Dr Anthony and Janet Millwood

'Hiawatha' Doctors Surgery on the corner of St Nicholas Lane and the High Road
'Hiawatha' Doctors Surgery on the corner of St Nicholas Lane and the High Road

We first came to Laindon in early 1963 for an interview with Dr and Mrs Long. Anthony was one of the last to do National Service and had been a Medical Officer at Strensall barracks, near York.

We journeyed south and had our first view of Laindon. We decided we could not live in such a ‘last outpost’ place but felt we must attend the interview. I say ‘we’ because the wife, keeper of the phone, had to be approved too. At that time there were few jobs in general practice. However, there was enough mutual regard for Anthony to accept the job of prospective partner. It was not unknown to be taken on trial, at a lower salary, only to be out of a job at the end of six months or a year.

The council provided a rented house in Vowler Road, Langdon Hills, the last one at the Berry Lane end. ‘Celia’ had not had her other half built, so it was detached. It was cold, with mould on the bedroom walls. That winter some personal bathing was done with a bowl in front of the living room fire and I don’t mean our two half year old son.

We had endured the 1962/63 freeze in our cozy bungalow outside York, where everything was frozen from Christmas until March. There was, however, compensation in the songs of the nightingales in the scrubland opposite the house in Vowler Road.

There were still dwellings of the old type in Berry Lane; a brother and sister ran shop in their wooden house which was very convenient. A parade of shops on the High Road provided bakery – ‘Cottis’, general grocers – ‘Morris’ and a Post Office. The telephone exchange was in a big house.

Our lives were planned around duty hours, when the phone had to be manned. Anthony’s house calls included visits to the houses in the many unmade roads. In fact they weren’t roads only a concrete footpath so there was often a long walk for him and sometimes also the ambulance crew with stretchers. There were no mobile phones!

Dr Long’s surgery was a simple annexe on the back of ‘Hiawatha’. A few years later a small block of flats were built in nearby Danacre and the the ground floor was the new surgery for three doctors – Dr. Ravwir Bass had joined the partnership. Dr Rubie, Dr Martin and Dr Romano Cavoroli worked from New Century Road.

Plans were drawn up for a big Health Centre at the end of the new Laindon Shopping Centre. All the doctors had input to the design which included nurses’ rooms, where minor surgery could be carried out by the doctors – stitching, cysts, in-growing toenails etc. The doctors had a common room where they held regular meetings to discuss the workings of the Health Centre. There were dental surgeries for Local Authority and NHS patients.

It open in 1971 and was judged to have top the range facilities. Planners and health workers came to see it and learn, some from far away as Japan.

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  • Sorry for the delay in replying to your query.  Dr Anthony Millwood sadly passed away in 2004.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (14/11/2015)
  • I remember Dr.Millwood well. He attended to my son and daughter when they were born at “Grangewood” Tavistock Rd. Along with Nurse Broom. Is he still around!

    By Ted Bruley (21/01/2014)
  • Joe. There was indeed a Dr Garson. I only met him once when my mother called out a duty doctor one Sunday when I was in my teens (my regular doctor was Dr Chowdhary). I had been digging in the garden and managed to stick the fork in my foot. Doctors had quite a long walk back then from Laindon High Road to our home on the unmade part of King Edward Road. Dr Garson gave me a tetanus jab and seeing a car parked along side our bungalow asked my mother why she hadn’t driven ‘the lassie’ down to the surgery. My mum replied that she was taking driving lessons but hadn’t yet passed her test. Dr Garson smiled, gathered up his bag and departed to walk back to the practice. I limped for a couple of days but my foot healed quickly.

    By Nina Humphrey (nee Burton) (16/09/2011)
  • I am sure along with Dr. Sam Long there was a Dr. Garson

    By joe rudniski (15/09/2011)
  • Dr Shannon was also our family dentist, I went there with great trepidation several times. She whipped out a couple of my first teeth that weren’t doing too well, then in about 1958/9 she did my first filling with that old slow drilling machine of hers. That filling was redone here in Australia only four years ago, how’s that for value for money?

    By Ken Page (26/07/2011)
  • The Dr Shannon to whom Gloria Sewell refers in her comment of 11/06/2011 as a practitioner of dentistry in Langdon Hills was the (youngest?) daughter of Dr Wiliam Shannon MD whose practice was at the corner of High Road and Florence Avenue. There is a good account of his life to be found on page 30 of Peter Lucas’s book “Basildon” together with a picture of the man himself!

    By John Bathurst (13/06/2011)
  • Thank you John it was the earlier practise I was refering to. All my family used this dentist just after the war and we all had good teeth we later, as the town grew, moved to a dentist near Stanway. Sorry can’t recall their name. Thank you for the book ref.

    By Gloria Sewell (13/06/2011)
  • Miss Shannon was my dentist from 1962 to 1969. Her name was Norah I H Shannon and her surgery was in a bungalow called ‘Eden Holme’, High Road, Langdon Hills. She was the youngest daughter of Dr William J Shannon of ’Rosemary’ which was situated somewhere between Vowler Road and Florence Road (long since demolished). Miss Shannon was a ‘no nonsense’ kindly and confident Dentist. She once spent ages filling one of my back teeth. When I moved on to a new dentist after I got married, he exclaimed “Well, I don’t know who your last dentist was but they were absolutely brilliant to have saved that tooth, I wouldn’t have even attempted it”. Praise indeed for an amazing lady.

    By Nina Humphrey (née Burton) (12/06/2011)
  • Dr Shannon (Langdon Hills) was in fact the local dentist, she had a grip of iron believe me I felt it and she was quite a small lady.

    By Gloria Sewell (11/06/2011)
  • The Local Directory published in the October 1931 issue of the “Laindon Advertiser”, the monthly publication printed by Baigent and Son, Printers and the predecessor of the weekly “Laindon Recorder” lists the doctors in the area as: Dr, W.J. Shannon, at “Rosemary”, Langdon Hills. Dr Gilder, “Daisybank”, High Road, Laindon. Drs. Faulkner & Craig, Park Lodge, High Road, Langdon Hills and “Hiawatha” High Road, Laindon. Not listed is Dr. Henderson who must have followed Drs Faulkner & Craig since he was at “Hiawatha” before Dr. Long

    By John Bathurst (22/05/2011)

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