Nostalgia: Havering in history on July 18, 1954, 1974 and 1994

18:45 18 July 2014

The Recorder, July 16, 1954

The Recorder, July 16, 1954


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

Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, July 19, 1974Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, July 19, 1974

Sixty years ago - 1954

A mother-of-four was found dead in her back garden with deep stab wounds in her chest, an inquest heard.

Florence Gladys Pearce, 30, was rushed to Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, after neighbours raised the alarm, but she died.

Her husband John, 30, was detained at the hospital, with wounds to his throat and wrists.

Romford Recorder, July 15, 1994Romford Recorder, July 15, 1994

The coroner heard evidence of identification and medical matters before adjourning the inquest for three months.

Pathologist Dr W W Walther said Mrs Pearce had four main stab wounds. The one to the left of her chest had gone inwards and downwards, penetrating the upper lobe of the left lung and almost cutting it in half.

Both her lungs collapsed and contained blood.

Neighbours had allegedly heard screams and seen Mrs Pearce running down the garden, clutching her chest and screaming.


Seven houses in Collier Row and Rise Park were raided in one weekend.

Burglars entered through open fanlights, despite police having warned residents about not securing them properly.

Items stolen included money, jewellery, rugs and tinned foods.

One house, in Carter Drive, was targeted by burglars who moved a three-piece suite and a sideboard so they could remove the carpet from a room.


A new health centre was due to open in Harold Hill.

The site, in Gooshays Drive, boasted three doctors’ surgeries as well as orthopaedic, antenatal, minor ailment, ophthalmic and dental clinics.

It was said to be the first of its kind in the area.


A reverend was leaving Romford after many years.

J. Kingsley Sanders had been circuit superintendent at Romford Methodist Circuit and minister of the Trinity Methodist Church.


Forty years ago - 1974

A Romford soldier was hurt in an explosion at the Tower of London – at the same time a group of schoolchildren were visiting.

Guardsman Benjamin Thompson, of Rush Green Road, was in hospital with severe ear injuries and had gone deaf.

It was not known whether his hearing would be permanently damaged.

The bomb blast killed one woman and injured 42 others, most of them children.

Youngsters from Engayne Junior School, aged 10 and 11, had just visited the tower when the bomb, thought to contain 10lb of explosives, went off.

It was said that eight of the children escaped death or injury by only a few minutes.

Annie Griffiths had been looking after the pupils with two other mothers and a teacher when the incident happened.

She said: “The explosion sounded like a gun going off.”


Students modelled Great Gatsby-style clothes they had made at a school open day.

The event at Brittons School, in Ford Lane, Hornchurch, also featured exhibitions in the history and geography departments, sports and food to sample.


The borough’s “Mr Music” retired from his job.

Harold Foan, of Claremont Gardens, Upminster, left Havering’s Symphony Orchestra after running it for five years.


Repairs worth £45,000 were needed to keep a swimming pool open for another five years.

Members of Havering Council’s community and recreation services committee were expected to agree to the demolition of the Mawney Road Swimming Baths in Romford.

The chairman, Cllr Norman Miles, had already said he thought the building should go, but that a replacement would be built as soon as possible.


Twenty years ago - 1994

Alcoves in a notorious alley were being sealed up in an attempt to stop muggings and sexual assaults.

Work was due to finish on installing 6ft high spiked metal railings and lighting at The Battis, between South Street and Waterloo Road.

Havering Council’s leader, Cllr Arthur Latham, said: “We are addressing The Battis problems as part of those of the town centre.

“Work is nearing completion and security cameras are going to be installed in the town centre.

“I find it incredible there should be so much iniquity right in the centre of the town.

“We can only combat these problems by working together – the more accessible and more populated the town becomes, the greater the deterrent to crime.”

n Three schoolchildren were allegedly left behind at a swimming pool in two separate incidents.

Havering Council launched an inquiry after three pupils from Mawney Junior School, in Mawney Road, Romford, were left at the Harold Hill Swimming Pool.

A 10-year-old girl was left the first time and two boys a week later.

A council spokesman said: “Following discussions with the school’s governors and the headteacher, it has been agreed that two members of staff will accompany the children to the school.”


Bogus roofers stole £500 from an 80-year-old woman after going to the bank with her to withdraw money to pay them for minor repairs.

They struck at Fairholme Avenue, Gidea Park, just a week after conmen cheated £13,600 out of an elderly couple who lived in nearby Cambridge Avenue.


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