Flashback: Workers on strike, lucky puppies and a haunted house

Dagenham's Ford factory, circa 1970.

Dagenham's Ford factory, circa 1970. - Credit: Archant

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

1957: 17,000 men were left idle after an all out strike at Briggs’ motor body works meant that Ford’s Dagenham plant had to close as well.

While Ford had attempted to find work for the majority of them in the short term, more than 2,000 had been told not to show up for their shifts for the foreseeable future.

The entire Briggs’ workforce was united in support of the strike – which came about after what workers believed to be a concerted attack on the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (AEU) from the firm’s upper management.

Five stewards were suspended without pay for attending a union meeting without permission.

1977: Five puppies were saved from drowning in a murky sewer after being callously abandoned.

The puppies had been thrown into a seven-foot deep sewer in Hainault Parkland and left to die, but fortunately a passing woman heard their terrified whimpering.

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She alerted an instructor at the nearby Fairlop Sailing Centre, who climbed into the sewer to save them.

Peter Leverton, the sailing centre’s warden, condemned the selfish owner.

He said: “Whoever threw these puppies in that sewer thought they were not going to be found.

“It was an incredibly cruel thing to do. They were in a bad way when we found them – absolutely terrified.

The puppies were being looked after by staff at the centre until a loving home could be found for them.

1997: A young family revealed their terrifying ordeal living in a haunted house they believed to be the scene of a horrific killing.

The family, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Recorder their 3-year-old daughter had begun hearing a woman’s screams in her sleep.

She claimed to hear sounds of glass smashing and the footsteps of people moving around her bedroom and refused to sleep in the room.

A neighbour informed the family a man, who it was rumoured used to beat his wife, had been stabbed to death in the bedroom.

A priest had been called in to perform a blessing.