Tollworthy's Butchers

Tollworthy's was one of the many butchers in the Old Laindon High Road

Laindon High Road Looking North towards the Laindon Hotel
Ken Bird
Getting Closer
From Ken Bird's original
as Close as I can without losing focus
From Ken Bird's original
Mary and her workmate Harry taken in Tollworthy's shop about 1956
Ken Page

One of our old community Ken Page, who escaped to the Antipodes has been asking me for some time to put some pictures up of Tollworthy’s Butchers shop and has even sent me a photograph of his mum working in the shop. I have finally been able to create a reasonable photograph of the outside of the shop to assist with the memories of others.

The top picture is looking north from the East side of the High Road just north of the S bend over the railway. The following two photographs are enlargements homing in on Tollworthy’s In the above photographs you can see one of our other Butchers, so competition was greater in Laindon then than now, sorry I forgot we have no butchers in Laindon only a meat counter in a supermarket.
The last photograph is in Tollworthy’s of Kens mum and colleague. 

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  • The first 3 photos, I wonder what time of day they were taken or maybe it was a Sunday, as it looks like a ghost town, not a soul in sight. Also noticed that, as mentioned, the competition among butchers shops was more intense than I imagined, as next door but 1 was, of all things, another butchers shop! Meat and meat products must have been more affordable then than they are today?

    By Donald Joy (07/08/2017)
  • Wow, so many interesting facts. With regards to the comments about Lagden’s. Emma Lagden who became Brown, actually married Bob Brown. They were my grandparents. Lived in Memories in Pound Lane. So interesting to hear about the various links between everyone.

    Any if anyone has any other information please do let me know as I’m trying to find out more about that side of the family.

    By Andrew Brown (04/08/2017)
  • The recent record of shops in Laindon High Rd by Ann and John Rugg, has confirmed my comment of 05/05/12 that the previous tenants of Tolworthy Butchers was Woods, which was queried by Harry Rossiter.

    By W.H.Diment (02/01/2013)
  • Hello Stephen, what a turn up for the book, I’m Marys son Ken. I’m so pleased to learn that your dad John and mum Kay are still around. Please remember me to them on Mary’s behalf. We often talked about the days she worked for him. 

    I did a Saturday morning delivery run for him for a while and sometimes did odd jobs in the shop.

    Would he know if Harry is still around, I think he would be VERY old if he is? Please, please mention my regards to them. Your mum actually reminded me of the fifties film star Kay Kendall [of Genevieve fame] among others.

    I’m so chuffed you have contacted us all, warmest regards.

    By Ken Page (21/10/2012)
  • Wow what a find my dad’s butchers (Tollworthy), I was 7 at the time the Mary & Harry pic was taken and I can remember them well, I loved the shop next door with the Hornby trains, it started a life long love of steam engines. 

    Mum and Dad are incredible parents and both are very active Dad is 92 & Mum has just celebrated her 90 birthday. They live in Westcliff and are active members of Eastwood Bowls & Essex Bowls. 

    As one person commented about Mum’s fashion sense I can tell you she is still the same, you will never catch her out without looking amazing.

    By Stephen Tollworthy (25/08/2012)
  • Yes Harry Rossiter, I did attend Laindon High Rd. School for a very short period in the early thirties although my sister Ivy as you correctly remember was there for the whole of her secondary education. You may possibly remember the sporting rivalry betwen Ivy and Ken Porter’s mum, (Hilda Pitt). 

    As to the question of the butchers it may well have been Jack Lagden’s at an early period, but I believe moved opposite and later became a fish shop. 

    As to Tollworthy’s, I remember while on Christmas leave in 1945 I met a family who had three daughters who lived in the flat above the shop which I still believe was named Woods. It delinitely was not Lagden’s whom I knew as they had a bungalow in Pound Lane north. The couple became estranged and Mrs. Lagden then married a a Bill Brown and lived in a wooden bungalow almost opposite. Mrs. Lagden (Brown) was social worker who regularly attended my mother in her later years.

    By W.H.Diment (10/06/2012)
  • Re Bill Diment’s comment concerning butchers shops. On reflection The predecessor to Jack Tollworthy may have been a Mr Lagden. 

    Also I know Jack Tollworthy is identical to my RAF colleague. I did speak to him in his butchers shop so I know he was one and the same. 

    Yes he did move to Southend I remember seeing his shop adjacent to a roundabout on the A13 I believe. 

    I remember you Mr Diment at High Road school, you had a sister Ivy I remember.

    By Harry Rossiter (08/06/2012)
  • In my previous response, I suggested that the earlier proprieter of Tolwothy’s may have been Tucker. I now know this is incorrect but thinking back, I feel with a little more certainty it was Woods.

    By W.H.Diment (29/04/2012)
  • Moorcroft Wools? Was this the predecessor to The Needle Shop in the same location?

    By Alan Davies (28/04/2012)
  • I only remember Moorcrofts. I don’t remember the others (probably before my time) although there was certainly a ‘The Needle Box’ in High Road, Langdon Hills at one time (I have one of their old advertisements). Mr Moorcroft also had a shop further down on the other side of the High Road, Laindon (St Nicholas Parade I believe). He was also warden of the Laindon Community Centre in the sixties. It was he who we had to approach about hiring the hall for our wedding reception.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (28/04/2012)
  • Further to Alan Davies while I accept that the haberdashery and wool shop was once owned by Moorcrofts, I do not recall the Needle Shop which according to others may or may not have been before or after Moorcrofts or who the proprieter was. Also I am sure Eric Coles shop was not immediately to the south but the next but one as the butchers was in between. Also the shop was not known as Tolworthy pre-war but I am not sure who ran it, but the name Tucker comes to mind. However, Nina is correct about Moorcrofts once owning a shop on the North Parade I somehow feel that some of the perceived discrepancies purely relate to memories of differing eras where premises have changed hands.

