Lee Chapel North (Part 3 continued)

Retracing the walk home from school (see photos below).

In part 3, I retraced my walk to school in Markhams Chase.  On Monday 24th October 2011, I decided to retrace my walk home from school taking photos along the way. Please join me as I describe the journey and recall some memories.

It is no longer possible to drive into Markhams Chase from St Nicholas Lane. A brick wall was built many years ago blocking the original entrance. Therefore, you have to drive further on and turn right into Markhams Chase where it was re-routed, sweeping round in an L shape. The original start of Markhams Chase, where the old houses still stand was renamed ‘Weymarks’.

For those of us who lived on the King Edward Estate and beyond, we have a fair trek ahead of us. I would add that a family member collected me from school until I was about eight years old, only about then did I start going home by myself or with friends. We leave Markhams Chase, passing Church Hill on the right and the bus stop outside the large distinctive semi detached houses where we could catch the bus in the fifties and buy a tuppenny ticket to the stop at Sizers. We walk on past Church Hill to Pound Lane. From here to Basildon Drive on the right used to be a long row of bungalows. One was called “Campbell”  where my second cousin Irene Peall lived with her family for a couple of years approx. 1955 to 1957. We pass James Hornsby School on the left.

As I walk, I muse over the fact that although my home was about 2 miles away, it was in Markhams Chase School’s catchment area. Yet when we lived just yards from the back of the school in the seventies, we were out of their catchment area. That just doesn’t make sense to me and I wonder just how crazy the system is.

We turn right into  Basildon Drive, then left into Tavistock Road, left again into Nicoll Road, both of which were unmade back then. At this point on hot summer days, I would be gasping for a penny drink from Pelham’s shop, so would run down the hill, remember to do my kerb drill before crossing the High Road and wait for Mrs Pelham to appear from behind the curtain at the back of the shop when she heard the door bell. She’d poor my drink with expert precision to the mark on the glass, ensuring that I didn’t get a drop over my pennyworth.  It tasted so good, that I gulped it down and handed the glass back to her before continuing on my way.

I remember three other shops in the Broadway. Variety Stores which sold just about everything from toiletries and birthday cards to wool.  Both my mum and nan did lots of knitting and although wool originally come in skeins which had to be wound into balls, Variety Stores sold wool in ready wound balls. In those days you could choose the colour and number of balls you needed, have it put by and pay for just one or two balls at a time until you finished the garment. Any left over would be put back on the shelf. I sometimes collected wool for my nan, asking “Two balls of Mrs Devine’s wool please”. Mr Darrock (I think that was his name) would joke with me in a whispery voice saying “Oooooo is she really devine?”

In the early sixties when I had started work, I used the shoe menders quite often to have stick-on-soles put on new shoes to make them last longer. I also bought cards of blakeys and segs that I could bang in myself with a hammer. I gazed each day in envy at a small tape recorder in the front window of the radio shop. I had a little pocket transistor that I listened to on the way to work but I really wanted that tape recorder. It was priced at £10 and as I was only earning £4 or £5 a week at that time, I couldn’t afford it. However, I did eventually get one. My dad took me to a shop in Basildon and as I was under 21, signed a HP agreement on my behalf for a 4 track Philips which cost £20. I paid £1 per month for 20 months, had many years of enjoyment and still have a couple of the tapes.       

That area is once again under development. Ashton’s timber yard has been demolished. My younger brother had a Saturday job there in the sixties. There were some rumours of flats being built on the site but we will have to wait and see.

Entering Pelhams Alley which lead to Tattenham Road, we then turn into Powell Road, cut diagonally across the large field and arrive at the top end of King Edward Road. Here I would cross Devonshire Road and enter the unmade part, walk along the boards, turn right into Alexandra Road and continue right to the end where Spion Kop stood in its very large plot.  In summer, I could take a short cut across the Top Field/Onion Field.

Sometimes Pelhams Alley would be impassable due to a muddy puddle half way along, on those occasions I would walk past the shops in The Broadway and into King Edward Terrace. On the corner was a little bridge that crossed the open tributary of the river Crouch.  I would stop to lean over the metal railings and do a forward somersault before continuing to King Edward Road.

