Buckenhams

Fryth Farm, Noak Hill

By Andrea Ash (née Pinnell)

In 1955, at the age of 16, my husband Chris worked as a stable boy for Mr Buckenham on Fryth Farm; he would cycle from Dickens Drive, Laindon, to the farm at the top of Noak Hill near Kennel Lane, then home again at the end of the day.

Chris describes Mr Buckenham as an old fashioned gentleman farmer, who wore a white hat and jacket, brown checked shirt, tie to match, brown jodhpurs and highly polished long riding boots. He says Mr Buckenham was a stern, disciplined, but very hard-working man who would do manual work like knocking in, mending fences etc, and though smartly dressed, would never get dirty!

Mr Buckenham knew horses inside out and amongst things, taught Chris to ride a horse, firstly without a saddle – there’s a scar to prove that! He had to ride the very big horses from Fryth Farm onto the main road and down to the blacksmiths at the Old Fortune for shoeing.

Chris also looked after polo ponies and went on hunts and polo matches attended by people like Jimmy Edwards (the comedian with handle-bar moustache) and the Duke of Edinburgh. These meets took place on Sundays in areas like Bishops Stortford, but was considered as unpaid work for Chris.

I would like to find out more about Mr Buckenham, his farm and what has happened to it all now. 

This page was added by Andrea Ash (Nee Pinnell) on 16/11/2011.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

Ethel Mary was my Grandmother. Therefore Miss Margaret Buckenham was my Great Aunt. I have many fond memories of the Frith and its summerhouse under the willow tree as a child. When she moved to Wheatsheaf Cottage, probably in the early 80s, my wife Tracey and I treated it to a coat of black sadolin in 1985 or 86. She loved her Gin and her fags. Known as the spinster of the parish there wasn't a party that she wasn't invited to. Stern woman but a lovely one.

By Richard Penney
On 03/05/2017

Yes it's all interesting.

By Jack Buckenham
On 09/12/2016

I am intrigued by the Buckenham family. I have vague memories of Charles Buckenham at Sellars Farm, Dunton Road as my mother cleaned for him in the early fifties. The Buckenham's must have been huge land owners as I have so far found reference to the following farms, Sellars Farm, Fryth Farm, Watch House Farm, Little and Great Malgraves Farm, Mundles Farm and Steeple View Farm. Can anybody throw some light on how one family came to such prominence?

By Paul Stickland
On 16/09/2016

Does anybody remember our family. We lived in a Little Malgraves Cottage. I remember Alan lived next door but I was between 2 and 9 and was in 50's and 60's so don't remember any surnames. Mr Buckenham had the farm next door, might have been John, he had battery hens and heavy horses in field. We used to bring orphan lambs home to raise. Very happy memories.

By Jacqui Walker
On 11/09/2016

I knew Paul Buckenham from the Young Conservatives in Laindon and wondered if he was still around and if I could contact you Paul it would be wonderful Joan White.

By Joan Goodfellow nee Merchant
On 16/01/2015

Regarding the farmers Buckenham. From December 1957 to December 1963 I was the village constable at Horndon-on-the-Hill. Two farmers Buckenham had farms on 'my patch'. There was Mr Jack Buckenham who had Great Malgraves farm and his brother Bill, who owned Little Malgraves farm. Bill also managed a butchers shop in Laindon High Road. I had occasions to visit them regularly and was visited by them usually for animal movement licences. 

Jack, I imagine, is the one described by Andrea Nash and then living at Frith’s farm. He was a stalwart supporter of the Essex Farmers Hunt and point to point races. I remember his daughter Joan in the same class as me at Laindon High Road school in the '30s

By Harry Rossiter
On 18/06/2012

Wheatsheaf cottages: my grandparents, Ted and Ada Pond lived in one of the 4 cottages for many years. I was only young but have always believed they rented it off the Buckenham family. Ted died in 1954, Ada died the previous year and their son Stan (my dad) died the year before that, very sad. 

