Nostalgia: Havering in history on May 3 in 1953, 1973 and 1993

The Recorder, May 8, 1953

The Recorder, May 8, 1953 - Credit: Archant

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

Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, April 27, 1973

Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, April 27, 1973 - Credit: Archant

1953 - sixty years ago

Romford Recorder, April 30, 1993

Romford Recorder, April 30, 1993 - Credit: Archant

A Hornchurch doctor escaped jail after two vials of morphine were stolen from her car.

Thirty-two-year-old Dr Charlotte Robinson, of Elmhurst Drive, had left the vials in her unsecured bag, within an unlocked car, overnight. She discovered the bag missing the next day.

The bag turned up in Harrow Lodge Park the same day, but the morphine was gone.

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The charge of failing to keep the drugs under lock and key could have attracted a £250 fine and a 12 month prison sentence.

But chairman Mr Hole said he had “no doubt at all that in your life the human element comes into being and we have taken that into consideration”. He handed Dr Robinson a 12-month conditional discharge.

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Edwin Fordham was described in court as a “good husband” – by three different women.

His legal wife, who lived in Collier Row, had last seen him 24 years previously, when he said “ta-ta” to her and unexpectedly vanished from the family home. They had seven children together.

Mrs Fordham appeared alongside two other women Fordham was alleged to have married bigamously in Sussex.

He had successively met, “married” and left both of them, after having children with each.

Finally, he had presented himself at Romford Police Station, saying he wanted to “square it all up”.

He was remanded in custody.


An engineer was awarded £3,000 damages for injuries he sustained during the Gidea Park train crash in 1947.

David Duff, of Squirrels Heath Road, Harold Wood, suffered cuts, bruises and “extreme nervous shock”.

But the judge said the 42-year-old had seemed to be “making himself out to be more ill than he really is”.


1973 - forty years ago

“Sensational” and “breathtaking” plans for a new development on “waste land” in Collier Row were laid before Havering Council.

They involved the creation of a leisure and housing complex covering 364 acres.

Indoor and outdoor sports facilities, a sailing park and a wildlife sanctuary were among the attractions proposed in the new £30million “sports city”.

The area, bounded by Romford Road, Five Oaks Lane and the new Pinewood regional park planned by the GLC, was to be known as Collier Park.

Running through the development was one proposed route for the M12 motorway.


A Bank Holiday tug-o-war contest at an Upminster pub was called off – because a brewers’ strike meant there was a shortage of beer.

The strike by Watney-Mann engineers and maintenance workers dampened – or, rather, dried out – plans for the competition at the Bridge House.

But elsewhere in the borough, Easter Monday celebrations went full steam ahead.

A “pram race” through Romford saw a woman allegedly knocked unconscious after her team’s pram disintegrated and she fell into the road.

But Lynne Grisson, of the Coopers Arms, Rush Green, “soon recovered” and was pictured smiling.


An armed mugger grabbed £3,000 from a Debenhams security guard.

Ernest Haynes was about to put the cash in the night safe at Lloyds Bank, just yards from the store in Romford Market Place, when the raider sprang from behind.

He hit Mr Haynes with a spanner, grabbed the cash and fled into North Street.

Mr Haynes, of Osborne Road, Hornchurch, gave chase despite being stunned by the blow – but the raider escaped through Angel Way.

Debenhams had “refused to accept press calls” on the matter.


1993 - twenty years ago

Plucky four-year-old Lauren Burridge became a lifesaver after rushing to the aid of her diabetic mother who lay unconscious in a bath.

When Lauren, of Collier Row, first found 32-year-old mum Nicky, she tried to feed her a roll.

That didn’t work, so she collected glucose medication from Nicky’s bedroom – but as unable to open the bottle.

Undeterred, the quick-thinking tot went to the front door and stood on a chair so she could reach to open it. She then ran to neighbours for help, who phoned 999.

Mrs Burridge was rushed to Harold Wood Hospital, and made a full recovery.

Speaking to the Recorder, the proud mum guessed little Lauren had overheard her explaining what to do in case of an emergency to older brother Greg, 11.


Health campaigners vowed to fight the shock proposal to close two of Havering’s A&E centres.

Supporters of emergency services at Oldchurch and Rush Green hospitals had organised a rally through Romford following the news that at least one of them was likely to face the chop.

Along with the rally, campaigners planned a candlelit vigil outside Oldchurch Hospital.


An ambulance officer from Gidea Park spoke of his shock after witnessing his second IRA bomb blast.

James Cassidy, of Heath Park Road, had been called to help after the Baltic Exchange explosion in central London a year previously.

Now he had witnessed scenes at bomb-stricken Bishopsgate that were all too familiar.

“I remember telling one young ambulanceman at the Baltic Exchange incident to remember it because he would never see anything like it again,” were the poignant words of the 46-year-old dad-of-two’

“How wrong could I have been?”

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