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!