Nostalgia: Havering in history on June 27, 1954, 1974 and 1994
18:45 27 June 2014
This week in history - 60 and 20 years ago.
Sixty years ago - 1954
Mothers of children studying at a Catholic hall were defying a government ban on the site supplying cheap school meals by preparing their own.
The minister for education had stated that the pupils could not qualify for the same school meals as at other schools, but eight local Catholic women decided to start buying, cooking and preparing food for the Catholic Church Hall, in Petersfield Avenue, Harold Hill.
They were providing meals for nine pence rather than the one shilling eight pence the ministry wished to charge.
Mrs P Eisenhower, in charge of the cooking, said: “I think it is disgusting that the ministry can recognise the hall as a school, but cannot allow the privilege of cheap meals.
“Most parents couldn’t afford it – some find nine pence a day difficult.”
Confetti was banned at weddings in a church.
The council approved a proposal by the Parochial Church Council, asking that guests refrain from throwing confetti in the churchyard at Rainham Parish Church.
A fire broke out in the roof of a stadium’s grandstand, on a day when schoolchildren were engaged in sports activities.
Children from St Edward’s Church of England Secondary School were participating in preliminaries at Romford Stadium, in the run-up to their annual sports day, when the blaze started.
Terry Baker, 12, said: “I saw thick yellow smoke pour out of the roof. I grabbed my clothes and ran down the slopes and told a teacher, who telephoned for the fire brigade.”
The fire destroyed electrical equipment and seriously damaged the wooden structure built into the roof of the grandstand.
Forty years ago - 1974
A councillor claimed that Havering Council was in one “hell of a mess” due to its finances being £3.5million in the red.
Jack Moultrie said the deficit could even swell by millions more by the end of the year, due to pay rises and other increased costs which were set to be forced upon the council by the government.
Cllr Moultrie, chairman of the council’s policy and resources committee, said: “I have never seen any council’s finances in such a hell of a mess as they are now and I am seething mad.
“It will take 60 years to repair some of the damage done in the last three years of Labour’s rake’s progress.”
Cllr Moultrie said the amount would have to be cut from the year’s spending and stated that, of the year’s budget, more than £900,000 had been taken from the previous year’s balance.
He said to rectify this a similar sum would have to be “borrowed” from balances the following year.
Schemes which had already fallen victim to the axe included a £25,000 ski slope at Bedfords Park and a £30,000 bar at the New Windmill Hall in Upminster.
The opening of the £750,000 Queen’s Theatre was set to be delayed by an additional sixth months.
Cllr Dave Davis claimed that development had been affected by industrial action by town hall officers.
He believed the contractors were not being paid because the National and Local Government Officers’ Association was restricting the amount of money sent from the town hall.
Cllr Davis added that he hoped to invite the Queen to officially open the theatre.
Twenty years ago - 1994
An elderly couple distraught after thieves stole plants they had saved up to buy had smiles put back on their faces by two police officers.
Mary Adams, 76, and her husband George, 80, had used money from their pensions to buy flowers for their pots, but both the pots and the flowers were stolen.
Mrs Adams said: “I just cried when I realised what these heartless criminals had done.”
But help was at hand from Pc Bob Hooper and Wpc Angela Brighty who arrived at the couple’s home in Cavendish Avenue, Rainham (now in Hornchurch), with replacement plants.
Mrs Adams said: “You hear so many bad things said against the police, but you just can’t forget kindness like that. It left me speechless.”
Park Grocers in Mungo Park Road, where the police officers bought the flowers, decided to donate a bunch themselves.
n Employment minister Ann Widdecombe attended a lunch at the Romford YMCA to highlight the plight of jobless and homeless young people.
She said: “I challenge you to cast aside preconceptions about how old someone is or where they live and choose employees because of the skills they have to offer.
“The YMCA foyers aim to break the vicious circle of no home no job, no job, no home, which some adults find themselves in.”
The Romford Foyer was one of five pilot schemes in the country.
A new charity was appealing for people with outdoor pursuit qualifications to come forward and help out.
Havering Venture, organised by the police, businesses and churches, hoped to provide activities such as rock climbing and ice skating for children in need, including those with learning and physical disabilities.