When I was 13, I remember going to
Clarke's, the cycle shop, to
buy my first bike with money I had earned looking after a lady in Berry
Lane, when her daughter went on holiday, also going to Churchill
Johnson's many times to get paint to decorate our bungalow with Dad..
Our bungalow had 3 big rooms but in the year up to my teens 2 bedrooms, a bathroom and
a kitchen was added on the back. The only water we had was a well in the back
garden. We still had to heat water for washing and baths on a gas
ring. I was in my early teens before we had running water.
Mum and Dad had over 200 rabbits at one time and
Mum had 12 angora rabbits which she plucked the fur from and the lady in the drive would spin it into wool which
Mum then made into dresses and jumpers for us. Mum also helped at our church club on a Thursday night teaching needlework and
cooking and Dad ran a boxing club for 10 and over.
think, did a talent show and in the interval we had a line of dads
dressed in tutus and builders boots with me in the front doing a ballet
dance which they followed. I
remember it was very hard to keep a straight face and keep on my
toes. This was held at the Radion cinema, where my husband later
was a projectionist under the management of Mr Heath.
mother and father later restarted the band with Dad on drums, Mum on the
accordian and piano, Mrs Mudd on accordian and Mr.Mudd who played
My grandad would take me to
the Radion on Saturday mornings for children's films and then collect me and take me to the Laindon Hotel
Gardens. He would have a pint while I had an ice cream and a
Mum and Dad loved the land and had
ducks, geese, rabbits, chickens, goats, cats and dogs. Many a happy day was spent when my cousins came down from London for weekends and holidays to camp in the back
garden: 1 tent for boys and 1 tent for girls. We would go to a farm and collect hay onto a trailer with rakes and pitchforks,
then the farmer would bring it home for us and we would unload it and take it to the back garden to make haystacks for the
winter. Then dinner in the garden, rounders and other games until late
evening, then sit outside with Mum's home made wine and food having a sing song with
Mum on the accordian.
We also went to my
Aunt Mick's one day a week, who had a large small holding on the other side of the
Arterial Road. We would pick and wash fruit and vegetables,
collect Mum's chutney and jams and pack them all into a pony trap and take to market.
I think it was Brentwood or Little Burstead. Then we would cycle home to do our evening jobs and
look after the animals.
local store was Rogers Post Office.and General Store with another
store two doors away. In Lower Avenue there was also a grocery
store called Drews.
My school days at Dunton Primary
were happy. We only had 3 classrooms with Mr.Newman as our
head. The Dunton Entertainment Hall was next door and we had our dinners there. There was also a bungalow a few yards away which we went to after school as their front room was made into a sweet shop.
When I went to Laindon High Road school I remember Mr.Woodward who spent a lot of time teaching me
maths. Other teachers were Mr.Gray, Mrs.Gray, Mr.Cluff,
Mr.Reece, Mrs.Jollyman, Miss.Fairburn, Mrs.Collins and Mrs.Vernon.
Mr.Radford was our head teacher.
We also had lovely parties at
Mrs.Alderton's house (known to us as Aunty Grace). Other neighbours that I remember are
Mr.Andrews, who had a shop in Durham Road, Mrs.Hallett, Mrs.Galpin,
Mrs.Kiddell, Mrs.Pinnell, Mrs.Shepherd, Mrs Topping and Mrs.Bumpstead.
I wonder if any one else remembers them.
I was a child the Dunton Colony was a home for elderly men with an
orchard. It was later sold to Mr.Grey for a caravan
milk was delivered by a large farm horse called Snowy who often got loose from his field and would clomp down the drive at speed with his owner running behind.
the war I woke up one morning frightened to find strips of silver paper floating down into our
garden. I think this was to stop the German pilots picking up our
radar signals, One plane crashed down at the top of our road in what we called Piggies
Field. Lots of people ran up there. The farmer dragged the pilot
out. My sister said he only looked about 14 and so frightened as some ladies where going after him with pitchforks, but the farmer stopped them.
When I left school I worked in a place owned by
Mr and Mrs. Davis which made curtains and recovered chairs, up the road by the Winston
Club. I left after a while and went to work in London offices.
lovely memory was of all the walks we had as children, so safe, and seeing the birds and the snakes basking in the sun on cement or
logs. Happy days!