December 8 2013 Latest news:
Ramzy Alwakeel, Reporter
Friday, September 27, 2013
This week in history - 40 and 20 years ago in the Romford Recorder.
Forty years ago – 1973
Vandals ran riot through a Romford factory in what the Recorder dubbed an “orgy of destruction”, stealing tools and creating havoc.
It was the third time the Bridge Close factory owned by British Gaskets had been hit in a month.
The raiders ransacked and emptied the contents of packages over the floor, spread oil “everywhere”, and forced open a tea machine – before covering it, too, in oil.
The incident held up production, costing £300 in wasted man hours, as pre-packed boxes ready for distribution had been burst open and scattered.
A factory spokesman described the scene as “sheer havoc”.
Not only was British Gaskets being targeted – a bingo hall had been stripped of prizes worth £600 in two separate raids.
Electric blankets, toasters and bedspreads were among the items taken from the Willow Rooms in Willow Street, Romford. The break-ins, thought to happened after burglars bent iron bars to get through a window, brought the total number of raids on the entertainment hall in 1973 to three.
Owner Ian Hilton vowed to “get an Alsatian to guard the building”.
A mystery explosion at an electricity substation plunged 75,000 homes into darkness and cut supplies to the railway.
The blast, at Crowlands, Romford, hurt no one, but could be seen for six miles.
Now an Eastern Electricity spokesman had revealed the blast might have been caused deliberately.
“No other more suitable site” was available in Havering for an abattoir than Cranham, the council was told.
The comment was made by a senior planning officer at a public enquiry at Havering Town Hall over plans to site a slaughterhouse complex in the greenbelt.
But residents in Beredens Lane, which neighboured the site, had complained on grounds of “noise, smell and nuisance”.
In a letter to the council, nearby resident Hester Snell wrote: “The very thought of animals being taken into the abattoir and also those grazing on the adjoining pasture waiting to be killed will upset me very greatly”.
Palmers Wholesale (Butchers) Ltd, of Oldchurch Road, Romford, was looking for a site because its existing slaughterhouse had been earmarked for demolition to make way for the ring road.
A small concrete windmill had been stolen from a back garden in South Hornchurch.
The ornament, which was about two and a half feet high, had been taken during a patch of particularly windy weather.
Twenty years ago – 1993
A terrified teenager escaped from a horror kidnap attempt after a man claiming to be a police officer forced her to stop her car in a “lonely country lane”.
The would-be kidnapper had swerved in front of the girl and opened all his car doors to block the narrow road leading from Corbets Tey to Rainham.
But the quick-thinking 18-year-old managed to drive over an embankment to make her getaway.
The ordeal started after the man started following the woman as she approached the Bell Corner traffic lights in Upminster on the way home from a night out.
After both cars pulled away from the lights, he swerved in front of her, forcing her to slam on the brakes.
The “evil abductor” got out of his car and demanded his victim open up, claiming to be a policeman.
Shocked, the woman asked for his ID, which he said he did not have, before he began trying to open her locked door.
At that point she revved her engine and sped away.
Police were appealing for information.
A cat burglar who escaped from prison to avoid his cellmates’ beatings was recaptured after returning to his life of crime.
The 24-year-old, who had lived in Harold Wood before he was jailed, clung to the bottom of a laundry lorry to escape the low-security Downview Prison in Sutton, Surrey.
He had been jailed in 1989 for multiple burglaries. His sentence would have seen him released the following August.
Once outside he eluded the police for six months, living with his girlfriend, until the relationship broke down.
Finding himself homeless and unemployed, Southwark Crown Court heard, he took a number of ecstasy tablets and returned to “something he was familiar with” – break-ins.
But he was finally captured after forcing his way into two exclusive homes in South Kensington, and had four years added to his remaining sentence.
A young Post Office worker was beaten up by thugs who demanded he hand over the parcels in his van.
The 22-year-old was ambushed in Mawney Road after stopping to investigate a noise – which turned out to be one of his attackers knocking on the back of the vehicle.
He went to climb out of the cab but was grabbed by the throat by one of the men, who forced him against the side of the van and demanded the contents of the truck.
When he said there was nothing of value inside, he was punched in the face.
But his assailants lost their nerve and ran off toward Romford town centre. Now police were asking witnesses to come forward.
A 41-year-old man has been stabbed at an address in Harold Hill.