A Beginning

By Keith Nock

My name is Keith Nock I was born in bungalow called Ashdene on A127 between Church Rd. and the flyover in 1950. I remember the winters were bad, snow was really deep. I also remember the fog being so bad, that cars on A127 just crawled along.

I attended Laindon Park school in 1955. I always remember Cooper’s shop in Church Road where we got our sweets.  After that went to High Rd. school, I left in 1965.

I remember our bungalow had an outside toilet, dad had to stand by the door while mum used loo. One night mum went to go out and there was old tramp on seat, what great days. I have really enjoyed  reading all the stories of Laindon residents on the website

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  • Hi Bill, I do remember planting those conifers at the bottom of mums garden such a shame willow was cut down. Do you remember the ducks and geese I had you must of heard them now its all gone but the memories? 

    I remember going round shop and having laugh and chat with your wife Peggy.  It seems funny now when I pop in and see old neighbours and look at old no 10

    By Keith Nock (21/06/2012)
  • The archives are mainly in respect of past happenings which the passage of time has swept away. Yet possibly some forgotten actions of long ago way still be with us although not always recognised. As an example, does Keith Nock remember planting two small saplings just beyond the end of my garden and is he aware these still exist and have exceeded the height of 40 feet, a living memory to his life in Laindon and will anyone in the future know who planted them. A sadder fact is that his large weeping willow has long since been obliterated.

    By (CH)WH.Diment (13/06/2012)
  • Further to the last letter of Gloria Sewell, she mentions smog. I suggest that few of todays readers truly appreciate this. As she correctly remarks it was the emissions from fires which caused this and it was thick and a sulphurous yellow. I can remember standing on Barking station and not being able to see my feet. It was one such fog which played a prominent role in the Dagenham rail crash. While it was a primarily caused by a fault in railway operating rules, it was the fact that a train missed a signal at danger and crashed into an earlier train which had not cleared the advance section. The operating rule was later amended and restrictions on coal burning fires eliminated smog, but of course we have no control over natures fog.

    By W.H.Diment (28/09/2011)
  • Further to the letter of Gloria Sewell, I too well remember the winter of 1947. I had just returned from years in warmer climes having been demobbed the previous autumn. I lived in Church Rd (North) and the snow was up to the top of the hedges. This became compacted and with bright sunny days melting the surface but at nights frost turned into glazed ice approx 6ins. thick which remained until the middle of March.

    I also knew Keith’s mother and her brothers well from prewar days although I did not know his father until he married. My wife Peggy was a great friend of Joyce and the last contact we had with her was a Christmas card which said she was going into hospital after Christmas, she did not give a reason and we did not know the seriousness of the visit and we were quite shocked to hear of her death. At the time my wife was in the BUPA care in Basildon from a long term illness, but only survived Joyce by a few months.

    In all the time we lived there we never met Keith but often heard him cutting the hedge between our two gardens. I knew his uncles Albert and George pre-war as they frequently gathered in the garden of Mrs Ripper opposite together with my own brother. It seems unreal that none of them are still with us.

    By W.H.Diment (25/09/2011)
  • Keith; you are too young to remember my first bad winter in Laindon, well it was not bad for me, it was 1947 and I was 5 years old. It was my last winter before I started Markham’s Chase school the snows came first in November 1946 then with vengeance in January 1947. It was of course great fun for all us kids, I recall going over to the onion field (top of King Edward Rd) and falling into huge snow drifts. One day we heard this big bang in our front room mum rushed upstairs the boiler had frozen as we could only afford to have the fire alight of a night and when it was lit a chunk of ice popped up and hit the top of the boiler now that was cold.

    We were the lucky ones, my dad had bought huge army blankets home for us they were itchy wool but so warm on the beds.

    Our house had a little fire grate upstairs but we could not afford to burn two fires.

    The next big one I remember and I would think you do to started on the early hours of New Years Day 1963, my husband and I had a motorbike and side-car we had been to a party at my grans in Beatrice Road my young son Tony was with us and we lived in Albermerle Crescent, which is now Marks Hill and Longwood area, we both had to push it up Crown Hill to get it home which was down Woodgrange Avenue off Lee Chapel Lane, after that we were snowed in for 3 months.

    My husband David managed to get to work but I could not get out.  One morning I woke to find my young son ill, David had already gone to work, and I had to wait till the afternoon to tell the milkman, who managed to deliver the milk for us every other day, to phone a doctor for me. Poor Dr Cavaroli battled the snows to get to me by about 6pm, it turned out be the measles. It was very scarry when on my own, snowed in and not knowing what was wrong with my 2 year old. That winter lasted to March, and the snow was followed by fog, you recall, it was in fact smog caused by coal fires and fog.

    I remember coming back from a shopping trip to Romford market and the traffic on the A127 had to be led through it by a man walking in front with a lamp no fuss then you just grinned and helped all you could. 

    I too remember the bucket and shovel loos in fact I still had one in the early 60s when I lived in Albermerle Crescent when my eldest son was a baby.  It was outside in the garden, horrid, rats the lot I insisted my husband went out there first to scare anything away.

    By Gloria Sewell (06/08/2011)

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