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A retro film fan has held on to a video tape borrowed from Romford Library for almost 19 years.

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The film, A Man for All Seasons, was taken out of the library, in St Edwards Way, in October 1994.

It chronicles the life and death of Sir Thomas More, who was executed after resisting King Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn and England’s break from the Catholic Church.

It was just one of dozens of missing books and items that were borrowed in the year – when Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet hit number one and Tony Blair became the leader of the Labour Party.

The tape has not been since, making it the most overdue item in Havering.

A cookbook was also taken out of Romford Library in the same month, along with a book on assessing children being put into council care, Aids to Paediatrics, a biography of American singer Janis Joplin and Twins and the Family.

GCSE guides for maths and English were issued at Rainham Library, Broadway, in October 1994, along with novel The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.

A budding hairdresser also took out The Principles and Practice of Hairdressing from Hornchurch Library, in North Street.

More than 26,500 books are overdue from libraries in the borough and forgetful borrowers have racked up £71,583 in fines since 2003.

If the missing books above are ever returned, forgetful users would owe nearly £1,800 in daily fines at the current rate, plus minimum £10 replacement costs and administration charges for reminders for each item.

A Havering Council spokesman said: “Customers will have been chased for these books but have moved away and we are unable to find them.

“They remain on our system in case they move back into the borough.”

In the last financial year, dutiful Havering library users paid £40,176 to libraries in fines and charges.

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