My Laindon

My Story

Day out for men from the Winston Club
Gloria Sewell
My beautiful mum (Violet Sewell) and me 1942
Gloria Sewell
Nan and granpa Davies Harry and Lou Hill and two pals outside Lilac 1940s
Gloria Sewell
Nan and granpa Davies on day out in Margate 1940.s
Gloria Sewell

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


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  • Hey Nutler Keeble, my mate Barry, your cousin, has seen your comment on here and wants to get in touch with you after something like 34 years !!! If you are up for it, I can give his phone number to Nina Humphrey to pass on to you !!! Barry lives in Andover, Hampshire and is not as well as he would like to be but he still likes a laugh, we are on the phone every day !!! I don’t suppose you will remember me but I sat next to him all through school !!!

    By Don Joysmith (13/09/2019)
  • Bob Keeble, I remember you.
    In the 70’s I worked in the Owl & Pussycat you used to drink in there then.
    I think you knew my dad from Laindon Ernie Brown.

    By Danny Brown (06/09/2019)
  • I wonder if anyone remembers me Bob Keeble alias Nutter I used to get up and sing in the Fortune of War in the late fifties and sixties and the youth center at Laindon High Road School. I have great memories of Laindon I would like to keep in touch and share those lovely days, what has happened to our lovely Laindon?

    By Bob Keeble (23/08/2019)
  • Do you remember the Tyler family of 1 Bushy Mead there was Johnny who is no longer alive RIP, Brenda, Bill, Freda, Dave, Peter, Michael and Alan. I used to hang out with Kenny Durrant, Kenny Marchant, Ted Bartley, Michael Ellis and Dave Leonard.

    By Bill Tyler (02/02/2012)
  • Yes Bill, I remember John very well, he lived opposite Josie and Tiger Bowen and next door to the Nightingales. We all hung out together as kids on our field. He is on the 1956 School photo on this site.

    He came from a large family, I recall John best because he was my age and was one of the quieter ones with lovely blonde hair. His mum was a very kind lady, I remember going to her house with Josie Bowen and being made very welcome. Mind you this was the way of most mums in Laindon that I remember they always gave their and other children (at least the ones I remember) the encouragement to pursue their dreams and goals in life. 

    When reading the comments on this site from all over the world it seems this is what everyone did.

    By Gloria Sewell (02/02/2012)
  • Hi Gloria I have your email address now so we can chat I’ve looked at the newspaper report again and it says nieces Jane and Violet Davies. I have a photo of young John in his uniform before he went away. I’m already on facebook, one of my grandaughters put me on.

    By June Wagner (13/12/2011)
  • Hi Gloria, Yes my mum’s brothers were John (known as Jack), Albert, George, William, Thomas and Leonard. Uncle George did go to Canada, I remember he had a son called Alan and another whose name I can’t remember. 

    A few years ago when my mother started to have a loss of memory my daughter and I made her a life book with photos of her family so that she could still remember them. In this book are photos and newspaper report of her wedding. I discovered her matron of honour was Jean Davies and one of her bridesmaids was Violet. So I guess this was your mother. I have a couple of photos but I’m not sure who is who. 

    How old was your mother in January 1937, when the wedding took place? I have a photo of Queenie daughter of Rose Stevens and another one of a daughter of Albert and Jenny but mum couldn’t remember her name. I have a few other photos as well.

    I’m still not sure how to go about getting your email so that we can be in touch privately I did get a message from Ian but I’m not up with the play with computers so not sure how to go about getting the information.

    By June Wagner (12/12/2011)
  • Hi June, mum would have been 15 then. Uncle Albert and all his children stayed in the area so did my grandad’s uncle Jack, a few of them are still living.

    Can you sign yourself up to facebook we can chat on there.  Could it have been Ginny Davies her and my mother are the same age and were friends. My aunty Eileen looked after great gran in Raglan Road till she died.

    I still have the old bill from Coleman’s Solicitors in Laindon for settling the estate and will £27 2s 7p.

