Memories of Old Laindon

Does anyone  Remember Squires, the electrical shop next to the Radion? I used to take my Grundig reel-to-reel recorder there for repair.

Editor: Hi Colin,  I have added an old photograph that shows Squires shop next to the cinema.

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  • Further to your post, Alan, I have a few other names and questions regarding Berry Lane residents around that time. You rightly remember the Cannon family on the corner of Shelley Avenue, the Martindale family lived next door to them, there were two daughters, Margaret, the elder, and Valerie (about my age) on whom I was quite smitten at the time! (I wonder what became of Valerie).Fred Nunn, who lived further along Berry Lane past Shakespeare Avenue, founded the Berry Boxing Club I believe; when, after I got married and lived in Welbeck Drive, Mrs Nunn (then widowed) used to baby sit for my daughter in the early ’70s. The proprietors of the Homestead Stores I think were Stoneham but can anyone remember the name of the proprietor of the general shop that was on the corner of Lincewood Park Drive? The shop in Berry Lane on the corner of Bridge Road was owned by the Lungleys and later by Jim Robertson. There were a few residents in Lincewood Park Drive that I can recall by name, a few of my good friends in the’50s lived in the Drive.

    By Colin Carey (24/03/2022)
  • Following up on Colin’s comment that he “can remember most of the families in Berry Lane”. I think I am some years older than both Colin and Paul and some families probably moved out over the intervening years. The families I can remember are as follows. Henbest, a few houses west of Shakespeare Avenue. Cannon, on the corner of Shakespeare Avenue The daughter Pat Cannon was always seen with her close friend Joyce Carey. The Carey family lived on the other side of the road a couple of doors down. Seegar who lived on the corner of Ferndale Avenue. The son, Billy, always won that quintessentially English sport of throwing the cricket ball. Salmon who lived halfway between the Seegar family and the Corner Shop. Morrison who lived next door to the Corner Shop. I thought Mr. Nunn who founded Berry Athletic Club lived in ‘Virginia’ on the corner of Prescott Avenue but my cousin Tony told me that such was not the case. The Duke family lived halfway between Prescott and Wellington Avenues. The Emson family lived in a bungalow that was set back on the corner of Vowler Road. The Gotobed family lived south of Vowler Road almost opposite the Homestead Stores. There was a daughter, Shirley, who the young lads referred to as ‘Shirley go to bed’.For some reason the name of the proprietors of the Homestead Stores escapes me (Alice and ?) but they lived adjacent to the shop. The Winter family lived a couples houses south and Mrs. Winter regularly worked in the Homestead Stores. The Shaw family lived next door to the Chapman family on the corner as Berry Lane did a turn toward Samuel Road. After Berry Lane turned again the Bird family lived on the corner of St. David’s Road. The Barnet family lived a couple of doors beyond the Birds. The Ajer family lived on the corner of Alexander Road. As Berry Lane began to ascend, the Fox family lived halfway between Road and Bebington’s Corner on the right. That’s all I can remember.

    By alan davies (22/03/2022)
  • Paul Gibson, you have a fantastic memory, something I’m often told I have also. You’re spot on with everything you say, the only thing you seem to remember that eludes me is the weatherboarded building you say was used as a church; I don’t recall that although I do remember Oak Cottage where you say you were born. I was born in Arlendene, I remember you well, your brother Jimmy and I can also remember your mother but can’t place your father. Didn’t a family named Barnes live next door to you? The name Jean rings a bell. I may be mistaken but didn’t you have a business in Laindon Centre? That was my father you mentioned, I took over his building business in 1970 and operated till ’77 when I went into the road transport industry, both as manager and, for many years, as a HGV driver till my retirement, both sub-contracting and working for many years for D C Jeakins in Laindon. I lived for thirty-three years in Welbeck Drive till I moved in 2001. I can recall most of the residents of Berry Lane, I’ll have to work my memory a bit harder to try to recall the weatherboard building you spoke about. Over the many years I lived in Langdon Hills Berry Lane changed so much, it’s probably changed even more since I left.

