How the Dagenham Post reported the news this week in 1949, 1979 and 1999
- Credit: Archant
Our front pages were splashed with the news in 1949 of a devastating summer storm, police tearing apart a bungalow in 1979 looking for the loot from a £50,000 robbery and the government injecting £500m in 1999 to bring Barking and Dagenham into the next century.
Dagenham Post, July 20, 1949:
A storm hits a show staged for 30,000 Ford Motor workers and their families which ends up flooded at the Kent Avenue sports ground.
Watchman Charlie Taylor is struck by a bolt of lightening on duty at Heath Farm estate and is lucky to be alive. He had been wearing rubber-soled canvas shoes which prevented the bolt being earthed through his body and saved his life.
A family "suffers calamity" when their week's food ration tokens are covered in soot when the lightening strikes. But the borough council's food officer promises the spoilt ration tokens would be replaced "provided a certificate is obtained from the sanitary inspector".
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The Turner family at 11 Temple Avenue vow never to live in another house with that number after it is struck. "Two houses we lived in during the War were numbered 11," Mrs Turner explains. "We were bombed out of both!"
At the flicks is Whisky Galore starring Basil Radford at Odeon cinemas at Chadwell Heath, Dagenham and Barking, along with Flanagan and Allen in Here Comes the Sun.
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Barking & Dagenham Post, July 18, 1979:
A macabre secret is uncovered at a council house in Beacontree where a woman's body lay unburied for five weeks.
Her next-of-kin couldn't accept her passing and continues collecting her pension at the post office.
She had died of natural causes. The first anyone knows of it is five weeks later when a man walks into Dagenham police station and confesses, saying he didn't know what to do. He ends up before magistrates and admits obtaining money by deception.
Meanwhile, police are stripping a secluded bungalow behind St Thomas's Church looking into a £500,000 robbery.
Rumours of bodies emerge because the bungalow is close to where a man disappeared three years before.
A round-the-clock search is being carried out with floorboards being torn up and carpeting taken away for forensic examination. But police deny any connection with the disappearance and aren't looking for bodies.
Barking & Dagenham Post, July 21, 1979:
The government gives the green light to a massive investment "to take the borough into the next century" with £500m to create thousands of jobs.
The Post gets the news directly by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.
A letter is sent home to parents from Sydney Russell Comprehensive after a senior girl is admitted to hospital with meningitis. Medical officials give a cautious warning about anyone in contact with her.
Another letter arrives at the paper from a kindhearted reader with £20 after reading about a paper boy attacked in the street who had his bike and phone stolen. A police officer who is handed the cash to pass on to the boy remarks: "This is the first time in 30 years I've seen anyone do this."
A 21-year-old sheet metal worker on his stag night out ends up with his mates giving him a send-off by stripping him naked and leaving him manacled to a bus-stop in Chadwell Heath. But he manages to get to the church on time.