Flashback: A record-breaking flower show, a £5k heist and anti-social cricketers

Chigwell School

Chigwell School - Credit: Archant

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

1957: Despite a terrible year for the borough’s gardeners, the Chigwell Horticultural Society’s 79th annual summer show in the grounds of Chigwell School made a record profit.

Society chairman Mr F G Smith was left satisfied with the results, even though the number of exhibitors was down by about 2pc from the previous year.

“The judges were very impressed,” said Mr Smith.

“They said the quality of the exhibits was exceptionally high.”


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1977: Masked gunmen rammed a garage manager’s car and sped off with £5,000 takings in a daring daylight swoop.

The raid happened at Hills Automobiles in Woodford Green High Road, just after the manager had left the office to take the weekend’s cash to the bank.

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A transit van was driven from the car park of the pub next door and rammed into the back of his car as four men jumped out, armed with a sawn off shotgun and a revolver.

They brandished their weapons at the manager while a third member of the gang began smashing in the car’s rear window with a pair of bolt cutters.

As the cash was snatched through the shattered window, a silver Ford Granada, driven by a fifth raider, reversed to where the robbery was taking place.

The gang, wearing stocking masks, bundled into the car and sped off, leaving the manager shaken but unhurt.

No shots were fired during the few seconds the raid was carried out.

Barkingside Police were leading the investigation.

1997:Anti-social behaviour by some of its users cost Ilford Cricket School permission to expand.

Redbridge Council was forced to turn down an application to build girls’ changing facilities, a new training room and erect a new lightweight roof at the school in Beehive Lane after learning of complaints about parking and noise by local residents.

Residents also spoke at the meeting of the planning sub-committee about problems parking in the area, with garages and driveways frequently being parked over while activities were being held at the cricket school.

Councillors determined that until these issues were resolved no expansion could take place.

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