Laindon High Road - Which Year.

Laindon Hotel (on the left) was built in 1896, the High Road was made up in 1920 and kerbs were added in 1929.  It would be interesting to know the exact year this photograph was taken. Looks like there may have been a sale on at Morris’s on the right!

Update – 27th August 2016.

I now have some further information.  There were two shops called Morris’s in the High Road run by members of the same family. Each shop had three sections.  The ladies and gentleman’s outfitters (Emanuel Morris) had a second storey above the shop with living accommodation and was situated a few yards further along from the shop in the photo.

The single storey shops in the photo (Sydney Morris) were a grocer/greengrocers.  This morning I found an article in a 1927 issue of the Essex Chronical which described a break-in that had taken place at Morris’s grocer shop in Laindon High Road.  Sixty pounds of tea, a dozen packets of biscuits, three swiss rolls and a tablet of soap were taken, along with some cash.

This morning at the library for Memory Day, I was speaking to Paul Gibson who told me that the middle shop was run by Miss Morris a daughter of Sydney Morris.  In 1926 she sold the shop to Paul’s father,  J. W. Gibson. (Paul believes she may have then emigrated to New Zealand). The name Morris’s remained above the door for several years.  Paul’s father ran the shop until 1940.

So although the exact year that the photo was taken is still unknown, we do now have some interesting extra information.

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  • Interesting that Paul says that his father ran the shop up to 1940. I clearly remember Paul’s father, and his shop being almost opposite a point halfway between Simmonds Corn and Seed merchant, and Durham Road. So I assume maybe the middle or right hand one of the three shown in the photo. I expect that I am remembering a period around 1950 (ish).
    What saddens me with this picture and also many, many other period pictures of old Laindon, is just how ‘tatty’ the environment was, always weeds growing and a general unkempt look. It seems that the ‘ex’ Londoners who formed much of the newcommers to the area were unaccustomed to the effect that nature has on exposed soil in the British climate.
    I do recognise that in those far off times, there was not the money, nor even the fantastic range of nasty chemicals and energy consuming machines that we have today, that help us to keep our environment looking pristine. What they did have then, but we have not had for a very long time, were teams of ‘Hedgers and Ditchers, whose role in life was to keep the water flowing in the ditches (and streams) that were prevalent along Laindon High Road and many of the other roads all around the area.
    I wonder when they ceased to exist. I can remember many times clearing the ditch that ran down Berry Lane almost opposite Paul’s family bungalow, so that the end of Ferndale road did not turn into a lake. But that was when I was in my late teens and early 20’s, when I was ‘Motorised’ and for practical reasons, I needed to keep the road in good condition.

    By Bruce Bellamy (10/12/2017)
  • In response to Donald’s comment that perhaps there was more money in Laindon 1925-29 (which I think we have identified as the likely time of the photograph), following is a quote from Wikipedia.

    “The Great Depression of British Agriculture occurred during the late nineteenth century and is usually dated from 1873 to 1896. The depression was caused by the dramatic fall in grain prices following the opening up of the American prairies to cultivation in the 1870’s and the advent of cheap transportation with the rise of steamboats. British agriculture did not recover from this depression until after the Second World War.”

    Perhaps we have to look elsewhere to explain men in white capped shoes and women in their finery. Maybe it was Bank Holiday. A time when the normal workday might be largely abandoned and people dress up for a walk along the High Road and a drink in the Laindon. I count over thirty people in the photograph. Given the population of Laindon at that time this seems a high number just to catch in a photograph by chance.

    By Alan Davies (04/09/2016)
  • There is little more I can contribute on the subject of the photograph but I would like to make a comment regarding the Laindon Hotel.

    Elsewhere in these archives, Ken Porter states that the Laindon Hotel was built in 1896 at a cost of 3310 pounds. A lot of money in those days. I find it amazing that such a grand building would have been built in the Laindon of that era. I understand that it was built in the expectation of a racecourse being built adjacent thus attracting a lot of custom. Of course that never happened. Even if the racecourse had been built, the customers would only have been there for the few weeks of the racing calendar. Ascot, Goodwood etc are only active for part of the year. What a great financial gamble. Who took that risk? Presumably there was a mortgage? Which bank lent the money? Presumably there was a bankruptcy. What happened then?

