Flashback: American evangelists, a rubber fire and a lucky escape from certain death

Chadwell Heath Station

Chadwell Heath Station - Credit: Archant

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

1957: More than 150 American evangelists were the latest in a long line of interesting visitors to the Grange Farm Centre on Chigwell High Road.

Members of the religious order were staying at the centre during the inaugural ceremonies for a new church opening in London.

Despite only staying for two days, the Americans earned a great deal of respect for their good manners and immaculate appearance.

The American contingent were due to be replaced by 500 young methodists from across the UK who were all visiting the Methodist Conference in London, and after that a group of 150 French men and women were taking up residence there for a long stay studying British engineering methods.


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1977:Four tons of rubber were consumed by flames when a blaze tore through a waste depository at a Hainault factory.

Firefighters were called to the rubber works in Peregrine Road when employees spotted a vast pall of smoke spilling from the premises.

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They spent three hours fighting to control the blaze and did eventually get the fire under control, although the entire waste disposal area of the premises was destroyed.

Peregrine Road residents were also evacuated for just under an hour when the firefighters first arrived on the scene.

1997: Grandmother Mary Smith had a lucky escape when she managed to survive being run over by a train in Chadwell Heath.

The 71-year-old, of Pyrmont Road, Ilford, told her family she was popping out to Romford to do some shopping, but somehow managed to end up at Chadwell Heath station.

At 3.40pm she had a narrow escape from death.

Eyewitnesses saw the granny run along the platform to catch a train before slipping and falling into the path of the oncoming locomotive.

She was then seen to crouch low as the train got nearer, and somehow the first few coaches to pass over her missed her entirely.

As the train came to an emergency stop, onlookers helped extricate Mrs Smith, who was taken to King George Hospital in Goodmayes for treatment.

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