Following the publication of my article about the Wass family, I was contacted by Ann Rugg who kindly lent me two photos of “Morningside” showing part of the house being used as a shop. I was delighted to see them and have pleasure in publishing them here.
This beautiful, well-built brick 6 roomed house is described on the Electoral Register as being in Station Road, Laindon (later re-named Laindon High Road). It was situated just a couple of plots to the north of North Parade Shops. It was one of several substantial two-storey brick built houses that existed in the area, dismissing various claims that Laindon consisted only of small wooden shacks. It was inhabited by the Wass family between approximately 1905 and 1917. During a recent trip to the Essex Records Office in Chelmsford I was unfortunately unable to find a record of the house predating 1905 as in earlier years house names weren’t always recorded along with the name of the qualifying occupant.
The 1911 Census shows George Albert Butler, his wife Clara Ann and their three children, Elsie, Sidney Albert and Doris, living in Mile End. According to the 1918 Electoral Register, the family had moved to “Morningside”, naming George Albert, Clara Ann and their son Sidney Albert. This family ran part of the house as a shop.
Although the photographs are undated, the contrast between the appearance of the shop is quite marked. In photograph 1, the shop front looks very smart and the paint looks fresh on the sign over the door and there is only one small advertising board in sight. Whereas in photograph 2, the shop is looking slightly jaded, the sign over the door looks grubby and a gas light has been added above the shop doorway. The advertisements outside are particularly interesting as in addition to Bovril and Zebo graphite grate polish, there were at least four different types of tobacco on sale.
This is particularly interesting to me, as my Grandmother, Amy Burton had a plot of land and wooden bungalow in Laindon from 1915 where she and her family spend weekends and holidays. She may well have known the Wass family of “Morningside” and later visited the Butler family’s shop there. Incidentally, during the fifties I remember Miss Violet Butler’s Drapers shop at No. 4 North Parade, although I haven’t as yet been able to find any family connection.
The 1929 Electoral Register again names Clara Ann and George Albert Butler with son Sidney Albert. Also listed that year at “Morningside Stores” were Francis Maud and Horatio Frederick King with their son Archibald Christopher King.
“Morningside” may well have been extended at some point as the 1949 Survey estimated there were 8 rooms. The 1949 Electoral Register shows George and Clara Butler still in residence with a family lodging with them. Lillian and Charles Bartley who had four children. Their daughter Linda and I were later in the same class at school and while still in the infants, I remember her telling me she and her family had moved to a new house in Devonshire Road, that would have been approximately 1953. I have since learned that the house was then occupied by the Hayden family until 1970.
Since publishing this article, I have been made aware of an earlier photograph of “Morningside” taken around 1910.
The picture below shows “Morningside” on the east side of Laindon High Road (referred to as ‘Laindon Road’ in the picture). The large building on the left side of the picture shows the side of “Coombe Martin” which was one of a terrace of three houses. These houses still exist but have since been renamed. Later in 1932 “Nurses Cottage” was built alongside and was the home of the district nurse for many years, this building has also survived the redevelopment of Laindon High Road
The discovery of “Morningside” and its situation just north of North Parade shops, led me to recall a photograph I had seen previously under “Greenhaugh-Hiawatha”, second photo from the left. That photograph of the Hiawatha is estimated to have been taken around 1900, before North Parade shops were built. I have now been able to establish that the large building shown in the background to the left of the Hiawatha is “Morningside”.