Can you Help

By Ernest Lilley

I use to live opposite the RADION cinema in Laindon High Road during the War. What now stands on this site. Thank you.

Editor: We do not publish emails addresses to prevent you receiving spam so keep an eye on the site for comments on the article

This page was added by Ernest Lilley on 29/04/2013.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

I also remember Mrs. Verling, a small lady with silver hair and glasses.   She was the Deputy Head when I was at Laindon High Road, (I was there until 1957). A strict lady but always lovely to the girls.  Her place was taken by Miss Harris after she retired.

By Isabel Smith
On 02/07/2016

Yes I remember Mrs Verling, she was a teacher for the removes when I was at Laindon High Road in the early 50s.  She was a very kind lady but strict.   Us girls would go to her if we had any problems and she was always very understanding, a lovely lady.   I think she became deputy head.

By Mary Hawkins
On 31/03/2016

Just discovered this site by chance and am gripped! Does anyone remember a teacher called Mrs Lydia Verling (née Jeffries) She was my grandmother, and I always remember her stories about the High Road school. I'm pretty sure she said she started there when it was a primary school, and stayed on when it became a secondary modern. Would that be correct?

By Geoff Roberts-Todd
On 05/03/2016

Hello Ernie. How nice to hear from you after what must be more than sixty years. How did you elect to live your life after LHR? Still in the area? Made a fortune mining gems in the Kalahari? Or raising sheep in New Zealand?

Mrs Macmillan? No, cannot say I remember that name. There was Miss Jolliman, Miss Pearce, Mr Young (history/geography), Mr Clough (science), Mr Woodward (Head after Mr Radford retired. Class mates included Clifford Thompson, David Chapman, Alan Burr, Vernon "Tubby" Towns, Robin Burford. The girls included Pat Smith, Josie O'Neill, Pauline Carnell, Doris Martin, Maureen Shaw. And of course there is the never to be fogotten secretary of Mr Radford, Miss Granger. The cover girl, straight-out-of-Hollywood in looks and dress, after whom all of us healthy young lads lusted. Any more you can remember? Best wishes.

By Alan Davies
On 09/11/2014

Hi Alan. Thanks for remembering me after all these years.

Yes, it is the same Ernie Lilley 1945/47. Was there a teacher called Mrs Macmillan at LHR?

All the best Ernie. PS Not much hair left now.

By Ernest Lilley
On 06/11/2014

Re Paul Strickland's mention of eccentrics of Laindon, the lady he is referring to was a Mrs Gibson.  She rented a room at my great granny's bungalow, she would go out at night with a lantern and frighten the late night travellers as they came from the station.  She dressed in black and as a young girl I thought she was a witch.  She had to come into my gran's to fetch her water, I was really frightened of her.

By Hazel Hunter
On 29/05/2014

In regard to the mission church of St. Peters. A further query. Why would the decision makers at St. Nicholas elect to spend the money to establish a mission which, at most, was only a mile away. This in an era when people were used to walking considerable distances. Mission churches were usually, by definition, located in areas where it was impractical for the congregants to attend the mother church. This would not seem to be the case in this instance.

By Alan Davies
On 20/06/2013

I believe Paul Strickland is correct in assuming the concrete pipe was left over from when that part of the High Rd. ditch, said to be a tributary of the River Crouch, was piped to allow the building of the Arterial Rd. and which then continued as water course until just before the first of the turreted bungalows where it turned westwards into the fields and then and then north again to run under the bridge in the Dunton Rd. Gammons Café was immediately opposite the northern end of the Fortune forecourt and was quite popular with the local youth who would gather there in the evenings to play on a bar billiards table or the halfpenny one armed bandits and drink tea waited upon by a good looking Joan Gammon. Other members of the Gammon family were Billie who played football for Langdon Hills and Frank who played for Laindon FC and also Laindon Cricket Club. He was also a very accomplished ballroom dancer and later married his partner whose parents were affluent and lived in the Thorpe Bay area and ran a property concern. In later years I read that the director was named Gammon, whether Frank or possibly a son I do not know. The Gammons were a very well known family in old Laindon.

Also, further to Alan never having seen the fountain operational, even if he had done so, he would have thought twice about using it, as it would have involved using a cast iron 'cup', possibly left over from the iron age, which was attached to the fountain by a heavy chain. A perfect means of spreading infections.

