed for life after drowning her six-year-old daughter.

Sylvia Plant, 36, of Sunningdale Road, denied killing young Michelle, but admitted she had held her daughter’s head under water “on the spur of the moment”.

The incident, which happened during Michelle’s bathtime, was sparked by the child telling Sylvia she had been told to call her step-mother “mother”.

Michelle’s aunt Betty told the Recorder the family was “completely shattered” by the tragedy.

“She was a beautiful child,” Betty said, adding that the little girl had possessed a “good sense of humour”.

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Children’s dolls in a Romford home were knifed “voodoo-style” during a bizarre break-in.

Sandra Hunn, who moved into her Marlborough Road house just three weeks earlier, said a man had knocked on her door hours before the attack and said: “You have two lovely babies. It will be a pity if something happened to them.”

Later, she went out – and when she returned home she found a chest in her children’s room had been ransacked and large knives plunged into two dolls.

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A “massive” £1m development scheme for the “forgotten village” of North Ockendon was thrown out by the council – partly because it didn’t include adequate sewage provisions.

The plan – which would have “completely altered” the rural character of the “sleepy village” – involved 140 houses and shops on a site linking the White Horse Inn and the parish church in Church Lane.

But residents had fiercely opposed the scheme. Handley Longworth, secretary of the Ratepayers and Residents’ Association’s Cranham Ward, said it would have been a “tragedy” if developers had been allowed to build on Havering’s outermost green belt.

1993

A tram network linking the north and the south of the borough was the latest proposal in the saga of the Channel Tunnel rail link.

A Rainham International Station along the river front was now a “distinct possibility” following confirmation of the government’s preferred route by transport secretary John MacGregor.

The council’s environment and planning head said that “the importance of the Rainham site” had been “brought out” in Mr MacGregor’s announcement.

And the tram formed part of the plan to sell off the Havering Riverside area along the Thames, which was considered to be a potential “goldmine” to investors.

Rainham never got its international rail station and the marshes were eventually sold to the RSPB to be converted into a wetlands nature reserve.

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Staff in an Elm Park building society were threatened with a nine-inch flick knife during a cash raid.

A masked robber with a ponytail, along with an accomplice, burst into Bradford and Bingley on Tadworth Parade. While his partner kept watch, he vaulted the counter, waved the blade at terrified staff, and stole “a small amount of cash” from a drawer.

The pair then made off on foot – towards, it was thought, a getaway car.

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Royal Mail’s new multi-million pound centre in Crow Lane was due to open.

The depot was described as being “as big as a football pitch” and would provide 300 jobs.

“Robot eye” sorting technology was among the attractions at the £10m site, which would handle deliveries to a 184-square-mile patch covering the RM and IG postcodes.

It even had a video coding suite, which “Royal Mail boffins” said was the cutting edge.

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