Flashback: A goodbye to Reggie the post man, a Rolls Royce car crash and school dinners

Redbridge Town Hall

Redbridge Town Hall - Credit: Archant

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

1957: Looking back over 45 years of service to the Post Office, a steadfast Arthur Brown, known as Reggie to his friends, said: “I’m not sorry to be leaving”.

Mr Brown had been an implacable presence in the Ilford and Barking Post Office since he started in 1912.

Initially he had planned to retired in 1956, but after the branch lost a crucial member of staff to the Suez Crisis he stayed on for six months.

But why was he so happy to be leaving?


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“The work has got so complex now,” the 61-year-old told the Recorder.

“It’s getting worse and worse. When I started there were five of us on the counter, now there are 17.”

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The last of the original five to retire, Mr Brown had nothing but fond memories of his work at the branch.

1977: An Ilford company director who crashed his car into a parked Rolls Royce while driving at 60 miles per hour through the West End was ordered to pay just £300.

Three witnesses each estimated the Ilford born financier, who could not be named for legal reasons, had been recklessly speeding at double the legal limit when he smashed into the car in Marlborough Street, Soho.

Such was the excessive speed in the case that the company director could have faced fines of up to £2,000.

But the presiding judge deemed the defendant’s financial situation so precarious he waived the criminal fine and simply asked him to pay to repair the damage to the parked car.

1997: An ongoing row between members of the public and the company that provided Redbridge’s 72 schools with their meals seemed to be solved when the company director vowed to serve only the highest standard of food.

Redbridge parents had been left outraged when it was announced Initial Catering Services would take over from the council’s in-house firm for the following four years.

They feared a rapid decline in the quality of school dinners, but the Recorder, after reaching out to a number of other local authorities who employed Initial, discovered only one complaint in the last four years against the company.

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