    We are not simply talking about a pub. Most pubs were owned by the brewer. This was, in addition to the pub, a hotel and restaurant. Once the racecourse disappeared who ever stayed at the hotel? I can think of no businessman and certainly not a holidaymaker who would ever have had reason to stay the night. How did it ever stay in business? And for so many years.

    It was really a very grand building in its time and it must have taken a lot of money to maintain, clean, repair, pay staff and taxes, heat, and meet general overheads.

    How it managed to meet expenses and keep going for so long has always intrigued me. Perhaps the answer is simply that no one was foolish enough to buy such a grand building in such a downmarket rural Essex setting. Therefore the original owners had no option but to struggle on and make the best of it. No doubt regretting the day they ever sunk money into it.

    By Alan Davies (03/09/2016)
  • Looking once more at this picture leads me to ask, was there more money about at that time than we think? The people shown all appear to be quite reasonably attired and as Alan pointed out in an earlier comment, some of the men look to be wearing white capped shoes and the youngsters all have shoes or wellingtons on their feet. I ask, is this an indication that there was more money in the area than we have been led to believe? If so then maybe the Laindon Hotel was not quite the white elephant we imagine it to have been in its early years. 

    By Donald Joy (03/09/2016)
  • There is a brief history of the Laindon Hotel on this page

    Editor:  The history of The Laindon Hotel is similarly recorded on this website within the article ‘The Laindon Hotel 1941-1942’ by Les Saunders with addition notes by Ken Porter. 

    By John Rolph (03/09/2016)
  • Good information, Donald. I am no expert on horses or indeed carts (or carriages) but it looks as if it is a “fly and one” as it was called. A fly was a horse drawn carriage usually for one or two passengers maximum. Counting the driver this might seem to infer 600 lbs was about the maximum weight. (Sherlock Holmes, when he was in a hurry chasing Moriarty or whoever, would always yell to Mrs Hudson to order “a fly and two”.) Yes, if the man walked it is possible for old knobbly knees to drag the load from the railway station, I suppose.

    While we will never know, my bet is this is not what happened. First of all we do not know if the paraffin jugs are full or empty. They could be sitting there waiting to be picked up in exchange for full jugs just like milk bottles sat out waiting to be picked up. I do agree completely that all deliveries were by horse. Motor driven one ton commercial vehicles were only beginning to make their appearance in the late 1920’s and I cannot believe that (with the springs and suspensions available) they would have ventured down the rural Essex roads.

    The compelling point to me is that if old knobbly knees had indeed transported full paraffin jugs from the railway station, he would have pulled over in front of Morris’ and unloaded. In which case the fresh poop would be on the other side of the road!

    I return to my original thesis. Old knobbly knees delivered beer to the Laindon, pooped on the way (on the left hand side of the road), and his driver has gone inside for a free pint. Meanwhile, the empty paraffin jugs are awaiting pick and exchange, probably by a fly and two, which has yet to arrive.

    What a wonderful exchange of ideas over a ninety year old photograph!

    By Alan Davies (31/08/2016)
  • Knobbly knees may well have effected a delivery of beer to the Laindon Hotel and the carter may well be quaffing an alcoholic beverage inside but would he not have drawn horse and cart onto the pub forecourt? Common sense should have dictated that the shorter distance to haul his load the easier it would have been for him. As we can see in the photo, said horse and cart are still out in the road, some fair distance from the pub. It’s not that I am desperate to be right, I just don’t want to be wrong, there is a difference. 

    Closest telegraph pole, on corner of pub forecourt, there appears to be a covered kiosk/stall of some description, or could this be another cart but a covered one ?