I took a little bypass into Cromer Avenue to see the sheltered accommodation flats where my nan lived from the mid sixties until 1978. I notice it is no longer possible to walk further on and cut through to Archer Road, because of all the new buildings there.  So, I returned to King Edward Road and saw the remains of the monstrous Royal Court in the process of demolition. Finally, I reached Devonshire Road and felt at home. I didn’t venture any further into the former plotland area as it  was time to go home for lunch and check on the photographs I had taken.  I add some of them below.

My first school photo. Aged 5 1951. My mum wasn't keen on this one because she thought I looked a bit scared. I was wearing one of her knitted cardigans with little bunny rabbits around the waist - very fashionably at that time.
Nina Humphrey
The bus stop is still there.
Nina Humphrey
Looking from Church Hill at the brick wall built across the original entrance to Markhams Chase.
Nina Humphrey
Church Hill on the right, looking towards Pound Lane.
Nina Humphrey
Pound Lane on the right.
Nina Humphrey
Heading towards Basildon Drive. There were a lot of road works on that corner.
Nina Humphrey
Nicholas School on the left.
Nina Humphrey
Basildon Drive, the turning for Tavistock Road just ahead on the left.
Nina Humphrey
Nicoll Road looking down to Laindon High Road with the half demolished Royal Court in the background.
Nina Humphrey
Laindon High Road looking across at Pelham's Alley and the remains of Ashton's Timber Yard. I believe Nurse Broom used to live in one of those houses.
Nina Humphrey
A closer look at Pelham's Alley.
Nina Humphrey
Ashton's, the site of the old Broadway shops.
Nina Humphrey
Looking at King Edward Terrace from the High Road.
Nina Humphrey
A closer look at the very nicely kept King Edward Terrace.
Nina Humphrey
The start of King Edward Road, looking along the High Road towards where the school had once been.
Nina Humphrey
Looking up King Edward Road from King Edward Terrace.
Nina Humphrey
The shop in King Edward Road.
Nina Humphrey
Royal Court in the process of demolition.
Nina Humphrey
The bus stop wasn't there in my day. The telephone box was. We always called in to 'press button B' and were sometimes lucky. The original was red with a very heavy door. This one is its replacement.
Nina Humphrey
I wonder who used to live here?
Nina Humphrey
Devonshire Road looking towards what was the unmade part of King Edward Road and further on - my home.
Nina Humphrey

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  • Hi, My Granddad had the shop in St Nicholas Lane, his name is William Henry Nuth. I’m sure I saw a comment from a lady who said her father bought the shop from my Granddad (also known as pop’s) I can’t find the post? I would love it if you could pass my email address to the lady please, also to Barry Ellerby. Thank you very much.

    Editor: I have done as you requested. Hopefully you will hear from them both.

    By Jacqueline Nuth (06/05/2018)
  • I was a Basildon girl, but I spent many happy hours at Berry Farm stables when I was in my early teens. Berry Farm was run by Christine Rodgers who lived in a caravan at the farm with her husband, Jock, & their little boy. Christine used to let me ride her horse Tiger for £1 per week. I remember going there after school in the summer & riding around the lanes behind the farm, which I think were the plotlands that I have now read so much about. I remember seeing the lovely empty cottages & wondering why no-one lived there any longer…I used to ride with Jane Nightingale who owned & rode Smokey, Carol Mizen (on Ladd) Eddie Brown who lived in Berry Lane who owned Beau. I have such lovely memories of long summer days roaming & riding around Laindon, and the lovely people (and animals) I spent this time with.

    By Jenny Murley (24/09/2013)
  • Hi Jacquie nice to see your name on this site I have some pictures taken inside the the Regal Club I would like to put names to faces I have been told that some of your family are in them and also George Buckle, can you help?

    By Barry Ellerby (12/06/2012)
  • Oh this is just lovely! my dad is Patsy Nuth, he’s 87 now, and we recently had a visit from Ray Nuth, who lives in Brum and has done for the last 42 yrs! and Mabel was my uncle Bill’s wife.

    The son (my cousin) is Al Nuth, I will get him round one day to have a read up and see if he has any pictures of pop Nuth’s shop, and the Regal Club.

