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An amateur painter with a penchant for “bleak” scenes has seen off competition from professional artists to reach the semi-final of a television contest.

He has got to be one of the most recognisable faces in the world, making millions of children happy every year and it was an honour to meet him for an exclusive interview for the very first time.

Havering’s hospital trust is having its finances formally investigated by the NHS after it was forced to take out a £15m bail-out loan.

Romford chairman Steve Gardener is backing his manager and the squad to get them off the foot of the table after losing 2-1 to Bury Town on Saturday.

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

The 19th century Havering elite travelled to London on the Norwich Phenomena and the Ipswich Quicksilver, writes Prof Ged Martin

Romford manager Paul Martin is backing his talented young side to bounce back from their FA Cup exit.

Jim McFarlane believes things are looking ‘rosy’ for Hornchurch after their comfortable 4-1 winagainst local rivals Romford on Bank Holiday Monday.

Three goals at the start of the second half helped Hornchurch maintain their 100 per cent start to the 2017/18 campaign, as they beat local rivals Romford on a glorious Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

Abuse abounded in a 19th century parish council election, as Prof Ged Martin explains

A cigarette lighter that was accidentally ignited by the mechanism of a reclinable chair caused a fire at a block of flats for elderly people earlier this morning.

Havering’s NHS trust managed to avoid the worst effects of Friday’s cyber attack by taking systems offline immediately, the Recorder can reveal.

In the wake of Friday’s cyber attack on the NHS, Havering’s health trust is urging patients to only visit A&E in real emergencies.

Boro boss and Alex Goldstone are drawing up list of potential signings with several members of current squad set to leave

Cricketer and a force in local politics – Prof Ged Martin finds out more about a forgotten man

The NHS trust which serves Havering today was moved out of special measures, with particular praise given to care for children and those suffering with dementia.

Boro boss pleased to see Ship Lane club bag all three points on the road and move up one place to 16th in the table

A doctor who trialled an innovative therapy session for children whose parents have cancer, has gained a place on a special healtchare programme.

According to a new report from a property group, house prices for three-bed semis have risen by an average of 14 percent across Essex.

Boro created many chances midweek, but could only draw with Thamesmead Town

Boro boss frustrated after Ship Lane club concede late equaliser to draw

Former Brentwood Town attacker returned to Ship Lane on Saturday and hit a brace to inspire Regent to 4-1 win over his old club

Manager praises striker for breaking club record

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Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

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