Markham's Farm (Great Berry Farm) in Langdon Hills

What happened to the family

Markham’s Farm in Langdon Hills at the end of Berry Lane near The Glade.  What happened to that family? Does anyone remember them?  I think they had a milk round locally.

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  • Does anyone have any photographs of Arthur Markham or his wife?
    I’d love to put faces to them.

    By Madeleine (11/09/2020)
  • I was born in Nirvana, Molly’s Drive in 1940 and lived there until 1948. Molly’s Drive was a lane that led to Markham’s farm, and the farm fields surrounded our garden. I remember my mother taking home-made lemonade to the farm workers in the field at the back of our garden as they built a haystack.
    As there were no proper roads, when we moved into Laindon itself, Markham’s farm took all our furniture etc in a trailer pulled by a tractor to the main road where the removal lorry was waiting.
    My grandparents lived in Wheaten Avenue (Molly’s Drive ran along the bottom), having moved from Poplar and built a three-roomed bungalow. Aunts and Uncles lived next door and opposite.
    We visited my grandparents most weeks until I was about 14, when because of the takeover by the new town of Basildon, my parents moved away from Laindon altogether.

    By Jean Bryant (nee Cross) (10/08/2020)
  • From 1954 to 1984 I lived in Royston Avenue off Wash Road, I had a friend, Neil Jones, whose Father worked on what we called Buckenham’s Farm, he and his family lived in a house in Wash Road which may have been tied to the job. We had a pretty idyllic childhood playing in the fields and helping around the farm. My Sister and I use to walk down to the Cowshed\Dairy where Mrs Buckenham would fill our jug with milk from the cooler. In later years my Mother worked on the farm as an egg grader, I also briefly worked there collecting eggs from the battery hens during the three day week in 1973/4?. At that time Geoffrey Buckenham was running things.I still have vivid memories of the farm and my days spent there, even the wire haired fox terriers that use to chase us out of the hayloft. Very happy days.

    By Andy Willingham (27/04/2020)
  • Hi Stuart,
    I believe Linda lives with her husband Paul at Sellars Farm, Dunton Road. I am heavily involved in history of the local area, if you contact our editor, she will give you my email address if you are interested. I am local, live in Welbeck Drive. Keep safe. Ken

    By Kenneth Porter (23/04/2020)
  • Hi – I wonder if Linda Buckenham is still on the site?

    I’m teaching my son about the history of the area (he goes to Great Berry School) and have been trying to find photos of the old farm (I have an aerial photo of the roof!).

    Any help would be greatly appreciated (home schooling is tough!)


    By Stuart G (22/04/2020)
  • Re Brenda Buckenham. The last time I heard of her was c 1998 and she was living in Upton, Chester where she had been for a long time. I believe she was on her own, either widowed or divorced.

    By Penny Parker (15/08/2019)
  • My father was a local postman operating out of Laindon Post Office and he used to occasionally come home with ‘doubleyolkers’ from Markham’s Farm. They were delicious!
    It was in the 1950’s. I went to Langdon Hills Primary School and lived in Alexander Road where there are now playing fields . I have lived in the Midlands for many years but I will never forget my wonderful childhood …. Free as a bird before buildings encroached…..
    Marlene Lander née Vowell

    By Marlene Lander (28/04/2019)
  • Arthur Markam was my mother’s first boyfriend.
    Her name was Katherine Murrell.
    She was born in 1925.
    She lived in Vowler Road, Langdon Hills, then.
    Arthur Markham, lived at Markam’s Farm, Langdon Hills.
    I wonder if he is still alive?

    By Madeleine Davies (06/04/2019)
  • Nigel Markam was my friend at primary school. Lost touch when I went to Laindon High Road School. I bumped into Nigel at Basildon College. The farm had been sold, Nigel was doing an agricultural type course. I believe he moved to the Billericay area and continued to farm in that area.

    By Shaun Watts (20/02/2017)
  • There is a lot of history on this site.

