Uncle Bill Foyle and King

What a find!

How great to find this site! I am a daughter of one of uncle Bill’s sisters, I have found a message from Anne my cousin who I have not seen for years, and read that a lady’s sister was best friends with one of uncle Bill’s sisters that could be my mum! 

I have told my own sons about uncle Bill and King playing football then going in the pub for a pint after but I don’t think they believed me! 

Now I have the proof what a find! Thank you for sharing this with me. I am going to look through all mums old photos and when I find some of Laindon and uncle Bill I will put them on this site. Thanks again and I look forward to reading any replies to my comment.

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  • My mother Margaret Doubtfire was friends with Bill Foyle in about 1963, I went to his house and I saw the lions.

    By Johanna leary (13/06/2021)
  • Hi Ann so good to know your out there! I hope lifes been kind to you, I remember you from years ago but you were a small child back then! Hope your brothers are ok to. I’ve lost mum and dad now and I know Joan, Len, Cis and Dougie gone too, what memories we have of them all eh! Keep safe in this rotten time we are all in, so great to see your reply after all these years. X

    By Lyn Eleftheriades (20/03/2021)
  • Hello, Billy Foyle was my father I’m the youngest of the four daughter Anne.

    By Anne Clark (20/03/2021)
  • Hi, I remember Billy Foyle leading Basildon Carnival down Whitmore Way, I have some film footage on disc, they don’t have Carnivals like that anymore.

    By Andy Willingham (09/04/2020)
  • Hi Lyn. My sister wanted to let you know that she has two horses that are King’s great grandchildren. Our parents bought Lisa, as a three year old, for her in 1965 when we lived in Rochford. She then took Lisa to Lancashire when she moved in 1975 and the two horses she has now are 26 and 27. If you would like to see some photos please contact me and I will pass the info on.

    By Alita Deterville (22/03/2020)
  • I delivered glass to a factory unit at the farm. Upon opening the driver’s door I was confronted by a full grown male lion which clearly frightened the life out of me. The guys working there assured me he was tame. After a lot of coaxing, I got down from the lorry and was greeted by this big cat whose mane felt like a coconut mat… people don’t always believe me when I tell them but it’s the truth and I’m glad I found this site to help prove it. This was 1976 by the way.

    By Richard Smith (14/07/2019)
  • Hi. Yes I think Billy had two lions. I grew up in Basildon in 1970s to 80s. I remember my dad used to have lots of chats with Billy about the lions. He defiantly still had, I think, two. Back then it was always a topic saying that you know someone who kept lions although he said to my dad they can’t half scratch you in play. I thought to myself well they could eat you for their dinner but no, he was very fond of them.

    By Sharon Wheal (25/02/2019)
  • Hi, I know a few years have passed since the last comment but I’m hoping someone might still check this page! I have a few memories of visiting the zoo in the early 60s and I was under the impression as an 8 year old that the zoo was run by a smallish man (probably Billy, as I now know after reading this page) and a tall woman who used to wear a long dark coat, had an eye-patch and used to walk around with a monkey on her shoulder. I was fascinated by this woman and would love to know who she was. My family don’t remember her but I’m convinced I haven’t made her up!

    By Dee Hayward (28/03/2016)
  • Nina Humphrey is my cousin’s wife and yes she did hear a lioness at Whites Bridge who I am pretty sure was Rema. Pauline Trew had her at her farm whom I also used to help with the stables she ran there. They are the best memories of my youth. Hope everyone on this website finds this information useful. Good luck. By Christine Stubbs nee Wells.

    By Christine Stubbs (27/10/2015)
  • I used to help Billy at weekends as a young teenager. I helped to feed and clean some of the animals including Jeremy the bear. I often watched Billy and King practising their football techniques. I rode my horses in the carnivals with Billy on King and Joan Rossaire on Goldie. Often wondered how Billy went on after the zoo was shut down. Was only telling my daughter about it a few days ago. Glad I found this website. RIP Billy and King.

    By Christine Stubbs (nee Wells) (25/10/2015)
  • It would appear that Nina’s mum was correct in claiming to have heard a lion roaring and would almost certainly emanated from Whites Bridge.

