The Davis's in Laindon

Ted Davis outside Hawthorns in the 1930's

My Dad Ted lived in Bow, East London with his parents and two brothers Jack and Ken.  His father was a crane driver in the “print” and he suffered from bad lungs due to the fumes rising to his cab. During the 1930’s his family bought a Plotland bungalow, to use as a weekend and holiday retreat as a respite from the poor air in east London and at his work.  I think the family had a bit of money from my grandmother’s side as she was from the Toye family (tailors & silk weavers).   My Dad told me that he reckoned their place was roughly where Sava Centre(ASDA) is now, so it was a fair walk from Laindon Station, as Basildon Station was not there then.

Their bungalow was called Hawthorns and it was a “double plot”.  It had a well that was fed from the roof water run off that went through a “silver sand” filter.  They were quite popular with their neighbours as few of the places had such a water supply and they would share out their water with them.
My Dad’s cousin was John Slaughter who is featured on other articles on this site and John had a radio shop next to Mr Parkinson’s shop, now known as Parkinson’s corner (corner of Laindon High Road and Durham Road).
The Davis family would frequently take the train to Laindon at weekends bringing their chickens with them from London.
John Slaughter used to charge accumulator batteries for customers at his shop.  In those days wireless sets were valve driven and needed a powerful battery to run them, so that accumulators were used in those days to power the valve wireless sets.
So they always popped in to see him on the way to Hawthorns.

My Dad and his brothers were keen cyclists and sometimes did the journey to London by bike. The picture is my dad on his 1930’s bike with Hawthorns in the background.

My grandfather moved to Leominster during the war due to bad health with his lungs and because of the evacuation of Ken.  Grandfather Henry died there not long afterwards.  After that the family kept the bungalow for a while until after the war but it was plagued by tramps moving in and it was becoming a liability. My grandmother sold it for a pittance,  but she never actually received the money from the person who bought it.
My parents moved permanently to Laindon in 1979 and my Dad used to chat to Mr Parkinson who remembered John Slaughter and his shop very well.

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  • I remember taking the bus from Laindon to Billericay. One never knew, until it reached the old Fortune whether it would turn left or go straight on — after a squiggle to the right. As we young lads, with our bountiful sense of humour were apt to say — via Little Bastard or Big Bastard!

    By Alan Davies (09/03/2018)
  • John Slaughter Radio is mentioned here. In about 1955-6 my father purchased on hire purchase a Pye radio [new] from him. My cousin and I would turn up full volume on this when skiffle music and early rock and roll started, only of course when mum and dad went to Billericay pictures which was not very often. About half way through the year the radio stopped working. We took a quick look inside, one valve had turned green and Slaughter refused to repair it, so dad never paid him any more money. The Slaughter family lived very near us in Gt Burstead.

    By R F Howard (08/03/2018)

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