Morris's Outfitters

One of our lost shops

Geoff Segal from comments on Shakun’s article on her father Dr Chowdhary

I was born in Laindon in 1941. My mother died of milk fever when I was two months old, and I was adopted by her parents, Rose and Mark Levy of Morris’s outfitters in the High Road.

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  • Hi Gloria

    Have just been reading the archive page and Clara Hudson & Jim were mentioned by Ken Page, I think this is my Nan (my Dad, Sidney Hudson’s mother) she lived with Jim her husband, not my granddad above the butchers shop. I visited them every Sunday to collect my half a crown pocket money. She was a well known character and I loved her very much sadly they both passed away many years ago.  I was born in Laindon and lived in various Council properties with Mum & Dad and my sister Gloria till I married in 1968.   Gloria could we be related?

    By Carol Brennan (nee Hudson) (04/08/2015)
  • The little shop you are referring to we who lived in Berry Lane called it Alice’s. It was run by two old dears who lived opposite the shop

    By Joan Merchant nee White (08/11/2012)
  • John, I’m sorry, I know I should remember you but I can’t quite place the name! Having been born and raised in Berry Lane I vividly remember Lungley’s shop; many was the time as a kid I used to push my mum’s wheeled wicker shopping trolley with the cane handle (OMG, how could I have done such a thing!) to the ‘corner shop’. Either that or take a can there for a gallon of paraffin. I also remember Stoneham’s shop; would sometimes be given a ration coupon to go in there an get some sweets. Getting back to Lungley’s, I believe that Mr and Mrs Lungley had a son-in-law (John ?) who also used to carry out shop deliveries and who ran away with another woman. (It happened even in those days!) You might not recall that since it all happened several years before the period when you worked there. After the Lungleys the shop was bought and run, still along the same lines, by a man called Jim Robertson. 

    There was also another little general shop that was further up Berry Lane on the corner of Lincewood Drive but, although I was often send there with a shopping list, I can’t remember the name of it. Great times? Indeed they were!

    By Colin Carey (11/10/2012)
  • Hello Colin, just spotted your comment to John Watson and although I too cannot remember John I remember you very well. We were in the same class at Langdon Hills together with Michael Adams, Paul Corbett, Tessa Hall to name a few. 

    I recall you having an electric train set, (a Hornby 00?) I can certainly remember going to your house after school to help lay out the track and then playing trains for an hour or so before going off to my Nans in Samuel Road. 

    Didn’t your Dad have a yard at the junction of Berry Lane & Samuel. Was Lungley’s, the shop on the corner of the road that crossed the railway line? I think we had a classmate living in this road although can’t remember his name.

    By Colin Ferrier (11/10/2012)
  • Colin, are you brother to Joyce Carey? Joyce lived in Berry lane on the left hand side of the road as one left the corner shop heading toward the plotlands. She was good friends with Pat Cannon who lived a few houses up on the right hand side of the road on the corner of Shakespeare Ave. 

    When I was a child the corner shop was owned by Townsend. Lungley came later. There was also a third little store in Berry Lane (the one that you describe on the corner of Lincewood Park Drive was not there in my time). Homestead Stores was on the right hand side of the road maybe fifty yards past Vowler Road heading toward Langdon Hills.

    By Alan Davies (11/10/2012)
  • I found Ken Pages comments interesting as I also did the grocery deliveries for Lungleys from about 1958-60 They were on the bend in Berry Lane.

    I think the worse part was delivering parrafine to the men who still lived on what was called the Dunton Colony. The ride up the hill was a killer. 

    I also worked a little while for Stonehams who were just pass the end of Vowler Road on Berry Lane. Great times

    By John Watson (31/08/2012)
  • My son and I were in England in May, primarily to take a long awaited flight in a Tiger Moth from Duxford, but we also had the enormous pleasure of meeting up with Shakun and her husband. The day being my birthday they treated us to a sumptuous pub lunch, then took us to Biggin Hill, and finished up by having coffee in an olde worlde coffee shop in a nearby village. As you may all imagine, the greater part of the afternoon was dedicated to chinwagging about past times in Laindon, the doc and the rest of Shakun’s family. Pure and unadulterated joy!

