Flashback: Delayed meat, a knife attack and a town hall revolution
PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 May 2018
A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 20, 40 and 60 years ago.
Hundreds of tons of meat, rushed by road and rail from all parts of Britain, were diverted to Romford wholesale and cold storage depots instead of to strike-bound Smithfield.
Meanwhile, perspiring directors worked side by side with office and sales staff to supply meat-hungry butchers from miles around.
Temporary transformation of Romford into an emergency Smithfield was marked by two dramatic incidents.
A two-day stoppage of normal rail supplies to one of Romford’s three meat wholesalers – Mssrs Thomas Borthwick and Sons Ltd in Church Lane.
And the second was the sensational charges form the local meat drivers’ and porters’ strike committee that meat was being transported in unprotected removal vans and boots of private cars.
Murder squad detectives were investigating a knife attack on a nine-year-old Rainham boy.
The terrified youngster was grabbed by five youths in an alley leading to Rainham Junior School, between Upminster Road South and Rainham Road.
While others held him, one of the youths produced a “flick-knife” and slashed the boy’s face, narrowly missing an eye.
Detectives from Plaistow, investigating the murder of 10-year-old Kennith Singh, interviewed the Rainham victim at his home following the attack.
Kennith’s body was found on wasteground in Plaistow on April 20.
A murder squad detective said: “We cannot discount the possibility that the murder and this attack are connected.”
The incident where the boy was attacked with a knife is being treated as a “serious assault”.
A six-strong inner cabinet of Labour members was set to take over running Havering Council when a revolution in decision-making was introduced.
Despite failing to win overall control of the authority at the borough elections, Labour, the largest group, was confident of gaining enough support for the sweeping reforms.
The powerful “cabinet” was going to be called the Policy Advisory Group and was going to set the agenda for all future meetings with the open admission of intending to “drive Labour group policy”.
The three opposition groups all vowed not to set up any alliances to prevent Labour, as the largest group taking control.
But, Residents’ members, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats all expressed some reservations about the proposed new structure which would sweep away more than 30 years of history by scrapping traditional committees.