    By jacquie nuth (16/04/2012)
  • Hello Jan. Unfortunately, I don’t remember you but I knew there was a family of Burtons (no relation) who lived in Tattenham Road as we occasionally had post for your parents delivered to us by mistake. (We handed it back to the postman to be redelivered). I believe you had an older sister called Linda. I was sometimes mistaken for her in the school playground. I would be asked “are you Linda Burton?”. I replied. “No, I’m Nina Burton”. I’m pleased you liked my article about the walk home from school. Lovely memories.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (03/03/2012)
  • I lived at 9 Tattenham Road and used to go into Pelham’s shop and buy a glass of lemonade for a penny then go home via Pelhams Alley after school – happy memories.

    By Jan Burton (02/03/2012)
  • Please follow this link to see my further comments Broadway Radio

    By Roy Langrish (22/02/2012)
  • Roy. I enjoyed window-shopping at Broadway Radio Services in the early sixties. The previous owners of the shop had been Emily (known as Edna) and Sidney Willis. During the war, my mother had a part-time job there. She always referred to the shop as Edna’s. 

    My sister used to spend time there when mum was working and she knew their son. Sid belonged to the Anzacs or something similar as he wore an Australian type military hat. 

    People used to take their accumulators to Broadway Radio Services to be charged. They had to scrape off the corroded acid with a file before attaching them to the electrodes. The couple were good friends with my mum’s brother and his wife Dick and Kath Devine and went to visit them often when they moved to the Isle of Wight. 

    I’m not sure when they moved from the shop, but they were still there in 1949. Maybe you can remember if they were the owners that your parents replaced in 1951. Best wishes.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (30/01/2012)
  • Gooday Roy, Did not expect you to remember me, however you probably remember the Hewett family that came to Perth and stayed with your family for a while back in 1964. I am married to their daughter Sue and we also live in Perth. We often saw your Dad in Perth (he used to visit Sue’s Mum). Many years ago we think Christine had horses out Gosnells/Armadale way and believe she joined the Police Force.

    By Eric Pasco (28/01/2012)
  • Hello Roy, yes I do so remember your little radio shop and gazing in the window, I can’t recall buying anything but my mother must have done she loved her music.

    You say the conditions were quite cramped yet I seem to remember The Variety shop seemed to be so huge with everything in it. I used to get my school P.E. nicks from there and they must have opened early because I can recall going in before school to buy a pair. I was such a scatter brain and was always leaving them in the changing room and losing them, not realising until the P.E. day. 

    I remember there was a shop before Variety but I just can’t remember it at the moment. One of the owners of those three shops, can’t remember which one, could well have been your dad used to come out and tell me and my brother Fred not to play in the tunnel under the path that led to King Edward Terrace because it was dangerous.

    Do you recall the hardware shop just up from Pelhams going towards Slopers next door to that was a shed which you went down a slope too, which sold greengrocery, can’t think of the shops name but the lad that worked in there was called Tony and I had a massive crush on him.

    Just after that was a kind of wooden gate which we cut through to get to Tattenham Road and across the playing field home. Beyond the gate was Slopers as you say and the PO, then more waste ground and then the Police Station and house. 

    I am still in touch with Fred Penson who became a policeman not sure if he was local or not.

    By Gloria Sewell (28/01/2012)
  • Hi Roy, hope things are ok in Perth. I lived in Nichol Road just over from your shop, we moved there when the houses were built in 1957. I remember Andy Darroch introducing me to you when I used to play with him after school, yes it was cramped in their flat above the shop.

    Also another time a bit later on my cousin was staying with us and his transistor radio packed up. We took it to your Dad who said “oh yes it’s the throwaway age now, you’ll probably need to buy another one!!” He was right, it’s even worse now no-one repairs anything.

    I see you moved away in 1963, so did we but not quite as far as you guys. Take care

    By Richard Haines (28/01/2012)
  • Ah! Such memories! I’ve just fallen upon this page and read quickly through the article and these comments. 

    I’m the Roy Langrish whose mother and father (Lillian “Lil”, and Albert “Alb”) owned the Broadway Radio Service from 1951 until early 1963, when we emigrated to Perth, Australia, where I and my sister Christine still live (she’s married, I’m not). Our shop was located between the Variety Store, owned latterly by the Darrochs (there was a previous owner in the early 50’s whose name escapes me), and the shoe repair shop. 

    The Variety Store and our shop had (cramped!) accommodation above and behind them, but the shoe store didn’t: it was single storey, with just a store room behind the shop. 

