William & Dorothy Watson

‘The Chase’ – Earl D Essex Chase, Laindon.

William and Dorothy Watson were my Grandparents. They had three children, Dorothy, Derek and Sylvia (my mother).

William had the bungalow built on plots  285, 286 and 287 in Earl D Essex Chase in 1929. It was the first bungalow to be built in that road and the bungalow was called ‘The Chase’. The roads were grass tracks with deep ruts caused by the coalman and his horse.

My mother was 7 years old when they moved in. It cost them £250. It was made of wood and asbestos with a water well in the garden. The cooking was done on a Valor stove with oil lamps for lighting and in the sitting room was a Triplex fire with an oven in it.

One weekend someone came down from London and built a wooden shed on the plot near to them and one night there was a storm, the roof blew off the shed and went into their bungalow and broke the asbestos, which had to be replaced.

William fenced in a large plot next to them but some people came and built a shed there as it was squatters’ rights in those days. Their name was Pegg and they were very friendly.

In the summer, if the well dried out William would put a ladder down and the children had to clean it out and then go across the fields to a nearby farm and carry back buckets of water costing half penny a bucket to fill it up again.

The Watsons moved away in 1935.

That’s all I can tell you of mum’s childhood. She died at the end of 2017 aged 95 and as usual we wish we had asked her more questions.

I hope this will be of interest to the Laindon Archive.

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