Flashback: A boy saved from drowning, readers fundraise for a miracle cure and school meals concern

PUBLISHED: 10:25 12 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:25 12 March 2017

The colours this autumn have been stunning and this photo in Valentines Park shows the different colours in the trees with a touch of sun, but still with the dark clouds in the background

The colours this autumn have been stunning and this photo in Valentines Park shows the different colours in the trees with a touch of sun, but still with the dark clouds in the background

(c) copyright

A look back at the stories of the day, this week, 60, 40 and 20 years ago.

1957: A baby boy was saved from drowning in a “quicksand” of mud in Valentines Park by the quick thinking of a workman.

Billy Fawkes, 3, had been riding his tricycle through the park on his way to buy sweets with his brother Stephen, 5, when he slipped and fell into a mud-filled gully.

Only Stephen saw his brother, still astride his tricycle, sinking beneath the mud.

But Billy’s strangled cry just before he was sucked under attracted the attention of an Irish workman, who pulled him to safety just in time.

Billy and Stephen’s parents said they moved to Auckland Road, bordering the park, because “a park is so safe for tiny tots to play in”.

1977: Recorder readers raised £1,000 to fund a miracle cure for a four-year-old whose life had been blighted by meningitis.

Michael Adoor, of Balfour Road, Ilford, was struck with the disease when he was only three-months-old. He had lived in a world without sight, sound or movement ever since.

But three weeks after his story appeared in the Ilford Recorder, staff and readers had raised enough money to send him for treatment at an American clinic.

The clinic, in Philadelphia, had developed a technique for activating brain cells.

Michael’s mother Avis Adoor, 46, said “I just do not know how to thank everybody. I can’t believe the kindness that has been shown.”

1997: School catering staff and councillors expressed concerns about the future of school meals after the service was contracted out to a private provider.

Redbridge’s in-house service lost the contract to Initial Catering Services, which would begin providing meals to the borough’s 70-plus schools in May.

In 1995, Initial Catering Services had its contract with 10 per cent of Stockport’s schools terminated, allegedly due to poor food quality, size of portions and hygiene. One concerned dinner lady said: “We feel very disappointed and believe that the service will deteriorate at the hands of the private company.”

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Ilford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00

In this week’s heritage column, Hainault schoolboy Derek Hall remembers what it was like in east London as the Luftwaffe pulverised neighbourhoods and fighter pilots shot up residential streets.

Yesterday, 12:00

They say never meet your heroes. So I am at liberty to think of any of the winter Olympians as heroes – as I can’t afford a skiing holiday, our paths won’t cross.

Yesterday, 10:00

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Fri, 18:36

Redbridge residents will be paying £73.89 more in Council Tax next year after councillors agreed a rise of 5pc at a council meeting last night (Thursday, February 22).


Redbridge Estate agents Sandra Davidson’s hassle-free service guarantees rental income for your property, whether it is occupied or not. Here they share details of the Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it can help you avoid the regular stresses associated with managing a let.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now