35 year wait is over

Laindon and Basildon British Legion branch officially moved into their new home

Laindon and Basildon British Legion branch officially moved into their new home at the ‘Triangle Community Centre’ in High Road Langdon Hills on the 6th March 2010 after 35 years.

Photo shoot outside the Triangle hall. Rev.McCafferty and Angela Smith in the forefront

It was officially opened by Hans Wusterfeld from the Eastgate Centre.  The centre was where the branch used to store its poppy collection equipment because they did not have a home. The new base was also blessed by Rev. Ester McCafferty from St Martin ’s Church, in Basildon town centre.

The opening ceremony was also attended by local dignitaries, including the then Basildon MP Angela Smith, now Baroness Smith of Basildon.

At Attention outside the Triangle Hall with St Mary’s hall in the background

The branch lost its hall in Laindon, next to the Laindon High Road School in 1975 when it was sold and demolished for housing.

This old hall was built in the early 1920s. The War Memorial that stood in front of it was unveiled on the Saturday afternoon of the 19th September 1935 . It was a gift of Mr A.E.Symes of Brentwood and Stratford and it was one of his daughters Mrs Mclachlan who carried out the ceremony. The dedication was carried out by Rev. M.N.Lake, chaplain to the branch and Rector of Laindon. Prayers were offered by the Rev. T.W Shepherd, Pastor of the Laindon Baptist Church, Langdon Hills.

The memorial inscription commemorates both the two world wars: TO THE GLORIOUS DEAD 1914 – 1918 LAINDON AND DISTRICT 1939 – 1945. “AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.”  It is non-denominational and there are no individual names inscribed.

Memorial in front of Laindon Shopping centre

The memorial currently stands in the High Road in front of the Laindon Shopping centre. Discussions are currently going on to where it is to be placed once the shopping centre is developed.

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  • Though I wrote the comments above, I still see the merit of Ken Porters remarks. I too have lived in Laindon all my life and wish it to remain in Laindon where ever it is placed. But as it was with the hall orgininally that is why I thought it should remain at the hall. Ideally we should have had a hall in Laindon itself and not in Langdon Hills.

    By valerie Kingsley (Boatwright0 (16/08/2011)
  • I have noted the comments above Ken’s and I can see that the ‘Laindoners’ are all very supportive of the War Memorial and even the water fountain that used to be in Laindon. Apart from the young folk who are in the forces now, our guys at the Legion who served their country all those years ago are all very aware of the importance of the memorials. Those who have moved away, I am still in touch with a few, all remember Laindon and are shocked at the appearance of Laindon these days. How run down it has become and what are people doing about it? This is just one aspect of an on going problem. Our senior citizens in the Legion are a great bunch of guys and each year they struggle to get to the hall at Langdon Hills, most of them cannot drive anymore and rely on friends and family to take them once a month to our meetings. It is good to remember the fallen and we all do it in the best way we can. My father was a ‘desert rat’ in the 8th army, the Royal Signal Corp and then was sent to the front line in Italy in that dreadful carnage they called ‘Monti Casino’, where he was badly wounded. I do think men who lost their lives should still be remembered, but how to go about it I would not know. I went two years ago with these wonderful men to France and the battle fields, it was a very moving experience.

    By valerie Kingsley (Boatwright0 (16/08/2011)
  • I thought I must add my name to the list of comments concerning the Laindon War Memorial and why no names have ever been added. I personally lost three uncles (all brothers) who served with the Royal Navy, there home was “Lyndhurst” (now number 50 Wash Road). There names were Charles John Palmer, Albert William Palmer and Edward Stanley Palmer, who all died before Christmas 1941. I believe that my grandparents Albert and Jessie Palmer both dies of broken hearts. Surely it is not too late for these brothers together with all other Laindon hero’s to be honoured.