    By W.H.Diment (28/04/2012)
  • Re Moorcrofts and The Needle Box – something is rumbling around in my rusty old head – I remember Mrs Moorcroft as a very homely looking lady and in the same shop, which I thought was The Needle Box was a younger woman who I think was called Eileen???

    By Andrea (28/04/2012)
  • Yes, the topic of Clark ‘s bicycle shop is dealt with on the community notice board on this site. As a child, I had no interest in the shared haberdashery side of the shop, as the front of the shop was crammed with Dinky Toys, Hornby Trains and Raleigh Bikes. A monthly buy in there was the Meccano Magazine, which I think, started my interest in engineering at a young age. Brilliant shop!!

    By Richard Haines (27/04/2012)
  • Responding to Mary Cole, Nina Humphrey (nee Burton ) and W.H.Diment. Surely, Moorcroft Wools was the successor to The Needle Box, in the same location. Immediately to the south of The Needle Box was Eric Cole the greengrocer. Or so memory says.

    By Alan Davies (27/04/2012)
  • Hi Mary. The shop between the two butcher shops was ‘Moorcroft Wools’. Henbests (Maud Henbest) was further along between Aston Road and Somerset Road.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (25/04/2012)
  • Responding to Mary Cole. The butchers Godden and Tolworthy were not adjacent to the Maud Henbest shop which was further to the north with her husband’s tailor shop opposite. However there was a haberdashery and wool shop close to the butchers and I believe it may have been Clarks, who also had a bicycle shop nearby.

    By W.H.Diment (25/04/2012)
  • Was this next door to Henbests the Haberdasher. I remember that shop well in the 1950s

    By Mary Cole (21/04/2012)
  • Gday Harry, nice to read your comments on John Tollworthy, I didn’t know he was in the RAF, he seemed much to young to me, I would guess in his mid 20s. His wife Kay was a very pretty lass and was up to the minute in the fashions of the times, before they left Laindon for, I’m sure, Southend she gave birth to a son. He would be in his 50s now so there is a chance John and or Kay are still with us, would be nice if they popped up on this site.

    By Ken Page (03/11/2011)
  • I lived in Laindon from Sept 1932 to September 1953 when having joined the Essex Constabulary, I was posted to Grays. I used to live at ‘Redruff’, New Century Road. There is nothing left of the Laindon with its many bustling shops, and the Memorial Hall that I knew save the Manor Mission where I belonged to the 3rd Laindon troop of Boy Scouts with its brass band which was formed in July 1934. I well remember shopping with Mr Godden when I made weekly journeys to purchase the ‘weekend joint’ of lamb. I feel certain I am correct concerning Godden’s and Tollworthy’s. If the pictures of the location of the butchers shop are carefully studied it will be seen that Godden’s and Tollworthy’s butchers shops are one and the same premises. Next door to the north was Knights newsagents and tobacconists, followed by Green Stores then the junction with Durham Road. I boast of having a clear memory of most of the shops in Laindon High Road. From December 1957 to December 1963 I was the village constable at Horndon-on-the-Hill and made numerous trips to Laindon as my in-laws lived in Cecil Drive, Laindon until their bungalow was demolished to make way for Basildon new town. I have my brother Bill still living in Ardleigh, Basildon. I now live in Exeter, where I was surprised to learn that my Rossiter great grand parents were born in Exeter.

    Editor: Tollworthy’s and Godden’s were separate shops but were very close and both appear in the photographs. In the photographs Tollworthy’s has the dark blind in the window and facia. Godden’s has the white facia and the name is more visible.

    By Harry Rossiter (01/11/2011)
  • I knew Jack Tollworthy in 1943 when he was an RAF Sergeant pilot flying Beaufort Torpedo bombers on Operational Training Units involving Beauforts, the survival rate was something else. Our OTU course were ordered to join 217 squadron in Ceylon (Sri Lanka to you). When we arrived at Karachi, an order was issued declaring all Beaufort aircraft obsolete. Jack and his crew (and mine) were involved. After kicking our heels at the air crew pool in Poona, we were all returned to UK to retrain on Bomber Command. I met Jack in his Laindon butchers shop some time shortly after WW2 ended. Before his arrival I well remember Godden’s butchers. I seem to remember when Mr Godden retired, Jack Tollworthy took over the business. Perhaps my 89 year old memory is wrong but I don’t think so.

    By Harry Rossiter (27/10/2011)
  • Thanks Ian  for posting this, I hope some old locals remember her and Harry. She was about 45 when that was taken, her and dad followed my brother and I to Oz in late 1969. Dad died suddenly in April 1970 but mum went on until June 2001 reaching the ripe old age of 91.

    She fell and broke her hip when she was 89 and had to wait a few weeks before getting it fixed [the hospital was waiting for her to die]. She was up and walking around on it after a few days and with the aid of an electric mobile chair thingy she lived and took care of herself until her death, from a heart attack, while spending a few days with us. 

    She would have loved this site and had a wealth of knowledge of Laindon in the early days.

    By Ken Page (22/09/2011)
  • Ken this is a lovely photo of your mum, no wonder you wanted to get it on site. Thanks for sharing it.

    By Gloria Sewell (21/09/2011)
  • The rival butchers shop to the north of Tollworthy’s in the picture was that of Eustace Godden who was, I believe an East Ham man, doing business there before moving to Laindon to open the shop in Laindon.

    Editor: See article on a surfeit of butchers

    By John Bathurst (20/09/2011)

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