The Cobb Family of Fleetwood Lodge

In response to a question on our Family Message Board, I have recently been helping somebody to search for a family called ‘Hart’ and a connection with Langdon Hills.

The person concerned lives in the Netherlands.  His father, Stanley Sydney Hart, who had been in the navy, married in South Africa in 1942 and gave his address as ‘Fleetwood Lodge’ Langdon Hills’.  His father died in 1951 when he was only 3 years old and he is now trying to trace his UK family.

My research has led me to Mr and Mrs Cobb who were living in Fleetwood House at that time.  Mrs Cobb’s maiden name was ‘Hart’ and I believe she may have been a cousin of the person in question who had been lodging with her before he went to South Africa.  Mr and Mrs Cobb had a daughter called Joan, born in West Ham 1931.  The family moved to Langdon Hills sometime between 1931 and 1937.  I believe Joan may have attended Langdon Hills School.  She also entered the Laindon Carnival Queen competition in 1952 and 1953.

Joan appears not to have married or had children.  She died in 1995 and her ashes are interred at St Mary and All Saints Church in old Church Hill.

If anyone knew Joan or her second cousin Stanley Hart, I would be very grateful for any information about them and the Hart family.  I know that Thelma Oliver mentions Joan Cobb somewhere on this website.  Perhaps they were at school together.    

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  • I am researching Norman Cobb. I do not have access to any records regarding the Langdon Hills area, so cannot find out if he was in fact resident at Fleetwood Lodge from 1946 to 1955, making the Norman Cobb in Ealing another person. Can Thelma, or anyone else, recall if he was around?

    Editor: Hi Peter I have emailed some information to you but unfortunately it does not include any mention of a Norman Cobb.

    By Peter Hale (25/01/2023)
  • To add some peripheral information, Joan’s father, Norman Cobb, was a film laboratory technician and animator who in 1930 made the first British sound cartoon series, featuring a talking dog called Bingo. (The series was not a success, and only 4 films were made before the production company, Horace Shepherd Ltd, was forced into liquidation.) Norman went on to work for National Screen Service, the makers of trailers and specialised films for cinema and advertising. He started off in the art department in Wardour Street, and later headed the special films unit at their Perivale studio, where he produced and directed various short films. He seems to have separated from Ethel around 1950, leaving Langdon Hills to live in Ealing with Alma Beatrice Davies, the beneficiary of his will on his death in 1955 — although I do not have definite proof of this.

    By Peter Hale (20/01/2023)
  • Hello
    Joan was my Dad’s ( Gerald Ramsden) cousin, I have fond memories of going to visit Joan in Langdon Hills on many occasions. I am now researching my own family tree and found these messages about Joan.

    By Stuart Ramsden (28/09/2018)
  • An update on the situation.  Firstly, thank you very much to those who were able to supply a little information regarding Joan Cobb.

    After some extensive searching through the records, I have been able to establish that Stanley Sydney Hart was in fact the younger brother of Ethel Violet Hart who married Norman Cobb.  Therefore Stanley Hart and Joan Cobb were cousins.  I have been able to trace Stanley and Ethel’s family back to their Great Grandfather (a farmer) who was born 1829 in Cransford, Suffolk. 

    Stanley was born in West Ham, 1914 and although I checked the Electoral Registers for Langdon Hills, he was never registered on them, so I assume he stayed with his sister at Fleetwood Lodge temporarily and gave that as his UK address when he married in South Africa.  At least the connection has now been established.

    Stanley’s son Lionel lives in the Netherlands and was only 3 years old when his father died.  He knew very little of his family history in the UK.  His friend Frans, contacted this website and I am delighted to have been able to trace the family.  Without The Laindon & District Community Archive as a ‘middle man’, this may not have been as easily achieved.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (29/06/2015)
  • I do remember Joan Cobb.  Although not a personal friend of mine she was well known as a local pianist, having been a star pupil of Winifred Cornell,  who taught both myself and my friend Natalie Williams who knew Joan better than I did.  (For information about Natalie see my article about her).

    I believe Joan taught piano herself and appeared at music festivals and concerts, certainly in and around Essex.  I have a recollection of hearing that her bad arthritis had prevented her from playing in her later years.  

    By Shakun Banfield (25/06/2015)
  • Dear Nina, I hope this may be of interest to your enquirer.  Joan Cobb.  A very close friend over a number of years, she attended Langdon Hills primary and junior school with me.  As a close community we also attended St Mary Youth Club and we both sang in the choir.  Joan remained single and in poor health with severe arthritis.  We met up some years ago when both our aged mothers were in Billericay Hospital.  I remember the house she lived in and later had to move into a disabled property.  In 1997 I visited my old church of St Mary and the church members informed me that sadly Joan had passed away. I do not know of any members of the ‘Hart’ family.

    By Thelma Oliver (23/06/2015)

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