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Post memories: Dagenham door-to-door salesmen call, the man with ex-wives as neighbours, young mum murder appeal

PUBLISHED: 12:30 11 January 2020

'Happy hunting ground for tally men and spivs': Dagenham Post on January 13, 1960. Picture: Archant / Barking and Dagenham Archives and Local Studies Centre

'Happy hunting ground for tally men and spivs': Dagenham Post on January 13, 1960. Picture: Archant / Barking and Dagenham Archives and Local Studies Centre

Archant

The stories that made the news 60, 40 and 20 years ago...

'The Man in the Middle': Barking and Dagenham Post on January 16, 1980. Picture: Archant / Barking and Dagenham Archives and Local Studies Centre'The Man in the Middle': Barking and Dagenham Post on January 16, 1980. Picture: Archant / Barking and Dagenham Archives and Local Studies Centre

1960

A shopkeeper has urged the council to control street and door-to-door traders, describing Dagenham "a happy hunting ground for tally men and spivs".

Oxlow Lane shopkeeper Herbert Powell says Dagenham is recognised by those salesmen as an area where they can flog anything.

He told the Post: "In most places, such a situation would not be tolerated by the residents. But it is here and I cannot see why."

'Murdered mum': The Barking and Dagenham Post on January 12, 2000. Picture: Archant / Barking and Dagenham Archives and Local Studies Centre'Murdered mum': The Barking and Dagenham Post on January 12, 2000. Picture: Archant / Barking and Dagenham Archives and Local Studies Centre

Mr Powell added that they were providing a services and were in some cases essential, but believed their numbers should be limited.

Meanwhile, a threat to halt production at Ford by 700 workers in the press shop of the body group was averted.

Union leaders accepted the company's offer to withdraw notice of a three-shift system and discuss the whole position.

Elsewhere, two Dagenham teenagers plan to walk from Edinburgh to London in an attempt to beat the seven-day record and collect a £250 prize.

1980

A twice-married janitor is enjoying the bachelor life again, with his ex-wives now living either side of his house.

Lenny Simmans, 48, signalled the end of his second marriage after four months by moving his wife's furniture back to her old house next door.

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It made Lenny the talk of his street in Dagenham because the first Mrs Simmans still lives in the house on the other side.

Lenny says: "We get on famously as neighbours but now we are married we can't agree. I'm starting divorce poceedings."

The cul-de-sac "marry-go-round" began two years earlier when Lenny divorced first wife June, who moved out into the neighbouring property.

He later married his other neighbour, widow Rosemary Holder, who moved with her youngest son next door to Lenny's place while her 20-year-old son stayed in the "old house".

Rosemary said: "We had a row and he said he'd had enough and it wasn't working out."

2000

The brutal murder of a teenage mum shocks the tight-knit community of Marks Gate.

Denise Sinclair, 19, was found strangled at her home in Bagleys Spring.

Police are appealing for help to trace a missing necklace which belonged to her.

Her two-year-old son is being cared for by relatives.

A friend of Denise told the Post: "Denise was such a lovely girl, she was an excellent mother and the sort of person who never had a bad word to say about anybody."

Elsewhere, a pensioner from Barking is left distraught after burglars stole more than £1,000 he had saved for his wife's funeral.

The 77-year-old had been staying at his son's house after his wife's death when the thieves broke into his home on the Gascoigne Estate.

He said: "I am just trying to get over it all. I don't think the people who did this will be caught and it's a terrible thing to have to go through after losing someone close."


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