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Flashback: A bank raid, a grammar school row and an abandoned baby

PUBLISHED: 15:00 06 May 2018

This photo of spring flowers in Valentines Park, Ilford, in 1960 was taken by David Bewers.

This photo of spring flowers in Valentines Park, Ilford, in 1960 was taken by David Bewers.

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A look back at the stories of 60, 40 and 20 years ago

1958: A Seven Kings bank messenger took a day off after being beaten up in a £43k raid on a Westminster Bank.

Richard Bailey, of High Road, thought he was on a routine coach journey to work but, as it later turned out, he and other bank officials had been collected by a bogus driver.

He said: “Everything went as normal until we got to Commercial Street.

“Then we turned left on the side street.

“The thugs boarded the coach while it was still going and then it was a free-for-all.”

Mr Bailey was left bruised after being attacked by the thugs. The onslaught ended on Commercial Street in east London.

1978: Despite pressure from central government to abolish the borough’s two grammar schools, Redbridge education chiefs struck a conciliatory tone.

The Tory-led council had been rowing with former education minister Shirley Williams, who wanted to Woodford County High School for Girls and Ilford County High to become comprehensives.

But the council’s education committee chairman Cllr John Telford had an apparent change in tone when telling his committee “we seek no confrontation”.

And he added that talks he was due to have with chief education officer John Fordham would “have to regard to the requirements” of Mrs William, he added.

1998: A four-month-old baby girl was given a clean bill of health after being found abandoned in the middle of a carriageway of the A12 Eastern Avenue in Newbury Park.

She was rescued after a shocked driver and his friend swerved to avoid her baby buggy in the early hours of the morning.

The men, who lived in Chigwell, spotted the buggy as it slowly rolled across the road.

When they looked inside they discovered a baby wrapped in a blanket.

The men reported it to the police, who located the child’s parents and questioned them at length before releasing them on police bail.


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