My Laindon

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.

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  • Thank you all so much for your comments on my memories, I do recall your names its just that time makes the mind a bit foggy. I’m not sure about the prisoners of war, but I do remember my parents calling them Italians. They were working on the roads, sewers etc, outside our house. I can remember them coming to the gate with their billy cans for water. One made me a little doll out of a bit of wood.

    By Jean Rowe (26/05/2011)
  • Hello Jean You may not remember me, but I’m sure you know my sister Anne (Burton) who was in your year at school. We walked passed your home in King Edward Road each day on our way to school. I remember very clearly going to see Aladin at the Memorial Hall, I think it was 1956 when I was 10 years old. I went with a classmate called Christine who lived in ‘Southview’, down the farm. We thoroughly enjoyed the show and your thigh slapping performance as principle boy. I also remember a lady called ‘Libby’ who played a news announcer, sitting in a spoof TV set. She kept giving out comical bits of news that made us laugh. It was dark when we walked home, particularly around the unmade ‘boards’ where there were no street lights. Christine held my hand all the way home and said ‘If you weren’t with me I would have climbed up a tree by now’. I remember the terrible train crash and that you had to lie flat because of your back injury. Your mum used to take you out on a low bed on wheels. I wanted to say ‘hello’ to you both when I passed by but was far too shy. I hope I have put that right now. I really enjoyed reading your article, thank you so much for the memories. Best wishes from Nina

    By Nina Humphrey (21/05/2011)
  • Hello Jean I remember seeing you in panto all those years ago. I also remember you getting injured in the rail crash and hope you do not suffer any ill effects. If I shut my eyes I can see your Mum coming out of your front gate with your little sister in her pushchair and trotting off down King Edward Road.

    By Anne Burton (21/05/2011)
  • I lived in Powell Road and was at school with your sister Pat. My father was also in the Dagenham Rail Crash. I had a sister Joyce who like me went to Markhams Chase school, she went onto Palmers Grammer School , I went to Laindon High road. I also had a older brother Donald Tyler. My husband Ian is the webmaster of this website and we are enjoying hearing from all of the old Laidoners and their stories and memories. Joyce and I also went to dancing classes at the Memorial Hall and The British Legion Hall Do you remember our family?

    By Patsy Mott née Tyler (21/05/2011)
  • Hi Jean Are you sure they were Italians and not Germans, not aware of any Italian prisoners in the area. My mother ‘Hilda’ work for Markham’s Dairies during the war. My father ‘Fred’ was also in the Dagenham train crash, he ended up with a broken pelvis among other injuries. Interesting memories

    By Ken Porter (21/05/2011)

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