Church Avenue - Laindon

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)

Church Avenue ran from the bottom of Church Hill eastward to Uppermayne.  This was an unmade road which became very muddy in winter.  Many people needing to walk to No. 2 Industrial site in the very early sixties (including me) chose to avoid the mud by walking up Church Hill, passed Laindon Park School, along Basildon Road to reach Uppermayne.

There were about 50 dwellings in Church Avenue consisting of between one and four rooms.  Most made of wood, with just a few made from bricks.  I found the following advertisement in the 16th September 1933 edition of the Essex Newsman.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Church Avenue - Laindon' page

Essex Newsman 1933

Surprisingly this wooden built bargain with its asbestos roof and extensive garden didn’t sell immediately as it was still being advertised in June the following year.   On looking at the map, most of the other plots were equally generous in size.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Church Avenue - Laindon' page

Essex Newsman 1934

I have compiled the following list using the 1949 survey map and corresponding list of names of the dwellings in each plot.  A few were ‘unnamed’.  I have used the 1949 Electoral Register to add the names of the residents were possible.

Plots numbered 199 were empty pieces of ground.

North side going east.

235 ‘Fairmead’ – John & Lilian Hollens.  234 ‘Avonside’ - John & Emma Back.  233 ‘Bellview’ – Arthur & Isabel Covington.  232 ‘Whiterock’ – John & Eliza Newman.  231 ‘Stanvera’ – George, Neil & Louisa Pountney.   230 ‘Rosefern’ – James & Daisy Bone.  229 ‘Barrowdale’ – Frank & Joyce Bird.  228 ‘Roberta’ -  Robert & Annie Seber.  227 ‘The Gables’ – Joseph, Florence & Ronald Webb.  226 ‘Clovelly’ – Alfred, Doris, Ethel, Reginald & Ronald Card.  225 ‘Marilyn’ – Arthur & Mary Capps plus Cecil & Phylis Peall.  224 ‘The Kelsys’ – Sidney & Mary Kelsy.  223 ‘Henly’ – Walter & Mabel Mayes.  222 ‘Ivanho’ -    221 ‘Barry’ -    220  - unnamed.  219 – unnamed.  218 ‘Margaret’ -   217 ‘Bettyma’ -    216 ‘Ann’  -  215 – unnamed  214 – unnamed.  213 ‘Hillview’ -   212 ‘The Dawns’ -   211 ‘The Lawns’ -   209 – unnamed. 

Southside going east.

185 ‘Ubique’ -   186 ‘Maplethorpe’ - Sarah A + Sarah L Phillips.  187 ‘Rose  View’ - Nellie & Ernest Barr.   188 ‘Bubbles’ – William, Beryl & Elsie Anderson.  189 ‘Wyndham’ – Isabella & Joshua Pocock.  190 ‘Dorredene’ – Thomas & Gladys Deal.  191 ‘Conieville’ – Thomas & Susan Gipson plus Douglas & Winifred Morrison.  192 ‘Primose’ – Henry Saunders.  193 ‘Ingleneuk’ – William & Grace Townsend.  194 ‘Wendy’ – Samuel Capps plus George & Dorothy Jennings plus Edward & Doris Tagg.  195 ‘Springfield’ -   196 ‘Alembari’ -   197 ‘Oakdale’ -   198 – unnamed   200 ‘Weno’ -   201 – unnamed   202   ‘Mayflower’ -   203  ‘Margarita’ -   204 ‘Bellavera’ -   205 2 unnamed wooden huts  -  206 ‘St Anthony’ –  207 ‘Felix’ -   208 ‘Nous-Quatres’ -.

The 1962 Electoral Register shows the following living in Church Avenue.  ‘Fairmeade’ – John E Hollens.  ‘Avondale’ – Emma J Back.  ‘Rosefern’ – Daisy & James Bone.  ‘Clovelly’ – Alfred & Ethel Card plus David R Eggleston.

