Nostalgia: Havering in history on July 11, 1954, 1974 and 1994

18:45 11 July 2014

The Recorder, July 9, 1954

The Recorder, July 9, 1954


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

Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, July 12, 1974Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, July 12, 1974

Sixty years ago - 1954

A Hornchurch man was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing £2,500 worth of artefacts which had belonged to Lord Nelson.

The 36-year-old man was caught for his raid at Monmouth Museum after he tried to steal from a museum in South Kensington, London.

He pleaded guilty to stealing the Nelson relics, which were the property of Monmouth Borough Council, and breaking out of the building.

Romford Recorder, July 8, 1994Romford Recorder, July 8, 1994

Prosecutor R. B. C Parnall said the man was “emboldened” by his first raid, but was disturbed during the second and fell and broke his arm during a chase.

When his home was searched, the artefacts were found.

Mr Parnall said the man was inspired by a television programme in which Nelson relics were shown.

The man, who had lost money in his business at Bermondsey Market, stole the items from Monmouth Museum after hiding in the cellar.

He sold a quantity of them and kept the others.

In court, he sobbed and said: “I cannot express my shame.”


A man was trying to trace his brother who had been in Romford before the Second World War.

Lancelot Breadon, who was living in Burma, hoped to find brother George, who had been a cabinet maker.

Lancelot was taken prisoner by the Japanese in 1942 and had not been able to communicate with George since.


A swarm of bees which settled in the soffit of a house’s back door for nearly a week were finally dispersed.

The bees came to a home in Colchester Road, Harold Wood, on a Wednesday and were only fully removed on the Sunday after efforts by a beekeeper and neighbours.


Forty years ago - 1974

The cadmium pollution scare at the Bretons Farm allotments in Hornchurch raged on.

Hornchurch MP Alan Lee Williams asked Havering Council to launch a full inquiry, and said he if his new request was declined he would raise the matter in Parliament.

He said he was staggered by the figures, which revealed the high levels of the chemical in the soil.

He added: “It might be a good idea to close the allotments until a full inquiry has established the facts.”

However, the council said they had no intention of closing the allotments before the autumn.


Havering Council revealed new plans to help elderly and vulnerable people.

Staff hoped to introduce a service called the street warden scheme, which would see selected residents become responsible for contacting at-risk neighbours every day.

Ratepayer Alderman Frank Morley, chairman of the social services committee, said: “There have been instances in the borough where pensioners have been lying injured for some time before their plight has been realised and I view this most seriously.”

There was also talk of plans to build community spirit among residents, particularly those living on estates.

People would be encouraged to help others, such as gardening and shopping for the elderly.

The trial was going to be tested at the Mardyke estate in Rainham first.


A petition to bring back speedway was given a boost by an event.

An extra 500 signatures were collected during Romford Carnival, increasing the total to approximately 1,000.

It was started by Marjorie Fisk from Romford, who collected between 400 and 500 signatures initially.


Twenty years ago - 1994

Havering Council decided to fit all of its 44 passenger vehicles with seatbelts, ahead of possible new legislation.

The council was one of the first local authorities to react to a spate of road tragedies.

It was set to spend £70,000 putting seatbelts in its large coaches and minibuses as well as 60 wheelchair fittings.

The news came after parents of pupils from Towers Infants’ School, in Hornchurch, claimed youngsters were expected to be sitting three to a seat on a trip to Colchester Zoo.

The trip was cancelled after half of the parents pulled their children out.

Parent John McCutcheon said: “Even to consider packing kids in three to a seat is crazy.”

Council leader Cllr Arthur Latham said: “The safety of our passengers is paramount and we are taking the initiative.”


A father was granted permission by the High Court to trace his three daughters, who he believed were in Romford.

The man had not seen them since Christmas, when his partner went missing and obtained a seek and find order.


A battle to save a school’s sixth form was successful.

It was announced by the education secretary that the sixth form at Frances Bardsley Girls’ School, in Gidea Park, was to be retained.

Headteacher Pamela Joughin said: “It is an important milestone. Had we lost the sixth form, the character of the school would have changed.”

Romford MP Sir Michael Neubert said the decision was a “triumph for common sense and parental choice”.

Havering Council had wanted sixth form education to be concentrated at Havering Sixth Form College.

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