Nostalgia: Havering in history on June 6, 1954 and 1994
18:45 06 June 2014
This week in history - 60 and 20 years ago.
Sixty years ago - 1954
A 12-year-old boy died after becoming trapped under a bus.
Sidney Jones, of Queen Street, Romford, was returning from a shopping trip when he ran into a road and was hit by the double-decker.
Firefighters from Romford were called to free Sidney, but before they arrived a passing paramedic removed the boy by cutting away the guard rails from beneath the bus.
Sidney was dead on arrival at Oldchurch Hospital, Romford.
A couple were due to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.
William and Ada Gregory, 76 and 75, were soon to head off to one of their sons’ homes in Enfield for a party with family and friends.
The pair, of Riversdale Road, Collier Row, had a cake with golden icing baked for them by a neighbour and were given a brass slipper box by others.
Mrs Gregory said: “When we came here from Bush Hill Park, Enfield, seven years ago we thought we had lost all our friends. We did not.
“All our neighbours are marvellous people.”
The couple were married at St John’s Church, Hackney.
They had two sons and three grandchildren.
Three houses in Collier Row were targeted by burglars in the early hours of the same morning.
Edwin Hall and his wife were asleep in their Linley Crescent home when a burglar got in through a fanlight that was not secured properly.
The burglar stole a cash box containing £6, a necklace and a purse. He also drank a pint of milk.
In nearby Mawney Road, a burglar stole a camera and 10 guineas worth £36 in total.
He got inside by breaking a pane of glass in a rear window and releasing the catch.
A burglar also broke into the home of Laura Huxtable five doors away using a similar method, but did not steal anything.
A 14-year-old girl from Finland travelled to Hornchurch to improve her English.
Gitta Gillberg, from the small port of Kotka, near Helsinki, was staying with Frank Rivett and his wife in Station Lane for three months.
She made her way by travelling on a steamer to Antwerp, heading to Ostend, getting on a boat for Dover and catching a train from Victoria.
Mrs Rivett said: “I think it’s jolly good and brave of her at 14 to make such a long journey on her own.”
Gitta, whose visit was arranged by the Ford Motor Company, said: “I am very happy to be here.”
Twenty years ago - 1994
An Asian probation officer was racially abused and robbed by three white men.
He was attacked as he walked over a grass area in Roneo Corner, Romford.
He did not report the incident to police for a month because he was left so traumatised.
Det Con Mark Smith, of Romford CID, said: “He had clearly been through an extremely harrowing experience.”
The men hurled racial abuse at the officer before bundling him to the floor.
The first man then demanded money and shouted a racist insult. The victim eventually handed over £25.
Police released an e-fit of the main attacker and descriptions of all three.
A row broke out between residents and a travelling circus.
The attraction had set up on private land and the dispute led the Havering branch of the Circus Friends Association to call for talks with the council.
Member Colin Redpath, of Harold Hill, said: “It’s time we stopped being quiet.
“By banning the use of captive animals on council-owned land, circuses are forced on to private land, where the council is unable to regulate parking and public safety measures.”
Council leader Cllr Arthur Latham said: “We will listen but we are against the principal of animals being trained for such acts and it would be difficult to prove any training was not cruel.”
A lorry driver was recovering after suffering a terrifying three-hour hijack ordeal.
The 22-year-old, whose lorry contained £15,000 of ex-rental televisions and videos, had just filled up at a service station in Faringdon Avenue, Harold Hill, when he was approached by a man who threatened him and told him to drive to Broxhill Road.
The man had his hand in a sports bag, which may have contained a gun.
Once on the road the driver was forced to pull over, before a hood was placed over his head and he was pushed into the footwell of the passenger seat.
After the robber had unloaded the lorry he later stopped in a dirt track and pulled the victim out.
He punched him in the face, pushed him to the ground and then fled. The lorry driver raised the alarm.
n Campaigners wrote a letter to Prime Minister John Major asking him to save Romford’s South Street shops.
Arthur Howes, from the Save South Street Action Group, said the area had died after traffic was diverted away from the town centre in 1988.