By W.H.Diment
On 20/06/2013

I am a bit confused by Mr Diment's comment about the old concrete pipe. The one I remember was on the piece of land between Eneffer's and the High Rd. I do not remember Gammon's Cafe. I have always assumed that the pipe was a left over from the pipes under the A127. According to hearsay a homeless couple would sleep either end of the pipe.

By Paul Stickland
On 19/06/2013

Upon reflection, Bill Diment has to be correct in his posting of 18/06/13. At the time of Victoria's diamond jubilee in 1897 that part of Laindon High Road would probably have been little more than a cart path. In addition, there was probably no piped water to supply the fountain anywhere in the vicinity. The coronation of GeorgeV1 makes a lot more sense. Of one thing I am sure. In my time at least the fountain was never operative.

By alan davies
On 19/06/2013

Paul Strickland 18/06/13, has caused me to search my memory as while I can clearly remember the large concrete pipe as a place to sit on while watching the world go by, to the best of my memory, the buildings at either end of the pipe were Enefers and Gammons Café, the nearest private dwellings were to the north of the café being two semi detached houses and I believe one of them was occupied by the Sheppard family whose son Leslie was quite well known as a cricketer and footballer.

By W.H.Diment
On 18/06/2013

I notice Alan refers to the fountain on the corner of the High Rd. and St. Nicholas Lane. as the Victoria Memorial Fountain. Surely it was to commemorate the coronation of King George V1, although I do not know if it was ever named as such.

By W.H.Diment
On 18/06/2013

I think Laindon had its fair share of eccentrics. Does anyone else remember the old lady in the late 50s that would get on the bus at one side of the Fortune of War roundabout, then get off at the next stop, cross the road and wait for the bus coming the other way? She would do this all day. I don't think she ever paid her fare!! but she only went about a hundred yards. Poor old soul, very sad but at 8 years old, we thought it very funny. Also there was an old couple who lived either end of the long large drain pipe outside Eneffers cafe. I think this was in the late 40s or early 50s.

By Paul Stickland
On 18/06/2013

I can confirm the comments made by Nina on her posting of 16/06/13. I think the correct term is a "mission church" of St Nicholas. I used to sit on the bench opposite by the Victoria memorial fountain waiting for my girl friend to exit the Sunday evening service. She was in the choir. The organist at the time was Audrey Doe whose brother, Edwin, also sang in the choir.

By Alan Davies
On 17/06/2013

St Peter's Church (built 1930) and St Michael's church (both wooden built) were in fact chapels or ‘outposts’ of St Nicholas Church. There’s some information in the last paragraph of the article ‘History of Northumberland Avenue’ by John Bathhurst. I remember going to St Peter's Church with my cousin in 1956 to a choir practice.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 16/06/2013

Hi Paul Although I am a Langdon Hills girl! I used to go to St Peters hall off of Hiawatha to the Girl Guides, as you went up Nicholas Lane just a little further up on the left hand side was a Wooden building I think it was possibly a Chapel or something similar, I'm sure there are people from that end of Laindon who will remember better than I. Ellen

By Ellen English nee Burr
On 16/06/2013

Does anyone know why the church hall on the corner of St. Nicholas Lane and the High road was call St.Peter's? I have never heard of St. Peter's church. Was there ever a St. Peter's church? Paul Stickland

By Paul Stickland
On 16/06/2013

Ernest Lilley!!! Can it be? The same Ernest Lilley that was in my class at LHR? Miss Jolliman and Miss Pearce in 1945/6 and 1946/47? Light coloured hair, constantly combing reluctant bits back into place? As all us young lads did at that time. Known for his very good impersonations of characters from the Charlie Chester Show which was a big hit on the wireless at that time?

By Alan Davies
On 30/04/2013

Hi Ernest. I will apologise in advance to answering your question as to what now stands on the land opposite the old Radion. Well this is where the Laindon shopping centre now stands and it stretches north wards towards Nicholas Lane. But don’t be fooled by the name. This structure is a hideous 1960s architectural disaster on a huge scale, half the shops within it are closed and boarded up. And around five years ago part of it was demolished and now lays in a pile of rubble, the place resembles something to the likes of down town Beirut. It’s become a total embarrassment to the people of Laindon. If you go to the article list and look for [ LAINDON SHOPPING CENTER -THE DECLINE ] You can see for yourself . Sorry it’s not nice.

By Barry Ellerby
On 29/04/2013

This I believe to be the Laindon Shopping Centre, possibly the War Memorial.

By W.H.Dimernt
On 29/04/2013
Add a comment about this page

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.