    By Geoff Segal (17/07/2012)
  • Gloria remembers the Morris shop was huge compared to others around, but actually it was two shops with a large frontage but different entrances for the mens and ladies requirements. 

    I did come in contact with one of the Levy boys as I was drawn against him in the annual Hut Club all comers tennis tournament cirtca 1937. I choose not to remember the outcome.

    By WH.Diment (25/04/2012)
  • I remember Janet Clark as we both passed the eleven plus and went by school bus to Brentwood County High. I remember Shakontala from Markhams Chase school. She once took me into the Doctors house, and gave me an ice cub out of a massive fridge. At this time very few houses had a fridge and I had never seen one before. Our house only had gas, so no fridge!! Mary Cole (the youngest of the Norman girls)

    By Mary Cole (21/04/2012)
  • I can remember Morris’s, as Mum used to get some of my brother and my clothes there, and especially a ‘Snake’ belt.

    By Brian Baylis (25/11/2011)
  • Andrea it is either Llily or Clara I will find out for you they both looked alike but i’m sure Lily was much younger I will try to confirm in a couple of weeks.

    By Gloria Sewell (06/09/2011)
  • Hi Gloria – now someone has mentioned the name of Clara Hudson! Is this the lady pictured on the right of one of your old photos? As soon as I saw her, I recognised her but could not recall her name. I think maybe that she either visited the Hudson family residing in Denbigh Road or was a friend of my sister who was quite a bit older than me.

    By Andrea (05/09/2011)
  • I must say this Ken, Geoff and everyone else who are old Laindoners and write on this site. Who would have thought all those years ago when we were all so young and carefree, loving the company of each other. That so many of you out there would today be sharing the same memories and writing a history for our decendants, all slightly different, but sharing so much. It just goes to show how close the community was. Can there be another community elsewhere in the world where the closeness of all the people radiates so much, even if it is from a computer screen.

    So much was taken from us and our children when it was decided that Laindon was to be the sight of a new town. Many may say progress, yes I suppose it is, but thank you so much to all of you out there for making these last few months for me so fantastic. 

    I never knew the human brain could hold so much information please, please, all of you continue to write these wonderful articles. Who would have thought all those years ago we would be writing on a site such as this, thank you again for making the autumn of my life seem like spring again.

    By Gloria Sewell (04/09/2011)
  • Sorry Ken; as I said quite a distant relative but I have an aunt coming to stay with me in a couple of weeks, she still lives in Laindon has done all her life I will get as much information from her as I can and be back.

    By Gloria Sewell (03/09/2011)
  • Hello Geoff, well you certainly had a chance to use your knowledge of the English language then, what wonderful use of it and isnt this a good idea to talk about even more faces and places of our treasured Laindon…I remember I could never go past your shop without being in awe of all the lovely things in the windows. If I recall correctly i would go in one end looking in the windows and out the other end. Unfortunatly we were not too well off so i suppose we shopped more at Hardys ..Over the top of the Butchers opposite, a distant relation of mine lived Clara Hudson.  I vaguely recall her going to the doctors or Billericay hospital in a big black car. Now i am afraid i dont know if it was your uncle or the butcher ..regards Gloria..

    By Gloria Sewell (02/09/2011)
  • Hi Gloria and all; your cousin Clara Hudson that lived above Tollworthy’s shop, you have just filled a blank in my memory. Was her husband the “old” Jim I have mentioned before whilst referring to Smith Greenfields in Durham Rd? I seem to recall his name was Hudson now, he was a shortish round sort of chap with very little hair [a bit like me now], always had a roll up fag in his mouth. He had bad dermatitis on his hands and he told me it was through being a printer and that I would get it too, he was right! Over the years I have had it, sometimes, quite badly on my hands must be the ink chemicals. Are Jim and Clara still with us I wonder?

    By Ken Page (02/09/2011)
  • G’day again Gloria and all; regarding the butchers car, John Tollworthy bought a dark blue Austin A40 gown van to go to the meat market in London every couple of days. He had the hanging rack in the van strengthened so he could hang carcasses from it. I remember on the odd occasion helping him and Harry unload it. 

    The New Zealand lamb used to be wrapped it the white stocking like mutton cloth, mum used to bring them home and we would use them as polishing cloths etc. 