    Furthest telegraph pole, immediately to the left of, appears to be a substantial building. For the time this would seem to be rather large. Where would this have been and what was it ? Was it a business or a private dwelling I wonder?

    By Donald Joy (31/08/2016)
  • Okay Alan, let us assume that these canisters hold around 5 gallons of liquid, they look to be about that size. Let us also work on the principal that 1 gallon of water weighs 10lbs, so the contents of said containers would likely weigh a similar amount. There appears to be 10 or 12 of these, let’s say 12 just to avoid a metric number in view of the date, this would total 600lbs plus the actual weight of the canisters. How else do you think they may have been transported to this spot if not by horse drawn wagon? Might this also explain why the horse in the photo has knobbly knees?

    By Donald Joy (30/08/2016)
  • So, thanks to Nina and Eddie, we seem to have a span of years from 1919 to 1929 as the likely time for the date of the photograph.

    This brings forth a further question. I realise that Laindon High Road was a far cry from the catwalks of Milan and Paris, and while I am no fashionista, the women’s dress styles are all wrong. The 1920’s fashion was short skirts, cloche hats, and long thingamebobs that swung from the neck. The sort of outfit seen in “Thoroughly Modern Millie” or any roaring twenties old film. There are about nine women in the photograph and not one appears to be dressed in 1920’s fashion. Indeed the large hats and dresses to the ground seem more Edwardian to my untrained eye. Is it simply that in rural Laindon women could not afford the new styles? Somehow that does not strike me as convincing. 

    How does this fit with 1919-1929 time frame? Puzzling!

    By Alan Davies (29/08/2016)
  • On the discussion between carboys, paraffin containers or milk churns. I bow to Don and to Eddie as to whether they are carboys or paraffin containers. I could not tell the difference. However, I think milk churns they are not. The photograph tells us it is the middle of the day. My brief (and never to be forgotten) experience working for Sloper’s Dairy tells me that delivery starts at four thirty a.m. and is done by nine. No milk, particularly such a large delivery, would ever be left out in the sun for half a day. Further, they are not empties waiting for exchange the following day. It is far too early. Besides, who on earth would ever have such a huge milk delivery other than, perhaps, a school?

    By Alan Davies (29/08/2016)
  • An interesting observation of Alan’s re 20s fashion.  A bit of research via Google shows that although shorter skirts, clothe hats, flapper dresses etc, were ‘coming in’ during the early 20s, these weren’t adopted by the general public until around 1925.  I would imagine this mainly involved the younger ladies as I doubt whether many of the older women would have been immediately converted.  I notice in the photo some women wearing dark, ankle length Edwardian style clothing but there are a group of others immediately in front of the shop wearing white, short sleeved dresses with very slightly shorter hemlines – perhaps this was a sign of a changing trend and things to come.  

    My nan wore her hair long, plaited and wound around her head.    Although she did tell me that in the 20s she had her long hair cut into a ‘bob’.  My Grandfather hated it and didn’t speak to her for a week! (Apparently ‘the bob’ haircut dates from around 1924).     

    Similarly the sixties are associated with the miniskirt.  That was the era when I was a teenager and I remember a photo of the first mini skirt being worn by the model Jean Shrimpton in around 1964/65.  By 1966, all us girls were wearing miniskirts – to the concern of many of our parents!

    So it would seem that some fashions associated with a decade may only have involved the second half of said decade rather than the whole.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (29/08/2016)
  • Thanks Nina! Was just about to compose a comment when I read yours and saw the name, Jean Shrimpton. This completely threw me as, in my opinion, Jean Shrimpton is the most stunningly beautiful creature ever to grace our planet! 

    Back to reality. Almost all goods were transported by rail in this era. The horse and cart in the picture is facing away from the station, so it is my belief that the carter has just made a delivery of a number of cans of paraffin and is on his way to his next delivery?

    I can count 39 people in this photo, plus the photographer, was Laindon always this busy? This may have been almost the entire population. Haha. 

