Nostalgia: Havering in history on November 15, 1953, 1973 and 1993

PUBLISHED: 18:45 15 November 2013

The Recorder, November 13, 1953

The Recorder, November 13, 1953


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

Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, November 16, 1973Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, November 16, 1973

Sixty years ago – 1953.

A former Romford Magistrates’ Court clerk was fined £25 for indecently assaulting a woman in his office.

Laurence Coleman, 64, was also ordered to pay £25 costs. He pleaded guilty.

The young woman, who had been pursuing divorce proceedings against her husband, went to the police after the assault.

Romford Recorder, November 12, 1993Romford Recorder, November 12, 1993

They had placed a microphone in Coleman’s office before his next meeting with the victim on court business and heard first-hand a discussion about his conduct at the previous meeting.

He acknowledged he had asked her to “lift up her frock to see if she was skinny”.


A prisoner was released from jail only to find himself returning the next day.

The 38-year-old, who had completed a four-year sentence, was given three months’ imprisonment for assaulting a police officer and using insulting behaviour.

The man was seen banging on the door of the Men’s Hostel, London Road, just after midnight and shouting.

When quizzed by the officer, the defendant, who smelt of alcohol, allegedly said he was breaking in. He was cautioned and then arrested.

In the police station, the defendant allegedly struck the officer on the head with a piece of wood, cutting his ear.


A boisterous dog was the “thief” of a joint of meat from a butcher’s shop in Quadrant Arcade.

The cheeky canine ran along South Street towards the railway station and was apprehended near the police station by a Pc Bearle.

After dropping the goods, the dog was taken to police kennels.

The joint was returned to the shop, but some meat was given to the culprit and the other dogs to share.


Forty years ago – 1973

A pet rabbit and guinea pig were stabbed to death by a “complete sadist” just a week after a similar killing in Hornchurch.

Owner Philip Fry condemned the offender after the incident in Boscombe Avenue, which followed the killing of five rabbits in a pet shop owner’s garden.

Mr Fry said: “Whoever did this is certainly a complete sadist who could easily strike again. It is difficult for people to realise the horror of finding your pets mutilated in the garden.”

He added that it couldn’t have been a fox as the wire mesh at the front of the hutch had been rolled back.


Vandals in possession of a knife caused £200 worth of damage to a Gidea Park church.

They targeted St Michael’s Church, Main Road, slashing 11 hassocks used for kneeling during worship, knifed cassocks worn by the choir, damaged four footrests and cut flowers.

Rev Frank Leech, rural dean of Havering and vicar of the church, said: “There seemed to be no purpose behind this action. It was senseless.”


Two old friends were set to be reunited after a letter written by one of them was published in the Recorder.

Mr M Haida, from Germany, wrote in to see if anyone knew the address of Robert Erwin-Edmunds, who he knew lived in Gidea Park.

The men, who had not seen each other for three years, had met in Africa.

Resident Judy Pullen, who knew Mr Erwin-Edmunds, spotted the letter and said she would write to him to give him Mr Haida’s address.

She added: “One way or the other they should be reunited.”


Twenty years ago – 1993

Callous robbers who stole a 23-year-old man’s jacket and helmet as he lay dying after a motorbike accident were deemed “worse than rats” by his father.

Darren Henshaw, 23, and childhood sweetheart Terri Bird, 22, who was riding pillion, were both killed in the accident in Cross Road, Collier Row.

Pedestrian Joyce Hubbard, 60, was killed instantly.

Darren’s father Frank, 47, said: “Nobody knows where they [the clothes] went. They are of sentimental value and the family would desperately like to have them.

“Whoever did this must be worse than rats. I’m hoping someone’s conscience will be stirred.”

Mr Henshaw believed the clothes had been stolen, possibly by children, after medical staff hung them on railings while giving Darren heart massage.


A four-year-old who saved her mother’s life after she slipped into a diabetic coma was recommended for an honour.

Lauren Burridge was nominated for the Havering Young Citizen of the Year Award after she found her mother Nicolette, 34, slumped unconscious in the bath.

The youngster tried to put a roll in Nicolette’s mouth and a glucose drink.

She then raised the alarm with neighbours.

Nicolette said: “I had never told her what to do, but she must have overheard me telling my elder son.”


More than 500 residents staged a candlelight vigil outside Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, to protest against the decision to close the casualty department.

The group stood in the cold for more than an hour to denounce the plans, which also raised uncertainty about whether the cancer and neuroscience wards would remain open.

The organisers, who had staged two previous demonstrations, collected 40,000 signatures on a petition.

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