Flashback: A televised religious service, an armed pub raider and a church on lockdown

Barkingside gv's for Ilford wrap. Fairlop Oak Pub

Barkingside gv's for Ilford wrap. Fairlop Oak Pub - Credit: Archant

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

1959: It was a time of profound reflection for Rev F W J Butler, minister of Seven Kings Baptist Church.

He was preparing to give a Sunday morning sermon, clocking in at around 12 minutes, to at least a million people more than he usually would.

This was because Associated TV (ATV) had chosen his service to beam into homes around the country.

As far as possible the reverend had been working to cut down his usual address, and indeed had managed to make it eight minutes shorter than usual.

He told the Recorder: “We shall, of course, welcome all who attend the televised service, but both the church officers and myself are very keen that it should be approached by all concerned in a sincerely devotional attitude and shall not, in any way, develop into a sort of peep show.”

1979: A leading brewers’ organisation announced it was planning to boost a massive police hunt for a hooded gunman that had raided six Redbridge pubs in two months by offering a cash reward.

Most Read

An award of £5,000 had been put on offer for anyone able to provide information that led to the bandit’s arrest.

Detectives from all over London were searching for him

In the space of two months, in Redbridge, he had hit the Beehive, the Bald Hind, the Red House (twice!), the Fairlop Oak and the Robin Hood.

1999: A church was cordoned off and the bomb squad called out after police received a telephone tip-off about a suspect package propped up against a wall.

Police sealed off the area around Methodist Church in Oaks Lane, Newbury Park while fire crews and ambulances were despatched to the scene.

Met Police detectives eventually removed the package after confirming it contained two firearms, which were sent to a lab for forensic testing.