Nostalgia: Havering in history on August 2, 1953, 1973 and 1993

PUBLISHED: 09:45 02 August 2013

The Recorder, August 7, 1953

The Recorder, August 7, 1953


This week in history - 60, 40 and 20 years ago.

Sixty years ago – 1953

A deaf woman who was unable to speak was handed a conditional discharge after stealing from Woolworth’s – in aid of her husband’s birthday.

The 30-year-old, of Heaton Road, Gidea Park, took a tie, socks and soap worth 12s 6d from the shop.

She was stopped in Romford High Street after an assistant saw her put the socks in her bag.

Back at the store, through lip-reading, she was made to understand she had taken the goods without paying.

Police were called and a detective constable wrote down the allegation against her.

“When charged,” the Recorder said, “it seemed she attempted to say ‘yes’.”


Princess Margaret cancelled her visit to the North Ockendon St John Cadets because a camper had caught meningitis.

In a message to the parade she was supposed to inspect, the princess said she was “terribly disappointed” not to be there.

Regarding the cadets themselves, she said: “You who come from this area have particular reason to appreciate their qualities, for I know how the cadets helped the adult brigade in the great work of rescue in the floods in the spring.”


Ray Bacon was fined £3 for driving in such a position as not to have proper control of his vehicle – because he wasn’t inside it.

The Brightlingsea resident had been pushing his car down South Street, Romford, because of a flat battery, when the engine started.

He tried to jump inside but because of the speed of the home-built Austin Special, and its “small doors”, he was unable.

Eventually, outside Romford Station, he managed to get in and drive off – but a policeman had spotted him and, “summoning a passing motorist”, gave chase.


Forty years ago – 1973

Talks were underway to make Romford FC’s new home in the £30million “sports city” planned for Collier Row.

Chairman Jim Parrish made the announcement at a Havering North Rotary Club brunch that the club was “on the verge of solving [its] problems”.

Despite sitting on land worth a reported £1million, “struggling” Boro had amassed hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of debt and interest charges.


Two 15-year-old boys – one of whom died = were involved in a crash in Upminster.

Steven Smith, who lived at a council home for children in Walden Way, Hornchurch, died of his injuries after the car in which he was travelling overturned.

And Peter Griffin, who also lived at the hostel, was in Harold Wood Hospital suffering from concussion after sustaining injuries in the smash in Southend Arterial Road.


Changes in the running of The Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch, had forced its director to resign, he said.

Anthony Carrick was to leave at the end of July, 1973, after eight years with the Billet Lane theatre.

The 41-year-old said: “I enjoy acting and directing. I don’t want to do administrative work or work for someone else.”

He was talking about the announcement by the theatre’s governing body, the Theatre Trust, that changes would be made in the staff structure ready for the move into the new building in 1974.

Theatre manager Ken Keeling said he was “personally very sorry” to see Mr Carrick – who had directed more than half the theatre’s plays to date and played several leading roles – go.


Twenty years ago – 1993

Havering Council had ploughed £60,000 into hiring business consultants to help Romford town centre attract private investment.

The aim was for Ernst and Young to help get “large scale private finance” into the area bounded by the Romford ring road – to the value of £1million.

Landowners and Havering Council would be among a “development consortium” hoping to capitalise on the brewery’s closure.


A cycling teenage sex pest indecently assaulted an 18-year-old woman – at least his fourth victim.

The boy, described by his victims as no more than 15, grabbed the woman’s breast as he cycled up behind her in Collier Row.

His previous victims included a 14-year-old schoolgirl, an 18-year-old student, and a 33-year-old housewife.

A friend of the latest victim managed to look the “evil grinning pervert” straight in the face as he approached on a green and black mountain bike.

Police were appealing to any parents who recognised the description of a blond boy with wavy hair and blue eyes.


Rollerskating teenage thugs left two nine-year-old boys shocked but unhurt after pushing them into a Romford lake and robbing them of fishing tackle.

The pair were quietly fishing by the side of the lake in Raphael Park on the first day of the summer holidays when the teens grabbed kit from a box between them and headed off at speed.

But before they could report the theft to police the thugs returned and pushed the children into the lake, which was 12ft deep at points.

One of the youths was described as 13 or 14 with brown, basin-style hair, while the other had blond spiky hair. Both were wearing tracksuit bottoms.

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