I was born in Laindon in 1942 just at the end of the 2nd world war. I was born in Beatrice Road, in my granny’s cottage delivered by Dr. Chowdhary and nurse Smith. My poor mother, which was not too unusual in those days, went though a very traumatic delivery and I was in fact born not breathing, so nurse Smith worked her magic by dipping me in and out of cold baths and from that day for as long as I can remember, Dr. Chowdhary called me his miracle baby.
Someone must have been watching over me because a bomb dropped in Vowler Road a few nights later and my granddad spent hours picking the glass off my cot gently so I would not wake and get cut.
My mother married a young man who was stationed in the army camp in Langdon Hills next to our village. I went to many a good dance there when I was a teenager (another story to tell).
My father was always known as Nobby Sewell although his name was Fred. Maybe you may remember him because he would sing every Saturday in the Winston Club near the railway station. I would sit in raptures when he sang “daddies little girl” to me. We had a great Christmas party there for all the members’ kids every year. It was the highlight of our year then.
My grandad also ran the loan club there so people could pay money in all year round and then draw it out for Christmas for extra money and also have small loans out through the year for little emergencies. He was a very popular and trusted member – Mr. Jack Davies – an honor to know.
Mrs. Daisy Davies his wife, my granny, was the local unofficial midwife during the war, because of the shortage of medics. She was called upon to deliver many local babies. They had 8 children of their own, one tragically (uncle John) was killed in the war, the other seven were the best aunts and uncles you could wish for but then they were old Laindoners.
Every Saturday night we would all walk (my mother, father, brother Fred and I) from King Edward Road to my grandparents to have fish and chip from Coles fish shop, situated near the station. Then the men would go off to the Winston Club or the Laindon Hotel for a pint. Us kids used to go off to the Berry Lane recreation ground where I learnt to swim in a little old concrete paddling pool they had there.
My pre-school days in Laindon are filled with sweet memories and joy. I hope you have enjoyed the few I have shared with you as my health is not too good just now. I have all the time in the world now to sit and reflect on those wonderful memories. I hope you will have me back to share some more. Thank you, regards Gloria