Nostalgia: Havering in history on November 29, 1953, 1973 and 1993

PUBLISHED: 18:45 29 November 2013 | UPDATED: 15:30 02 December 2013

The Recorder, November 27, 1953

The Recorder, November 27, 1953


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

Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, November 30, 1973Romford and Hornchurch Recorder, November 30, 1973

Sixty years ago – 1953

An Upminster captain was rescued when his tug sank after a collision with another vessel.

William Turnwell, 59, told the Recorder of the incident involving his Thames tug Vespa and the SS Malmo of Hull, which happened in Woolwich Arsenal.

The Vespa’s crew of four were all rescued.

Romford Recorder, November 26, 1993Romford Recorder, November 26, 1993

Capt Turnwell said: “I was having tea below when suddenly there was a loud crash. Water came pouring in.”

He lost his kit and dentures, and experienced an “awful headache” from a blow on the head. The tug was rescued by sister vessel Tayra.


A mother-of-three admitted stealing a quarter of a pound of tea from British Home Stores.

The woman told Romford Court: “Sometimes my head is so bad I don’t know what I am doing.”

She said that her children took a lot of looking after and her husband was living with another woman in Enfield.

Chairman JW Mathews said: “There is no doubt that you are up against it.”

He granted her a conditional discharge for a year.


A former Romford head boy was elected president of the Oxford Union.

Tyrrell Burgess, 22, who was head boy at the Royal Liberty School, was given the position after previously being secretary and treasurer.

He was the first person from the school to become president and also the first from his Oxford college, Keble.

Tyrrell was head boy from 1949-1950 and joined the RAF for his National Service.

In 1951 he won a scholarship to study history. While at the university he had also been president of his college’s debating and dramatic societies.


Forty years ago – 1973

A bedridden pensioner watched her husband die in bed and was unable to get help.

Harriet Banks’s husband Benjamin, 72, died at 1am and she had to lay beside him until help arrived nine hours later at their home in Austral Drive, Hornchurch.

Her son Ben went out to find help, but to no avail.

Mrs Banks said: “We had to wait until somebody got up in the morning – it was hours later and they called the police.

“As my husband collapsed he said he knew he was dying.

“I held his hand all the time.”


A Harold Hill woman rushed to a London hospital to see her husband after a Recorder reader contacted her when she recognised his description in a story.

But when Annie Taylor arrived she was told husband Joseph had died a few hours before.

Mr Taylor was taken to a Hackney hospital after he fell down the stairs and off a bus in Bethnal Green. Two clues to his identity were that he boarded a bus in Gubbins Lane, Harold Hill, and he had the tops of two fingers on each hand missing.

A reader saw the article and contacted his wife.


A family from Noak Hill lost their home and belongings when a fire ravaged their caravan.

Barry Weaver, wife Doreen and son Ricky had been visiting family in Harold Hill when they were alerted to the blaze.

The caravan in Cummings Hall Lane contained wedding presents, furniture and clothes, and was destroyed.

Mr Weaver said: “A neighbour rang me to say my caravan was on fire. Several neighbours had attempted to put the fire out using hoses and fire extinguishers.”


Twenty years ago – 1993

A Hornchurch hero who vaulted a 6ft fence to rescue a 22-year-old woman from a burning car was recommended by fire station staff for a bravery award.

Jimmy Ellis also reversed a car which collided with the burning vehicle to stop it catching alight.

After the incident in Wingletye Lane, Mr Ellis said: “If anyone deserves a medal it’s the fire brigade. They were absolutely brilliant, very professional and a great team.”

The rescued woman, who he said had been crushed by the steering wheel, was travelling with two passengers – one was her 18-year-old brother.

Commenting on the fence leap, he added: “Don’t ask me how I managed to jump over it though. I’ve got a bad back.”


A Gidea Park man was blasted with a gun disguised as a walking stick.

Anthony Catmull, 34, of Repton Drive, suffered a serious shoulder wound in the attack.

Drinkers in the Shepherd and Dog Pub in Shepherds Hill attempted to catch the gunman, but he fled.

Police said the weapon was similar to those used by notorious drug gangs.

A man later handed himself into police.


Two children were left terrified when a man attacked their mother during a pre-Christmas shopping trip in Romford.

The youngsters were walking ahead of their 42-year-old mum when she was punched in the face in a car park in Western Road.

The Brentwood woman was knocked to the ground and her attacker tried to steal her handbag, which became caught in her coat.

He ran off after passers-by heard the children’s screams.

Police believe the man was also responsible for a robbery 20 minutes earlier.

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