Flashback: Beer theft, candlesticks stolen from a church and a pensions wrangle

Beer. Picture: Jenna Pudelek

Beer. Picture: Jenna Pudelek - Credit: Archant

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

1957: Thieves made off with £60 worth of beer and spirits after they broke into the newly-opened Manor Park British Legion Hall in Church Road.

The branch, which had only been there for two months, lost a relay radiogram as well as the expensive booze.

“We were often broken into at our old place,” said the secretary, John Howard.

“But they never got away with anything. This theft will set us back quite a bit because we don’t have much money.”

The police determined that tools taken from a nearby unlocked council yard had been used to break open the door.

Fortunately, members did not go without their Easter drink, as a reserve store kept in another room had been left untouched.

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1977: Two silver-plated candlesticks valued at £400 were stolen from a church altar.

The thieves had to hack their way through chains connecting the sticks to the altar to make their getaway, and somehow managed it in a ten-minute break between the end of a choir practice and the start of a Mother’s Union service at Christchurch in Wanstead Place.

Rev Paul Bowen told the Recorder: “The main door of the church was locked, and what makes it even worse is that these candlesticks were especially made for the church several years ago as replacements for another pair which were stolen.

1997:The leader of Redbridge Council was forced to speak out publically within the pages of the Recorder to ease the public’s fears over a pensions wrangle.

Cllr Liz Pearce announced that letters issued at the end of February to 106 of the borough’s pensioners stated the council was considering reducing their pension to recover historic overpayments.

But, she stressed that the letter was in no way intended to be a demand for payment but “intended to allow those concerned the opportunity to comment again on the earlier decision to reduce their pension paments”.

An investigation had determined that the criteria the council had previously used to determine pensioner payments was unlawful, with the council awaiting the results of an independent inquiry.

Cllr Pearce added: “Each case will be considered individually against a proper set of criteria before any decision is made as to whether or not we should seek to recover the overpayments.”