Barking and Dagenham history: Picket scuffle, granny left far from home, residents’ anger at tip
- Credit: Archive
How we reported the news this week in 60, 40 and 20 years ago
Police had to intervene in a "scuffle" between strikers and workers crossing the picket line at Windsor Hosiery Company and Essex Knitting Mills in Dagenham.
The groups came to blows and one of the workers - a middle-aged woman - fell to the ground and was bruised.
The strikers were entering their fourth week picketing the factory despite the fact they were dismissed two weeks ago.
Five new workers reported to work on Monday. The strikers turned out in force the following morning to stop them entering and blocked the entrance.
An eyewitness said: "There was a free fight for a few minutes. All the girls started pushing away the three workers, who came along together. Then somebody called the police, who were standing on the corner of the street.
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"One policeman pushed his cycle through the girls to force a passage to let the workers in."
In a statement to this paper a factory boss said pay compared "favourably" to that in the Midlands and that conditions were good.
A Dagenham granny was left miles from home by a long-distance bus driver - all because she wanted to go to the toilet.
The driver couldn't be bothered to wait after Esther Sampson, 79, needed to answer a call of nature. Still on board the departing vehicle were her suitcases, ticket and all her money.
His actions resulted in a major row between Mrs Sampson, the bus company and Barking MP Jo Richardson.
Mrs Sampson was on her way to see her son and his family in Thetford, Norfolk.
"It was a terrifying experience that I will never forget," said Mrs Sampson. "But for a good Samaritan who came along, I don't know what I would have done. I didn't have a penny to my name."
The mystery helper calmed the widow, escorted her to the nearest train station, bought her a ticket and put her on the train home.
Then he left, refusing to give her his name or address.
Families in Dagenham were hoping to win a fight to keep a recycling centre off their doorsteps.
The council came up with a plan to install the controversial centre at its civic amenities site in Frizlands Lane, near the civic centre.
But the plan hinged on the successful purchase of an alternative site where it could store equipment from the existing depot to free up the space needed. The council was not disclosing the location of the proposed land.
Negotiations to purchase the mystery site were going ahead and campaigners at Residents Against the Tip (RAT) were hoping they would be celebrating a win by the new millennium.
The council proposed the plan to residents in a letter signed by council leader Charles Fairbrass along with three other councillors.
Cllr Fairbrass told The Post: "We can't say where this site is at the moment. I live only a few yards away from the Frizlands Lane site. I have lived there for years and have no problem with having a modern recycling centre on my doorstep."