Flashback: A daring rescue, a share sell-off and miracle triplets

The Plessey factory in Vicarage Lane, Ilford, shortly before it closed in 1992.

The Plessey factory in Vicarage Lane, Ilford, shortly before it closed in 1992. - Credit: Archant

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

1957: The 10-year-old hero who saved a baby boy from drowning in the river Roding was recommended for an award for gallantry.

Wolf cub Colin Halford, of Roding Lane South, spotted two-year-old Brian Dann clinging to a piece of driftwood floating down the rain-swollen river while on his way to Sunday school.

Colin sprinted to a nearby bridge downstream and jumped in, grabbing the youngster, who had snuck out of an open door at his Vista Drive home.

With the help of a Sunday school teacher who had seen the commotion and made her way to the river bank, Colin got the baby out of the water and, sopping wet, made his way on to school.


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Apparently, he was full of apologies for the fact he was 30 minutes late.

1977: More than 1million share in the Plessey electronic group were sold, half by the company’s chairman.

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Sir John Clarke sold nearly three quarters of his 718,471 shares to raise money to buy a farm, but he stressed his continued confidence in the firm and remained as full-time chief executive.

A spokesman for Sir John’s accounts stated he was simply “reorganising his affairs”.

At the same time, a redundancy dispute that had brought about a sit-in at Ilford’s Plessey factory was finally resolved.

A spokesman for one of the five unions who had organised the protest accepted there had been a surplus of workers at the plant and the action had been declared over.

1997: The second-oldest woman to have ever given birth to triplets was treated by a consultant based at a Redbridge private hospital.

Grandmother Sue Green, 50, went to Bupa Roding Hospital in Woodford Bridge Road, for help after spending more than 18 months trying to conceive.

The mother-of-five refused to give up and she and her 29-year-old husband Steve came to Redbridge for treatment. It cost them £4,500.

Consultant gynaecologist Paul Rainsbury was over the moon about the triplets.

He said: “Everyone is delighted that Sue and her three little boys are doing so well.”

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