December 6 2013 Latest news:
Ramzy Alwakeel, Reporter
Friday, September 13, 2013
This week in history - 60, 40 and 20 years ago.
Sixty years ago – 1953
The widow of a police officer who had won the British Empire Medal for bravery admitted pickpocketing in Romford Market.
Nellie Smith, of Seven Kings, said she had become “desperate” after hitting hard times following her husband’s death.
She pleaded guilty to theft of a purse and a penny, and to stealing a second purse containing £9 14s 2d.
Smith, 57, of Cobham Road, was caught after trying to take a policewoman’s purse that was secured with thread.
Giving evidence, Det Ch Insp V. H. Cook of Romford CID said market pickpockets were “getting very serious”, with more than 100 having been reported in the past year.
An “enormous crisp cabbage” was presented to Romford’s Mayor, Ald Mrs L. A. Irons, JP, by an 81-year-old gardener.
Ernest Leonard had exhibited the prizewinning vegetable at Romford and District Allotments and Gardens Association’s show in the King’s Hall.
Ernest spotted Mrs Irons eyeing up the cabbage and, “with old world courtesy”, he removed it from the display and presented it to her.
“So Romford’s Mayor went home not only clutching an official bouquet but an unofficial cabbage as well,” the Recorder noted.
Romford ambulance workers had to drive a quarter of a mile through a field and walk a further half mile through woods to rescue a boy who had fallen 30ft while collecting conkers.
Eleven-year-old Master Wain, of Longtown Road, Harold Hill, had been up the tree with friends in Tring Gardens when he slipped.
A branch beneath him broke his fall and he escaped without serious injury, sustaining a dislocated arm and abrasions. He was taken to Harold Wood Hospital.
Forty years ago – 1973
Vandals were endangering the lives of District Line passengers between Hornchurch and Elm Park, it was claimed.
The yobs were regularly leaving bricks and bicycle frames on the track and firing airgun pellets at passing trains.
Now drivers were appealing to parents to help them stamp out the problem.
Their fears weren’t without foundation. Eight years previously, a train driver and a passenger had been killed when a trail was derailed just outside Elm Park Station.
A Ministry of Transport inquiry concluded vandals had likely caused the crash by placing obstructions on the track.
A pregnant mum from Collier Row bravely fought a blaze when her gas heater exploded.
Maureen Ellis, 30, poured cups of water over the flames that shot from the heater in her bathroom.
Her two young children were playing in the hallway just metres from the fire. Luckily no one had been in the bathroom at the time.
Maureen alleged she had been unable to get a fitter on the scene for hours, and had to enlist the help of neighbours to turn the gas off.
A Romford policeman almost lost a hand when a box he was carrying exploded.
Sgt Lawrence Roberts, 45, of Garry Way, Rise Park, had found the package inside a stolen car, addressed to West Ham Police Station.
He put the box in a panda car and drove to the station – where the bomb inside detonated.
Brave Sgt Roberts said he was glad the device hadn’t injured an innocent member of the public.
Now police were “penetrating the East End’s underworld” in a bid to find the people who planted the device.
Twenty years ago – 1993
Armed raiders in sunglasses terrorised a Hornchurch building society before escaping with nearly £30,000.
The trio, all in their 20s, entered the Leeds Building Society in Hornchurch High Street in broad daylight. One screamed at staff while a second brandished what was thought to be a hand gun beneath a bag, and a third kept watch.
The first man then vaulted the counter, emptying a till and scooping more from an open safe, before the group made their escape.
£24,000 in cash and £5,000 in cheques were taken during the raid.
Now police were offering a reward for information that could help catch the gang.
A cycling sex pest had struck again – indecently assaulting a 15-year-old Frances Bardsley pupil before pedalling away.
It was the seventh time the blond teenager, who rode a black mountain bike, had attacked women and girls. His victims had been aged between 11 and 33.
This time he had cycled up to the girl as she walked to school in Hylands Way, shouting at her before grabbing her chest and riding off, laughing.
Now police had renewed their appeal for family or friends of the pervert to come forward before he could assault anyone else.
Skating Romford teen Nicola Humberstone was off to Estonia to represent England.
The Keats Avenue resident, who belonged to the Jems Precision Skating Team and trained at Romford Ice Rink, had already won two British Championship titles with them.
Now the Lee Valley-based group was to take part in an international contest against 20 other teams.
A 41-year-old man has been stabbed at an address in Harold Hill.