Nostalgia: Havering in history on August 1, 1955, 1975 and 1995

The Recorder, July 29 1955

The Recorder, July 29 1955 - Credit: Archant

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

Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, August 1 1975

Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, August 1 1975 - Credit: Archant

Sixty years ago

An Upminster woman was fined £1 for not giving way to a pedestrian at a crossing.

The pedestrian told Romford Court that if she had not stopped in the middle of the road to let the car pass, the driver would have hit her.

A Pc Spears, who saw the incident in The Broadway, Elm Park, said the driver told him: “I was going slowly down the hill when I saw a lady on my right.

Romford Recorder, July 28 1995

Romford Recorder, July 28 1995 - Credit: Archant

“I was watching a group of shoppers on my nearside. I gave the lady a nod and went over the crossing.

“I stopped around the corner and apologised to her.”

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An elderly couple “trapped” in their flat at last had hope they would be rehoused.

T J Essam and his wife were living in a top-floor apartment in Brentwood Road, Romford, and were stuck inside because Mr Essam could not go down the steep stairs.

Romford Council had tried to obtain a long-term lease so it could undertake repairs and move in other tenants when the Essams were rehoused.

But the owner had refused to allow this.

However, the council then found a family interested in taking the flat.


Two mums brawled over a toy gun.

Mona Baggs and Leonee Illingworth got into a fight over whose son it belonged to.

Mrs Illingworth told Romford Court a boy walked up and snatched her son’s pistol, so while he went to get it she spoke to an elderly woman at the scene.

This is when Mrs Baggs arrived, who said the toy was hers.

Mrs Illingworth claimed it was one of a pair and she could show the markings to prove it.

As she stepped back after taking the gun, Mrs Baggs allegedly grabbed her hair with one hand and took hold of the toy with the other.

The women, both of Argus Close, Romford, fell to the ground and were separated by witness Leonard Goodwin.

Speaking in court, Mrs Baggs said the toy was her son’s and she slapped Mrs Illingworth because she snatched it.

The case against Mrs Illingworth was dismissed, but Mrs Baggs was fined £1.


Forty years ago

A plot of land used as a play site for children was feared to be a “toxic minefield”.

Conservationist Ben Percy-Davis was concerned about the blue-tinged soil near the River Beam, in Rainham, and had picketed the site, putting up warning notices and contacting residents.

He said: “I have written to the council insisting they investigate and assure people this is not a toxic minefield.

“Radioactive waste is another possibility.”

A council spokesman said: “We are taking this matter seriously and our environmental health department is now seeing if there is a danger to public safety.

“We are taking no chances.”


Havering was set to welcome Park and Ride for the first time.

Havering Council hoped it could be in place by Christmas, when traffic levels in Romford town centre were at their worst.

Less than 3,500 car parking spaces were available in the town centre on weekdays and 4,250 on Saturdays.

Cllr Don Poole said: “We hope the scheme will reduce jams considerably. It was chaotic in Romford last Christmas.

“The scheme would be reasonably cheap to operate, using council minibuses to ferry people in.

“They will try to avoid busy routes and use back streets instead.”

John Gowland, secretary of the Romford Chamber of Commerce, said: “Traffic jams must affect trade.

“People come into Romford, can’t get into car parks and give up and go elsewhere.

“This scheme must do something to help solve congestion.”


Twenty years ago

Women were urged to be vigilant after a man attacked a resident on her doorstep and tried to drag her inside her home.

The victim, of London Road, Romford, who had only returned a few minutes before, answered her door to a man who asked if a certain person lived there, before putting his hand over her face and attempting to push her back indoors.

The woman struggled free and started screaming, so the attacker ran away after a moment of hesitation.

Sgt Graham Walker, of Romford police, said: “We believe his intentions were at best indecent assault, or at worst to cause her serious harm.

“It seems he could have followed her. He was unsuccessful here but could succeed next time.

“We want to hear from anyone who can help and need to speak to the man himself just in case there is another explanation.”


A youngster whose new BMX bike was stolen on his birthday was gifted a new one from a generous Recorder reader.

Christopher Fyffe, who had just been given the all-clear from cancer, was devastated by the theft, but after his story was published, offers from readers to buy him a new bike flooded in.

The bike was bought by an anonymous Romford woman.


Romford’s first internet was opened.

The Global Net Cafe, in South Street, Romford, enabled members of the public to surf the net after enjoying a meal.