Mary Hawkins recently mentioned that nobody on this website appears to remember Dunton Drive. Therefore I decided to write a little about her family and childhood home.
Dunton Drive was situated approximately halfway between Laindon and Dunton. From the eastern end of Merrylands Chase, Dunton Drive ran south to Victoria Road, passing the western end of Merrylands Road and Topsham Road on the way. A little further west and running parallel, was Victory Avenue, which contained Victory Close and Wimborne Avenue. A little further west, running parallel was Lower Avenue.
During the twenties, Mary Pratt’s parents May and William decided to move to a bungalow in Laindon. They arrived at Laindon Station and after a long walk with their young daughter Kathleen, via Worthing Road, they arrived at Dunton Drive. They immediately fell in love with the bungalow and its very large garden which had previously been used as a weekend retreat. Decided to buy it, moved in and named it ‘Malvern’. The family loved their new home in the countryside, made friends quickly and became part of the community. Soon daughter Eileen was born followed by little sister Mary in 1935.
Mary gives an interesting account of her childhood on an adjoining website. Go to the menu on the left of our home page, click on ‘Information’, then ‘Links to other websites of interest’, Dunton Plotlands, Dunton Drive. Around 1936 a member of Mary’s family recorded an excellent cine film of life at ‘Malvern’ and some footage of the Laindon Carnival.
During the war years Dunton Drive suffered its share of incidents, including 2 HXE explosives that dropped late in the evening of the 19th April 1941, damaging several bungalows. Mary left Laindon High Road School in 1949 and married Peter Hawkins in 1954.
I spent my childhood in a bungalow in Alexandra Road, which I now realise wasn’t very far from Dunton Drive. I never ventured any further west than Richards’ farm ‘Sunnymead’, when I ‘played out’, however I now wish I had gone exploring.
I’m sure Mary and I would love to hear from anybody who remembers Dunton Drive along with any stories they would like to tell about the area and the families who lived there. Any photographs would be very much appreciated.
Below is a list of the bungalows and occupants in Dunton Drive from the 1949 Electoral Register.
The Grange – Matilda and Benjamin Osborne. Rose Lodge – Florence and Edward Andrews plus Lily Mears. Grace Cottage – Margaret and Sidney Blackwell. Faramax – Amy, David and Leslie Bumpsteed. Homeleigh – Florence and George Quinton. St. Davids – Florence, Joyce, Winifred and Albert Wiggins. Sarahville – Louisa and George Morgan. Retlaw – Gladys and Henry Gowlett plus May and Percy Leech plus Louise and George Morgan plus Arthur Watson. West View – Marie and Alfred Paddon. Belvedere – James Day. Rose Cottage – Agnes and Stanley Overy. Cotswold. – Mary and John Palmer. Rosemary – May and Harold Lloyd. St, Ives, Alice and Horace Harvey. Niagra – Ethel and Edward Sharp. St. Monica – Grace and William Woolgar. Ansfield – Ann and Alfred Merry. Lily Bungalow – Rose and Albert Frasi. Willows – Mary and John Moore. Oakfield – Maud, Stanley and Thomas Lowther. Laurel Cottage – Agnes and William Goldsmith. Sandale Villa – Ellen, Matilda, Matilda E and Fred Shepherd. Karina – Kathleen and Victor Simmonds. Malvern – Gladys May and William Pratt. Tamar – Mary Hallett. Saltash – Rose and Harold Hallett. Gordonville – Gertrude and Ernest Burton. Formosa – Rose and Reginald Cox. Armadale – Stella and William Finch.