    Grandad Jack and nanna Daisy’s eldest son John was killed in the war do you remember this and their next eldest son Bobby had polio as a boy, did your mum have speak of this? He married Vera Turner, the Turners living near us., Mavis may be your age anyway Bob, who is 91 and Vera live in New Zealand. You should read his article “Memories of Bob Davies.”

    By Gloria Sewell (12/12/2011)
  • Thanks again Ian and the rest of the site for making the world even smaller for me ..Gloria ..June your mum was always known as young Gertie. Can’t recall if Uncle George was Grandads brother or nannys brother, can you remember your mum having a brother George? they went off to Canada 1940s any recollection Gloria x

    By Gloria Sewell (10/12/2011)
  • Wow!!! It’s so nice to hear about my mum’s side of the family. I’m printing off all your stories so that I can pass them on to my daughter who is always looking for info re our family tree. My mum loved dancing and I do to. I was her only daughter I have three brothers, Arthur and Peter were born in England, Arthur in Billericay and Peter at home in Raglan Road, my third brother is Anthony who was born in Australia. We all love dancing (although not so much now that we are getting a bit old. I’d love to get your email address so that we can talk heaps more.

    Editor: June I will forward the email as requested and put a brief request for information on your family on the message board. There is a fairly large contingent of Laindoners living in the southern hemispher, so we may find more family connection down under.

    By June Wagner (09/12/2011)
  • Hello June, yes we are great cousins. My Grandad was Jack Davies and I remember his sister Gertie, was it her or a daughter that loved dancing? I also remember you all going off abroad somewhere.  

    We went out of Granmas and grandads (Jack and Dasiy Davies) back gate into Raglan Rd., to gradma Ellens and pops gate (I think this was her 2nd husband so her name was then Hall) this was “Sun View”, I think your house was opposite. If you would like my email adress to talk more I am sure the web master Ian will give it to you. Lovely to hear from you.

    By Gloria Sewell (08/12/2011)
  • Hi Gloria I had an uncle called Jack Davies, do you know if your grandad or great grandad had a sister called Gertrude. She was my mother and my dad was Arthur Avis. My mum had six brothers, she was the only girl. We lived in “Randley” Raglan Road Laindon, we emigrated to Australia in 1956, I had so many cousins that I can’t remember all their names. I do know that I went to lots of weddings. I was born in 1940 and I remember the night the bomb dropped close by.. I can remember my mum and Nanna rushing in to see if my brother and I were alright and they both had cut knees, all our windows were shattered. I can remember the shelter in the garden that we had to sit in on several occasions. My dad went away to fight in the war and apparently he sailed on the day I was born. If I had been born a day earlier he would not have gone. I didn’t actually meet him for the first time until I was five years old, he came back just in time to take me for my first day at school. I still have the telegram telling him that he had a daughter. I moved to New Zealand with my husband and two childred in 1973 and have lived here ever since.

    By June Wagner (née Avis) (07/12/2011)
  • Further to Gloria’s history of her family. In the thirties, there was a C.Sewell who advertised himself as a registered chimney sweep, from an address at Old Hill Ave. Langdon Hills Would he also be an ancestor of Gloria’s?.

    By WH.Diment (20/11/2011)
  • William; Thank you for this piece of news, unfortunately I dont think he was an ancestor of mine. My father was stationed at Langdon Hills during the war this is where my mother met him (in the Laindon Hotel).  My fathers family came from the East End, so far as I know, he was the only one from his family to live in Laindon. 

    My mothers family the Davies family were also from the east end but settled in Laindon much Earlier in the 20s I am glad to see you back on site I have missed your comments.

    By Gloria Sewell (20/11/2011)
  • May I clear up the wartime Vowler Road incident mentioned in these messages? The actual device that fell on Vowler Road was a V1 rocket (a”doodle bug”) which came down on the night of the 13th/14th November 1944 and not 1942 as is suggested. When it fell one person was killed, 5 dwellings were completly destroyed and 250 other dwellings were listed as damaged by the explosion. An account of this and other incidents will be found in Peter Lucas’s book “Basildon Behind the Headlines”. Peter’s accounts are based on the official war diaries compiled by the ARP (Air Raid Precautions) service (“Wardens” like Hodges in TV’s “Dad’s Army) that was operated by the Billericay Urban District Council. The diaries concerned are now deposited at the Essex County Records Office, Chelmsford and the particular reference to the Vowler Road incident can be examined under the reference C/W 1/2/5.

