. . . . .around and about
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Mr and Mrs S. Jackson walking along Beech Hall Gardens in the early sixties. Despite being well into their seventies at this time, they were typical of many ageing plotlanders who had settled permanently on their plots and made the regular weekly shopping trip to Laindon.
Hillcrest Avenue in the mid-1950s, 2nd Avenue near left. Mr and Mrs K. Neale return home with children after a visit to Mrs Firman at Vera-Joan.
View from Hillcrest Avenue at the top of 4th Avenue, looking towards Crown Wood in 1966.
The same, mid 1960s
Lungley's shop - or "The Victory Stores" situated where Berry Lane met the footpath that led to Laindon Station. Here plotlanders could buy a wide range of provisions including coal and paraffin which could be delivered along the paths by trade-bike. A second shop was situated further along Berry Lane, going up the hill towards Forest Glade, at the corner of Lincewood Park Drive and was run by Mr Cockshaw. This shop, however, closed in the early 1960s.
Langdon Hills recreation ground around 1970, looking north-west. The gate at the corner by Great Berry Farm was the usual route for plotlanders heading for the bluebell woods, across the recreation ground, and on towards Crown Wood. Great Berry Farm can be found on the map of 1876.
A favourite walk for Mrs Jackson was to post letters in the postbox at the junction of the Lower Dunton Road and Doesgate Lane - the road to Bulphan and the A128 to Brentwood.
One evening after a hot summer's day in the mid 1960s, hissing and clanking could be heard coming from the area around the top of 2nd Avenue. Where the traction engine came from, how it managed to get there at all, or where it went afterwards, we never found out!
Elsie and Jim Neale return home to London after a visit to Vera Joan. They are approaching the row of dustbins at the end of the made-up section of Berry Lane, on the corner with the track leading to Great Berry Farm and the recreation ground. This section of narrow concrete path was for many the entrance to Dunton Plotlands on the journey from Laindon Station. The old, large elms in the background were a prominent feature of this section of the path, and contained an established rookery. Unfortunately, they suffered considerably from Dutch elm disease in the 1960s.
Berry Lane, late 1950s/early 1960s. Walking further along Berry Lane and down the hill on their way to Laindon Station, Elsie and Jim would have walked along this section between Shakespeare and Shelley Avenues. The entrance to Mr Cockshaw's shop can be seen mid right just before the house on the corner of Lincewood Park Drive (another unmade track!). Lungley's Shop is further along Berry Lane, about 200 yards, as it bears left. Although Berry Lane looks primitive with no pavement, it represented the last contact with main drainage, piped water, electricity, gas, made-up roads and telephone for many en route to their plots.
Recent aerial view over Romford, looking towards the Thames estuary. Basildon can be seen along the A127 and the area of the plotlands just below Canvey Island.
View from the top of 1st Avenue, August, 1995.
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