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

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Sixty years ago – 1953

A farmer’s son drowned in a pond in Collier Row after his tractor overturned.

James William Turvey, 18, was discovered with his leg trapped in the tractor’s steering wheel.

It is believed the weight the vehicle was carrying forced it to tip over.

Mr Turvey, who was an experienced tractor driver, had continued his work after dark, relying on the vehicle’s headlights.

He had left his house at 6.30pm, with his father sending out younger son Henry to search for him at 8pm.

Sadly, the boy returned with the tragic news.

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A man was given a £3 fine for assaulting a milkman he accused of having an affair with his wife.

He knocked the victim onto the ground after tapping him on the shoulder and claiming that he spent the night with his spouse.

The milkman knocked on neighbours’ doors for help and shouted but he was chased by his attacker and assaulted again.

A witness in Eastern Avenue, Romford, said he was woken by a knock on the door and then saw the two men vault over his fence.

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A 67-year-old woman whose body was found in a river by a child may have taken her own life.

Widow Emily Ball, of Albert Road, Romford, was said to have become depressed after a spell of influenza.

John Johnson, who was aged just 11, said he was walking along the banks of the River Rom when he saw the body in the water.

A police officer who was called said he also saw Mrs Ball, lying face upwards.

He removed her body from the water, with help, and tried to revive her before a doctor arrived.

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Forty years ago – 1973

The government warned Havering Council to slash its spending, stating that if it failed to comply it would be taken over.

The local authority was ordered by chancellor Anthony Barber to make a one-fifth cut in capital spending and a 10 per cent decrease in all other spending.

This meant the building programme for the social services department had to be scrapped for the 1974/5 period.

Among the shelved plans included old people’s homes and flats aimed at disabled young people.

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Two accidents occurred within an hour of each other in an area dubbed Harold Hill’s “killer mile”.

Motorcyclist Barry Blowers, 22, first collided with a car in Straight Road, from which he suffered cuts and bruises and had to be taken to Harold Wood Hospital.

After treatment he was allowed home.

The second accident saw a car involved in an accident with a parked lorry near the junction with Heaton Avenue.

Albert Bryan, the car driver, suffered cuts to his head and was also taken to Harold Wood Hospital, but he was released after a short time.

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Two teenage boys admitted starting a fire which ravaged a gum factory, causing £100,000 worth of damage.

The culprits, aged 14 and 15, targeted the A & BC Chewing Gum building in Spilsby Road, Harold Hill.

The blaze took 50 firefighters more than an hour to bring under control and it was only after another two hours that most of the fire appliances could leave.

Salvage teams spent the next day cleaning up the area.

Damaged and destroyed items included three fork-lift trucks, packing materials and stores.

The boys were put on probation for two years.

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Twenty years ago – 1993

The route of the £3billion Channel Tunnel rail link was due to be announced by the government’s transport secretary.

Havering Council and residents were waiting to find out whether the link would run along the Liverpool Street and Shenfield line or whether it would be further south, away from homes.

There was also a possibility of Rainham having an international station.

However, council leader Cllr Arthur Latham said he believed the announcement on a station would not occur yet as the treasury, transport and environment departments could not agree on a location.

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A former headteacher published a book charting 40 years of school assemblies.

Ernie Hewitt, who worked at Britton’s lower school, used his spare time since retiring to write Boil in the Bag Meditations.

Two pupils at the school, Mark Horton and Keegan Darby, 13, discovered he was working on it and kept asking him how it was going.

As a thank you they were handed the original manuscripts.

Mr Hewitt said: “You could say the lads kept on at me until it was finally published.”

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A gang of four youths, believed to be from Havering, forced a car off the road before attacking its driver.

The incident, in Purfleet, Essex, saw the Jaguar driver forced onto a verge by a Ford Escort which pulled in front of him.

The group opened the passenger door, with one of them stealing a phone.

At the same time, two youths opened the driver’s door, which resulted in him struggling and sustaining minor injuries.

The group, who it is believed were trying to steal the vehicle, were scared off by passing traffic.

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