Flashback: A cancelled holiday, an education warning and a record-breaking Tamagotchi?

Undated Handout Photo of Tamagotchi Friends from smythstoys.com. See PA Feature GADGET Gadget Column

Undated Handout Photo of Tamagotchi Friends from smythstoys.com. See PA Feature GADGET Gadget Column. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature GADGET Gadget Column. - Credit: PA

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

1957: Instead of relaxing in Italian sunshine, an Ilford family were left having to stay at home and redecorate after thieves made off with their holiday savings.

Betsy Michaels, her husband and son were forced to suffer after daring burglars broke into their Glenwood Gardens home while they were out for the evening and stole the £100 the family had saved for their annual holiday.

The thieves broke in through the front door – in full view of the street – and then proceeded to ransack the house.

Jewellery and clothes were also stolen and Mrs Michaels told the Recorder the house had been “turned upside down”.

1977: Redbridge’s education experts made shock claims that headteachers were finding it impossible to sack incompetent teachers and were not being allowed to use their best teachers to maximum effect.

Doreen Cronin, former deputy chair of the borough’s education committee, claimed that the style of contracts offered to Redbridge’s teachers robbed heads of the vast majority of their power.

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The issue was back in the limelight after a teacher sacked by a Redbridge school for refusing to work outside her contractual hours won compensation from an independent tribunal.

The council were appealing the decision, but Mrs Cronin said the case showed schools had “practically no authority” when it came to trying to use their staff in the most effective manner.

1997: A South Woodford boy was eggstremely eggcited after claiming his Tamagotchi cyberpet had lived for a world record 59 days – 59 years in Tamagotchi time.

Imad Ahmed, 11, of Chelmsford Road, was given the electronic pet, which he named Eggy, by his brother Faysal in May.

The toys, which originated in Japan, were part of a worldwide craze sweeping through schools and offices.

Buttons on the egg-shaped Tamagotchi – which translates as loveable egg – are used to feed, play, and even clean up the pet’s droppings.

But a spokesman for British company Bandai said the validated worldwide record was 36 days, and remained sceptical of Imad’s achievement.

He said: “It is possible, but it would take an incredible amount of care and attention.”