    By Donald Joy (29/08/2016)
  • Great! Thanks to Nina (aka Miss Marple), and her research into the widespread adoption of the roaring twenties fashion, the date for the photograph seems to have been narrowed to 1925 to 1929.

    Donald, what do you estimate the weight of one of those jugs of paraffin? I have no idea but they look as if, when full, they must have been quite heavy. It is difficult to count the number of jugs but it seems as if there must be the better part of a dozen. I have problems thinking they might all have been hauled by old knobbly knees across the road. The cart itself looks hardly sturdy enough, or big enough, to carry them all. Then there is the question of leaving them at the side of the road. I would have thought the driver, who might have been equipped with a hand truck, would have been obligated to deliver them inside the store. Or was all this before customer service was invented?

    Somehow, I cling to the idea that the horse has just delivered beer to the Laindon and, as was customary, the driver is inside enjoying the customary free pint.

    By Alan Davies (29/08/2016)
  • A little off the topic but since mini skirts have entered the conversation. The mini skirt rapidly evolved into the micro skirt. The story goes that on the slow moving, long, and steep escalators on many tube stations in the city, a glance upward would afford many a healthy lad with views they were not meant to behold. This quickly led Mary Quant, the leading designer of the day, to invent panty hose. (I think they are called sheer tights in the UK.) Or so the story goes.

    Upon reflection, I find it difficult to imagine most of the amply proportioned women in the photograph wearing flapper style short dresses. As for doing the Charleston at the Saturday night hop. Well……….

    By Alan Davies (29/08/2016)
  • Following a link on the OS webpage to the maps department of Cambridge Univeristy Library, they kindly have given the following link to the National Library of Scotland:

    This shows in full a 1935 reprint of the 1922 map on And it shows that 1922 was the date of publication and 1919 was the date of revision.

    So I would suggest the photo is probably post-1919, and pre-when the road had a hard surface applied – was that 1922?

    If that is the date, then horses would still have been in short supply.

    I think the milkchurns look more like carboys – a thick glass globular-shaped bottle in a container, used for transporting liquids.

    By Eddie Hunt (28/08/2016)
  • Carboys, even in that era, were shaped much differently to the containers in the photo, the neck is the wrong shape and the carrier was more like half a cage. They still look like oil/fuel/paraffin cans to me and considering that much of the lighting and heating even cooking at that time would have been run on paraffin indicates to me that I could possibly be correct. Please somebody let me be right just for once. 

    By Donald Joy (28/08/2016)
  • Donald, having had another look at the photo, I think you are right – paraffin cans.

    By Eddie Hunt (28/08/2016)
  • Do we know when Morris’s store opened since it may well have been the opening day of trading hence the queue to get in.This may also fit the latest clue from the old maps of 1922.

    What was the next building, perhaps the “milk cans belong to them?

    By Eric Pasco (27/08/2016)
  • Eddie, very interesting. How often were these maps recorded in that era? Is it possible for a location (Morris’) to exist for some time before being picked up in a subsequently published map? If Morris’ was not there in 1922 can you determine when, in fact, it did appear. Are we even totally sure that the building in the photograph is in fact Morris’ and not some earlier structure? I cannot decipher any name in the photograph and I do not think Nina or Donald have claimed to either.

    By Alan Davies (27/08/2016)
  • The Basildon history website reports that Morris outfitters was built pre 1926.

    By Gerald Jones (27/08/2016)
  • The website list OS map 1921-1924 1:10,650 and OS map 1922 1:2500. Neither of these show a building on the site of Morris’s in the photo. Unfortunately, the next maps are not until OS map 1938 1:10,650 and OS map 1938 1:2500. These both show a building on the site.

    I don’t know any details of how long it is between the survey and the publication of the maps, nor whether the dates relate to the date of the survey or the date of publication. If it is the date of publication then maybe the survey was a year or two beforehand.

    Looking at the 14th picture down in the article “Old Photographs of Langdon Hills/Laindon”, the building beyond Morris’s was/became Cottis bakery.

