Early Life in Laindon 1940 to 1947. Part 3.
Living next to the Arterial Road
My parents, brother and grandmother evacuated to Laindon in 1939 to a bungalow called Daphdolvia situated on the A127. I was born in Danbury Park in 1940.
A few houses and a shop were scattered along the Arterial Road and a long gap between the properties housed a path leading to St. Nicholas Church. An article on this site describes it as being the prettiest stretch on the A127. A Romany caravan was parked on the land in the gap and an elderly woman lived there.
The path ran through a cornfield which stretched to the back of the houses on Pound Lane. I have memories of gleaning for ears of corn after harvest and we used these to feed our chickens.
Life on the Arterial Road was never boring. One foggy winter night towards the end of the war an ATS Officer arrived at our door, she was lost. My father managed to get her Jeep off the road and we gave her a bed for the night. Her name was Betty Harvie Anderson and she was the Commandant in the ATS stationed somewhere near Billericay. Some days later she returned to thank us with a model wooden Spitfire for my brother and a new celluloid doll (new toys were unheard of then!) which was duly named Betty Harvie Anderson.
We returned to Wanstead in 1947. One night listening to, ‘In Town Tonight’ on the radio a guest was none other than Betty Harvie Anderson! She became an MP from 1959 to 1979 and was given a life peerage in 1979. Sadly she died shortly afterwards.