    By Jack Robert Buckenham (12/01/2017)
  • Paul, I did not know Brenda personally but knew of her. I think I am correct in saying she was the Laindon Carnival Queen in 1951 or 1952. She was the principal heartthrob of a very good friend of mine. Am I wrong in saying she was involved in the Dagenham train crash? Somehow memory indicates she was. Your reference to Nigeria also rings a bell. I have the impression that Brenda also worked in Nigeria, perhaps in some area of journalism. I also remember her from the Langdon Players where she was a leading light.

    By Alan Davies (14/12/2016)
  • An update to the June 2014 entries. Eldred Buckenham, brother of Charles, farmed at Mundles Farm, Wash Road, Laindon. Three sons, Fred (Eldest) Reginald and my father, Leonard. Reginald had Brenda and twins Gillian and Geoffrey, all alive but both Brenda and Geoffrey suffering with dementia. My father joined Lloyds Bank about 1928 as farming then was not profitable whereas a bank employee enjoyed a regular wage and pension. I qualified as a Pharmacist in 1960 and worked in Ghana and Nigeria for 10 years, acquiring a Pharmacy in Wokingham, Berkshire in 1971, retiring in 1995. Have so much enjoyed the contributions here and will forward Paul and Linda Buckenham full details of our Family Tree.

    By Paul Eldred Buckenham (13/12/2016)
  • Goodness how time passes, thanks everyone for your input regarding Markham’s Farm, especially from Linda Buckenham. Linda you must be pleased that so many remember your family.  It really is special – maybe one of these days I will visit, but settling back in the UK has needed time,  although I still have friends in the area.  All have a great Xmas, however, you celebrate.

    By Isabel Smith (11/12/2016)
  • What happened to Paul Buckenham’s brother Howard? I used to go to the Young Conservatives which was in Laindon High Road in the 60’s with my brother who died last year. Interested to know of anybody else who used to go there? It was held in an old bungalow and we also met in Laindon Hotel. 

    By Sherry Pulley (20/11/2016)
  • Hello Isabel

    My family, ‘the Markham family’, farmed Great Berry Farm until 1969 when we were compulsory purchased by Basildon New Town. The three brothers then went their separate ways.   Arthur the youngest went to Good Easter with wife Vera and sons Neil and Kim, Herbert to Ingatestone with Rene and sons Ian and Jeff, the eldest Dan, my father moved to Kingsmans Farm, Tye Common Road, Billericay with my mother Doreen, brother Nigel and myself Linda.  Nigel now farms Kingsmans with his family and I married Paul Buckenham we still farm Sellars Farm and Steeple View Farm, Dunton Road, Laindon. Thomas our son now works the farm with Paul, and Hannah our daughter helps as much as she can, when not working in the city. 

    It always makes me smile when I pass a bus with Great Berry on the front, to me it will always be the farm not a housing estate or when I go to the Langdon Hills, Tesco’s I can well remember driving the cattle in for milking, where houses now stand. I have many fond memories of Langdon Hills Primary School, St. Mary’s church and Sunday school (what a walk that was from the farm) although probably quicker than the mini bus that used to struggle up Crown Hill, a lot steeper than it is now- a-days.   There really was a village  community. When I drive down Rectory Road, Little Burstead, I can still look back to the Recreation Ground, or the ’Rec’ as we all used to call it, what fun we had sledging down the hill.

    I hope this has clarifed just a few questions that have been asked, the Markham family came to Great Berry Farm in 1916, when my father was 2 yrs old, from Fobbing Farm, Basildon, now St. Luke’s Hospice.  All drinking water had to be carted from Laindon Station, can you imagine that now!  John Markham, Grandfather’s brother, farmed Blue House Farm, Laindon Link, his son Charlie later started United Dairies.

    The Buckenham side of the family will have to wait until I can sit Paul down to unravel it, at the moment they are busy combining barley, some things never change!

