Flashback: Battles between rival schoolchildren, a fatal car crash and a rubbish windfall
- Credit: Romford Library
A look back at the biggest local stories from this week 60, 40 and 20 years ago
1958: Newspapers were being blamed for the bottle-smashing, mud-slinging battles between rival schoolchildren from Harrowfields and Quarles secondary schools in Harold Hill.
Romford Education Committee members condemned “exag-gerated reports” and Mr C Gregson, headmaster of Harrowfields Secondary School, Settle Road, complained that “bad publicity” made children believe they were tough guys.
The children and their parents declared the battle would never have taken place if newspapers had not printed stories about trouble at Harrowfields.
The first battle, said to have been over a friendship between Quarles’ schoolboy Aaron Rosse and Harrowfields girl Linda Lipman, was when Harrowfields boys descended on Quarles, armed with bottles, studded bats, mud, sticks and penknives.
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Bottles were smashed and mud whizzed through the air at the main gates.
Quarles teachers intervened before anyone was injured.
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1978: Firefighters battled desperately to save a young mum from the wreckage of her car but she died before reaching hospital.
Barbara Archer, 31, was driving towards Southend on the A127 Arterial Road at the time of the crash.
The stretch of road near Warley Street, Upminster, was foggy when the accident happened.
Mrs Archer’s car ended up on its roof in the opposite carriageway after being in collision with a car travelling the other way.
Mrs Archer, of Westcliff, was cut out of the wreck by firefighters but was pronounced dead on arrival at Harold Wood Hospital. The other driver, a midwife of Thundersley, was taken to Harold Wood Hospital with minor head injuries.
1998: Havering was set for a £15million windfall and it was all thanks to rubbish.
The environment, education and heritage was all going to benefit from the “compensation” paid for having London’s rubbish dumped in the borough for a century.
A £1.5m cheque had already been handed over to an environmental trust to finance projects in the next year from landfill tax rebates.
Projects earmarked to benefit from the money included plans for restoring Rainham’s historic church St Helen and St Giles, recycling efforts in schools such as Rainham Village Primary and opening up Rainham Creek for public access.
The money was being passed on to the borough by Cleanway, the waste disposal firm that ran a massive landfill, recycling and waste site in Rainham.
The Cleanway Havering Riverside Trust had been established as part of the government’s intention to use tax credits from landfill waste which had created Rainham’s image as a “dustbin” and a forgotten part of the region.