    I must apologise that my memory hasn’t helped me to place either Eric Pasco (a relative of Alf Schofield, who worked for my father before emigrating to Perth in 1960 – I think we followed him out here), or Richard Haines, who have both said above that they knew me and our family, as well as the two Darroch boys. 

    I was amused to read Nina’s account of lusting after the GB 10 Pound tape recorder we had in the shop window display. I’ll keep watching this page now, to see who (if anyone) responds, and I may be able to answer some questions about the people and the locality. 

    I remember Mrs Pelham, and the Dangerfield’s shop, as well as the grocery store further up the High Road, owned by one part of the Sloper family, who also emigrated here soon after us (I think). There was at that time a second Sloper grocery business further up (or is it “down”?) the High Road – and I bumped into that Mr Sloper, together with his beautifully renovated delivery van and milk float, at the Goodwood Revival Meeting in September 2008, the last time I was in the UK. With my sister and brother in law. 

    I looked around Laindon when visiting there in 2005, but we haven’t been back there since. The photos I see here suggest things are ever-changing, with the wood yard also now a thing of the past. Warm regards to all! from Perth, Western Australia

    By Roy Langrish (26/01/2012)
  • I think the shop question is solved now,Ellingfords it is. Thanks to everyone.

    By Eric Pasco (21/01/2012)
  • Ellingford was the name of the owners of the shop in St.Nicholas Lane in the early 50’s called Ellingfords. I remember visiting the lady with my mother when she had just had a new baby. She already had a girl called Georgina who I remember from Markham’s Chase school and who is named in one of the Laindon High Road school group photos. 

    I recall visiting Cambridge road to play in Michael Turner’s tent and remember him giving me a shiny silver model of a plane which I treasured for many years. Don’t want to embarass him but thought at the time he was the one for me as apparantly he would not have expected me to do any house work if we were ever to be married as I could have laid on the sofa all day!!!!!! his words not mine but a bit of a rash promise to make to a 9 – 10 year old. I would add that John the man I married in the end made no such promises but we are still together after nearly 50 years and the sofa is not worn out!!!!! 

    I also remember playing at Maureen Schofields around the time they were planning their move to Australia and the Pasco’s lived near by.

    By Ann Rugg nee Bullimore (20/01/2012)
  • William and Gloria. Picture 19 was taken in King Edward Road. I do remember the wavy fence but can’t recall a bank. I will look next time I go passed.

    Ken and Eric. I’ve found Thomas and Helen Ellingford on the 1949 Electoral Roll which gives their address as 53 Nicholas Lane, although doesn’t give the name the shop.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (19/01/2012)
  • Thanks Editor at least the corporation has not got its hands on our Garages and thier memories yet.

    By Gloria Sewell (19/01/2012)
  • Hallo Gloria, I do not know of any American connection with the “Airey”, houses unless it due to an original design. However, the London Council contract was a gift from heaven for Costains, as it was on a “cost plus” agreement that Costains received 10% above the money spent on production which did not bind Costains to a pre-arranged price. 

    There was also a ludicrous clause which stated the interior parting walls should be constructed from flawed reject outer slabs. The Ministry of Works had inspectors at the factory to ensure this was carried out. However the manufacture was such that very few slabs were initially reject and men were employed to crack or chips slabs in order to comply with the clause. Such is the stupidity of bureaurcracy.

    Editor: I have looked up ‘Airey’ houses on Wickipedia and the following is the relevent part of the article.

    ‘An Airey house is a type of prefabricated house built in Great Britain following World War II.
    Designed by Sir Edwin Airey to the Ministry of Works Emergency Factory Made housing programme, it features a frame of prefabricated concrete columns reinforced with tubing recycled from the frames of military vehicles. A series of ship-lap style concrete panels, tied back to the columns, form the external envelope’.

    By W.H.Diment (19/01/2012)
  • Gloria, I dont think the Americans had any input to the Airey houses unless it was scrap metal from their jeeps.

    According to Wikipidea; An Airey house is a type of prefabricated house built in Great Britain following World War II.

    Designed by Sir Edwin Airey to the Ministry of Works Emergency Factory Made housing programme, it features a frame of prefabricated concrete columns reinforced with tubing recycled from the frames of military vehicles. A series of ship-lap style concrete panels, tied back to the columns, form the external envelope. 

