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Flahback: An Olympic OBE, a council meeting commotion and a war hero’s Christmas wish

PUBLISHED: 10:00 31 December 2017

Tessa Sanderson with Recorder mascot Scoopy. In 1997 she was made an OBE. Picture: Paul Bennett

Tessa Sanderson with Recorder mascot Scoopy. In 1997 she was made an OBE. Picture: Paul Bennett

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Stories from this week 60, 40 and 20 years ago

1957: A war hero had his final wish, to spend Christmas at home, granted.

Ilford resident Douglas Amos was demobilised from the Navy in 1945 after contracting tuberculosis.

He joined the Navy fresh from school, soon after the outbreak of the Second World War and saw many unspeakable tragedies.

A ship that he was on was torpedoed and then sunk.

Douglas and fellow comrades spent days on a raft. Some perished.

After being demobilised, Douglas spent 11 years in a sanatorium.

He said: “As long as I can spend one Christmas at home, I shall be happy.”

His wish was granted as a hospital took him to Barkingside home of his sister Dorothy Taylor.

1977: Redbridge council began screening bookings for public halls after far right extremists were thrown out of a meeting after repeated disruption.

Former Mayor Cllr Arthur Baker was forced to stop a meeting for ten minutes while the gallery was cleared of disruptive National Front supporters.

The decision came as an attempt to stamp out trouble at political meetings.

But some officials maintained that there should be no sweeping ban on fringe political parties.

Cllr Harold Cowan said: “There should be no ban, but that officers should consult with committee chairmen and deputy chairmen over any bookings likely to cause trouble.”

Councillor John Hogben, leader of the labour group, urged that only the National Front should be banned due to the radical nature of some of their policies.

1998: An Olympic gold medallist from Clayhall was made a OBE in the Queen’s New Year honours.

Javelin champion Tessa Sanderson earned her gold medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Her whirlwind international career began with the Commonwealth Games in 1974.

After retiring from competition, she became youth development officer at the Ilford Athletic Club, developed her own sporting school of excellence as well as supporting various causes.

Speaking to the Recorder, she said: “I really thought everything would finish once I finally put a lid on my athletics career, so it’s nice to see I can still be honoured for my achievements.”

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