This week 60 years ago: Illegal watches worth £20,000 found in Stamford Hill cellar

The Gazette 60 years ago

The Gazette 60 years ago - Credit: Archant

Customs officers swooped on a cellar in Stamford Hill where they found a watch maker surrounded by illegally imported watches worth £20,000.

The room in Darenth Road “resembled an old junk shop” and was illuminated by a solitary candle, the Gazette reported this week 60 years ago.

The watchmaker was charged with knowingly keeping 2,319 watches and seven watch cases of foreign manufacture, chargeable with duty which was not paid with intent to defraud HM of the duty. In his defence he said he was “moving the watches for a friend” who was going to give him £10. He said he could not give the name of his friend, adding: “It is more than my life is worth”.

In other news an eight-year-old boy raised the alarm and called fire fighters after an oil stove started a blaze in Churchill Walk, Homerton, when it was accidentally knocked over. Freeman Coughlan ran to the fire station nearby.