Archer Road/Newlands End

Then and Now

The following enquiry was received from Andrew Ford.

Can anybody help me with this mystery? In about 1965/6 my father took me to visit an old friend in Newlands End, off the High Road, Laindon near the Fortune of War PH. From what I am able to remember there was a long row of what looked like agricultural workers’ cottages with fields either side. However, when I visited in a taxi some years ago there was a new industrial estate with no trace of the cottages. Can anybody tell me what happened to the buildings and the people. There seems to have been a rather dramatic transformation of the area at some point as I remember just fields in the vicinity. Any information would be appreciated. Many thanks.”  Andrew Ford.

After some investigation, we have concluded that the row of cottages were the brick built bungalows in Archer Road that had been built in the 30s by Albert Laycock and named ‘Walmsley Estate’.  These were later demolished to make way for the industrial site which covered Archer Road and Victoria Crescent.  The first units were rented out in 1977.  Newlands End was built along what had been the back gardens of Archer Road.  There are just six of the original bungalows remaining on the south side of Archer Road (three semis).

Below are overview maps showing the area before and after the changes.

Archer Road 1949
BDC 1949 Survey
Archer Road/Newlands End
BDC 1949 Survey and Google Earth
Newlands End
Google Earth
The last six original bungalows left standing in Archer Road (three semis).
Google Earth

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  • In the 50’s I used to visit Mrs Lawless, the piano teacher in Archer Road – can only remember ordinary bungalows. However, I am sure you will come up with something Nina.

    By Andrea Ash (nee Pinnell) (29/07/2015)
  • Hi Andrea.  I also had piano lessons with Mrs Lawless (1956 – 1960).  She lived at No 12 and I am in agreement with you – there were only bungalows, in that area, no two storey houses.  There is a Newlands Road in Wickford that is long and straight with fields on either side and an industrial site but, having looked on older maps, there’s no sign of a row of two storey cottages ever having been there either.  T’is a mystery.  Hope it can be solved.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (29/07/2015)
  • Dear Nina

    Thank you so much for your very prompt and informative reply. However, my memory of Newlands End was of a long row of two storey houses/cottages built of red brick in a sort of arts and crafts style. I think they dated from the post First World War period and could have been built by the local council as I have seen other examples in the home Counties, particularly in agricultural areas. This Newlands End that I recall was possibly at right angles to Archer Road, and was quite a long dead end road in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields. The back gardens looked out onto open countryside. The people we went to see were a woman called Mary, and her son, Michael who would be about 55 now. Thanks again for your research up to now. Hope somebody can recall this disappeared little community. Thanks.

    By Andrew Ford (26/07/2015)
  • Hello Andrew.  That is rather strange.  I grew up in Laindon throughout the 50s and 60s and knew that area very well and I’m certain there was never a row of red brick two storey cottages where you describe. Neither was there a road called Newlands End in 1965/6.   The current road ‘Newlands End’ didn’t exist until the late 70s, when the industrial site was built.

    The only long row of two storey brick built cottages I can think of, were The Railway Cottages in Denbigh Road, which was off the southern end of the High Road, near the railway line and to the west of Laindon Station.  These cottages survived into the early 70s.  Maybe if you could recall the surname of the family, I may be able to trace them on the Electoral Registers.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (26/07/2015)

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