Flashback: A good Samaritan, late-night hooligans and fake bank notes

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 August 2018

60-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

60-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

Romford Library

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

40-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library40-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library


Bus driver Peter Cash read about the plight of disabled pensioners, many bedridden, lonely, forced to sit indoors day after day, and decided to do something about it.

Peter walked into the Recorder office and said: “My conductress and I are willing to man a bus and give the old people an outing.

“We don’t want to be paid, we would just like to help them.”

20-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library20-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

The good samaritan act of the 32-year-old from Ambleside Avenue, Elm Park, and his kind-hearted conductress Rose Wiggins, was a quick response to the Recorder’s appeal.

After reading of the unhappiness of many pensioners, and the newspaper’s plea for drivers to give them a day’s outing, they decided they had to do something to help cheer them up.


40-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library40-years-ago. Picture: Romford Library

Late-night hooligans were turning Hornchurch Road, Hornchurch, and neighbouring roads into “streets of fear”, it was claimed.

Residents and shopkeepers said they were “sick and tired” of yobs fighting and swearing outside their homes, smashing plate-glass windows, spraying cars with paint and jumping on them and urinating through letter boxes.

Signatures were being collected for petitions to be handed to Havering Council, the police and Greater London Council calling for action to stop the reign of terror.

And the area’s Havering Council representative Councillor Bert James was backing their fight with a call for a reduction in rates.

He said: “I think it’s disgusting that people have to put up with this kind of thing.

“We know the police are doing all they can but the fear is that the violence will get worse unless something positive is done.”


An Upminster man was charged with helping to produce fake bank notes after police claimed to have broken one of the biggest counterfeit rings ever uncovered in the country.

Following raids on two premises in Havering, police claimed to have found £10million worth of counterfeit notes.

They said a capacity to produce postage stamps and £1 coins was also discovered.

The man from Upminster was charged with conspiracy to produce and supply Bank of England £20 and £50 notes, and £20 Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale bank notes. Four others from the Isle of Wight, north London, Chigwell and Buckinghamshire, were charged with related offences.

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1959 A 16-year-old Hornchurch boy who tried - and failed - to rescue his father from drowning at Southend was praised at the inquest this week for his courage. David Benton, of Northumberland Avenue, Hornchurch and a friend. Arthur Frederick Suckling, 17, of Factory Road, Romford, who helped in the rescue attempt, were told by Mr A. J. Dalton, Southend deputy coroner: “Your efforts were very valiant.” A verdict of the accidental drowning was recorded in the death of Charles Edwin Joseph Benton, 46, who was employed at a photographic firm. He died near the wreck of Mulberry Harbour, off the beach at Thorpe Bay. Mr Benton, described by his wife as “a big healthy and active, keen on the water but not a strong swimmer,” was brought to shore by Donald Atkinson of Winchmore Hill. 1979 Police were hunting for a brave have-a-go hero who tackled armed bandits in a bid to stop a £25,000 robbery. The mystery man lashed out at a vicious shotgun gang when they swooped on security guards outside at Elm Park bank. Detectives praised his courage and appealed for him to come forward, The drama began when a Security Express van arrived outside the National Westminster Bank in Elm parade, St Nicholas Avenue at 10.20am to deliver cash. Two guards left the van to walk towards the bank and were pounced on by four men with sawn-off shotguns. One grabbed the cash bag and started to run off. But one of the guards jumped on his back, and threatened to shoot if he didn’t let him go. The mystery hero then ran to help the guards and punched one of the gang. 1999 A pair of armed robbers held up a Securicor van with a gun and are believed to have made off with around £70,000. The terrifying attack happened around 10am outside the Abbey National bank, in Station Parade, Elm Park. It is believed the robbers shoved a Securicor guard up against the side of the van and threatened him with a handgun, while another guard inside the van passed out money through the hatch. Securicor was offering a reward of up to £10,000 for information leading to arrest and conviction. A witness said: “It was really frightening, these two men started shouting and waving a gun. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, then they just ran off. I was quite shaky because I didn’t know where they were going to run to or to what they were going to do next - it was awful.”

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