December 5 2013 Latest news:
Ramzy Alwakeel, Reporter
Friday, October 25, 2013
This week in history - 60, 40 and 20 years ago.
Sixty years ago – 1953
A pensioner had been found dead and his wife very ill in a gas-filled room in Romford.
Charles and Mary Griggs, of London Road, were found after a neighbour, noticing the milk delivery hadn’t been collected from the couple’s doorstep after several hours, raised the alarm.
Mrs Sharp contacted the couple’s daughter, Mrs E. Brown, and another neighbour, Mr W. Thorne Parkins.
Mr Thorne Parkins and Mrs Brown went into the house, which smelt strongly of gas, and found the couple in the sitting room.
“Mr Griggs was sitting in his armchair as if nothing was wrong,” Mr W. Thorne Parkins told the Recorder.
Sadly, the 83-year-old was dead. His 78-year-old wife was taken to hospital.
A bus driver was fined £15 after knocking down and killing a cyclist in North Street, Romford.
William Ellis, 62, of Heather Avenue, pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving at Romford Magistrates’ Court.
He told the court the cyclist – Seven Kings chemist’s dispenser Hugh Coll – had been “making a bit of hard work”.
As he went to overtake Hugh in his 247a bus, headed for Collier Row, the cyclist “wobbled towards him”, it was said.
He added he had initially thought Hugh wasn’t badly hurt.
“It was so sudden,” he said.
Chickens and rabbits were in “ample supply”, but a meat porters’ strike meant Romford butchers would not be able to supply families with the full 2s 10d ration of meat for the weekend.
The Smithfield strike was over, but customers would have to wait until Saturday for their usual deliveries – and even then only 8d worth was likely to be available.
Forty years ago – 1973
The “gaiety” of the big, pre-Christmas spending boom in Romford was likely to be “dampened” by shoplifters and pickpockets, police warned.
Five elderly shoppers had been robbed in one day in Romford Market.
“The £7m central shopping area of Romford is recognised as one of the finest in London,” the Recorder said, “and the professional pickpockets and bag snatchers have been quick to seize their opportunities.”
Now plain clothes detectives were mingling with the crowds in an attempt to stamp out pickpocketing, while a “special police squad” had been set up to deal with shoplifting.
Romford town centre was “fast grinding to a standstill”.
The problem? The area was a victim of its own success, and too many motorists were driving into the “boom town”, “choking up” the streets and overwhelming car parks.
Anyone who stopped in the central area was faced with an instant fine.
“The shoppers’ dream has turned into a drivers’ nightmare, because the boom has become too big to handle,” the Recorder added.
A junction dubbed “Russian Roulette” in the previous week’s Recorder had “claimed its first injury victims”.
The problem had been created by out-of-action traffic lights in Southend Arterial Road, Hornchurch.
The Recorder had warned someone would be hurt at the Ardleigh Green traffic lights if no action was taken to repair them.
Four cars were involved in the smash, and Selby Morton, 23, of Chantry Way, Rainham, was taken to hospital with cuts to the chin and shoulder.
Striking maintenance workers were the reason the lights had not been repaired.
Twenty years ago – 1993
Urgent action to make a Collier Row road safer was being taken after a crash claimed three lives.
Fifty-nine-year-old Joyce Hubbard, of Cross Road, and a young couple on a motorcycle – Darren Henshaw, 23, and Terri Bird, 22 – had all died in the smash in Cross Road.
Now council leader Cllr Arthur Latham was calling for traffic calming measures to be brought in.
Mawney Residents’ Association had been pushing for the road to be made safer for 10 years, but a petition the previous year had been turned down by the council.
TV presenter Jimmy Savile had backed the Havering Young Citizen of the Year Awards, saying the programme was “like a ray of warm sunshine to me”.
And he had a question for Havering Council: “Why don’t you have six [award programmes] a year?”
The scheme had just started with nominations open until January. The ceremony would be held at Romford’s Dolphin swimming pool a month later.
A song written by a Collier Row man in memory of his young nephew had been heard by millions.
Michael Lennon, 40, of Warden Avenue, had penned “Ode to Ciaran” for little Ciaran Thornton, who had lost his six-week fight for life after being born prematurely in July.
Now he had performed the song on Yorkshire TV’s Calendar programme.
“I was so moved,” he said. “It just seemed to happen and it only took 10 minutes to write.”
Michael had 100 copies of the song produced on tape, and was selling them to raise money for the special care baby unit at Sheffield’s Jessop Hospital, where Ciaran had stayed.
A 41-year-old man has been stabbed at an address in Harold Hill.