    By Eddie Hunt (27/08/2016)
  • I made a discovery this morning, so have added an updated paragraph to the above article.

    The shop being a grocers may explain the milk churns outside.  Don was almost on the right track when he said he understood Morris’s was a hardware store.  

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (27/08/2016)

    47?Morris’s (Sydney Morris)
    J.W. Gibson (James William Gibson)
    Middle shop of single storey 3 shop parade joined to 45 & 49.
    By Gerald Jones (27/08/2016)
  • A close up of Morris’s / J. W. Gibson’s shop can be seen under the article ‘Old Laindon Photographs’, 10 rows down, on the far left.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (27/08/2016)
  • For one photograph and its accompanying comments to have given rise to so much interest and conjecture is brilliant. This is exactly the type of response that makes this website so interesting and exciting. 

    It would be interesting to know what camera was used to take this picture at that time. It would have had a fixed aperture and shutter speed as cameras were pretty basic back then. It can be seen that the sky was full of cloud that day but was possibly quite bright. No sign of blurred movement except possibly the tip of the horses tail that if flicked would have been the fastest movement in the scene? Waffling now so will end comment until next time. 

    By Donald Joy (27/08/2016)
  • Great. So we are agreed that there is a horse! If it has knobbly knees, so much the better for the assumption that healthy horses were co-opted for the war. Although, Donald’s point that since Laindon was an agricultural area enough horses must have been left to work the farms cannot be ignored. Perhaps the healthy horses were indeed working the farms which is why old knobbly knees is left to pull the cart. The beer delivery to the hotel (if that’s what the cart carried) would not be simply one barrel but several, I assume. This would have necessitated a horse. It also makes sense of what appears to be fresh poop in the road.

    To my eyes, behind the boy in the wellies is a curly tailed dog. It’s head is lowered and it appears to be investigating something of interest on the ground.

    By Alan Davies (26/08/2016)
  • A fascinating photo and interesting discussion. However, the 1922 OS 1:2,500 map does not show a building on the site of Morris’s in the photo. You can see the map for free at (the hyphen is important), search for Laindon and then choose the map.

    By Eddie Hunt (26/08/2016)
  • This latest information kindly supplied by Eddie, would indicate that the photo was taken sometime between 1922 and 1929. 

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (26/08/2016)
  • Not easy, but I can see it now – the horse!  Alan and Don, you obviously both have better eyesight than me – I couldn’t see it at first.

    It was pointed out to me (by my brother) that the two legs between the wheels are the back legs of a horse, with the front legs being in line with them and therefore out of sight.  Upon clicking on the picture, it enlarges considerably and on close study, the rump of the horse can be made out with the top part of the tail.  (I first tried using a magnifying glass for this but that didn’t help).    It took me a while to focus in but I was delighted when I started to be able to make it out.  I then noticed the joints of those legs are quite knobbly and immediately to the right is a slightly blurry area which could be the lower end of the tail hanging down.  Goodness – I think I now need to put cucumber slices on my eyes. 

    Now, what is that behind the little boy wearing wellies on the right – is it a dog with a curly tail or something else?  Here we go again.  Pity the photo isn’t clearer, but then it wouldn’t be as much fun!  

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (25/08/2016)
  • Editor – my point was that for there to be horse poop then there had to be at least one horse in the area. 

    Editor:  Understood, but there doesn’t appear to be a horse in the photograph.   

    By Donald Joy (23/08/2016)
  • Just one more observation, correct or not, I believe I see a pile of horse droppings lying in the road ? ? ?

    Editor:  No doubt a very common sight in those days.  Surprising that somebody hasn’t collected it to put on their garden!

    By Donald Joy (22/08/2016)
  • Another thought that crossed my mind in regard to the dating of said photograph is; when was the building that I remember as Toomeys erected ? As can be seen, it is not in this picture. 

    Responding to Alan Davies, the Laindon area had, for hundreds of years, been a farming community and as such, the war machine would have been compelled to have left enough horses for the farmers to continue with their work. This may be why a horse can be seen in the picture, perhaps having just made a delivery?