    Today many of the Airey houses; being over 50 years old, are in disrepair. The houses are one of a number of precast concrete systems listed in the Housing Defects Act. This meant that Government help for private owners was available in certain cases. Generally they are not accepted for mortgages unless repaired in accordance with certain prescribed methods. 

    In the mid-2000s, one company began testing a refurbishment program. Their program involves replacing the concrete slabs with blocks, covered the blocks with insulation, and then facing the structure with brick. It is hoped this remodel will result in a warmer and more structurally sound house. 

    My schoolmate Donald Smith lived in 6 Airey Houses Pound Lane when we were in Mr Rosens class.

    Editor: I should have read all the comments before making a note.

    By Richard Haines (19/01/2012)
  • What an absolute error in planning was the Royal Court block, seen in these photos and thankfully not seen in Pam’s photos today in Room with a View. In the view down Nichol Road it can be seen what a mistake it was to inflict a nice post war estate of semi detached housing with an out of scale block of flats reminiscent of prewar european ghettos. To cap it all, to build it on the only piece of playing field in the area. Funny, I can recall the garages near Pelhams Alley but I dont remember being offered a fag (or anything else) by Gloria.

    By Richard Haines (19/01/2012)
  • Hi Nina Well done, I keep forgetting to check the electoral roll. My Grandparents place was more or less opposite number 56 St Nicholas Lane.

    By Ken Porter (19/01/2012)
  • Yes Nina, there were several of the Nuth family in the area. As to the shop, there was a daughter Rosie who was a dancer and was reputed to have danced for Adolph Hitler as part of a prewar troupe. 

    The first photograph on this page shows two semi detached houses just by Church Hill. One was occupied by Bill Nuth, who later ran the Regal Club in Pound Lane and later took over a bar in Spain. His younger brother Patsy played football for Laindon and Grays. 

    Another very interesting picture on the page was no. 19 which showed a picture of an “Airey” house which was built using prefabricated concrete slabs manufactured by Costains of Childerditch. These slabs had copper hooks on the inside and were just hung onto a frame, but later on these hooks weakened and the slabs fell off. There were several of these houses at the south end of Pound Lane, but Costains had ceasd to manufacture these as they were just a small off shoot of a large contract with the London County Council which had expired. Whether any of these houses still exist here or in London I do not know.

    Editor: There are still the ‘Airey’ houses on the King Edward Estate.

    By W.H.Diment (18/01/2012)
  • I lived in the one in the picture William! warm in summer cold in winter, from late 1940s to 1960s. There are also ‘Airey’ houses in Hopton Norfolk near where I live now.

    I was under the impression that the lifespan was only 25 yrs when they were built, I dont know how true this is. Also I thought the Americans had something to do with the building of these can you throw any light on that William.

    Nina, thanks for the photo there is a comment on its way. When I lived in one of these pair of ‘Aireys’ my dad and Mr Bryan who lived in the other one built a wavy concrete fence along the front of them. I see there is a high hedge now, do you recall the fence also there was a big bank alondg the front path between ours 64 and the Frenchs 66 is that still there?

    Also I am wondering if the Spinage still grows in the back garden my dad planted it the year we moved in approx 1946 and it was still reseeding and growing when I got my own home 1962, we supplied the whole road, with it.

    I knew a Ray Nuth he played the guitar and lived on the Pound Lane Estate, with his mum Mable. I think he was avery tall dark guy.

    By Gloria Sewell (18/01/2012)
  • Yes the name Ellingford rings a bell but still not certain thats what the shop was called.

    By Eric Pasco (17/01/2012)
  • Thanks Ken. The name ‘Nuth’ is ringing a bell and shaking up my memory cells. I can now associate that name with the shop. I think there were several ‘Nuth’ families living on the Kathleen Ferrier estate. I even think there was a ‘Nuth’ in my younger brother’s class as he used to mention the name. Best wishes.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (17/01/2012)
  • Hi Eric and Nina Just established that I spelt the name wrong for the family who last owned the shop in St Nicholas Lane. The name was Ellingford. Georgina the daughter went to Laindon High Road School in the late 1950s and I now understand from my contact lives in Grays, she is going to try and make contact. Hopefully she might just have a photograph of the shop. The family of Nuth’s also ran the Regal Club that was at the bottom of Pound Lane, St Nicholas Lane end. They also lived in one of the semi detached houses that are still there in St Nicholas Lane at the bottom of Church Hill.

