Flashback: A retiring detective, a nasty car crash and a diamond anniversary

Chadwell Heath police station 1968

Chadwell Heath police station 1968 - Credit: Archant

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

1957: A detective just four years’ away from being able to retire forfeited his pension to take up a new career in Canada, saying he was sick of lazy locals.

Based at Chadwell Heath Police Station, Det Con Norman Ward would have served in the police for 25 years if he had made it to January, but could take no more.

So instead, he decided he would resign in June and, with his wife and 14-year-old son, start a new life in Canada.

“I can’t save enough money in this country in the particular job,” he told the Recorder.

“It was my intention to retire after 25 years but on the pension I would have I would need to take another job.”

Mr Ward had already applied to work at a number of security firms in Canada, but also expressed an interest in farming.

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1977: Two young sisters had a miracle escape from death when the car in which they were travelling to school was wrecked in a collision with a coach.

The crash happened at the junction of Wards Road East and Ladysmith Avenue in Seven Kings.

Sisters Kathryn Bergl, 9, and Anne Bergl, 7, of Eastwood Road, Goodmayes, were being driven to the Ursuline Convent School in Ilford, in their father’s saloon car by one of his employees – John Flitcroft – when the crash occurred.

The impact shattered the windscreen and conertinaed the car, with the two girls thrown against the driver.

“It is a miracle that anyone could have lived in what remained of the car,” an eyewitness told the Recorder.

1997: A Seven Kings couple shared the secrets to a long and happy marriage on their 75th wedding anniversary.

George Dwyer and his wife Julia, of South Park Drive, told the Recorder the secret was to always be honest with one another, and to not get worked up over the little things.

George said: “Sometimes I’ll burn dinner or fall asleep, she never makes a fuss.

“The important thing is that she knows I’ve always loved her.”