Flashback: Heroic fireman walks again, Redbridge Council’s budget confusion and a conniving conman

Ilford High Road. Picture: Ken Mears

Ilford High Road. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

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

1957: An Ilford fireman who was left unable to walk after his spinal cord snapped in a fall from a roof-top benefitted from cutting-edge medical expertise to step out once again.

Fireman Ronald Perry, 28, needed months of physical therapy and his own sense of dogged determination to get him through the gruelling period after the 100 foot fall.

But fuelled by his love for his wife and children – left to worry about him at his Chadwell Heath home – and with the help of pioneering Dr Ludwig Guttman, Mr Perry took his first tentative steps after just a few months.

1977: A Tory councillor staggered Redbridge’s finance chief when he claimed the council had almost halved borrowing for major projects in the space of three years.

Cllr Peter Goody caused eyebrows to raise even further when he went on to call for even greater cutbacks to borrowing.

But fellow Conservative and finance committee chairman Ronnie Barden told him: “You’ve got your facts wrong.”

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Cllr Goody argued that accounts books showed the borough had borrowed 45pc less capital in the space of two years.

Bur Cllr Barden insisted there must have been something wrong with his fellow councillor’s maths, as there had only been a 0.55pc reduction.

1997: Police were hunting a conniving trickster who conned a 77-year-old Hainault pensioner into handing over £550 of his hard earned cash after convincing her he was a long-lost relative from Italy.

Once inside the man’s home, the conman offered the conman offered the pensioner and his wife a “gift” of a leather jacket before asking for the money as a loan, claiming his credit card had run out.

The criminal then drove the man to a building society, where he withdrew the money, then dropped the pensioner back to his Burrow Road home before speeding off.

Although he had left five jackets at the pensioner’s house, these proved to be worthless.

Police then connected the con to a similar incident in Chigwell, but no one was ever arrested for the crime.