    No refrigerated transport in those days just the back of an ex-fashion truck ‘elf and safety would go barmy now, but I don’t think any of his customers caught anything nasty from it.

    Would anybody know if the Tollworthys are still around, I think they would be in their late 70s by now. I believe he relocated the business to Southend nearer to where they lived in about 1961? Keep your memories coming Gloria, just great!

    By Ken Page (02/09/2011)
  • Gday Geoff and everyone else,I now remember Morris’s. My sister in law Maureen Page [nee Webb] worked at Doris hairdressers and my mum Mary worked opposite at Tollworthys butchers. A bit further along from Tollys was another butcher, I believe it was Goddens. I dont remember much about them at all.I used to do deliveries for Tollworthy on Saturday mornings. He had an old trade bike with a small carrier on both front and back, it was a hell of a thing to ride up the Crown hill on.  I was 15 and incredibly fit then after a couple of years of paper rounds and delivering groceries for Lungleys corner shop after school and weekends. I also used to cycle 27 miles after doing the mornings deliveries to our caravan on the Blackwater the other side of Maldon. There we used to swim and row boats and sail then ride back home again on Sunday.It would kill me now if I tried any of that stuff. Beer! anyone??? regards Ken P Australia

    By Ken Page (01/09/2011)
  • Picking blackberries in Langdon Hills, being transported by a wheezing Eastern National coach which struggled its way to the top – not always quite making it! 

    Then, on the way to school (presumably Markham’s Chase) the long walk down Northumberland Avenue and crossing fields with enormous, terrifying cows just waiting to skewer me. And at school itself the formidable Miss Whitley with a penchant for smacking unruly elements’ bottoms.

    The butcher, whose name I have forgotten, opposite Morris’s. His black Austin 12 was identical to my grandfather’s which on occasion led to their attempting to get into and drive each other’s car. 

    The Laindon Hotel where lunch (sixpence!) was served in the first floor restaurant where an ancient piano kept me occupied to the distress of the other diners. 

    Hardy’s “antique” store, almost next to Morris’s, an inexhaustible treasure trove where old man Hardy, always clad in a brown smock, allowed all the village children to explore at will. 

    But is not all this irrelevant inasmuch as the page was dedicated to Doc Chowdhary? So we are going off at a tangent, albeit a pleasant one. Maybe the webmaster will give you, too, my e-mail address, so we can carry on from there.

    Editor: Geoff your last comment is why I have set up this new section and hopefully it will spark more memories of the community

    By Geoff Segal (28/08/2011)
  • To Shakun and Gloria: Shakun, I do indeed remember Janet Clark, and her sister Christine if I am not mistaken. Their mother used to spoil me with bread and jam! Once again, memories of a small boy. By the way, the house next to yours belonged, if again I am not mistaken, to my nanny, Mrs Gibson. And Gloria, yes, it was a large shop and situated exactly as you remember. It was, in fact, divided into two separate shops for ladies and gentlemen respectively, though there was a connecting door between them. Posh? Well, I cannot comment on that, though the family did open more shops in the London area, one of which was in Baker Street and definitely “posh”. Today, virtually all the family are deceased, so Morris’s is a thing of the past. Please forgive my rather antiquated English. I have hardly used it for 50 years, but this exchange is pure nostalgia for me and is absolutely delightful!

    By Geoff Segal (27/08/2011)
  • Geoff, I could not agree with you more, delightful, nostalgia and so much fun please continue with lots of memories. I am so glad Morris’s was as I recall it.

    By Gloria Sewell (27/08/2011)
  • Hello Geoff, so lovely to read your memories of my family and being driven in the Daimler to hospital by my father! I well remember Rose and Mark Levy and the shop where I used to go with my mother who always chatted a lot to Rose. I used to have my hair cut next door by Doris and behind there lived my friend Janet Clark but I think you may have left Laindon before they moved in. I will ask the Web master to forward me your e-mail address. Thanks again for your lovely memory.

    By Shakun Banfield (26/08/2011)
  • Hello Geoff; at last someone has mentioned Morris’s. I remember it so well it was a very large shop, am I right? The posh one, we called it and was it about half way up the High Rd on the left going towards the station with lots of models in the windows. I do hope I am right I have a very vivid memory of this huge shop.

    By Gloria Sewell (26/08/2011)

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