    By John Bathurst (17/10/2011)
  • Andrea Silvia Turner was also a good friend of mine and a kind of relative, we lived opposite each other in Beatrice Rd. My mother’s brother was married to Silvia’s older sister, still is, and they now live happily in their 90s in New Zealand, see reference to chicken in my article. I still hear from Silvia and Roy now and again.

    By Gloria Sewell (17/10/2011)
  • Regarding the occupants of certain dwellings in King Edward Road, Laindon and persons with the family surname of Quinton in the Laindon area. If it is of any use to the discussion taking place, in 1949; Number 58, King Edward Road was occupied by Lottie and William Durand, Number 60 by John and Harriet Pattle, Number 62, by Daniel and Gladys Bryan and Number 64 by Frederick and Violet Sewell. In the same year there were Quintons living in several places in the Laindon area, namely George, Gladys, Harriet, Richard and Stanley all at “Clissold”, Tavistock Road, Laindon. Arthur and Ivy at 23, Tattenham Road, Laindon. Florence and Ceorge at “Hoveleigh” Dunton Drive, Laindon Arthur and Louise at “Dawson House”, Cumberland Road, Laindon. William, Margaret and William (again) together with a Thomas Batt in 13, High Road, Laindon which I believe to be the flat above Lagden’s the butcher.

    By John Bathurst (17/10/2011)
  • Further to the Vowler Road incident, (for those who escaped the experience), who wish tom find out more click on link


    By John Bathurst (17/10/2011)
  • Hello again, Gloria and Andrea, Unfortunately I lost contact with all of my family for about 15 years between the early 70’s and the mid 80’s including Gladys and my memory is probally worst than yours, But I believe that Gladys went to South Africa after marrying Alan Nash in the 70’s, the best person to confirm this would be Sylvia Turner who kept in touch with her. She came over several times the last time was in the early 2000’s. Yes she did stay blonde as far as I know. She died on the 30th December 2009 (did you know she had two children, Kerry and Malcolm, both now in their 30’s and living in South Africa. I am going to the Laindon Library on the 27th October for the open day, will any of you be there?

    By Jim Quinton (17/10/2011)
  • John, You talk about the Quinton’s living in Laindon in the late 1940’s some of whom were my brothers and sisters (I had 5 sisters and 4 brothers). To clarify the list (yours included short stay addresses) in eldest downwards their permanent homes were as follows, Arthur and Louise at 82 Katheleen Ferrier Cresent, Lott married to Bill Durrand at 58 King Edward Road, Ivy married to Peter Baker lived at 47 Holst Avenue, Steve and Jean at 19 Tavistock Road, Bill and Lilly at 64 Worthing Road. Gladys and Jim (me) lived at 13A High Road with Mum and Dad William (Bill) and Margaret (Mag) Quinton until the mid sixties and as you said Mum’s brother Ted Batt. The rest of the family lived elsewhere. 13A was behind and above an estate agents (No 13) which was next door to Lagden’s who were No 11 (watch out for my article coming soon on all this).

    By Jim Quinton (17/10/2011)
  • Thank you John, it is wonderful to have the dates exact I was of course too young to remember what happened that night and went by 60 yr old memories of family stories, I did remember when you said Doodlebug, a very much feared device I believe, my granpa saying that’s what it was. I said in my article, a few days after I was born which would make it 1942, but as it was 1944, I must have been 2 years old, still too young to remember exactly I’m afraid, thanks for the information. My poor mum, my brother Fred was born 22 November 1944 she must have been terrified for me, herself and her unborn child, stange how things over the years increase your respect and admiration for your parents.

