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Nostalgia: Havering in history on November 8, 1953, 1973 and 1993

PUBLISHED: 18:45 08 November 2013

The Recorder, November 6, 1953

The Recorder, November 6, 1953

Archant

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

Sixty years ago – 1953

A teenager rained blows on a boy two years his junior, knocking him to the pavement and leaving him unconscious, after a spat saw rival gangs throw fireworks at each other.

The 17-year-old, of Woodfield Drive, was fined £3 and ordered to pay £4 17s 6d costs after Romford magistrates found him guilty of causing 15-year-old farm labourer Trevor Williams actual bodily harm.

Initially the gangs had been setting off fireworks on opposite sides of the junction of Southend Arterial Road and Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch, but then they began directing them at each other.

Eventually the defendant, who pleaded not guilty, had crossed the road and invited his victim to fight, and Trevor, of Harold Wood, had accepted, the court heard.

Trevor was warned by chairman Mrs E. V. Adams to stay away from “the type of people who want to fight”.

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Hornchurch couple Mr and Mrs Frederick Hare, of Victoria Cottages, Abbs Cross Lane, were celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

Mr Hare, 90, and Mrs Hare, 89, had been married “such a long time ago no one can remember the exact location” of their first address.

They married in St Andrew’s Church, Hornchurch, in 1883, and now had 10 great-grandchildren.

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Adventurous four-year-old Roger Bates, who was reported missing from his Straight Road home one afternoon while playing with his tricycle, was discovered in Brentwood six hours later – still riding his tricycle.

His mother Mrs Bates said it was the fourth time the “well built” tot had cycled off on his own and that the tricycle had now been confiscated.

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Forty years ago – 1973

Plans to make Rainham a “gateway to Europe” had gone before the Greater London Council and the British Waterways Board.

The proposal, put together by prospective Tory MP for Havering-Hornchurch John Jackson, envisaged the introduction of a fast boat and hovercraft service from Rainham to Westminster Pier, and downstream to Tilbury.

This would provide a “fast, easy link” with continental shipping services out of the latter – as well as relieving the traffic load on the congested A13 and A12 routes.

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A Rainham firm was investigating claims a baby’s potty had burst into flames after being left near a guarded fire.

A family alleged the potty had combusted minutes after a baby was lifted from it.

Wennington Road company Baby Relax had promised to look into the matter – but managing director Stanley Black said he didn’t believe a single spark could have set the potty alight.

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Workmen using two cranes worked for five hours to stop a lorry load of wood from topping into the garden of a house.

The drama took place at Bartlow Gardens, Collier Row, after a lorry mounted the pavement and then sank up to its axles as ground collapsed beneath it.

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The Queen had presented an MBE to Jim Czelney, a Hornchurch man who survived a German death camp during the Second World War.

He was liberated from Auschwitz by the Americans before serving the remainder of the war with the Polish Free Forces. He became a British citizen after the war ended.

Jim, of Berkeley Drive, had since become head of a Ford laboratory team.

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Twenty years ago – 1993

The case for an international rail station at Rainham had received a double boost from Hackney Council and the minister for transport in London.

Hackney, which strongly opposed a Channel Tunnel link station being built in Stratford, had given its support to the prospect of a Havering station, and Steven Norris had spoken out in favour of the same at a public meeting.

It had been organised by none other than Havering councillor Andrew Rosindell – now Romford MP.

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A brave barmaid fought back after a vicious sex pest ripped open the front of her blouse in a Romford subway.

The 19-year-old pushed the man away and ran to Romford Police Station to raise the alarm.

She had just finished work and was heading home to Harold Hill when the assault took place in the subway linking Market Place and Main Road.

Now police were appealing for information to help catch the man, thought to be about 35 years old.

The barmaid spotted the predator sitting on a bench in the middle of the subway. As she hurried past, he lunged at her, tearing open her blouse – but she broke free when he moved to touch her again.

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Gladiator Scorpio signed 2,000 autographs for adoring fans at Woolworth’s in Romford.

The “finely toned super hero”, real name Nikki Diamond, had been in town to launch the new Gladiators sports drink range.

It was her second visit to Romford in the space of 12 months – in December 1992, Scorpio and Shadow had opened Laser Quest in the old Odeon building, sparking similar “hysteria”.

A Woolworth’s spokesman said Scorpio had gone down “a storm”.

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