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Flashback: Anger at Ilford town centre ‘porn’ peddling, a widow receives hate mail and a huge factory fire

PUBLISHED: 10:00 11 March 2018

Firefighters. Photo: Ellie Hoskins

Firefighters. Photo: Ellie Hoskins

Ellie Hoskins +44(0)7743306087 www.elliehoskins.com

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

1998: Concerned parents were furious at the peddling of pornographic posters in Ilford town centre at weekends, due to a lack of council enforcement officers.

Celine Mears was shocked to see images of scantily clad women being sold in the street, alongside posters of children’s favourite the Teletubbies, while shopping with her five-year-old son.

She said: “I was upset and offended. It’s not right to display pornographic ‘top shelf’ matter alongside posters of the Teletubbies and Boyzone designed to attract young children and vulnerable teenagers.”

A Redbridge Council spokesman said it had no jurisdiction over the content of the posters, only the illegal trade.

1978: An ailing 87-year-old widow received a scathing letter from an Ilford North parliamentary candidate, who mistakenly believed she had sent him hate mail.

Ivy Gloag, of Cambridge Road, Seven Kings, received the shock of her life when she received a letter from the Liberal candidate telling her “you make my flesh creep”.

Contacted by the Recorder, he said: “Just before the election I received an anonymous letter which accused me of Trotskyite affiliations.

“The envelope had a label stuck on it with the address on. I was very annoyed so I steamed off the label and underneath was Mrs Gloag’s address.”

Mrs Gloag said that she had never written or even spoken to the candidate.

She said: “I’ve certainly never written anything nasty to anyone. It was a terrible shock, I didn’t know what to do or say.”

1958: Forty Ilford firefighters, watched by hundreds of children, tackled a huge blaze at the tent and tarpaulin factory of John Smith and Co Ltd in Chadwell Heath.

Thousands of pounds of goods were destroyed in the blaze.

Two machine shops with 10,800 square feet of floor space, in which tents and other canvas materials were manufactured, were gutted.

The iron girders in the roof buckled with flames shooting 100ft into the air.

Motorists returning home from work were unable to pass the factory, and a there was a mile-long traffic jam along the road.

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