Haverhill Echo 25 years ago

Echo, October 18.1990


A mum-to-be told how she was living in fear of the bailiffs knocking on her door to collect unpaid poll tax.

Shirley and Paul Hillman, from Harewood Terrace in Haverhill, each owed £329 in poll tax but could not afford to pay the arrears because of their ‘sky-high’ mortgage payments, which she said left them able to afford only £5 a week towards the bill.

They had to buy a house six months earlier because there was nowhere available to rent and without doing so they would have been homeless.


A family failed in a brave battle to stop their converted medieval barn in West Wickham from being ruined after a fire broke out.

Dr Christian Bastin, his wife Suzanne and their 13-year-old son Joseph were at home when the fire broke out and from the time they became aware of it until all was lost was just four minutes.

It was thought the thatched premises caught fire after sparks produced by three teenagers trying to make fireworks in a workshop part of the barn landed on the roof. Firefighters used six jets to get the flames under control.