Flashback: A rare songbird, a diesel disaster and a burned altar boy

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 July 2017

A male Marmora's Warbler, photographed in Sardinia, Italy. Photo: Francesco Veronesi

A male Marmora's Warbler, photographed in Sardinia, Italy. Photo: Francesco Veronesi

Francesco Veronesi/Wikimedia Commons

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

1957: Birdwatchers from across the UK flocked to Valentines Park when a rare songbird from the Mediterrenean settled there for four days.

The rarely spotted Marmora’s Warbler is most commonly found on the warmer island climates of Corsica and Sardinia, but experts believed a prolonged period of high temperatures across Europe had allowed one to fly 900 miles north to the admittedly less tropical Cranbrook Road.

The small, long tailed, large-headed bird, believed to be a male, was soon spotted by avid twitchers due to its distinctive song.

Michael Norse had travelled from Newcastle to see the bird over the weekend, and told the Recorder: “A friend of mine who now lives down here called me up and said everyone was making a fuss of this small bird with big red eyes.

“I had a look through but couldn’t decide what it would be, so I had to come down here myself and check it out.”

1977: An oil spill that saw 600 litres of liquid diesel spill over a busy road caused chaos for an entire day.

The incident occurred at around 4pm on Romford Road in Hainault, when a tanker on its way to a building site suffered a sudden rupture.

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “We had to corner off the spillage while we cleared it up so no one would skid on it.”

1997: An 11-year-old altar boy suffered burns to his face and back after a freak accident in which his robes caught light during a church service.

The boy, of Cambridge Road, Wanstead, was assisting the priest as Our Lady of Lourdes Church when he brushed past a candle.

But the quick thinking actions of the horrified congregation helped prevent the 11-year-old, from being more seriously hurt.

Members of church attending the service leapt to the rescue to douse the flames with wet towels before an air ambulance arrived on George Green.

The youngster was taken to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital burns unit where he was treated for burns to his left cheek, ear and his back.

Latest Ilford Stories

52 minutes ago

Detectives from the British Transport Police have released CCTV footage of a man they want to talk to in connection with a knifepoint robbery on the Central line at Gants Hill.


Jake Collins scored in final play of match to secure victory for Highams club

A BMW caught fire after it was involved in a three-car crash in Chigwell.

The O’s moved to the top of the table on Saturday after an excellent victory on the road

The proportion of five-year-olds having both MMR jabs in Redbridge has plummeted, and immunisation rates for the vaccine are extremely low.


Lakeside Hammers face a 14-point deficit after the first leg of their KO Cup quarter-final having lost 52-38 at Peterborough on Sunday.


The most popular names given to baby boys and girls last year in East London suggests that where you live could influence what name you choose for your child.


Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Exchange Ilford is a shopping centre on a mission to make it a more welcoming and accessible place to the people of Redbridge.

An Ilford shoe retailer and podiatry practice is taking the next step with a move to a new shop just a few doors down.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now