Flashback: A hate mail mystery, a builder’s yard blaze and the beginnings of the Cricklefield clubhouse

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 September 2017

Cricklefield Stadium

Cricklefield Stadium


A look back at the biggest local stories from this week 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

1957: A Barkingside family were left cowering every time the postman made an appearance after suddenly being targeted by a stream of vicious hate mail.

The White family, of Mellows Road, Barkingside, had found themselves opening four mysterious letters over the last two weeks, each one written in the same handwriting, each one making a different patently false complaint against the family.

One, addressed to Irene, the mother of the family, accused her of not taking proper care of the family’s two dogs, and even claimed to have witnessed the two dogs attacking a man in the neighbour’s garden.

Another claimed to be aware that the two parents of the household left their children alone each night to go drinking at the local pub – a claim rubbished by both local NSPCC inspectors and all the nearby pubs’ landlords.

The police were investigating the mysterious letters.

1977: Detectives launched an arson investigation after a large blaze wrecked a Wanstead builder’s yard.

Several eyewitnesses reported seeing a group of children running from the scene shortly before flames engulfed the building in Jolliffe Builders in Wanstead High Street.

The fire caused an estimated several thousand pounds worth of damage as it spread quickly through the brick and timber workshop.

A director of the firm told the Recorder: “It’s a mystery, we really have no idea what happened until the experts have finished investigating.”

1997: Footballers and athletes moved a step nearer to seeing a £250,000 new sports pavillion at Cricklefields Stadium become a reality.

Plans to replace the grassy knoll next to the pitch with a clubhouse, including a bar, function suite and changing rooms, which were masterminded by both Ilford FC and Ilford Athletic Club, were approved by Redbridge Council’s leisure committee.

The club just needed to raise the money to pay for the building to make the dream a reality.

Ilford FC president Peter Foley said: “We and the athletic club are ambitious.

“We want to get into higher leagues and we would not be able to do that without this facility.”


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


A former-gang member who was stabbed as a teenager and went on to transform his life speaks to EMMA YOULE about the impact of rising knife attacks on young people in Redbridge, in the first of a special series on knife crime

Yesterday, 16:15

The MPs for Ilford have backed our homelessness campaign and encouraged others to consider making the winter a little warmer for those who need it most.

Yesterday, 15:16

The family of Sanjeev Kumar, who died on the streets of Ilford, had no idea of his death - or that he was homeless.

Yesterday, 13:15

Poorer Redbridge residents could be set for a sooner-than-expected increase in their council tax.


You don’t have to make the trek to the North Pole to get into the Christmas spirit this year.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Oaks Park High School Year 8 student Rhia Gondhia likes to make people feel welcome.

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