    By Donald Joy (21/08/2016)
  • Joe Toomey first started his business in Laindon from 1929 selling motor bikes.  He later went into the motor car business from around 1932.

    As his business premises are not in the photo, this indicates once again that the photo was taken pre-1929 i.e. no kerbs on the High Road and no Toomey’s.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (21/08/2016)
  • Can anyone identify the dozen or so large jugs or containers in the centre of the photograph? They appear to be placed at the edge of the road for pickup. They are of two colours possibly indicating an inner lighter coloured jug placed in a darker outer container. At first I thought of milk churns but that makes no sense. That much milk would infer a school. Whatever they contained Morris’ must have used a lot of it.

    By Alan Davies (21/08/2016)
  • Morris’s was, I understand, a hardware store, which suggests to me that the jugs/containers in question could possibly be the way that paraffin was stored and transported? If nothing else this photo has certainly opened a can of worms – yippee !

    By Donald Joy (21/08/2016)
  • Paraffin or oil containers would seem to be a likely answer.  However, Morris’s was a ladies and gentlemen’s outfitters, selling clothing.   The entrance was in the middle, with the men’s department on the left and the ladies department on the right.  I can just make out two manikins in the window of the ladies department.

    I have enlarged the photo as big as possible but cannot see a horse.  The vehicle outside the Laindon Hotel appears to be pulled by a man.  Only two legs are visible between the two large wheels.  If that is a horse, where are its other two legs?   Or am I looking in the wrong place!  It is a fascinating photograph, I could study it for ages. 

    Another thought.  I’m not sure when Morris’s first opened its doors, but considering the number of customers, could this have been that occasion?

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (21/08/2016)
  • “Curiouser and curiouser!” Good points Nina and Donald. Yes, Morris’ was definitely a ladies and men clothing store. I remember it well. It was, for men at least, generally thought to be not quite as upmarket as Henbest.

    The idea of this being the grand opening of Morris’ seems to be at variance with the dozen empty paraffin jugs (if that’s what they are) waiting for pick up. Presumably it would have taken some considerable time to use that much paraffin which would infer that Morris’ had been open for some time. Clearly it is summer time when less would have needed for heating. Presumably Morris’ would still have some full jugs of paraffin left which would mean that deliveries were very infrequent if it were necessary to keep this much on hand. Unless, of course, they are full jugs just delivered but then I would have thought the delivery man, who presumably would have had a hand truck, would have been obligated to take them into the store rather than leave them for Morris’ personnel to struggle to take them inside.

    I thought it was a horse Nina but possibly not. If the cart is indeed pulled by a man then it raises the question of what was he pulling in the cart? It looks as if it is a delivery meant for the Laindon Hotel. Beer kegs are pretty heavy. Over Laindon’s unmade roads? It is possible if the kegs came by rail leaving only a couple of hundred yards on a fine day with dry roads. Still a struggle though.

    The apparent finery of the women and the fact there are more people about than I would have thought usual for that era makes me think it must be a Saturday.

    By Alan Davies (21/08/2016)
  • Nina, the wording on the photograph would have been written at the time  the photograph was taken, using a camera such as the Kodak Autographic. Kodak produced a range of these cameras with different model numbers in varying size formats, that had a small aperture on the back that one could write dates, names or titles directly onto the film using a small metal stylus pen that came with the camera. Not telling you this to be argumentative, but collecting old cameras has long been a hobby of mine and just showing off. 

    By Donald Joy (20/08/2016)
  • Hi Don.  Many of these old photos were taken to be used as postcards.  We are aware of the cameras that you mention which enabled wording to be added at the time the photographs were taken.   I’m pretty sure you are correct and this photo may well have been one of those. 

    As mentioned earlier, the road was known by several names early last century apart from High Road (others were, Main Road, Station Road, London Road and High Street) so any of those names could  have been used.  I have seen some Laindon postcards of the High Road marked ‘London Road’, Laindon.  I expect it depended on the photographer, as to which name he added. 

