My link with the plotlands is through my maternal grandmother.
Her sister, Florence, and husband, Joseph Henderson, ran the general stores on the Lower
Dunton road, also the shop at Everest, succeeded by their son, John and
his wife, Edna, and then his brother, Syd, and wife, Sylvia. My grandparents lived for time
in St James, which was where the Widlife Trust building now
stands. It too was owned by Florence and Joseph.
My mother moved from Upminster to Kent
after my father was killed in the war, and I remember staying at St James and sleeping in the dugout, hearing the bombers going over. Then when my
grandparents moved to Kent to look after me, we made regular visits back to Dunton, a longwinded journey of several buses and the Tilbury Gravesend
I have great memories of the shop, me standing on a box to hand items to customers, and running round the veranda
avoiding the crates of pop. It was like'''Open All Hours ' as it stocked everything.
The cycling club teas before the war were often quoted by my nan as being well patronised with
Uncle Joe overseeing them and saying ' more bread and butter, Flory, please'.
The two smells that I associate with the visits are bacon in the shop and paraffin in the shelter.
Auntie Flory cooked on a free standing gravity fed paraffin stove.
The shop was such an essential centre
for the area, especially with the post office and telephone box.