Flashback: Ilford’s giant babies, a red-faced headteacher and cuts to the Redbridge Show

Redbridge Show.

Redbridge Show. - Credit: Archant

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

1956: The battle of Ilford’s giant babies was in full swing.

The record holder, Philip Draper of Rutland Road, Ilford, who weighed 21lbs 2oz at eight months, had been usurped by another boy living less than half a mile away.

The new heavyweight champion is seven-month-old Tony Huwen, from Eltisley Road.

Tony had outgrown more than 20 pairs of pants since birth and tipped the scales at 29lbs 2oz. His favourite meal? Rump steak and suet pudding.

“He is a real porker and eats more than his three-year-old sister Susan, who has no appetite,” said his mother.

Known as “Buster” at the local clinic for his astounding strength at such a young age, Tony was hailed as “the perfect baby” by his doctors.

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1976: A Redbridge headmaster was forced to apologise to Jewish mothers at his school after he made an offensive remark at a school meeting.

The headmaster at one Redbridge school told a meeting of parents that he would not allow the formation of a parent-teacher association because 50 percent of the school was Jewish and Jewish mothers tended to be “too pushy”.

However, the teacher in question later issued a public apology and retracted his statement.

He told the Recorder: “I am sorry if I said anything objectionable to the parents - I did not intend to offend anyone.

“I am very friendly with the parents and have many Jewish friends. I want to make a public apology - I am now prepared to consider forming a parents’ association.”

1996: The Redbridge Show faced a first year of heavy cuts as the council tried to save money.

Drastic cutbacks were set to bite down hard, meaning the popular show would be without an opening ceremony or a main arena.

The council revealed it had put aside £35,000 for the 1996 show - a cut of £20,000 from the previous year.

That money was swallowed up by the essentials such as entertainment, electricity and catering.