Flashback: Quiz show heartbreak, a bubbles barnie and Valentines Mansion’s budget boost

A 1771 drawing of Valentines Mansion, in Ilford. Picture: Sir Charles Raymond of Valentines and the

A 1771 drawing of Valentines Mansion, in Ilford. Picture: Sir Charles Raymond of Valentines and the East India Company by Georgina Green - Credit: Archant

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

1957: Millions of TV viewers gasped with dismay as the Redbridge-born sweetheart of the $64,000 Question, Dorothy Burnell, just missed out on the show’s top prize.

The 26-year-old from Goodmayes was faced with a six-part poser to scoop a £3,200 jackpot but fluffed her lines at the crucial moment.

Tennis mad Dorothy told the Recorder: “I felt pretty nervous in the glare dazzled box. As quizmaster Jerry Desmonde announced the six part question I knew all the answers except part three, so I left that until the end.”

Unfortunately, as Dorothy was asked for the answer to a different question, she suddenly remembered the answer to question three and gave that instead – despite knowing she was being asked for the answer to a different question.

“Although I knew it was wrong, a kind of fixed hypnotism made me give the wrong answer,” she said.

1977: Athletes were up in the air over the appearance of bubbles in the £60,000 running track at Ashton Playing Fields in Woodford Bridge.

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Large lumps had begun to spring up all over the two-year-old track, angering Woodford Green Athletic Club members who had already condemned the new surface for being too hard and causing achilles tendon injuries to runners.

“Some bubbles have been cut out and part of the track relaid so it looks like a patchwork quilt, said club spokesman Pat Marchant.

“The whole track has been a disaster. The top layer should be ripped up and a softer surface put down.”

1997: Campaigners were given a boost after Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors came together to defeat the Labour administration’s budget plans.

By working together the opposition groups were able to force through an amendment to put £5,000 of Redbridge Council money aside to pay for a feasibility study into possible alternative uses for Valentines Mansion.

The Labour group had previously seemed to favour plans to turn the Grade II listed building into a family pub restaurant.

The Conservative and Lib Dem groups also voted together to give grants of £35,000 to the Kenneth More Theatre.