    By Gloria Sewell (17/10/2011)
  • Hello Jim I so remember dear Gladys so well we were both born in November 1942 and went to school together with Andrea. It’s so sad Gladys is no longer with us, I recall when we went to Gladys’s after school. We went behind some shops though a little ally to the back door I loved going there. Gladys was always the quiet one I didn’t know she had gone to South Africa, did she always stay fair and blonde?

    By Gloria Sewell (16/10/2011)
  • Jim – when you answer Gloria about Gladys – can you also tell me the year she came back home on a visit please. I went to a pub and we all sat round talking and I just can’t remember when or where it was. I do remember though that her hair was still blonde and that she had hardly changed. Maybe Sylvie Turner was there too?

    By Andrea (16/10/2011)
  • Hi, Gloria, Jean and Andrea, regarding your memories of King Edward Road, I can put you right over number 58. Lott’s married surname was in fact Durrand and her maiden name was Quinton one of my sister’s, (I had five) her husband was Bill, her daughter Margaret (sadly died of cancer in her 50’s) and her son Kenny. Gladys Quinton (born November 1942) was also one of my sisters and we both went there very often. As Andrea said above Gladys and I both lived at 13A High Road, Laindon until the mid 1960’s and I used the in / out board as well (made by Steve, one of my brothers (I had 4 of them as well). Till next time, Good Bye

    By Jim Quinton (15/10/2011)
  • Hello Ken, hope the above comment from Eddie helps you thank you Eddie.

    By Gloria Sewell (14/10/2011)
  • Hi Gloria, you mentioned the Quintons: the old football team photo showed the older lads Bill and Steve, who I do remember, although I was the same age as Gladys (sadly deceased in South Africa). I also remember her younger brother called Jimmy. I used to visit their home (opposite top of Denbigh Road and behind the high road shops) where they had a play-room; wonderful – every kid’s dream. Also I remember an ”in and out” board near their front door – being a big family, it contained all their names and as they returned home, they slid a piece of wood across their name, till the last one came home and locked the front door!

    By Andrea (14/10/2011)
  • Hi Gloria, it`s been great reading about old Laindon. In answer to a request made by Ken Porter, Ken asked for information on the P.O.W camp. I do know that prisoners from the camp were, used as labourers during the building of the King Edward housing estate. Ken may wish to get in touch with Bernard Sibthorp, whose family became close friends with one of the German prisoners working on the estate.

    By Eddie Lewis (14/10/2011)
  • Thanks Jean; I think it was that I could remember Gladys Quinton being there when we were kids. Maybe she was a friend of the family, not sure where Quinton came from. Of course I can now remember Margaret Durrant, silly me.

    By Gloria Sewell (13/10/2011)
  • In this original article I put a photo of the men from The Winston club, on one of their beanos. Now there are more users it would be nice if some of the boys could be named, I know the man 2nd middle row is Mr George Bartley. I cannot see my granpa so I think he must have taken the photo, can anyone name anyone else?

    Editor: I have added the photograph to the Winston Club article. Follow the link

    By Gloria Sewell (13/10/2011)
  • I don’t remember many names of the families in King Edward Road other then you Gloria and the Bryans at 62. But the Derrants lived at 58 not the Quintons, (my mum was a Quinton) at 58 was Aunt Lottie can’t remember her husbands name but they had two children, daughter Margaret and a son. I know Bobby Gibson the green grocers son and went out with him at one time, he is married to Val, we still keep intouch with cards at Christmas. They still live in Burstead.

    By Jean Rowe (Pattle) (31/08/2011)
  • Gloria, I remember Gibsons the Greengrocers in Laindon High Road. They had 2 sons, Jimmy and Bobby who worked in the shop. I believe Bobby still trades, or did until recently, in Basildon Market, still greengrocers. I think Bobby married Valerie Orford who was in my class at Markham’s Chase.

    By June Higgs (Ferguson) (29/08/2011)
  • Maybe someone else can help us on this one Keith I thought they were Greengrocers but long time ago lots of years to store in the old brain one of us is right.

