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Flashback: Election countdown, an agonising decision and a wedding tragedy

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 September 2019

60 years ago

60 years ago

Romford Library

1959

40 years ago40 years ago

Would Liberal candidate Douglas Geary split the vote?

That was the big question as Romford's general election machinery rolled into action.

Mr Geary, a labour relations officer, was the man both parties would watch.

He had already claimed a potential vote of 16,000.

20 years ago20 years ago

He opened his campaign with a meeting at Clockhouse Lane School.

Labour MP Ron Ledger followed close behind, opening his campaign earlier that week and Tory candidate Jon Harvey opened fire on September 21.

Local Tories were breathing more easily now that a murder trial - in which Mr Harvey was junior defence counsel - was moving forward.

Tory agent William Pendleton said: "Many suggest that the Liberal will take a far greater proportion of Labour votes owing to disunity in the Labour party."

1979

A teenage crash victim died after his parents had to make the agonising decision to switch off his life support machine.

Doctors told the couple that even if their 16-year-old son survived, he would be very severely disabled, reported the Romford Recorder.

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The accident happened at the Mawney Road junction with Eastern Avenue, Romford.

The teenager, of Essex Close, Romford, was cycling home from work at a Harold Wood printing firm - his first job - when he was involved in a collision with a van and suffered head injuries.

The van driver, from Staffordshire, was not injured in the accident.

The boy's father said: "The hospital phoned us and a doctor told us he was clinically dead.

"Even if he survived, he would have been a 'cabbage'.

"My wife and I both would rather have seen him dead than like that, so I gave permission for the machine to be switched off."

1999

What should have been the happiest day in the life of a Romford couple ended in tragedy when the groom's father died at the wedding reception.

But the bride Jacqueline, daughter of Romford Conservative Councillor Alby Tebbutt, insisted it was a wonderful way for him to go.

She was celebrating her marriage to financial controller Philip Walsh in Margaretting when Tom Walsh, who was due to celebrate his 61st birthday the next day, collapsed on the dance floor after the first dance.

Desperate attempts were made to resuscitate Mr Walsh, among them by former army sergeant Ken Rose, who was making a video of the wedding.

He was rushed to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford but died. The post-mortem revealed he died of a heart attack.

Jacqueline said: "He was a very good man and while the circumstances of his death are tragic, he was very happy on the day."

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