    By Albert Merrison (14/08/2011)
  • As you are all aware I wrote the short article on the British Legions new home but when it comes to the War memorial I believe this should stay in Laindon with the Jubilee fountain. Where the Council have suggested is ideal. The memorial belongs to the people of Laindon and district it doe’s not belong to the British Legion – oh by the way I have lived in Langdon Hills for 40 years but I still believe it should stay in Laindon. Please read the new article of ‘Laindon and District War Memorial’

    By Ken Porter (14/08/2011)
  • Please please Valerie don’t think the old people of Laindon don’t care about our and others fallen heroes. I’m sure most do, I for one when I can attend our local memorial service. I don’t live in Laindon any more and of course many are to old to attened and the young have other ways of remembering. It’s a rule in our family to put on the TV and watch the queen and uphold the 2 minits silence every year. So even though people are not there in person i’m sure they all remember. Keep up your fight for the memorial and good luck.

    By Gloria Sewell (09/08/2011)
  • I am now going to get onto my ‘hobby horse’ because I feel so very strongly about this memorial. I remember the Legion Hall very well sited next to our school on the High Road with the memorial outside. Then the newly formed Basildon Council compulsory purchased it and took away the memorial. WHERE OH WHERE DID THEY SORE IT THEN, WAS IT DUMPED OR RESPECTFULLY LOOKED AFTER. I wonder!!!! The ground itself was only built on by one property, what a shame. We as ‘Laindon British Legion’ then did not have any home for many many years. All promises but nothing concrete. We had to fight for a home and acknowledgement, and if it was not for a gentleman named Major John Hawkins we would still be homeless. He tried for many years to get a property we could buy to call home, but alas it was not meant to be and we have ended up renting the Triangle, but still we fight for the memorial to be in its rightful place. When they eventually pull down the Shopping Centre are they gong to loose it again or will they respectfully give it back to the people it was meant for. To honour the dead of all wars and the Legion that has always cared. It was also Laindon’s Royal Legion why do we have ‘big brother’ on our shoulders again. It has been proposed to place the memorial on the corner of Worthing Road and the High Road. Not a bad place to have it, if it were in a garden and the vandals left it alone, but still it is not its home. Its home is with the hall where it has always meant to be. If Basildon had left us alone or offered us a new home straight away this problem would not have arisen. When I attend the November 11th service (Poppy Day) not many people turn up, it is quite shocking to see how little people care. The scouts, the police, the RBL and St. Nicholas Church, a few councillors but where are the folk whose ancestors gave their lives so that we might live. I even ask the question why has Basildon’s name crept in on our sign? It is Laindon and always has been Laindon. Give the memorial back to the people and let the Laindon Royal Legion take care of it.

    By Valerie Kingsley (nee Boatwright) (08/08/2011)
  • It appears anything to do with old Laindon and old Laindoners the Council want to obliterate. I feel very upset that my uncle who was killed in the 2nd world war should not have his name displayed with honour on the memorial, and put outside the British Legion hall for all to see. I don’t live in the area any more but old Laindon and its residents still have a special place in my heart. Please there are enough of you left, so Don’t put the same councilers back in the position next time you cast your votes. Vote for the ones who will listen to you and your needs before its to late.

    By Gloria Sewell (07/08/2011)
  • What I feel about the Councils since I left Laindon, I cannot put on here, otherwise I would be banned forever. Where I now live ALL councillors attend Festival of Remembrance events, AND above all, they do Not remove any memorial items

    By Brian Baylis (05/08/2011)
  • Why are the Council objecting to the Laindon British Legion having the memorial where it belongs ouside of the branch, where it will be treated as it should be. After all I cannot say I have ever seen any member of the Council at the parades to honour our fallen forces. Before closing it is understood that the memorial vanished when the old hall was demolished and was found on Pitsea tip.

    By Les Whiskin (28/05/2011)
  • As from last week ending 25th March, Basildon Council still will not give permission for the memorial to be sited outside the new British Legion Hall, Triangle.

    By Valerie Kingsley (26/03/2011)

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