    By Gloria Sewell (07/08/2011)
  • Gloria; thanks for you’re reply I am afraid Fred and Ivy are deceased now so are Peggy and Albert. Fred had two sons Trevor who I believe lives in Wickford and Ivan who I think lives in Spain. Before Fred moved to King Edward Rd they lived the other side of railway I think Fred’s mum had a dairy.

    By Keith Nock (06/08/2011)
  • Janet you comment proves just how close we all were in those times, anything that happened affected those around you. We must have walked and played on those journeys many times together. I can honestly say I never felt afraid as a child, the world was mine to wander and be whatever I wished. ARP, is that the same as a warden only my granpa was a warden in the war. We also had an Anderson shelter in the garden I dont know what happened that night as we were not in it.

    By Gloria Sewell (05/08/2011)
  • Gloria; I wonder if you remember my uncle Albert Bull, his wife Peggy and Peggy’s brother Fred Gibson and his wife Ivy they used Winston club

    By Keith Nock (05/08/2011)
  • Keith of course I do. Ivy and Fred lived next door to us just after the war in King Edward Rd. I think they were no 66, if they are the same couple they had 2 boys about mine and my brother Fred’s age. Did they stay in the area? No 68 Vennessa Crew, 66 the Gibson’s, 64 the Sewell’s, 62 the Bryan’s, 60 the Pattle’s and 58 the Quintons that was our little block and there was children the same age in them all. I wonder where they all are now.

    By Gloria Sewell (05/08/2011)
  • Gloria – Ken Page has asked me if you were in the school photo – 1956 / 1958,I couldn’t pick you out. But the photo taken at your primary school looks just like I remember you at LHR!

    By Andrea Ash (nee Pinnell) (04/08/2011)
  • Gloria; your tale of the bomb in Vowler Road, it actually was a V2 rocket and it was a direct hit on my parents home, Dad was out on ARP duty and insisted that my Mum and brother slept in the shelter when he was not there, miraculously they survived, me too, my mother was 9 weeks pregnant! I can’t believe how much of our lives have run parallel to one another, my grandparents lived in Beatrice Road and I loved walking the back way to visit them along Railway Approach from our house in King Edward Road. Also walking up Berry Lane to the rec, bluebell picking in the woods in spring and blackberry picking in the last week of the summer holidays, you have brought back so many happy memories, thank you.

    By Janet Gadd (04/08/2011)
  • Andrea; great to hear from you how is Chris? I still have a funny film of him at my wedding to Jim.

    By Gloria Sewell (01/08/2011)
  • Andrea and Chris; great to hear your names again I have found lots of old pals through this site.

    By Gloria Sewell (01/08/2011)
  • Gloria; lovely to see your name crop up. Old Laindon school chum. Would love to be in contact with you again. Chris sends his regards too.

    By Andrea Ash (nee Pinnell) (31/07/2011)
  • Shukun; I owe my whole life to your father. When we lost “Uncle Doc” the people of Laindon lost not only a good doctor but a friend as well, an honour to know him.

    By Gloria Sewell (12/07/2011)
  • Gloria – so lovely to read your memories of Laindon especially about your birth and my father’s comments about you being his miracle baby! I also went to Markhams Chase – Janet Duke the headmistress was a friend of my father’s. I was only there for two years before being sent to boarding school in Gloucestershire.

    By Shakun Banfield (11/07/2011)
  • Ken my memories are mostly of the 50s when I was a teenager if you would like to hear them (my soldier boyfriends the dances the rides in the champs) please let me know and where to put them on.

    By Gloria Sewell (26/05/2011)
  • I must add that My auntie Marion (My favorite) still lives in Laindon and we keeping touch so I can keep up with local news. She is also a member of the local running club. She ran the London marathon a few years ago she was in her late sixties that shows you what old Laindoner’s are made of she still runs now in her seventies for charity I am so proud of her. You may know her Marion Burr or Marion Davies.

    By Gloria Sewell (17/05/2011)
  • Enjoyed your memories. I research the history of the area – I would love to know more about the Army Camp. Do you have any memories of the POW camp. I would appreciate it if you would get in touch.

    By Ken Porter (15/05/2011)

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