My Memories of Laindon
When the Laindon Link was being constructed, we used to use it to roller skate down it, it made a terrific skating rink.
I was born in Laindon in 1945 in a bungalow called “Fornham” in Sandringham Road. We were on the corner of Buckingham Road, which was also unmade, and which led down to Bluehouse Farm. I wasn’t really allowed to go down to the farm, but of course did and took great delight putting sticks in the cowpats! What a horrible child!!
On the opposite corner to our bungalow, was a small general store called “Byrons”, they sold almost everything, and one specialty was the toffee apples made by Mrs Byron when the apples in their garden were ready. The lovely smell of the toffee has always stayed with me. They kept chickens and sometimes I was allowed to help collect them, what a treat, as they were still warm when we put them in the basket.
In 1958 when the Laindon Link was being constructed, we used to use it to roller skate down it, it made a terrific skating rink.
There was a Laindon Girls Club opened up in Sandringham Road, it was in an empty bungalow, and we could buy crisps and oxo drinks and generally have a nice time. I knitted a mascot (Some kind of animal) for the club, I wonder what happened to that. I don’t know who organised the club at that time.
I can remember sitting on the kerb outside Kentex the cleaners and with a notepad and pencil, taking down car numbers as they went past, there was quite a wait between cars as they were few and far between, can you imagine that? Another thing we did was when bonfire night was near we would wait outside Churchill Johnsons with a home made guy, and collect pennies from the people coming off the evening trains, people were very generous and we always came home with something.
The Winston social club was at the bottom of Windsor Hill that lead to Sandringham Road, I never went in it, it always seemed a mysterious place to me.
On a Sunday afternoon I was sent to the Salvation Army Sunday School (I hated it) as we always had to learn a text of some kind, I think it was in Northumberland Avenue.
We used to go to the level crossing in Northumberland Avenue and put pennies on the rails to get them flattened by the trains, how dreadful it is to think about it now.
I went to Langdon Hills Primary School, my first teacher being Mrs. Baker who I loved, I used to go to my nan’s bungalow “Bank Riggs” in Corona Road Langdon Hills after school, where my mum would collect me after she finished work at Bagents in Laindon High Road.
I can remember being taken to Father Christmas’s shop (Lings) and the lovely rubbery smell from the cycle and pram tyres; it was like an Aladdin’s cave to children.
We had many trips to the bluebell woods in Langdon Hills, armed with sugar sandwiches and a bottle of water, we were quite happy with our lot.
I went to Laindon High Road Secondary School after the juniors, and my first teacher there was Miss Jollyman, she kept calling me Valerie, which was my sister’s name, who she also taught.
My brother Dave worked for a good many years for Cliff Parkinson, Dave’s wife Doris used to work at Wilsons Chemist, they both still live in Laindon, so I get lots of news of the area.
In 1953, the Junior School children were taken down to the Radion Cinema where we watched the Coronation in colour, I was amazed, and I also went to a Coronation party in a builders yard somewhere in Laindon where we were given a Coronation mug (now sadly lost).
My parents bought our bungalow from Jim Rawley, mum had told me in total it had cost £200.00. They were renting it at first and then were given the change of buying it, apparently it had been a shop at one time in it’s life. Sadly the Basildon Corporation put a compulsory purchase order on the property in 1960 and we moved to Collier Row in Romford.
We used to go to Saturday morning pictures and see Roy Rogers, what lovely days they were.
I can remember I think it was Greens Stores, where you got your change put in a brass container and sent on a pulley system across the shop, and being able to buy broken biscuits, it was a treat if we had bits of custard creams.
Mum used to buy live eels in the Fishmongers in the high Street, and squashy tomatoes, which they sold for frying from the greengrocers that was on the corner of the High Street opposite Churchill Johnsons. We always went to Henbests to buy stockings, and to Batas the shoe shop, where you could have your feet x-rayed in this strange machine, I wonder how safe that was!!
Well I know this isn’t very exciting, but it’s nice to be able to add a little to the Laindon Memories.