    Linda Buckenham

    By Linda B (18/07/2014)
  • Another Buckenham has just revived itself from my memory. I had previously mentioned that Bill Buckenham, the butcher, had two daughters.  The eldest was Jean, but I am still struggling with the second

    Nina has recalled that it was Charles who lived  at Sellars farm. He truly became a gentleman farmer as the original farm on the south of Dunton Road was demolished and replaced by an elite residence.

    There were however several farm cottages opposite which were upgraded into one and from which the business was continued, presumably under the management of Paul.

    By W.H.Diment (24/06/2014)
  • Bill Buckenham married Nora Lagden in 1924.  They had four children:-  Jean G born 1925, William C born 1927, June B born 1929 and Jack G born 1932.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (24/06/2014)
  • Thanks everyone for your input, it’s all so interesting.  My parents used to go and buy milk at Markham’s Farm and we used to walk through the recreation ground to get there, we lived in New Avenue.

    So much for all that area being so called “green belt” land, as were the plots where my Gran lived when she moved from London.  I will ask my sister if she has any other memories as she was older than me when we lived there. 

    By Isabel Smith (24/06/2014)
  • In responding to Alan’s comments of the 19/06/14 it would seem my brain slipped a gear.   Eldred Buckenham did not only have 3 sons, his youngest child was a girl, Molly.

    Geoffrey was in fact his grandson, the son of Reginald and the brother of Brenda

    Sorry for my error.

    By W.H.Diment (23/06/2014)
  • Once again, I am compelled to admit my memories are gradually slipping away.

    The farms in Wash Road that I attributed to Markham were in fact  farmed by Buckenham.

    As to Paul Buckenham, the butcher Bill who had a shop close to the Fortune of War did have two daughters and a son whose name I do not remember.  I do not believe the farm in Dunton Road, which I believe was Sellers Farm was owned by Bill Buckenham, although I seem to remember Bill as advertising his beef as bred and slaughtered locally. 

    By W.H Diment. (23/06/2014)
  • Eldred Buckenham’s brother was Charles Buckenham who farmed at Sellars Farm in Dunton Road.  His children were Jack, Olive May, Robert and William.   His wife Mary Sophia died in 1908.  Charles remarried and had a son called Alfred in 1912 with his second wife Marion.  Alfred married Gwendolyn in 1939 and they had two boys, Paul and Howard.

    My calculations tell me that Brenda Buckenham and Paul Buckenham were “Second half cousins, once removed”. 

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (23/06/2014)
  • Responding to Alan Davies.  The Markham family in Wash Road was definitely not the family who farmed in Langdon Hills, although at one time they did farm the Pond Farm close to Pipps Hill Road before farming Mundles  near the Prince of Wales.

    They were however related to the Langdon Hills family as I once heard Reg Buckenham refer to his cousin whom I believe was (Frank or Jack) who sustained a nasty facial injury while leaning over his car engine when the cooling fan snapped and struck him in the face.

    By W.H.Diment (22/06/2014)
  • Further to my earlier comment.  I forgot to mention that Paul Buckenham did not come from the Wash Road family.  Eldred only had three sons,  Leonard, Reginald and Geoffrey.

    By W.H.Diment (22/06/2014)
  • Hello Isabel

    In reply to your question about Markham’s farm, as you are probably aware the farm is now occupied by a huge housing estate.  Linda Markham married Paul Buckenham. They now own and run a farm along the Lower Dunton Road, near the “Old Fortune of War”

    By Robert Springate (18/06/2014)
  • Robert, you mention Paul Buckenham. Presumably this is the Buckenham family who farmed in the Wash Road area? Assuming this to be the case what relation was Paul to Brenda Buckenham?

    I only knew Brenda slightly but memory says carnival queen (1952?), Langdon Players, Dagenham train crash, journalism, west Africa (Nigeria?).

    Having said that I would not put money on it all being correct.

    By Alan Davies (18/06/2014)

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