Flashback: Political opinions, council spy systems and Lloyd Scott

40-years-ago

40-years-ago - Credit: Romford Library

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

1956:

Should Britain have taken action against Egypt? A sharp clash in local political opinion on this was reflected in statements made to the Recorder by local MPs – one Labour, the other Conservative.

Their views reflected the deep division between government supporters and the opposition.

Denouncing the British and French “temporary takeover of Suez”, Ron Ledger, Romford’s Labour MP, said: “Sir Anthony and his government have directed the biggest blow so far against the authority of the United Nations.”


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Likening the use of British and French troops in Egypt to that of Russian troops in Hungary, he said: “We can hardly discuss one in the United Nations without discussing the other.”

1976:

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Havering Council was taking dramatic “space-age” steps to stop vandals making their tenants’ lives a misery.

In a bold experimental move, the local authority was to install electronic spy systems in one of the borough’s “most vandalised” block of flats.

And tenants on Rainham’s Mardyke Estate were welcoming the 1984-style scheme as a new weapon in the fight against the wreckers.

Housing chiefs agreed to install the £9,000 system at a five-storey block in Chantry Way, described in an official council report as “probably the most vandalised block in the borough”.

The scheme would mean an intercom link between flats and front entrances, so strict control could be kept on people entering the building.

Members of the council’s housing and health committee were using the Chantry Way scheme as an experiment and it was said that if the initiative was successful, the committee would consider installing similar systems in other blocks throughout Havering, in a bid to combat wider vandal problems.

1996:

Courageous Lloyd Scott left his Rainham home and embarked on a personal journey.

The former professional footballer, firefighter and fundraiser for the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust set off to walk to the South Pole.

“It was something that seemed a good idea at the time and I intend to get there and, in the process, raise a lot of money.”

Lloyd was set to spend Christmas Day thousands of miles from his wife Carole and three children. The trip was going to be the longest time he had been away from home.

Carole said: “I was not too pleased when he said he would be away for Christmas.

“I am a little worried but the other men he is going with have promised to look after him.”

The walk in sub-zero temperatures of -40C and winds of up to 90mph was estimated to take between 45 and 50 days to reach the South Pole. The group were hoping to be there by Christmas Day.

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