We lived in Sylvan Road from 1951 until 1957 and just loved it there. Sadly our bungalow was compulsory purchased to make way for a new school which never happened but there is a housing estate there now. I went to Langdon Hills School, being in Miss Wenden’s class and Mr Walker’s as well, with Vivian Lagdon, George Le-Surf, Dorothy Tate, Jennifer Garrity to name just a few. We were lucky enough to have everything we needed in the village and some lovely countryside to boot.
We moved from Romford to Langdon Hills in 1951. It was like going to heaven! We had a detached bungalow with a large beautiful garden at the top of Sylvan Road, our bungalow was called Sylvan Glen. We had Mrs Turner and her daughters on one side and the Warrens on the other. We had the railway line running at the bottom of our garden where sparks from the steam trains often set light to the grass verge and sometimes to our wooden fence, then we had to phone the station where they would send a water engine down, very frightening at times.
I went to LHPS and one sister went to Grays Palmers later and one to High Road School. My eldest sister Joy had several jobs locally, in a printers and Reads Newsagents and another I can’t recall. We often shopped at The Oven Door Stores or at Lungley’s where I was sent to run errands for mum. A trip to Pitsea Market was the highlight of our week. We could buy huge nougat bars and mum often treated us to an iced bun. She bought remnants to make into petticoats etc., to sell, after my dad’s accident when money was tight.
My sister Jean took me to the afternoon matinees almost twice a week at the local cinema. The family used to go for long walks up Crown Hill to the bluebell woods. My sister Joy dated several soldiers from the local army camp, much to dad’s disgust. Remember Alex Kachinski and Peter Birch who came from Leeds, he was a lovely chap.
Our garden was beautiful with orchards, rose gardens, a little pond, in fact miniscule. A greenhouse and lawns used for tennis by Mr and Mrs Gough the previous owners. Mum had a huge veg patch and made jams and chutneys from the various fruits, our cupboards were always full. Mum could turn her hand to anything which was good as when dad had a serious motorcycle accident one night on the Arterial Road from Southend. Sadly he nearly died but recovered partially, due to mum, but he never worked again.
Due to reduced income sadly we had to sell our beautiful bungalow to the Council under a compulsory purchase order as they were developing the site for a school, but it never happened. My sister revisited a year later and the rubble was still there and some plants recovered and were blooming. I loved living at Langdon Hills, some very happy and some very sad memories.