Flashback: Longer opening hours, a giant cabbage and a candle fire

Close-up of a burning candle on the piano.

Close-up of a burning candle on the piano. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

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

1957: Leaders of Ilford’s District Chamber of Commerce urged urged their members to oppose any extension to the area’s shop opening hours.

A message from chairman M S Burns states: “You may have noticed in the local press some reference to the fact that certain shops are staying open later.

“The committee have given considerable attention to this matter for some time past and are strongly opposed to any extension of shop hours.

“It is difficult to see how any firm can expect any permanent benefit from this course execpt at the expense of his tradesmen.”

The Chamber of Commerce warned that longer opening hours meant more staff wages to be paid which would in turn lead to a rise in the price of goods.

1977: It was enough to make any gardener green with envy when an amateur gardener in Clayhall somehow cultivated a giant cabbage measuring more than a yard across.

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Susan Myers, of Longwood Gardens, told the Recorder: “I’ve never seen anything like it.

“I’m not really a gardener, I planted the cabbage last September and just sat back and watched it grow.”

Wondering if Susan’s endeavours might be worthy of a record, the Recorder was forced to give her the bad news that unfortunately the world’s largest cabbage was quite a bit bigger - weighing in at a staggering 75lb.

1997: A young Ilford woman awoke in horror to find that a bedside candle had set fire to her bedding.

The candle is thought to have started a blaze which left her family’s flat heavily smoke logged and the young woman suffering smoke inhalation.

Firefighters have issued a warning over the use of candles and the need for every home to have a fire alarm following the blaze last week.

A passer-by dialled 999 after he saw smoke and flames inside the bedroom of the Green Lane home just after 10pm.

Firefighters arrived to find the burning bedding inside the bedroom had been largely put out by the young woman’s parents.