Our Village

My memories by Jemima Chapman

I remember the big steamroller and the smell of tar, St Nicholas church bells ringing, the wild flowers growing on the banks of the ditches and the prisoners of war working together on the farms, watching the cows being milked by hand, and waiting with the jug to collect the milk, in our wood bungalow, we had no electric, only gas mantles, no sewer, a shed and bucket at the bottom of the garden, no laid on water, only a well and lots of tin baths etc to catch the rainwater, elderly ladies with a home made trolley, a box on the pram wheels, dogs roaming in packs, and this time of year every where blossom on the trees.

This picturesque prose recalls the area around Pound Lane and French’s Farm during the war years.  

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  • My father and uncle ran the L&D newsagents in laindon High Road in the 1950’s.
    Lea and David’s mother worked in the shop, Mrs Winifred Reed.
    Les abs David prepared the early morning papers before going on to work during the day in London.
    Mrs Mitchel work in the shop. Les’s mother in Law Ethel smith worked in there as did his wife Mavis Reed.
    A lady called Joy worked in the shop too. She had previously worked in Blackwell’s newsagents just across the road.
    The newsagent shop Reed’s stopped trading when Basildon new town was built. Strangely the shop itself still exists today. It currently sells Brazilian cuisine. I popped in to look around recently. I am Les’s Reed’s daughter Karen Cowen. (nee Reed).

    By Karen Cowen. (26/02/2021)
  • We lived in Sylvan Road (which wasn’t far from Laindon station) from 1952 until 1956/7..Both my sister jean and myself went to Laindon Hills Primary School and her later to High Road School. My sister Joy worked at the newsagents/sweet shop Reads. We LOVED Laindon and have such fond memories- the cinema where we went to the Saturday morning children’s matinee…Lungly’s(?) shop where we walked too to get sweets or Wagon Wheels as a treat. THE OVEN DOOR STORES grocers…walks up Langdon Hills..(and the bluebells there)…there was an Army camp there in those days…the steam trains that ran along the bottom of our garden and in the dry weather the sparks from the engine set fire to the grass along the track and one year our wooden fence as well! Such a shame that LAINDON got swallowed up by Basildon..

    By Sandra Stephens nee Springall (09/08/2013)
  • Most of Pound Lane had water and sewage but, for some reason, my father’s request for permission, to have it laid on, was refused.

    By Jemima Chapman (15/01/2012)
  • Sorry Ken about the mistake in respect of Pound Lane and mains drainage, but as the original entry referred to French’s Farm. I assumed, it would seem erroneously, it was in respect of Pound Lane north of the A127 which did have this facility in common with Wash Rd., and Church Rd., etc., which were so supplied from circa 1938.

    By W.H.Diment (16/10/2011)
  • Sorry Bill, not all Pound Lane had main drainage, my grandparents who lived on the east side of the road just below St Nicholas Church did not get main drainage until 1947. My parents who lived opposite did have main drainage.

    By Ken Porter (15/10/2011)
  • The steam roller Jemma remembers was driven by Mr. Brummel l and in post war years was changed to a diesel roller. On his retirement, Mr Brummel became a commissionaire at the Radion cinema. 

    Jemima does not say where she lived but Pound Lane had main drainage and water supply prewar. I remember some names of the families living in Pound Lane north. There was the Lagdens, the MacDonalds whose daughter married Harry Brummel, the son of the steam roller driver also a family named Bristow near to the Arterial Rd. Pound Lane was one of the few hard roads dating back to the 1800s.

    By William Diment (29/09/2011)

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