My sister was born in Wheatsheaf Cottage so happy memories also. I remember it well, no sink only a galvanised bucket under a cold tap. Wooden toilet in the back garden with an smelly open pit where all the waste was tipped.

By Sue
On 04/02/2012

Wendy writes of the Wheatsheaf pub in Laindon Common Rd. which bercame a house. If my memory is correct, it was always a house with a side entrance into a small room which could accomodate perhaps a dozen people and the landlady would fetch beer in a jug from another room. It underwent some refurbishment when returning to a household dwelling.

By Wh.Diment
On 21/01/2012

In the early 70s Miss Margaret Buckenham still owned and lived at Frith Farm, by then called The Frith. She also owned a row of cottages called Wheatsheaf Cottages next to the former Wheatsheaf pub (now a house) in Laindon Common Road, Little Burstead. My elder sister Linda (nee Cowell) and her late husband Chris Wheatley rented one of the cottages from Miss Buckenham when they married in 1968 and later bought Frith Cottage (previously a terrace of 3 farm cottages) which is next door but one to The Frith. When Miss Buckenham decided to sell The Frith she had Wheatsheaf Cottages knocked into one house and modernised. I can't remember when that was, but probably sometime in the late 70s or early 80s. Miss Buckenham then lived at Wheatsheaf Cottage until she died.

By Wendy Barnes
On 17/12/2011

Hi my nan used to be a housekeeper for Charlie Buckenham in 1954 that was at Sellars farm in Lower Dunton Road, my mum and I moved to be with her at about that time. I remember Alf Buckenham very well, in fact I used to play with his sons Howard and Paul. By the way Paul still farms in that area.

By Joe Rudniski
On 14/12/2011

Hi I remember Reg Buckenham's farm in Wash Road., we used to get our milk from there.  I am sure Geoffrey and his wife had a chicken farm, as I remember getting eggs from there. I am sure Reg moved to Noak Hill Road.

I had many happy memories of walking down field, paddling in the brook, picking mushrooms and listening to skylarks

By Keith Nock
On 22/11/2011

I remember the Buckenhams at the farm in Wash Road in 1958/59. Their daughter Brenda was involved in the Dagenham Rail Crash along with me and we meet in Oldchurch Hospital, Romford and became good friends. Thay had a dairy farm I believe. I know that Brenda married and went to South Africa, but sadly we lost touch.

By Jean Rowe née Pattle
On 21/11/2011

Mr Diment. Well spotted. You are quite correct. I have re-checked my copy of the 1949 electorial roll and now realise I misread Eldred as Alfred. I should have gone to Specsavers! Listed at Mundles Farm in Wash Road were: Alice M Buckenham, Eldred Buckenham and Molly E Buckenham. Thank you for pointing it out to me. I will now book an eye test, urgently! Best wishes. Nina

By Nina Burton
On 19/11/2011

Further to the comment by Nina Burton, I suggest she is incorrect in stating that an Alfred and Alice Buckenham farmed at Mundles in Wash Rd. From the early twenties, I remember it was Eldred Buckenham who farmed there, but who sadly commited suicide leaving the farm to Reginald. After Reg retired his son Geoffrey did not continue but entered local politics as a councillor and is still so engaged, but the Mundles farmhouse and buildings have long since disapperared although a new house called Mundles was built. I believe Geoffrey now lives in Gt. Burstead.

By WH.Diment
On 19/11/2011

Thank you so much Nina; its lovely to have this information and I will also pass it on to my husband. Incidentally, I have been enjoying all your contributions to the site - you certainly have a way with words.