    By Colin Carey (15/03/2022)
  • As a young lad in the late 50s I remember the local builder who I assume was your father his name was George Carey and he drove an immaculate Bedford 15cwt dropside truck. if my memory serves me it was signwriiten Geo H Carey Builders. The builders yard was on the bend in Berry lane near to Samuel Road.
    George built many properties in the area including a pair of semi’s twixt Arledene which I believe was your parents bungalow and Oak Cottage where I was born.
    Next to Oak Cottage was a large weatherboarded timber building which my father used for storage but I was told it was used as a evangelical church in the 1930s, I wonder if you were aware of it’s history whilst you were growing up in the lane.

    By Paul Gibson (15/03/2022)
  • Alan, yes, I am a member of that Carey family that lived in Berry Lane just before Lincewood Park Drive but I can’t recall a haunted house. The last house before the Drive was a big gabled house (called The Gables) where my grandmother lived. My sister Joyce was at the primary school at about the same time as you (1940-1945) and my other sister Eileen would have been a pupil there before you started school (1934-1940). They both died within a few months of one another in 2018. I remember Ms O’Brien, Mr Wilkinson, Mrs Baker and Mrs Luton, the secretary. I believe the headmaster was Mr Wiggins.

    Editor: Hi Colin, readers of this article and comments may find the following article of interest; after a great deal research the identity of the ‘Haunted House’ still remains a mystery. https://www.laindonhistory.org.uk/content/areas_and_places/langdon-hills/the-haunted-house

    By Colin Carey (02/03/2022)
  • Colin, I was at Langdon Hills School earlier, from 1939 to 1946. The teachers I remember are Mrs. Hanson, Mrs. Baker, Miss. Fiddis, Mrs. Dove, Miss. O’Brien, Mr. Wilkinson, Mr. Taylor. Surely they could not all have retired or left between the times we were there? If you attended Langdon Hills School did you live in Berry Lane and did you have a sister, Joyce Carey? She was about a year younger than I. The family lived on the south side of Berry Lane between the haunted house and Lincewood Park Drive.

    By alan davies (01/03/2022)
  • Alan, I too was a pupil at Langdon Hills primary school from ’48 to ’54.
    It was a lovely school (even though after the first day I thought I didn’t have to go back, used to follow my mum home! !) There’s a good chance you can recall the same teachers as I; Mr Walker (who used to smack us boys on the backs of the legs!) Mr Richardson, Miss Wenden who always took her wristwatch off before walloping us!
    Good old days! But I don’t recall Clifford Thompson so maybe you and I were in different years.

    By Colin Carey (01/03/2022)
  • I do not remember steps up to the Paramount store but you may be right. I was familiar with Bata next door in that a good friend of mine at Langdon Hills School, Clifford Thompson, lived above the store. His father was Bata’s manager. Competitors? Again Clark’s bicycle shop had a competitor in Ling’s bicycle shop which was located just north of the Hiawatha, opposite the cop shop.

    By alan davies (01/03/2022)
  • Yes, Alan, I do remember Paramount, wasn’t it at the top of some steps? Perhaps a bit later there was a DIY shop opposite Toomey’s. You’re right about the number of similar trades in the High Road; a contributor mentioned Clarks cycle shop that also was the boy’s Alladin’s cave for Hornby Dinky toys. I always used to look in the window for new releases! I think there was a butcher’s shop (Godden? ) where my mother used to buy meat. Cramphorn or Simmons in the same block immediately before Laindon Hotel.
    The High Road did have character

    By Colin Carey (27/02/2022)
  • Squires competitor was Paramount (I think that was their name) next to Bata shoes. It has always amazed me that the economically challenged village had so many competitors along the High Road. Cramphorns and Simmonds, seed merchants, Morris and Henbest, men’s outfitters, at least six butchers, and more than six newsagents,, three or four barbers, at least two tea cafes, and a couple of shoe shops. All competing for what must have been the relatively small amount of money available to Laindoners.

    By alan davies (27/02/2022)
  • Thank you for adding the photo of Squires Electrical shop next to the Radion cinema. Does anyone also remember another electrical shop in the Laindon/Langdon Hills area that also sold television sets. I seem to remember my father buying our first set from there in about 1952, presumably in time for the Queen’s coronation. The name Slaughter comes to mind but I could be mistaken on that one and I think I remember the shop being in Berry Lane but could also be wrong there too!

    By Colin Carey (27/02/2022)
  • I believe that my parents bought their first television set from Squires in 1953. The man who delivered it was Mr Brown.

    By Anne Burton (26/02/2022)

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