Kings Road 1950s

I was born Jennifer (Jenny) Clark at 13 Kings Road (one of 2 semi-detached bungalows on the corner of Chesham Drive) in December 1949 and lived there with my brother, Trevor (born 1954) and my parents, Charlie and Lily Clark, until 1968. I attended Laindon Park School (LPS) from 1955-1961, then went to Palmers Girls School in Grays. My dad was a toymaker (dolls houses, garages, forts etc.) and he had a small factory in Langdon Hills.

When I was 19 I married Russ Martin, the eldest son of Bert Martin, co-owner of “Keith’s” – a long time fixture on Laindon High Road. Russ and I and our children have lived abroad for the majority of our 47 years wed; more than 25 years in the USA, the past 13 in the Green Mountains of Vermont in northern New England.  We last lived in England in 1982.

My immediate neighbors growing up were the Reynolds boys, Peter and David, who went to Markham’s Chase. Their house, like ours, was on the unmade part of Kings Road and was the last house (going from the Arterial end) before “the bushes.” Past the bushes, on the unmade road, I recall Stephen and Dagmar Petty, Phillip and Jane Lowe (their mum was a teacher at LPS), the Haswell girls (Jean, Pam, and Marge) and the Gallagher boys (I think they were closer to my brother’s age.)

I well remember the twins Paul and Graham Stickland (which I had always thought was “Strickland”); we were in the same class at LPS and used to play together. For some reason the fact that they had a wonderful golden plum tree in their garden sticks in my memory 🙂

Across the road from the Sticklands, on the made-up part of the road, I recall Linda Stapleton (I think she was the youngest of the Stapleton family – she was a couple of years older than me and she used to walk me to Sunday school at St Nicholas) and Susan Bullimore, who had an older sister called Anne. And, as Linda Clarke rightly observes, the Rickards girls, Linda and Lesley, lived on the corner of Kings Road and Kings Crescent.

My grandmother – a quiet woman always known as ‘Mrs. Thomas’ – lived at “Rosaville” # 2 Queens Road, a pebble-dash bungalow directly opposite the end of Kings Crescent, built in the 1920s by my grandfather Henry Thomas. My mum (Lily Thomas) grew up there with her brother, Jim, and my nan lived in that house for almost 70 years until she the day she died. McDonald’s car park now occupies the space where “Rosaville” once stood.

My mum died 7 years ago and I have here in the US all of her old photographs. I’ll look through them and find some photographs of Laindon!

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  • Hi Jennifer Paul, lovely to hear from you, remember those days well. Hope you are keeping well . I still live in Kings Road(same house) since the 80s.How is Trevor, remember taking him for a walk in his pram when he was a baby. It is so different here now. So built up and busy you wouldn’t recognise it. Lovely to read everyone’s memories on here, keep well all, Linda.

    By Linda Stapleton (16/04/2020)
  • Hello Paul. What a fantastic  photo of the Cubs in the band. I will have a closer look and see who I can see.

     Am I  right in saying that  Mr  and Mrs  Pratt had two children John and Valerie they were  older than us?  My love to Margaret 

    By Stephen Petty (03/07/2016)
  • Hello Jenny and Paul, I’ve just found this site, very interesting and is bringing  back lots of memories of our childhood.

    My oldest friends are Paul and Graham from around the age of 4, my Mum and Dad built ‘Rakes Progress’ on the side of of Dad’s family home ‘St Ives’, which my Granddad built in 1901. I only sold in 2013 after my Aunt Eileen sadly passed away at the age of 84. 

    I had two sisters Leslie (Dagmar) she also sadly passed away at the age of 40 (Cancer) my other sister Deborah is living in Witham she is now 55, 10 years younger than myself, my mum and dad split up and sold ‘Rakes Progress’ to one of my cousins Derick  and Joan Hardy who lived across the road  with another Aunt Em, they had two children Jill and Mark. 

    I remember all the people who you have stated, the Haswell girls, they had an older brother Roy who was in the army around 1960. 

    I’m racking my brains to think of other children that lived in Kings Road, and get back to you both when I remember if you want.

    By Stephen Petty (02/07/2016)
  • Hi Stephen, it’s good to hear from you. There is some fantastic stuff on this wonderful site. Have you seen the pictures of you and Graham in the Cub bazooka band? Perhaps you can identify some of the Cubs, likewise the pictures of Laindon Park school plays etc. I have just noticed a typo in my previous comment, it was my future wife I met in 1971 not my future, I’m not a time lord!

    By Paul Stickland (02/07/2016)
  • Hi Paul, how amazing to hear from you after all these years! I just stumbled on this website this morning when I decided, in a fit of homesickness, to ‘google’ Laindon. What a treasure trove of memories came flooding back as I read through the stories and looked at the pictures!

    They were indeed happy days and a good time and place to grow up. I have so many warm and wonderful memories of Laindon Park and living on Kings Road. I was in Essex last November visiting Trevor, who lives in Hullbridge, and friends in Southend.

    Where in Essex do you and Graham live now? And where did he live in the US? Please do tell Graham I said hello. All the best to both of you and your families!

    By Jennie Martin (08/02/2016)
  • Hi Jennie, I live in Colchester. We moved as a family to Brightlingsea in 1968. I met my future in 1971 and have lived in Colchester ever since. Graham currently lives in Billericay. He moved around in the US but mostly lived in Denver. You are right about the website. There is so much too it. Have you seen the Laindon Park pictures? Brings back so many memories but also makes us realise how much we forget. Kind regards.

    By Paul Stickland (08/02/2016)
  • Hi Jenny, it’s nice too know that you still remember our golden plum tree! We were lucky to grow up when and where we did. Happy days. I will remember you to Graham. We both still live in Essex, though Graham did spend 30 years in the USA.

    By Paul Stickland (07/02/2016)

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