Photo:Click on the map to enlarge

Click on the map to enlarge

The 1949 Survey (Ordnance Survey)

According to the Laindon Recorder, in May 1964 the police set up a temporary control post in Church Avenue during a manhunt involving eight hooded bandits who had held up a taxi on its way to a Wickford Bank.  They managed to snatch £1,120 from the two bank officials travelling inside, by ramming the taxi with their black Zodiac and snatching the ignition keys.  The Zodiac was abandoned; the bandits fled and went to ground in Lee Chapel North.  Unfortunately I don’t know the outcome of the manhunt.

The road was made up later that year at which time its name was changed and it became the eastern end of St Nicholas Lane.

Church Avenue isn’t mentioned on the 1968 Electoral Register because by then it had become part of St Nicholas Lane.  However the following were shown still in residence:  No. 88 – Isobel Pocock.   ‘Neasden’ - Isobel & Pearl Covington.

Today this stretch of road is extremely busy and the parkland area that lays on the south side of the road to the far east is due to be built on with yet more houses, much to the disappointment of the Lee Chapel North residents.  

This page was added by Nina Humphrey(née Burton) on 21/02/2015.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

I am very familiar with the mud in Church Road.  My dad used to make grocery deliveries to several customers there.  On one occasion the "road" was softer than my dad had realised and before we had travelled far, the car got stuck in the mud.  My dad got his old hessian potato sacks out and put them under the wheels.  He then told me to get out of the car and push while he put the car in reverse.  This ploy worked very successfully.  The car moved back into St. Nicholas Lane.  Unfortunately when the car moved I wasn't ready and fell flat on my face in the mud.  To add to my degradation my dad wouldn't let me get back in the car because I was too muddy, leaving me to walk back home!!  Oh, the joys of being a grocer's daughter.

By Georgina Nottage (nee Ellingford)
On 19/03/2016

Today I had occasion to travel to Laindon, to visit my sister at her home, after her having been in hospital for many weeks. Happy to say she is on the mend. But on beginning my journey home, my route took me along St Nicholas Lane towards Upper Mayne. I was, to put it mildly, dismayed to see what I regard as one of the few remaining areas of scrubland in the district under development.

The area bordered on three sides by Ballards Walk, St Nicholas Lane and Upper Mayne, soon to be known as St Nicholas Mews and Westley Green is having 3 and 4 bedroom houses built  upon it. Obviously they will not be affordable houses and are not aimed at next generation Laindoners. Makes you sick doesnt it? I cant remember the last time I saw a Bullfinch, there used to be many on that piece of ground and when did I last see a Thrush? This type of development ensures that our children and their children will probably never have the opportunity to see these or many other varieties of wildlife that was once common in and around Laindon. Well done Redrow Homes and those who gave this project the go ahead.

By Donald Joy
On 21/12/2015

An update on the dwelling 188 Bubbles, William & Elsie were mum & dad, their children from eldest down, Beryl, James, Jean, and Brenda.

Beryl married my brother John, They were divorced later on, James married my sister Shirley, sadly she passed away 7 years ago, James still lives Billericay. Jean married Douglas Hymas they both live in the King Edward Road area. Brenda married Ron Thorn and they live in Rochford. I have lost touch with Jean & Brenda.

The bungalow 189, Diana Pocock also lived there.  Lovely memories from those days.

Bill Anderson

By William Anderson
On 08/04/2015

Good little article, I enjoyed it. This area is significant to me because by 1959 when I knew it, most of the houses listed by Nina had either disappeared or were deserted and damaged. We used to call them 'The Shacks'.

That summer was the hottest on record and luckily for us who were interested in nature we would see many varieties of butterflies, lizards, slow worms and snakes including grass snakes and adders. The snakes would curl up under sheets of asbestos and we would surprise them by flipping back the sheets to see them make off at speed for cover. The lizards would bask in the sun, being cold blooded reptiles. My favourites were the slow worms which looked exactly like snakes but were more docile and could be handled safely.

These days as Nina says the road is extremely busy but the grassy verges around the Church Hill and Hilly Road section are the legacy of all those early plot dwellers. I wonder who bought Rose View from Nellie and Ernest Barr and how long they stayed, a fascinating thought.

By Richard Haines
On 28/02/2015