    I was surprised to read that Billy died in 1983, 30 years or so ago at a comparatively young age, as he would only have been in his early 60s’  I can still see a picture in my mind of Billy selling meat for animals from his stall in Wickford market, before his days of affluence.

    By W.H.Diment (13/02/2014)
  • William. I have made some enquires.  Although Billy Foyle sold most of the animals he had kept at Whitebridge Farm in 1966, he continued to live there himself until his death in 1983.  He kept Rema because he couldn’t bear to part with her, so what my mother told me was most probably correct – I’m glad I hadn’t dreamt it.  I am making more enquiries about how long Rema actually lived.  Best wishes.    

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (12/02/2014)
  • Hi just read new comments to this page! Uncle Bill stayed in England at Crays Hill till he passed away. 

    Anne I am your dad’s sister vi Daughter. There were  three sisters and three brothers of uncle Bill.  Sadly I have lost mum and aunt Cis, aunt Joan is doing well! We lost uncle Dougie the baby of the family but Len and Alf are both well. If you want to contact me please do! The Editor will pass on my email to you if you request it. I can’t remember the last time I saw you!

    By Lyn Eleftheriades (12/02/2014)
  • Further to Nina’s comments in respect of Billy Foyles lions and that her mother who moved to Gt.Burstead in 1975 could hear a lion roaring in  the evenings, that Billy’s lions had left Whites Bridge in 1966.

    By W.H.Diment (11/02/2014)
  • I don’t think that Billy ever moved abroad.  My parents moved from Laindon to Great Burstead in 1975 and my mother told me she could sometimes hear a lion roaring in the evenings.  I do know that Billy died in 1983.  He is buried in the cemetery behind Great Burstead Church, quite close to my parent’s grave.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (10/02/2014)
  • Would love to know what happened to Billy Foyle.  Did he go to America and open a ranch?

    By Lisa Horner (09/02/2014)
  • Hello again! This seems to be a lost and section lol, so to clarify, Lyn your mother was my dad’s sister as I remember he had two: Cisi and Vi is that right? He also had brothers, but I can’t remember their names sorry, and Ronnie what was your nan’s name? Strange to think that I have relations out there I have never met. Take care, Anne

    By Anne Foyle (18/05/2013)
  • My nan was ment to have courted Bill Foyle for a small time before she married grandad. I’v heard a lot about him and his horse. 🙂

    By Ronnie (09/04/2013)
  • I would just like to say thank you to the editor for sending me the e mails from my family. I will be back when have found some pictures thanks again.

    By Lyn Eleftheriades (18/01/2013)
  • Hi I give my permission can’t wait!

    Editor: You should now have received the details requested.

    By Lyn Eleftheriades (17/01/2013)
  • Valerie! Oh my god! Yes please I would love to get in touch, how? It must be years since we have seen each other in fact I would not know what you looked like! I wonder if I know your sister in law! Please get in touch.

    Editor: If you both give approval I will pass on your email address to you both

    By Lyn Eleftheriades (16/01/2013)
  • Hi to Linda and to Colin.

    I am your cousin and have a lot of photographs of Nan and Grandad Clarke and of all the family. If you would like please get in touch and I will copy them for you. 

    The last time I saw Uncle Albert was at Burstead Cemetery, glad to hear he is ok. He did say he was going to Dovercourt to live and I told him that my sisterinlaw lived there. Please both of you keep in touch.

    Editor: Please if you have any information or photographs that would assist us in building the social history of the community, for future generations, can we include it in the archive.  

    By Valerie Newby (née Seeley) (15/01/2013)
  • Hi Colin what a find this site is! Have been trying to find something on our grandad Clarke but no luck. 

    Saw your picture of Linda in school play. 

    Dad not bad thanks must get together soon.

    By Lyn Eleftheriades (14/01/2013)
  • Hello Lyn! Pleased to see you commenting here. Haven’t spoken to you for quite a while. Hope Uncle Albert’s in good health.

    By Colin Clarke (12/01/2013)

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