Flashback: Development projects, Notting Hill Carnival and a plane crash


40-years-ago - Credit: Archant

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


Action on important Romford projects was being blocked by Ministry expenditure bans. Reports discussed at the meeting of Romford Borough Council in the town hall revealed ministers said no to the following development proposals. Cross Road Estate: Because of the “urgent need to exercise every possible economy in expenditure” the minister turned down Romford Housing Committee’s request for a loan. Havering Village Sewerage Scheme: The need was not sufficiently urgent to justify immediate action. The Ridgeway and Glenwood Drive: A loan was refused to cover the cost of making up these roads. Export of population: A decision to exclude Romford from the list of authorities entitled to export families to Basildon and Harlow under the Industrial Selection Scheme was made.


Ten Havering police officers were injured when they were attacked by mobs of rioting youths at Notting Hill Carnival in west London. About 100 officers from the borough were called in to help police as the carnival turned the streets of Notting Hill into a battlefield. One of the injured officers – Sgt Lee Smythe, of Hornchurch – was taken to hospital with a badly bruised ankle after being knocked to the ground under a barrage of bricks and broken bottles. From his home, where he was recovering with his wife and two children, Sgt Smythe said: “It was absolute chaos – I’ve never been to anything like this before although I’ve done the demonstrations. This was totally different. It was an out and out riot – nearly total warfare. We were at the junction of Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park. We were surrounded by hundreds of these people.” When the order was given to dismantle the blockade, Sgt Smythe picked up a dustbin lid to protect himself and ran towards the trouble spot with the other officers.


A pilot who miraculously escaped with slight head injuries when his light aircraft crashed into a farmer’s field in Havering-atte-Bower was charged with a drugs offence. The man, in his early 40s, was thought to be heading for Stapleford Abbotts Airfield when it was believed the aircraft ran out of fuel and crash landed in a acre field at Home Farm, in North Road. A shocked resident of the farm discovered the crash scene at around 5.20pm and immediately called the emergency services. He said: “The plane was upside down and the pilot was just standing there with a bad cut to his head. We brought him to the house and he told me he appeared to be out of fuel.

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“It was not something you expect to see every day and the man was very lucky. He was a bit disorientated but quite well but the plane was written off.” The pilot was taken to Oldchurch hospital, Romford, for treatment.