Flashback: Car complaints, the Redbridge switch-off and an historic visitor

King Hussein of Jordan visited King Solomon High School in this week in 1996.

King Hussein of Jordan visited King Solomon High School in this week in 1996. - Credit: Archant

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

1956: A woman travelled from London to Newcastle on a Tuesday morning to complain that a Chigwell motorist had ruined the last day of her holiday.

A magistrate dismissed Dorothea Barreras’ claim against John Hill of Chigwell Park Drive, for driving a car which emitted an oily substance which could damage people or property.

Mrs Barreras was on holiday with her daughter in Newcastle when they passed behind a car being driven by Hill.

She told the magistrates she suddenly felt a cold sensation on her legs and looked down to discover she was covered in a sticky black substance.

She said it was only right that Mr Hill be prosecuted as she had had to cancel her afternoon out and return to her daughter’s home for a bath.

1976: The controversial Redbridge switch-off, which aimed to save money by turning off one in every three street lights, was revealed to have cost the council more than £4,000.

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Projected savings as a result of the scheme were due to be around £12,000, but in the eight months since the scheme’s inception the council had to spend £4,568 out of their projected savings.

The bulk of those costs were the time spent on officers dealing with the thousands of complaints made about dark lampposts.

Accidents in more residential side roads had also gone up 47 per cent after dark since the switch off.

The number of telephone complaints the highways department was dealing with had also risen to 60 per day.

1996: History was made at King Solomon High School when King Hussein of Jordan visited.

Amid tight security, the arab king said he was “honoured and overwhelmed” by the warm welcome Jewish students at the school gave him.

School governor Alan Sugar was also on hand to welcome the royal.

“With vision and love for your people, you have presided over the transformation of Jordan,” he said.

“I hope you will inspire the students to have greater understandiing.”