Flashback: Romford rates to increase, council staff mourn colleague and taxi office attack

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 December 2016



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


Shocked Labour and Conservative councillors in Romford were instructing MP Ron Ledger to press for changes in the government’s Rating Bill which, it was anticipated, would increase Romford rates by between 1s. 6d to 2s.

This increase was dictated by a proposed rate cut for shops and offices estimated to cost Romford £120,000.

Rents of Romford’s 3,500 council tenants were also being reviewed under a rent equalisation plan, which coupled with the loss of government subsidies, higher costs of building and the new rates rise, was expected to impose rent increases.

Ald. T. W. Bradley described it as “shocking” and likely to cause “chaos” if passed.

He told the Recorder: “I think the bill is being rushed through under pressure from the Chamber of Trade.”


Havering Council staff were in mourning for a colleague who died after a horrific road accident.

Close workmates of town hall surveyor Malcolm Ridge were to join his family and friends at his funeral at South Essex Crematorium, Ockendon Road, Upminster.

Malcolm, who had been married for more than a year, was critically injured after the tragic crash on Pettits Lane, Romford.

He was on his way to pick up his wife Pam in Upminster when his car and a juggernaut lorry were in collision.

He was taken to Oldchurch Hospital, where he died following an operation for his head injuries.

The lorry ended up in the front garden of Grace Imray’s home.

She heard a terrific crash and rushed to see the driving unit wedged against her front porch.

Two lampposts, a telegraph pole and two garden walls and gates were demolished in the accident.

Schoolchildren fled for their lives on the pavement.

The lorry driver was unhurt following the incident.


A night out turned to horror when a 24-year-old man was almost kicked to death outside a Romford taxi office.

After the attack, he was rushed to hospital and placed on a life support machine.

Police were treating the incident as attempted murder.

It was not known what motive there was for the attack, which happened outside the Atlas Minicab office, Angel Way, Romford.

The victim, Michael Rigg, 24, of Purfleet, was approached by two or three thugs who knocked him to the ground and repeatedly kicked him in the head.

Witnesses saw Mr Rigg pushed against a car next to a hamburger van and while he was trapped between the two vehicles, the thugs repeatedly stamped on his skull.

He suffered severe head injuries and excessive bleeding and was rushed to Oldchurch Hospital, then transferred to another hospital and put on life support.

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