The Curious Building in Station Approach.

F. W. Hayes - Cafe.

The first photo we have of this little building is from very early last century when it was used as an office by the land agent Thomas Helmore.

In the twenties, it was used by M. G. Bersey & Co. Corn and Flour Merchants and H. J. Davies, Newsagent and Tobacconist. In the early thirties – George Bell, Newsagent and Tobacconist.

The building stood on the west side of the High Road, opposite Churchill Johnson, on stilts, with a  wooden walkway leading up to it. Originally just one room but at some time, it had an extension added to the side.

Recently, a lady called Jean Hayes attended our Memory Days and told us her father had owned a café near the station bridge. His name was Frank Hayes and she has now provided us with some very good photos. Jean isn’t sure for how long her father owned the café. The Hayes family lived in Bristow Road. Jean’s father Frank is in the photos, standing in the doorway. Frank’s sister Flo Markin is also in one of the photos.

In the fifties, this building was being used as an office by Rawley, Estate Agents.

The building is believed to have been demolished in the sixties.

Thomas Helmore's office early last century.
Building now with side extension.
The building in 1936, now F. W. Hayes' Cafe.
Frank Hayes on the left with unknown man.
Frank with an unknown lady.
Frank's sister Flo Markin.
1940s/50s Rawley Estate Agents.

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  • Good thinking Alan. The Rawley family moved to Laindon in 1919. In addition to the small office shown in this article, Alfred Rawley had a shop at No 7 High Road which was built/opened in approximately 1932. See article ‘Jim Rawley – Local Builder’. There you will see a photo of the shop.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (27/02/2019)
  • Nina, thinking further. I was born in 1934. My parents moved to Laindon in 1935/36 and rented “Low Lands”. I must have been 6 or 7 when I remember going shopping with my mother and she stopping in to pay the weekly rent at Rawleys. That would have made it 1940/41. How long prior to that date Rawleys was in that location I have no idea. If that location was Hayes Cafe until about that date then where was Rawleys located? Presumably many families had to pay rent. Was Rawley around in earlier years in a different location or was there a former estate agent who collected rents. Or did Rawley occupy that site much earlier perhaps?

    By Alan Davies (27/02/2019)
  • I may be mistaken but memory says that this building was Rawley Estate Agent considerably earlier than the 1950’s that the photograph indicates. My mother routinely went to Rawley to pay our twelve shillings a week rent on “Low Lands” in Raglan Road. I was usually with her. This goes back to the war time. Possibly not as early as ’39 but certainly during the early ’40’s.

    Editor: Thank you Alan. Therefore 40s & 50s would be more accurate.

    By Alan Davies (25/02/2019)

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