    By Ken Porter (17/01/2012)
  • Hi Nina and Eric The shop in St Nicholas Lane I believed started off as Enefers, then the Nuth family took it over and then a family I believe was call Ellingford (I think this was the spelling) My Grand parents Maud and Harry Porter lived opposite until the late 1940s, Then my Aunt and Uncle Irene and Jock Rodgers lived ther until 1963 when the bungalow was compulsory purchased and they moved with my parents to new houses built by Carey’s in Berry Lane, Langdon Hills.

    By Ken Porter (16/01/2012)
  • As I said in my last commment on this page I lived at 60 king Edward Road the house with the wide drive in and the caption (I wonder who lived here) in the pictures. The two trees you see on the verge out side were from a plan the council had to plant trees along the roadside. Most of these trees got destroyed by the vandals. My dad put wire around these two trees and guarded them with his life to make sure they survived. Well done dad…..

    By Jean Pattle (16/01/2012)
  • I think you have the store Nina, but I remember it around 1953-60 maybe and the name Clifford seems to ring a bell with me and they had a daughter named Margaret I think.

    By Eric Pasco (15/01/2012)
  • Eric, thats Sid Cliffords greengrocers on the High Road that you are thinking of, accessed by a little bridge over the ditch. Yes I remember Margaret, very nice looking and had a brother Clive. Someone look for them on the LHR photos please.

    By Richard Haines (15/01/2012)
  • I remember Clive Clifford too. There is an article about the Clifford family under ‘Memories of Laindon Familes’. I thought I had seen a photo of him somewhere on the site in a school photo maybe (not the long ones – haven spotted him on there yet).

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (15/01/2012)
  • Nina, going through the site today now that Christmas and New Year are past there are so many new interesting snippets added including yours that I have read today, you must have worked so hard compiling it well done.

    What memories for me Photo No.2 for instance looking across the road up Markhams Chase are just the houses I referred to in my article Markhams Chase years. I used to be so jealous of the children living there because they did not have far to walk to school.

    Do you remember the ancient row of Elm trees along there that had to be cut down because of Dutch Elm disease. 

    If you turned right coming out of Church Hill, a school friend Barbara Stevenson lived down a dirt track there and so did poor old Mrs Pocock who always wore black and pushed an old pram she had a daughter Diana. She was just the opposite a very colourful girl, is she still around I wonder.

    I lived in Pound Lane 1976, until I moved up here to Suffolk so much has changed along there.

    Pelhams ally, what true Laindoner does not remember Pelhams Ally not only for a good snog on the way home from school but also to smoke our five Wieghts we clubbed together to buy from Mrs Pelham. We usually smoked them round the garages just through the ally, bet they are not there now.

    Yes Nina, nurse Broom lived along there she had a plaque outside on her wall and nurse Tricky lived, I think it was in Briar Mead.

    Looking at the photo of King Edward Terrace left side I see the pipe has gone that was under the path that led across from the High Road. My brother and I were always in trouble for playing under there, it was something to do with the River Crouch, I think. Thank you so much for the photo “I wonder who lived there”, that is where I lived all my childhood and it is just fantastic seeing my old home. We lived on the right hand side of these pair of ‘Airey’ houses no. 64, the brick house on the right was where Jennie Pattle lived and where we had our street party for the Coronation, because the day was so wet. The last pointed roof house on the left was where Keith and Vanessa Crew lived, often mentioned on this site.

    Thank you so much for this walk down memory Lane, I have not been back to Laindon for about 10 years, and I am now thinking it is time that I did.

    Editor: The Pelhams Ally garages are still there. 

    By Gloria Sewell (15/01/2012)
  • Love the picture remember so much that you write about its so funny how we all have so meny of the same memories. 

    That long walk home from school, before the bus was appointed and dear Miss Pelham and her penny drinks. 

    The house in King Edward Road with the wide drive is No. 60, the Pattles home from 1949 when the house was brand new until my mother died in 1998. Gloria lived two doors along heading up the road.

    My grandparents had a home in plotland from the early part of the century. They moved to Tavistock Road in the 1940s but I wouldn’t have recognise it from todays pictures, it was unmade and full of mud as I remember. 

    My Aunt Minn lived in a large white house that stood at the end of Tavistock Road. They had a chicken farm and sold eggs. 

