Flashback: New homes for families, ‘mobsters’ in Romford and animal rights protestors

40-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

40-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

1958:

Happiness and new homes for two Romford families depended on a decision by minister of housing and local govern-ment Henry Brooke and it could have important repercussions for many families facing Rent Act headaches and possible eviction.

To ease the plight of John and Ethel Holland, two pensioners from Seymer Road, Romford, who faced an increased rent of £2 which they said they could not afford, Romford’s Housing Committee decided to make a test request to the minister to allow them to buy the property.

They could then be rehoused in more suitable accommodation and this would have provided a home for a family at the top of Romford’s housing list.

40-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

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


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1978:

Leading Romford Market traders claimed that “mobsters” were trying a “take over” bid of their stalls.

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And they were gathering evidence of what they claimed to be “racket-eering” to give to Havering Council and the police.

The stallholders alleged “mobsters” were buying their way into the market and flaunting loopholes in Havering Council’s by-laws to run their rackets.

Members of the 200-strong independent Romford Market Traders’ Organisation claimed that “mobsters” already controlled a number of stalls behind the scenes and were trying to gain control of more.

They said they were making their money from two rackets.

The first was setting themselves up as “landlords” and renting out stalls for up to £100 a week by exploiting loopholes in the rules laid down by the council.

The second racket was selling stalls for up to £2,000 each and then forcing the buyer off the pitch.

A spokesman for the stallholders said: “We know the men involved are prepared to use violence and even guns.

“We cannot fight them.”

1998:

Angry confrontations broke out between animal rights protesters and Muslims in Havering over a religious festival involving the ritual slaughter of sheep.

Palmers Farm, on the A127 in Upminster, was the scene of violent crashes as protesters tried to stop the slaughter of more than 1,200 sheep for the Muslim festival of Eid.

There was another major demonstration in Billercay.

The festival is held to mark the way God is said to have allowed the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice an animal instead of his son.

The protesters failed to prevent the sheep being killed in Upminster.

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