Flashback: Land sale controversy, two budgies saved from flames and vandals attack a bus

Two budgies were saved from a house fire in Ilford in 1977. Photo: Calvin Hogg/ Wikimedia Commons

Two budgies were saved from a house fire in Ilford in 1977. Photo: Calvin Hogg/ Wikimedia Commons - Credit: Archant

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

1957: Developments in a long-running scandal about the sale of land in Dagenham took a dramatic turn when Independent councillor Alma Fry carried out his threat to take the matter to the Attorney General.

Documents and papers relating to Dagenham Council banning him from examining the tenders book for the sale were sent to the Royal Courts of Justice.

Councillor Fry believed the authority’s Land Committee had gone well outside the reach of its powers when it authorised the sale of a large part of the Manor Farm Estate to private developers.

A council motion submitted by cllr Fry that caleld for the Land Committee’s resignation was defeated in a full council vote.

1977: Firefighters carried a man from his bed in a smoke-filled house after a mysterious fire broke out in his downstairs toilet overnight.

Although the fire did not spread, Dave Lawrence of Melford Road, Ilford, had been overcome by the fumes spreading throughout his home.

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Once carried outside by the firefighters, he was revived with oxygen and he and his wife Helen were taken to King George Hospital for treatment.

Helen had sustained minor burns after running back into the burning house to save the couple’s pet budgies.

1997: Passengers riding on a popular bus route had to be evacuated after vandals started a fire on the top deck.

The fire on the 169 bus route that runs from Barking to Clayhall started at 4pm on Monday.

The bus was travelling down Fullwell Avenue, Barkingside, when a gang of youths managed to open the hatch that allows access to the destination sign at the front of the bus.

They were then thought to have thrown a match or lighter down there, which ignited the material sign.

The driver, who managed to put the fire out himself with his on-board fire extinguisher before Hainault Fire Station arrived, evacuated the 88 frightened passengers onboard.

The attack came at a time when Redbridge Council were considering appointing street wardens in Hainault to crack down on a sudden rise in anti-social behaviour.