Dunton reunion 6th August 2011.

At The Haven, Dunton Visitor Centre

Sylvie, Anne and Nina
Colin Humphrey
Patsy and Ian Mott
Colin Humphrey
Audrey, standing at far left.
Colin Humphrey
The Buffet
Colin Humphrey
Joe Goodman - King of the One Liners
Colin Humphrey
Classmates - Joe Goodman and Anne Burton
Colin Humphrey
The Gathering
Colin Humphrey
Sylvie and Anne with twins Una and Eira Richardson - together after approximately 50 years.
Colin Humphrey

The 10th Anniversary of the Dunton School re-union took place on Saturday 6th August 2011. The re-unions, organised by Audrey Carter, have been extended by popular demand to those who lived in the plotland areas of Laindon and Langdon Hills. I lived in a plotland bungalow called ‘Spion Kop’ in Alexandra Road, Laindon (part of the un-made section of King Edward Road) and therefore, decided to go along, not knowing quite what to expect and was rewarded with a well-organised thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

My sister Anne Burton came along with her friend Sylvie Currington (nee Short), who had lived in a bungalow very close to us called ‘Artillery View’ off Devonshire Road, Laindon.

My husband, Colin, went along early to help erect the marquees in the back garden of The Haven. He then returned to collect us at 11:30, with the news that guests were already arriving. We arrived at 12 midday and were parking up, when a car arrived containing two of Anne and Sylvie’s school chums who were smiling and waving enthusiastically. They hugged each other and started chatting. I thought for a moment that this group of friends from many years ago were going to conduct their re-union quite happily in the car park, so I suggested that they follow us up to the Haven, while we led the way.

More guests arrived, set up their deckchairs, (some took contributions to the buffet marquee), greeted and chatted with other quests and eagerly viewed the photographs that had been pinned to a display board by Patsy and Ian Mott.  Sylvie took a tour inside the Haven (The Plotland Museum) as she hadn’t visited the Dunton Centre before.

My younger brother Alan Burton and his wife Hilary arrived and although they enjoyed the afternoon, looking at the photos, listening to stories and chatting, unfortunately there were no school chums or neighbours of our age group in attendance.  However, I can’t say the same for Anne and Sylvie.  Anne met several of her classmates.  Pam Whitehead, June Hall, Leonard Williams, Maureen Davey (nee Cordell), and Joe Goodman (formerly Cotterill) who had sat directly behind her in class at Laindon High Road School. 

The buffet opened and as the guests (who were sitting almost in a circle) finished their picnic, Joe Goodman stood up and treated us to one of his famous ‘King of the one-liners’ sessions.  He threw joke after joke at us making it difficult to keep up with him.  In fact, when one chap suddenly laughed aloud on his own, Joe remarked ‘I see you’ve just got the first one’.  In fact, we all laughed so much, the lady sitting directly opposite me almost fell off her wobbly deckchair and Joe, never slow to sieze an opportunity, asked a bird that was singing very loudly in a nearby tree, if he was trying to join in the show. After Joe told his final joke of the afternoon, we were each treated to a most delicious slice of the 10th year anniversary iced fruitcake.

Joe’s performance had brought the gathering even more closely together and everyone started to mingle, reading name tags, asking questions and thoroughly enjoying each other’s company on a sunny afternoon which was interrupted only by a couple of very light rain showers.

At around 4:30 something most uncanny happened. Anne mentioned to Sylvie that she wondered whatever happened to the twins Una and Eira Richardson who they used to play with in Devonshire Road, Laindon. (The twins were the sisters of our older brother Dennis’s best friend Bobby Richardson, who himself had a twin sister Pam. Their mother had several children including the two sets of twins.) As Anne finished speaking, she turned to her right and Una and Eira were standing there. Anne was so totally gob smacked, it’s a wonder she didn’t swoon. Sylvie burst into tears and threw her arms around them. Colin grabbed the camera to capture an image of a re-union spanning approximately 50 years.

My first experience of Audrey’s re-unions was one of a joyous afternoon, in good company enjoying both tears and laughter and the date of next year’s re-union – 4th August 2012, was added to several diaries.

Many thanks to Audrey for all her hard work and wonderful organisation in producing the event.  To Ian and Patsy Mott for supplying the photograph display and for answering so many questions with their extensive knowledge. Not forgetting everybody who stayed on in the rain to help to dismantle and pack away the marquees at the end. Long may the re-unions continue.

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  • June. Perhaps you could persuade your mum to write an article for the archive about her memories of Laindon. She could either submit this herself via the website or come along to one of the memory mornings at the Laindon Library, tell her stories and one of the team could write it for her. If she has any old photos of Laindon that would enhance her memories, they could be scanned at that time. The next memory morning is Friday 27th September from 10 am to 12 noon at Laindon Library.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (05/09/2013)
  • I’ve been reading all about old Laindon and my mums not mentioned once. She went to Laindon High Road and worked at Sloper’s shop. 

    She continues to fly the flag for old Laindon and Dunton by working at the Haven (she is dressed in blue standing in the middle of the third picture down). Her name is Maureen Buck (Downs). My mum is 76 years old and loves trying to keep old Laindon alive.

    Editor: June please get you mum to tell us about her memories and family connections with the community, as it will encourage others and enhance the archive. The capture of the communities memories is why we were set up.

    By June (04/09/2013)
  • What a lovely day you all seem to have had Anne, I feel quite envious of you. I remember some of the people you mentioned, I am pretty sure that Una and Ira Richardson were friends of our family the Davies’s, I can recall my mother going to see them when they lived in Devonshire Rd. In fact i’m sure they were pals with one of my Aunts Marion, Betty, or Eileen Davies

    By Gloria Sewell (11/08/2011)
  • Yes Gloria, it was fabulous. What a pity you were not able to be there. Never mind there is another reunion planned for 4th August next year. Una and Ira used to come over to play with me not long after I started school. They looked really well on Saturday; the years have treated them kindly. Their brother Bobby was my brother Den’s bezzy mate.

    By Anne Burton (11/08/2011)
  • I forgot to mention that the venue for next year’s re-union is yet to be confirmed. Those wishing to attend would be advised to check with Audrey nearer the time next year – best wishes – Nina

    By Nina Humphrey (née Burton) (11/08/2011)
  • It was lovely to see Jean Newberry after well over 30 years and Leonard Williams whom I last saw at Markham’s Chase School 61 years ago. A most enjoyable afternoon. Also making the day special was the visit by our brother Alan and his wife Hilary who had made the journey from Worcester especially.

    By Anne Burton (10/08/2011)

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