Nostalgia: Havering in history on January 31, 1954, 1974 and 1994
18:45 31 January 2014
This week in history - 60, 40 and 20 years ago.
Sixty years ago – 1954
A 29-year-old man who attacked his 22-month-old baby was put on probation for three years.
A doctor said the child had 26 bruises on his face and body, which could have been caused by a clenched fist.
When a policeman visited the defendant’s home after neighbours made complaints, the man allegedly said: “I am so sorry I did it. He was screaming so much and I lost my temper.”
The man, who pleaded not guilty, allegedly told an inspector later that he “only hit him with my hand” and that other injuries were caused by him “falling about”.
He denied these conversations in court.
Two safes were stolen by robbers in Havering within two hours.
The first was witnessed by a 15-year-old girl who was standing at a bus stop in Harold Park.
She saw three men enter Griff’s Stores, and four coming out with the safe.
When the owner’s wife returned, she found cigarettes worth £200 had been stolen along with the safe, which contained £50.
The second incident, in Gidea Park, was witnessed by a resident, who saw two men leave a house with a safe.
A man carrying a ferret wearing a bell was fined £2 for trespassing on private land.
The man, also carrying four nets, had pleaded guilty but said Misery Meadow, of Chequers Road, Noak Hill, had not been fenced off and there was no indication it was private land.
There was laughter when chairman Mr H. H. Wake, on seeing the nets, said: “I hope you haven’t brought the ferret!”
A police constable said the defendant had claimed to be after rabbits.
Forty years ago - 1974
A new mum became a widow only six days after the birth of her baby.
Heartbroken Eileen Hammond said she had “no intentions” of marrying again after her husband Murray died in a fire believed to be caused by arson.
Mr Hammond, 22, was trapped in the couple’s flat, above a Manor Park furniture store, after the blaze began.
Mrs Hammond, also 22, who was at the time staying at her mother’s Rainham home with son Paul, said: “I will devote my life to my son.
“Murray was so thrilled about the baby, he thought he was beautiful.
“It was going to be the happiest time of our marriage and now this has happened. I can’t believe it.”
The couple had been married for nearly two years.
A masked man frightened two schoolgirls by jumping out in front of them.
One girl was left “badly scared” by the incident, said a police spokesman, and the other was “actually jumped on”.
Neither were hurt.
The girls had been travelling home from the Chafford School, in Lambs Lane, Rainham, when the incident happened.
As a result, the police began keeping a closer eye on the area around the school.
A pub landlord was given a shock when his ice-making machine caught fire.
James Elliott raced to the William the Conqueror in, Harold Hill, after a barmaid discovered the blaze when she went in the bottle store.
The landlord moved wooden crates away to stop the fire spreading before waiting for firefighters to arrive.
He said: “The walls and ceiling of the store were scorched.”
Twenty years ago - 1994
A pervert being hunted by police struck again – by grabbing a 13-year-old girl and exposing himself to her.
The child was said to have told officers the man had an “evil grin” fixed on his face throughout her ordeal.
After exposing himself, he grabbed the teenager and squeezed her tightly. The first time she broke free he grabbed her again, but she eventually escaped.
The man, thought to be between 40 to 45 years old, struck near Raphael Park, Romford.
The hunt was on for a violent young robber who targeted old ladies by pushing past them into their homes.
The offender, thought to be 12, took away a haul worth £1,800 after targeting the women, who were in their 80s.
He first struck at an Upminster address, pushing past an 85-year-old who tried to block his way with her walking frame.
She also tried to hit the boy with her crutch, but he made off with two purses, containing £300 in cash, and diamond rings worth more than £1,500.
He then targeted two houses in or near Ardleigh Green, leaving with nothing and mysteriously handing the women a £1 coin each.
Boxer Frank Bruno joined the fight to save the Infectious Disease Unit at Harold Wood Hospital.
The star was one of the first people to sign resident Julia Pelling’s petition.
Mrs Pelling told Bruno the news when he visited her Shenfield chemist.
She said: “Frank was very upset when I explained what Havering Hospitals NHS Trust is planning to do to the unit. He signed up immediately, saying he would back us all the way.”