I can still remember the taste of their treacle tart and custard


This is the current view on the North West corner of the Fortune of War junction.  The site was redeveloped as a Happy Eater and then changed to the current McDonald’s

Enefers Cafe

Enefers Cafe

This shows Enefers as I remember it in the 1950’s/60’s and I can still remember the taste of their treacle tart and custard. The Cafe had been in existence since the 1920’s and was very popular with the locals and those travelling along the A127 as this advert indicates.

Advert for Enefers

Enefers did not always have this corner of the Fortune junction to themselves as the following photograph shows:


This photograph is pre 1934 when the arterial road (A127) was still a single carriage way.  Does anybody know anything about the tea rooms at the back of the picture? The tea rooms left of the picture became known as ‘Enefers’.

The A127 cross roads

This is an even earlier photograph and the sign indicates the building was occupied by Markham’s Dairy. The photograph looks as though it was very close to the opening of the A127 and it looks as though the Fortune of War Public House had not yet been built.

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  • The dartboard factory in my earlier comment was called Keep Dry Dartboards I lived next door for a number of years in my childhood they were made by along strip of paper wound round a wooden bullseye.

    By L Miller (06/02/2019)
  • Further to W H Diment 04/02/14. The New Avenue post office was before the bungalow.  After the bungalow was a water tank to fight fires then Harry Fox’s, dart board factory, Rocksand, a bungalow I lived in with my mother Ethel Miller. Then another bungalow and S X Tools. Opposite was the original Enefers Cafe where my mother worked pre war.  Leonard Miller.

    By L G Miller (15/01/2015)
  • Further to Ian’s comments in respect of Photo 5 and whether or not the Fortune of War had been built at this time.  As the original entrance was opposite Gamon’s in the High Rd. it would be difficult to say. 

    By WH.Diment (06/02/2014)
  • I am uncertain about the last photograph and the comment about the Fortune of War not being built at the time. Reference to old OS maps shows that the Fortune was set well back from the A127 roughly opposite Enefers. Also the Southend bound carriageway had yet to be built, together with the cycle track. The pub could therefore have actually been just off to the photographers right, unless someone can tell us with confidence which came first. However, there is no pub sign in the photo, unless the original entrance was from High Road North. Fascinating photographs from enchanting times.

    By Richard Haines (05/02/2014)
  • Point of information

    The new A127 single carriageway was opened in1926 and the New Fortune was opened in 1928. if you look at the previous page in the journey (Click on Link), you can see that the entrance from the single carriageway was at the junction which would be sensible to catch the trade from the A127. 

    By Ian Mott (05/02/2014)
  • Further to my comment in respect of this page, I stated in my comment of 02/02/12 that I could not remember the cafe having been called anything but Enefers.  On searching my memory I now believe I was wrong.  Looking at photos 3 and 4 I remember to the west of Enefer there was an  area covered in granite chippings as a vehicle park as far as Queens Rd and the large building was Modleys Wholesale Tobacconists and beyond that, the police garages, a garage and the Arrow tea rooms.

    On the south side of of the road, was Parkinsons  garage, Victoria Crescent, The Laindon Park Country Club (later said to be Dirty Bill’s café),.  The Police houses a couple of residential bungalows, the bungalow café, a garage and then the factories.

    Further to the Enefer story they did for a short time open a grocery store almost halfway down the eastern side of the High Rd. north, almost opposite the wooden pharmacy of Wilsons the chemist. but moved shortly to take over the Wash Rd. Stores. I remember Mr. Enefer well as he was always self conscious due to an impediment in his speech.

    By W.H. Diment (04/02/2014)
  • Close examination of the last photograph identifies that Enefer’s was originally Markham’s Dairies, or had an advert on the roof which was changed to the Enefer’s name sign. 

    By Ian Mott (04/02/2014)
  • Further to this page, the No.4 photo asks if anything is known as to th tea rooms at the back of Enefers.  Actually is not at the back of Enefers, but the first building on the High Rd. north west of the Arterial Rd. and accessed by a wooden bridge from the High Rd.   It was owned by the Gamon family and had two sons, Billy who played for Langdon Hills and Frank who played for Laindon FC.  

    The comment also states that the tearooms on the left later became known as Enefers although I cannot in my memory remember it as being anything other than this as this and at one time the café in the station approach was also owned by Mr.Enefer.

    By W.H.Diment (02/02/2014)
  • I do remember that, in the late 1950’s, the cafe round the corner in the High Road there was “Nobby Clark’s.” I was a milk boy with Markham’s dairies then and that was where Eric, my milkman, used to stop for a cuppa.  Cup of tea 4d, Doorstep cheese sandwich 9d.  There were seven cafes close to there: Harry Lowes Cafe going towards Southend, the “Fortune of War” tea bar, (Summer only) Enefer’s cafe, Nobby Clark’s cafe, Bill’s cafe and then the three garages by Kings road: Harry Fox’s with a cafe, The Arrow Garage(With a restaurant) and finally Laindon Service station which included Mrs James coffee bar and restaurant. We used to like our tea back then!

    By Colin Clarke (01/02/2014)
  • In picture two, just in front of the coach leaving the cafe carpark is a white bull terrier, he has to be Dave Pratts dog ‘Otto’, he was always running around the carpark and on the roundabout. He got skittled by cars many times.

    By Ken Page (22/07/2011)
  • I just loved the ice cream they sold at Enefers in the late 1940’s.

    By Anne Burton (21/06/2011)
  • I remember a neighbour was working at Enefers when they filmed a Flash (floor cleaner) advert there.

    By Peter Long (21/06/2011)
  • Picture 3: I just love the 4 numeral telephone number. Picture 4: I think the little tea rooms was run by 2 sisters, when we cycled to Billericay Lake we stopped there for a drink. I seem to think it was in the back room. Picture 5: On the left of the picture beside the garage going towards London is Bill’s cafe where I spent a good part of my teens, it was a place where the motor bikers used to meet. In the corner of the cafe used to stand a beautiful barrel organ, it went from floor to ceiling, with the most wonderful carvings, I wonder what happened to it as I think I am right in saying there was a fire there. I do hope the organ was saved.

    One night Bill told one of the boys to go can’t recall why, the next we all knew a plank was hammered across the door shuting us all in, can’t recall how we all got out. Another time we were all asked to leave we promptly left taking the chairs and tables with us whuch we put in the middle of the roundabout and sat on them, poor old Bill. It’s a good job he was a good sport we might all have been arrested. He always wore a brown overall and a cap his wife’s name was Pat they both always had a cigerette hanging out of thier mouths. That was around 1957.

    By Gloria Sewell (17/06/2011)

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