Nostalgia: Havering in history on April 25, 1954, 1974 and 1994

The Recorder, April 23, 1954

The Recorder, April 23, 1954 - Credit: Archant

This week in history - 60, 40 and 20 years ago.

Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, April 26, 1974

Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, April 26, 1974 - Credit: Archant

Sixty years ago - 1954

Romford Recorder, May 6, 1994

Romford Recorder, May 6, 1994 - Credit: Archant

A crippled father who arrived at Romford Magistrates’ Court by ambulance told the magistrates he had no control over his two sons.

One of the sons admitted causing wilful damage to an unoccupied house in Mawney Road with two other boys and a girl, aged 10 and 11 after they broke windows, damaged a switch and smashed fences.

He was placed on probation for two years and ordered to pay £2 towards the damage.

His father said: “Something has to be done. I have to go to hospital three times a week.”


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A verdict of “accidental death” was reached after a retired schoolmaster died in Harold Wood Hospital following a fall out of bed.

Harold Joseph Watson Blayney, 74, of Kenilworth Gardens, was admitted to the hospital after being taken ill at home.

Soon after admission he fell out of bed. He was given an X-ray and when he was returned to the ward he lost consciousness.

Pathologist Dr Cyril Raeburn said that he had multiple fractures to the front of the base of the skull consistent with receiving a violent blow to the head and that it appeared when he fell he made no attempt to save himself.


Romford and Hornchurch firefighters worked for five hours on Good Friday to tackle a 30-ton stack of unthreshed barley which caught fire.

They were called after 3pm and worked until 8pm putting out the fire in the stackyard of Lodge Farm, Lodge Lane, Collier Row.

They saved two other stacks in the yard, belonging to Leslie Rowland, and had to pull down the stack to get at the seat of the blaze.


Forty years ago - 1974

Police issued an urgent appeal after two canisters filled with killer chemicals were stolen.

They were taken when thieves broke into Havering Council’s potting sheds at Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch.

They contained a mixture of azobenzene and a poison called parathin, and were used to fumigate the council’s greenhouses to kill off pests.

A spokesman for the council’s works division said: “If these canisters were lit in a room or small hall, there is no doubt that anybody in there could die from the fumes,

“Even lit in an open space they could make anyone in the near vicinity feel very ill.”

The canisters were yellow, three inches tall and both carry a danger warning.


Havering Council and local health chiefs planned top level talks regarding the fate of the “twilight folk”, elderly people who had spent a lifetime in mental hospitals because they had nowhere else to live.

This was revealed during a Recorder investigation into the case of a 78-year-old woman who spent nearly 60 years in Warley Hospital, Brentwood.

The Havering and Barking Area Health Authority (AHA) said it would make the issue one of its “highest priorities”.

Aubrey Keep, the AHA’s area administrator, said: “It is well known that long-stay mental hospitals contain large numbers of people, confined for non-clinical reasons. It is a very grave national problem.”


A novel “fringe benefit” from London Transport aimed to help combat stresses placed on marriage by bus crews working unsociable hours.

The plan was for Hornchurch Bus Garage’s canteen to be developed into a social venue complete with fitted carpets and TV lounge, where husbands and wives could spend time together and “recapture romance”.


Twenty years ago - 1994

A Romford MP shocked by a poem about gang rape being read in a school launched a “moral crusade” in the House of Commons.

MP Sir Michael Neubert said he called on the government to strengthen traditional family life and protect young children from harmful influences through violent video games and TV programmes.

The controversy surrounding the use of poem Stobhill at St Edward’s Church of England School, London Road, Romford, which references rape and an aborted foetus being incinerated, prompted his new initiative aimed at giving greater priority to children’s needs.

He said: “We have allowed our traditional way of life to be subverted and we are paying a terrible price for it. We must reassert our support for the family.”


Police were appealing for witnesses after a 19-year-old boy was brutally beaten by a group of eight people outside a Romford pub.

He had left the Unicorn Pub in Main Road, Romford, with his 20-year-old girlfriend when the attack took place.

He was punched to the ground and kicked as his horrified girlfriend looked on.

The police said the suspects were all white, in their twenties and casually dressed.

After the attack, they were believed to have run towards Romford town centre. The victim was treated for a broken nose.


A Rainham woman was delighted after winning the “Havering’s real woman of the year” competition.

Janet Shabi, 41, of Rainham Road, Rainham, was awarded her winner’s certificate and bouquet from Havering Mayor Cllr Mary Edwards. She won a makeover and £250 to spend on clothes at Living.