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!