Nostalgia: Havering in history on October 10, 1955, 1975 and 1995
PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 October 2015
This week in history – 60, 40 and 20 years ago.
Sixty years ago
A couple whose sons were seen “duelling” with carving knives were placed on probation for two years for wilfully neglecting their children.
The Harold Hill couple, who appeared at Romford Court, were told if it were not for their four young children, they would have been sent to prison for six months.
The prosecutor, R. J. Rawlings, told the court the children were left at home alone for three weeks and, on one occasion, a neighbour had to come and put out a fire when their frying pan became ablaze as they were cooking sausages.
Another neighbour saw two of the sons fighting with knifes and the house was said to have been dirty and had an unpleasant smell.
The prosecutor told the court the couple, who both worked, usually left their children with a neighbour, but the arrangement had fallen through.
A driver died after a tree fell on top of his lorry.
Edward Thorne, 31, was driving in Aveley Road, Rainham, in a gale when the tree suddenly crashed down, pinning him in the vehicle.
Firefighters attended with a crane, but it was some time before they could lift the tree off.
A teenager collapsed and died while playing sport.
Kenneth Newell, 13, of Mill Lane, Chadwell Heath, died in Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, after falling ill while playing football at his school.
Forty years ago
A youngster given a 50/50 chance of surviving major heart surgery had been able to join a dance school just a year later.
Alison Roder, seven, who had had a hole in her heart, had been so ill that she had been taken everywhere in a pushchair by her parents, but the operation changed her life.
Her mum Doreen, 46, of Peterborough Avenue, Cranham, said: “Just to see Alison cross the road without getting thoroughly exhausted is to know that a real miracle took place in the operating theatre.
“The operation has made her life worth living.”
Alison, who aspired to be a nurse, was excited to get started on her dancing lessons.
Doreen said: “We have bought her all the dancing outfits she needs. Alison loves dancing and cannot stop skipping around the house to imaginary music.”
A sales manager accused of stealing more than £400 was remanded in custody.
The 42-year-old, of Harold Hill, had been charged on suspicion of taking £430 from Fruitsales Spitalfields Ltd, at Spitalfields Market, Stepney.
He was granted his own bail of £500 with two surities, each of £1,000, with a condition that he reported to police on a weekly basis.
A bungling group of thieves who had previously attempted to steal from a sweet shop had their efforts thwarted again by the burglar alarm.
The criminals, believed to have targeted the Market Place store the week before, got in through the roof and set off the alarm.
Twenty years ago
A vulnerable disabled man unable to speak or defend himself was viciously attacked by a member of a four-strong gang – at the start of National Disability Week.
The assailant spat and kicked the 41-year-old victim after attempting to rob him.
Following this incident and a previous crime, in which a 16-year-old was attacked by three youths close to the swimming pool near Gooshays Drive, Harold Hill, police were worried that a central London anti-mugging initiative Operation Eagle Eye was pushing criminals towards areas such as Havering.
Romford police’s Sgt Graham Walker said: “We feared there could be ‘displacement’ of crimes, where the criminals would be forced further out of London to stalk their victims and this seems to be coming true.”
The 41-year-old was ambushed in a subway under Mercury Gardens, Romford, with his attacker first trying to steal his “bum bag”.
Sgt Walker said: “It is inconceivable that anyone walking past would not have seen what was going on.
“We are almost begging people to come forward. This man is defenceless physically but mentally very aware.
“To kick and spit on him is absolutely despicable. His confidence is shattered.”
A £3.7million entertainment complex was due to be unveiled in Collier Row.
Grand Central, to be opened at the RollerBowl, had created almost 200 jobs and included an American-themed restaurant and bar, pool lounge, casino and suite set to feature themed nights such as karaoke and murder mysteries.
Executives travelled to countries such as America and Japan to look at their entertainment facilities.
Company chairman Alan Stack said: “It’s the latest exciting development in a new five-year rolling programme.
“RollerBowl is already a well-established local family centre.
“The addition of the fabulous Grand Central really is the icing on the cake.”