    I remember those long walks to school and home again in all kinds of weather.

    By Jean Pattle (15/01/2012)
  • Thinking back to what Valerie told me, Clive was a year older than me and was in your year Nina. He was at Markhams Chase don’t know about LHR. 

    Margaret was a year younger than me and therefore would have been in Eric’s year. Over to you guys.

    By Richard Haines (15/01/2012)
  • Hi Eric. A while back you mentioned a shop in Nicholas Lane with steps leading up to it. I remember seeing it too, so I have been trying to find out about it. On the 1929 Electoral Roll a couple called Alfred and Lydia Enefer were listed as living at ‘The Stores’ Nicholas Lane. That maybe the place and they could be the same couple who later had Enefer’s café on the A127. I will see what else I can discover. Best wishes.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (13/01/2012)
  • Many thanks. I will certainly look out for details of any future history walks. That will be so interesting.

    By Helen Painter (27/12/2011)
  • Nina, that would be fantastic. I would love that so much. I only live in Billericay, so I don’t have far to go. How do I go about contacting Ian in order to get your e-mail address? Many thanks

    Editor: I am Ian and will carry out Nina’s request. Please watch the site as we will be arranging a number of history walks over the next twelve months, with a member of the community who lived in that area.

    By Helen Painter (26/12/2011)
  • Helen. I agree, it is difficult to find anything in Victoria Park particularly if you don’t know where to look. My area was to the far north. I was a little disorientated myself when I returned in October 2009 with Deanna. However, I now have my bearings and although part of the area has been built on, I know exactly where everything had been. I can still find Cooper’s well that my brother and I filled in with bottles and cans. I can walk through my Nan’s garden at ‘Pendennis’ although it is now overgrown. I can walk along what used to be our cinder path to Spion Kop although the garden itself is now under housing. I can also walk the old track down to where Richards’ Farm House had been. I can also repeat my early morning walk as I described in Deanna’s book. I intend to do that again before too long. I would be delighted if you would care to join me and would love to point out everything to you. Please ask Ian to give you my e-mail address so that maybe we can arrange a date to take a walk. I could point out to you exactly where each of the bungalows had stood. I would love to do that. Best wishes.

    Editor: Nina perhaps we can arrange a number of memory walks next year with old residents leading and photographs to help.

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (24/12/2011)
  • Nina, I could read/ listen all day about the plotlands and life back then. Unfortunately I don’t get a lot of chance to come onto this website as life is hectic with 3 boys and working, but any spare chance I get, I will spend it on this site. After reading your story, I ventured over to Victoria park in the summer, looking for any signs of remaining plotlands, but I could find anything. I have been over to the Dunton plotlands many times.

    By Helen Painter (23/12/2011)
  • This was really interesting, and it really helps to have the photos. I try to work out where the different roads/lanes use to be in comparison with today’s roads, which isn’t very easy, so its great to have the photos. I have also read your story in the ‘A Portrait of Basildon Plotlands: The Enduring Spirit’ of Spion Kop, and it is fascinating. Its such as shame all the area has changed so much. I would have loved to have seen how it was.

    Editor: I hope as the site develops that we can show all what has changed in our community and what is continuing to change.

    By Helen Painter (22/12/2011)
  • Helen. I’m so pleased you liked the photos I took in October and that you enjoyed my story in Deanna Walker and Peter Jackson’s book. Living in the plotland area of Alexandra Road in the winter was hard, as without central heating or double-glazing, we rarely felt nice and warm. My grandparents and parents were the real pioneers as they came to Laindon in the early part of last Century when many of the roads were still unmade and amenities were virtually non-existent. It was due to their spirit in dealing with the plotland way of life that got them through. In the summer months it was completely different, a most beautiful place. We were off the beaten track, very close to nature with very large gardens. Although we only had a few neighbours, it was a close, unique little community and I am so glad I had the privilege of spending my childhood there. Best wishes.

    By Nina Humphrey (née Burton) (22/12/2011)
  • Hi Nina, I really enjoyed the walk home, not the way I used to go, however the last three years in England I lived in Bourne Avenue which is pretty much where your last photo is. My Dad spent his last few years at the Brambles in that last photo. Back to the start of your walk, do you remember Nicholas Lane was lined on both sides by huge trees which formed virtually an arch from Pound Lane to Basildon Drive. 

