Nostalgia: Havering in history on July 25, 1954, 1974 and 1994

20:14 25 July 2014

The Recorder, July 23, 1954

The Recorder, July 23, 1954


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

Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, July 26, 1974Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, July 26, 1974

Sixty years ago - 1954

Shoppers converged around a store to watch firefighters tackling a blaze.

The alarm had been raised when smoke was seen pouring out of ventilators and the front door of the butcher’s department of the London Co-operative shop, in South Street, Romford.

An office to the rear of the department had set alight, damaging furniture and equipment.

Romford Recorder, July 22, 1994Romford Recorder, July 22, 1994

Firemen from Romford and Hornchurch put out the blaze with a hose reel.


A builder died in a freak accident on a roof he was working on, which also left his co-worker seriously injured.

Herbert Thomas Pickett, 39, was working on a chimney stack at a house in Harrow Drive, Hornchurch, while Arthur Spalding was repairing a gutter. However, there was a sudden crash and both men fell, along with the two ladders they had been using. The smaller ladder was crushed by the fall.

The builders landed on the concrete at the rear of the house.

Mrs E Saunders, who lived in the home, said she saw the men hurtle past the windows of her dining room.

She called for an ambulance, which took them to Oldchurch Hospital.

Mr Pickett died two days after the fall. Mr Spalding was still in hospital with serious injuries.


An elderly woman died after being hit by a car.

Jessie Lang, 72, from Shenfield, was involved in the accident in High Street, Brentwood.

She died in Harold Wood Hospital.


Romford’s street lighting was set to be converted from gas to electricity, at a cost of £15,000.

The Minister of Transport had approved the plan in principle.

It was hoped the project would be completed by winter.


Forty years ago - 1974

An MP touched by the story of a multiple sclerosis sufferer was planning to aid an appeal to purchase a special minibus for him.

Alan Lee Williams was set to give his support to neighbours of Derek Partington, 30, who wanted to buy him a vehicle fitted with a hydraulic lift so he could be taken out by his father.

Mr Williams said: “I am delighted to do what I can to help. I will contact the under-secretary of state for the Department of Health and Social Security and see what can be arranged.

“This is a most deserving case.”

Mr Partington, from Elm Park, was paralysed from the waist down, had little control over his arms and was nearly blind.

His story was brought to the Recorder’s attention when his neighbours contacted the Good Neighbours Desk – to help readers in need.

Mr Partington was diagnosed after he was admitted to Harold Wood Hospital, aged 22, with a bladder problem and he spent four years in and out of hospital. Soon after, he received a Bronze Survival Medal for swimming 18 lengths using his arms only and he was awarded the first Havering Mayor’s Award.


A baby was the 5,000th born at a hospital.

Harold Wood Hospital celebrated the arrival of Keftean Kelly, whose mother Ann Kelly was given an inscribed silver spoon.


A Romford couple were on holiday in Cyprus when violence broke out and they had to return home.

George and Louisa Hutchinson got home to Rush Green Road safely, but their car to a Cyprus airport had been stopped a number of times by armed patrols.


Twenty years ago - 1994

Sunday shopping was set to become a reality in Romford in an attempt to compete with out-of-town shopping centres.

The Liberty 2 centre, which featured a range of stores and leisure activities, was due to open every Sunday, with Romford Market possibly soon to follow.

The centre’s manager Phil

Alexander said Liberty 2 needed to take the action to compete with the Lakeside shopping centre and urged other traders to follow suit.

Romford Market Stallholders’ Association was due to host a referendum of members at its annual meeting. Simon Quin, the new Havering town centre manager, said Sunday shopping would be a “relaxed leisure experience for all the family”.


Romford County Court was to rule whether Havering Council was responsible for one of a spate of incidents which saw vehicles damaged by descending exit barriers in car parks.

The proceedings were being brought by resident Roger Baker, from Chadwell Heath.


Robbers posing as security men stole £1million from a post office by tricking staff – minutes before the real guards turned up.

The men, wearing fake uniforms and driving a bogus Security Express van, pulled up near to the building in South Street, Romford.

One used a fake identity card to get inside, before taking the bags of used notes and money orders and walking out.

He loaded them into the van, which was driven down to Exchange Street. The raiders moved on to another vehicle, possibly a car, and poured petrol over the van before setting it alight.

Det Insp George Raison said: “At least two robbers were involved but there may have been others.”


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