    However, some other old photos of Laindon were marked with road names etc., at a later date for display purposes.  

    We know for certain that this particular photo was taken between 1912 when the telephone poles were installed and 1929 when the kerbs were added to the High Road (they aren’t present in the photo).

    Interesting subject.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (20/08/2016)
  • It has been reasonably established that the photograph was taken sometime between 1912 and 1919 when the road was being referred to by a variety of names i.e.,  Main Road, London Road, Station Road, High Road and High Street.  This was still happening up to 1930 and it is believed the name High Road became the road’s permanent name in the late 30s. The wording was probably added to the photograph many years after it had been taken.       

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (06/08/2016)
  • I don’t know if this helps or just confuses the issue, but the photograph is marked, High Road Laindon. It’s my understanding that this road at different times was known as High Street or even Station Road. If it could be ascertained the date that High Road came into use ? ? ?

    By Donald Joy (03/08/2016)
  • This was taken since Laindon Hotel was built from what I can see.

    By Brian Baylis (31/07/2016)
  • You are correct Brian.  Laindon Hotel (built 1896) is the building that can be seen on the left just behind the telephone pole.  It is estimated the photograph was taken between 1912 and 1919. 

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (31/07/2016)
  • An interesting comment from Georgina. It is difficult to tell the ages of the men but certainly there do not appear to be any in uniform. But should there be? Would they not all be in France with the BEF?

    Another small point. Over a million horses were requisitioned for duty in the war. Why is there one in this photo? Perhaps it is some old nag refused by the military. Perhaps! Are the women in front of Morris’s gathered for some articles or material in short supply as Georgina suggests? Or is there some news announcement on the radio, which Morris’s is broadcasting loudly for all to hear, concerning the war?

    It does seem to be a fine summer day and the Battle of the Somme began in July 1916. Could the husbands and sons of those women be involved in that meat grinder? Are they listening to the grim news from the front?

    By Alan Davies (30/07/2016)
  • What an interesting photograph. No street lighting. The lights over Morris’s must have been paraffin fueled from inside the store, I assume? The power lines (I assume that’s what they are) raise questions. What are they. Certainly not electrical in 1910 surely? Telephone? Who had a telephone?

    I am surprised to see the children all seem to have shoes or wellies. None are barefoot which is a little surprising as there are many photos of barefoot London children from this era. A couple of the men appear to be wearing very clean white topped shoes. How odd. Perhaps it is a Saturday and they are dressed in their best for a pint (or more) in the Laindon. They must have carefully skirted the mud puddles although it does seem to be a nice dry summer day, judging from the condition of the road. It would be interesting to hear what a fashionista historian might have to say on the women’s hats and hemlines.

    By Alan Davies (29/07/2016)
  • Maybe not exactly 1910 but the late 1910s, as Denise indicated (perhaps between 1912 – 1919).  Telephones were first installed in Laindon in 1912, the exchange being at ‘The Ferns’ (built by Isaac Levy) on the corner of Vowler Road and High Road, Langdon Hills.  The first numbers were mostly those of shops, farms etc., (see article ‘The Districts Public Telephones’ by Ian Mott).  Therefore the power lines in the picture are most likely telephone lines.   

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (29/07/2016)
  • Very interesting pic.  Could it possibly be during WWI?  The women’s hats and hem lines seem about right for this era.  Perhaps they were all gathering at the store because news had gone round that something normally in short supply was in stock.  If we could tell from the pic whether the men are all old this might bear this out, as the young ones would have been at war.  

    By Georgina Nottage (nee Ellingford) (29/07/2016)
  • This photo dates from the late 1910s, I reckon Nina. Probably around the same time of the Straw Boater Lad’s photos that Barry shared with us.

    By Denise Rowling (28/07/2016)
  • Thanks Denise.  That what we were thinking – from around 1910.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (28/07/2016)

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