    The radio shop on the Broadway was run by the Langrish family (Alb & Lil). My uncle Alf Schofield worked for them until going to Australia in 1960. The Langrishes also went to Australia in about 1962. They had two children Roy & Christine.

    You may even remember my cousins Maureen & Roy Schofield. Roy would have been in your year at Markhams but went to Fryerns after that.

    In King Edward Terrace lived my Mum’s aunty Louise Bedford and as for Royal Court (built long after I left) that just ruined a perfect playground for all the kids in the estate. I remember many a football match of 20 a side on there. Great to see it being demolished, but what will they get in its place? Thanks for the journey Nina Regards.

    Editor: A mixture of three storey flats and houses forming a block that will cover the top end of the green space. The bottom half already covered, see the shop in King Edward Rd photograph. The stupid part is that the buildings on the old playing field are built to a higher density than the East End slums that the older residents of Laindon moved from and Basildon was intended to alleviate. 

    By Eric Pasco (26/10/2011)
  • Back to Nicholas Lane, between Basildon Drive and Pound Lane there was a shop on the right hand side close to Cambridge Road and it had steps leading up to the entrance. Does anyone rember the name ?

    By Eric Pasco (26/10/2011)
  • Nina, loved your photo of Nichol Road (note spelling, whoever decided to rename it Nicholl?) with our old house, number 1 at the bottom before the High Road. Hope ‘Rob of Laindon’ is looking at this. 

    King Edward Terrace looking good, pity about the shops. There was Pelham’s then Dangerfields then Variety Stores (Andy and Peter Darroch were my buddies) and the other two where Roy Langrish lived. 

    I guess about the time you bought the tape recorder on HP my mum was buying my Dansette record player, also in Basildon, about £20 as well, cream and black, fantastic sound (Shadows etc).

    I recall Nurse Broom, who looked after my mum when my brothers were born, also Nurse Trickey from nearby.

    It seems to me that whatever they have built in Laindon after demolishing anything is just another eyesore. They must have a special committee of people with bad taste in design. Why don’t they just demolish all of Royal Court or whatever it is called and put back a level grassed landscaped area back into the urban realm. They could even plant some new trees, there I’ve said it.

    By Richard Haines (26/10/2011)
  • Hi Eric. Yes, yes, yes. I remember those overhanging trees in St Nicholas Lane. It was like walking through a tunnel. The road was a lovely country lane then, before it was widened. It’s great how we can trigger off more of each other’s memories. 

    Do you remember the huge bonfire that was built each year in the playing field between Powell Road and King Edward Road? All the kids in the area worked for weeks in advance heaping it up until it became absolutely enormous. One year, somebody set fire to it a few nights before 5th November and it burnt to the ground. The locals, disappointed but undeterred, started all over again and built another one – fantastic. Oh, and all the home made ‘Guys’, transported in old prams, wheelbarrows or soap boxes on wheels. Some were quite elaborate, others just ‘dad’s old trousers and shirt’ stuffed with newspaper. There must have been dozens of them parked in various places along the High Road, outside the train station and the Laindon Hotel, each with a little tin or cup to collect the pennies in. This time of year, squibbs, bangers and jumping jacks used to be let off as we came out of school, making us jump and squeal. They were banned some years ago and now only certain types of fireworks can be bought and only for a short while before 5th Nov. 

    Oh yes, Roy Schofield wasn’t in my class at school (Mrs Sparey), but his name does ring a distant bell so maybe he was in Mr Jones’ class. I chose the right day to do that walk on Monday – today it has been pouring with rain! Best wishes.

    By Nina Humphrey (nee Burton) (26/10/2011)
  • Hi Nina, I love the stories. I was born in Gladwyns, Lee Chapel north myself a very long time ago, in 1970, to new town parents who headed east from stratford with in the diaspora of the day. I now live on the High Rd opposite Ashton’s, as mentioned in an earlier post. Just to confirm Ashton’s has consent to build a small block of 6 flats and 4 chalet bungalows. The locals rejected an application for 42 1 and 2 bed shoe boxes in 2007 as this would be over development. An interesting comment on the development by the councillors on recommending this application was that the High Rd width is the same today as it was in 1930 interesting i’m sure. Rob of Laindon

    By Rob Wood (26/10/2011)

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