Laindon Shops and Employment - Mid Sixties

The poor state of Laindon Shopping Centre today is almost a repeat of the mid-sixties which saw the deterioration of Laindon High Road shops.   Due partly to some having transferred to Basildon Town Centre and others simply having closed down.   By the mid-sixties Laindon was beginning to look rather like a ghost town.  I remember walking home from Laindon Station to King Edward Road late in the evenings having been out with friends and passing by all the shabby, unkempt, run down shops and thinking how awful the High Road looked. Many of the shops were closed with broken windows and others boarded up.

Basildon’s No. 1 and No 2. industrial sites and the Town Centre shops had brought new employment opportunities into the area. However, on looking through the local paper archives, there were still some employment opportunities in Laindon, prior to the opening of the Laindon Shopping Centre in 1970 and later, the Southfields Business Park.

The advertisements in the ‘vacant situations’ pages from that time make interesting reading particularly as two of the jobs were on farms.

Laindon and its High Road has always deserved better than it has received.  Sadly not much has changed in that regard in fifty years. deja vu maybe!

Morris's Outfitters - east side of the High Road
Laindon Recorder 1965
Shops south of Durham Road.
Laindon Recorder 1965.
Laindon Recorder 1966
Laindon Recorder 1966
Laindon Recorder 1966
Laindon Recorder 1966
Laindon Recorder 1966.
Laindon Recorder 1966
Laindon Recorder 1966

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  • My Mother’s family lived in Laindon from the 1920’s, so from Time to Time, I visited them long before I moved here in 1980. The last relative moved away (to her Son-in-Law’s house in Norfolk), but she did ask me from time to time about shops that might then have still been in existence. One such shop was “Ladies Do-it-yourself”. As a mere male, I wasn’t too interested in a shop of that name, but I believe there were still the odd shop) some still open in the early 1980’s. This would have been opposite the school in the High Road.
    Does anyone remember a shop of that name?

    Editor: There was only houses and bungalows opposite Laindon High Road School in the 80s. However there was a little shop still open between Nichol Road and St Nicholas Lane called ‘The Little Shop’, which sold wool and various needlework materials. This bungalow is now a private residence. This may have been the shop your mother remembered.

    By Michael Harris (15/07/2019)
  • So sad.  I remember Laindon in the early fifties and it was a thriving village.  My sister worked at the printers and also Reids and Blackwells.  My sister Jean did a paper round for Blackwells for the princely sum of 10 shillings per week.  I also remember The Oven Door Stores, a bit like Poundland now.  I also remember Lungleys general store, sold just about everything. Such fond memories of the place.

    By Sandra Springall (11/02/2015)
  • Hy Nina, I had left England and Laindon by May 1964 and I recall the High Road looking very sad and sorry for itself back then. Unfortunately business goes where the population goes, as Laindoner’s were moved out to Basildon I guess that’s where the shops went. This gave the council/whoever the excuse to decimate Laindon and today’s mess is the result.  Sad but a fact of life, it’s happening here to strip shopping all over Australia, huge malls that are air-conditioned and heated for our various climates have taken away most local shops.

    Here in Hastings we still have that “village” atmosphere with lots of general shops and small cafes but the drift away is slowly starting here too as we have large malls not more than a ten minute drive away and rents are very high for small businesses to pay, it will take a few years but it will happen here as well. By the way I liked the photos and the ADS!, the one for Doris hairdressers was possibly to replace Maureen, my sister in law who left to come to Oz in ’65.  Regards Ken.

    By Ken Page (10/02/2015)

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