Redbridge Review of the Year: January and February

In the first of a six-part series between now and New Year’s Eve, we look back at the stories that made the headlines in Redbridge in 2012 – a landmark year for the borough.


The under-construction City Gates Christian centre, Clements Road, Ilford fell like a “pack of cards” on the afternoon of January 31, but remarkably the only injury was a twisted ankle.

Rescue teams, specially trained dogs and thermal imagining equipment were all used to search the wreckage to find anyone who may have been trapped, but the site was given the all clear five hours after it fell.

The steel frame of the five-storey building which was left standing was demolished days later and the crane dismantled.

The week before, workers had held a ceremony at the site to mark reaching the very top of the structure.

Development manager Andrew Morris said: “Work stopped at the site about 15 to 20 minutes before [the collapse]. Thankfully most of the guys had left.”

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Also this month:

• Streets in Hainault were hit by a “tornado”

• Ilford neighbours reclaimed a house in a victory over squatters

• Poor relations: 46 per cent of children in Loxford were “in poverty”

• Seven Kings pupil Wendy Maguire died after falling from a bridge on the A12.


A 22-year-old man was shot in the chest at an Ilford club as 200 revellers partied inside.

Feuding guests sought bottles to use as weapons during a fight before the shooting took place at Krystel Banqueting on February 26 at 4.40am, according to the chief police investigator.

The licence of the High Road venue, which hosts wedding functions but has also advertised itself as a bar hosting the “greatest DJs”, was suspended by Redbridge Council.

The man, who was taken to hospital in a stable condition, was the victim of a second shooting in 14 months at the venue.

Also this month:

• Heroic Pc Matt Hill rescued 15 people from a fire at an Ilford off-licence

• The big freeze was the chance for some fun as six inches of snow fell

• Ilford was voted the second unhappiest place to live in the UK

• A temporary hotel set to house more than 4,000 Olympic security staff was proposed for Hainault Forest Country Park.