Flashback: Heroic cabbies, skateboarding thieves and the holiday from hell

London taxis waiting on a cab rank

London taxis waiting on a cab rank - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

1957: Ilford’s taxi drivers were the heroes of the day when 38 of them took 150 children from Barnardo’s in Barkingside on an outing to Clacton.

Rain poured down as the mile-long convoy of taxis, with its cargo of laughing, whooping boys and girls, snaked its way from the homes and headed for the coast.

Staring through rain-blurred windscreens, the drivers prayed for a miracle, and one duly arrived.

As the convoy entered the outskirts of Clacton, the skies magically cleared and the children were able to play on the beaches with buckets and spades before paddling through the water in the sunshine.

1977: Police were being given a headache by a new escape method for Redbridge’s young criminals – skateboards.


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“These youngsters are capable of high speeds,” a police officer told the Recorder.

A launderette manager was stunned when two teenagers skated off cleanly after an attempted robbery, and police were afraid the raid at the George Lane Launderette in Wanstead would be the start of a new trend.

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A detective said: “It’s the first time we have heard of these boards being used for this purpose and we are keeping are wits about is in case it becomes more frequent.”

1997: Two Ilford families revealed their horror after their dream holiday turned into a nightmare when food poisoning ripped through their hotel.

Nicole and Lee Murcott and their neighbours Tracey and Jimmy Vincent and their children went on a luxury two-week all-inclusive Carribean holiday.

But conditions at the three star hotel in the Dominican Republic were so bad they and 33 other families soon developed stomach pains and began vomiting.

Mrs Murcott, of Cheriton Avenue, Clayhall, said: “In the end every single family out there was affected. We lived for two weeks on bananas as the food was inedible.”

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