Flashback: A councillor resigns, travellers evicted and plans for a new hospital

60 years ago. Picture: Romford Library

60 years ago. Picture: Romford Library - Credit: Romford Library

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

40 years ago. Picture: Romford Library

40 years ago. Picture: Romford Library - Credit: Romford Library

1957: Conservative Councillor James Hughes, 51, who was first elected in 1948, resigned because of ill health.

He handed in his resignation to the town clerk Percy Cox, following his doctor’s order to give up public life.

Mr Hughes, who lived in Nelmes Road, Hornchurch, also resigned from the executive of Hornchurch Conservative Association of which he was founder in 1945.

He became the association’s second chairman in 1946 and again took the chair in 1952.

20 years ago. Picture: Romford Library

20 years ago. Picture: Romford Library - Credit: Romford Library


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Mr Hughes helped the association’s membership build up from 13 to more than 9,000 people.

He also spent time serving on several committees.

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1977: Police took a man away from his sobbing wife when Sheriff’s officers moved in to evict 28 traveller families camped in a Romford field.

Seventy police officers stood by with tow trucks and dog-catching equipment as the families were evicted from the Whalebone Lane North camp site in the 7am swoop.

Officers by led Michael Harrie, the under-sheriff of London, were executing a High Court order to clear the land granted to Barking Council on July 19.

Police detained one man when he refused to remove his caravan.

The man’s wife also refused to go at first but after a short discussion with police, she agreed to move.

Her husband was released later and no charges were made.

Most of the travellers towed their own caravans away.

1997: Havering could have been on course for a new multi-million pound hospital.

The Recorder revealed plans for choosing a single site for Havering’s accident and emergency department included the possibility of a new hospital – an idea backed by the borough’s three Labour MPs – as well as developing an A&E unit at Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, and or Harold Wood Hospital.

Investment in the new general hospital, which would have been on Havering Council owned property behind Romford Ice Rink, could have exceeded £100million.

Romford MP Eileen Gordon and Hornchurch MP Jon Cryer were to make representations to the panel in favour of the new hospital.

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