By Andrea
On 18/11/2011

My brother Dennis left Laindon High Road School in 1944 when he was 14 and his first job was working on Buckenham’s Farm. He stayed there a year before moving on to other things. Our bungalow ‘Spion Kop’ was bordered by Buckenham’s fields and in the early fifties I remember watching a horse and plough on the other side of our hedge (a lovely scene). The man driving the plough used to stop and chat to my dad while the horse waited patiently. Bourne Close was subsequently built on that field. I have a copy of the 1949 Burstead/Laindon electoral roll where there are five addresses listed for ‘Buckenham’ as follows. Alfred and Alice Buckenham “Mundles Farm”, Wash Road, Laindon. Alfred and Gwendoline Buckenham “Steeple View Farm” Arterial Road, Laindon. Charles, Daphne, Vera and Joan Buckenham “Cranleigh” Dunton Road. William J, William C, Jean, Nora and Jean (5 family members) Buckenham “Hereby” High Road, Laindon. Brian, Pauline and Robert Buckenham “Londesbro” High Road, Laindon. (I assume that “Fryth Farm” must have come under Billericay).

By Nina Burton
On 18/11/2011

Thanks Ken (Porter) for the bit of history and look forward to hearing more. I know Chris will be very interested.

By Andrea
On 18/11/2011

Hi Ken - lovely story. Think there were a few Buckenhams about - obviously the Butchers in Laindon apart from Mr B at Fryth Farm. You made me laugh about the chickens because my Dad bred them in Denbigh Road and sometimes he would wring their necks (errrr!) and we would sit merrily around an old tin bath and pluck them. I was only little but I could not do that now! I also remember the smell (yuk). We had geese in there too that would chase me down the path hissing at me - one used to put his beak around the back door knob and try to open the door. I remember the yellow baby chickens hatching from the eggs. I also remember having a big goose egg for brekky.

By Andrea
On 17/11/2011

Hi Andrea Yes, Buckenham had farmed from Frith Farm for nearly 100 years and the one you are referring to was known locally as the squire. As you possible know the old parish of Laindon stretched up just beyond the farm. The farm house is believed to have been built on the site of the Manor House of 'Wella Manor'. Wella Manor being one of the three manors of Laindon. The others being Laindon Hall and Gobions (Manor House). Laindon Common nearby was orginally called Leyndon Fryth. "Fryth" is a derivation of an old English wordmeaning 'a plain amidst the woods'. I cannot remember how old the current building is but when I find my notes I will post another comment.

By Ken Porter
On 17/11/2011

Gday Andy and all the rest of you, many years ago my old man [Charlie] used to buy soft shelled and cracked eggs from Buckenham's farm on the A127. He was one of the first farmers to keep chooks in cages in the 50s [battery hens] and also kept pigs in small styes [deep litter] to fatten them up quickly. Charlie used to sort the eggs out at home and then take them to Sherwoods Paints in Barking where he worked, he sold these eggs for about a shilling a dozen [10p], remember that rationing was still on until 53 so I guess he was a black marketeer. 

As some of the chooks ceased laying he would buy these from Mr Buckenham, kill them and we would sit at home for hours plucking and gutting them, not a job for the faint hearted. He would then sell these birds for about 5 bob each [25p] at work. Around Christmas time the orders for chickens would skyrocket and we would do the plucking etc for days, he also sold home grown flowers to his workmates as well.

When going to work early one morning on his old ex-army Indian motor bike and sidecar with a load of possibly illegal eggs and chooks under a tarp and bunches of flowers he was pulled over by the cops for a routine check going along Fen Lane, Bulphan. They commented on his lovely flowers and when he offered them a bunch they let him on his way without further ado, phew!! 

He traded with and did odd jobs in his spare time for Buckenham for years until he sold most of the farm to Fords where their research place is now. It was from Buckenham that dad got the idea of keeping a few pigs at home, he did this for a few years breeding from a big saddle back sow we had called Sally, she was a lovely old thing and used to love having her ears scratched. We bred two big litters from her [12 piglets at a time], which when marketing time came we had to walk to a holding pen on Lower Dunton Road.

Interesting time that was walking 12 pigs from Ronald Ave, down Second Ave to Lower Dunton Rd, some of the neighbours chipped in to help on these occasions. If the pigs had made a run for it into the bushes we probably wouldn't have seen them again. Charlie gave up pig farming not long after mum got her job with Tollworthy's butchers, I wonder why??

By Ken Page
On 17/11/2011