Looking Back by Jean Pattle
My Laindon began in 1941. I was born at my Gran’s house, Clissold in Tavistock Road. My whole family had moved to Laindon to escape the London East end bombing. My Grandad had bought a couple of plots of land in Dunton before the war and the family would spend weekends and holidays in a small hut, little more than we would call a garden shed, that granddad had built on it. I think this was what they called plotlands. I’m told that Tesco’s is now built on the site. When the family fled London this was were they all stayed.
Later a rented home was found and this is where I was born. Later my parents moved to the Ramblers in Tattenham Road where the King Edward Road Estate is now.
I can remember the Italian Prisoners of War working on the roads for the estate.
In 1949 my parents moved into one of the new houses in King Edward Road where they lived the rest of their lives. My Mum worked at the Dartboard Factory and my dad was a lorry driver. He worked a number of years for Charlie Markham of Markham’s Dairies collecting milk churns from the farms.They went to the Winston club where Dad would sing and play piano.
I and my two sisters went to Markham’s Chase and Laindon High Road School. I went Tap and Ballet classes and became well known in the St John Glee Party as I was always principal boy in the pantomimes they put on at the Memorial Hall each year. Later as a sixteen year old teenager I was one of the unfortunate people in Laindon who was in the Dagenham Rail Crash of 1958. I was the youngest person in this bad accident in the fog that night, many others came from Laindon. My spine was badly damaged and I was in all the newspapers at that time.