Laindon Shop 1914-18

By Geoff Martin-Smith

Emma Jarvis wife of John Jarvis in doorway, also Walter, Emily and their daughter Mabel.

Photo:Photo taken in Laindon between 1914 and 1918.

Photo taken in Laindon between 1914 and 1918.

Geoff Martin-Smith

Editor:  The above photograph (postcard) was for sale on eBay some months ago.   I kept a copy so that I could start some research.

I have added below the back view of the postcard which shows the original writing.  I doubt very much whether the name is Jarvis, as the ‘J’ is completely different to the ‘J’ in John.  I think it is an ‘F’ and the name is probably Ferris or Farris.

Unfortunately the surname of Walter, Emily and Mabel isn’t mentioned. My research continues.

Update 24.01.17.  I have established that their surname was Hayter.  Emily being the married daughter of John and Emma Farris.   The little girl Mabel Hayter was born in Laindon 1906.

Update 1.2.2017.

I can now update my research.  I have a copy of Mabel Hayter’s birth certificate which shows she was born on 18th January 1906.  Place of birth:- High Road, Laindon.   Mother:-  Emily Hayter, formerly Farris.  Father:- Walter Hayter – general shop keeper of High Road, Laindon. It would appear the family was living above the shop and their daughter was born there.

A trip to the Essex Records Office this afternoon and a delve through the Electoral Registers showed Walter Hayter living on the Laindon Station Estate from 1906 (not mentioned before that date).  He is also mentioned on the 1907 and 1908 Laindon Electoral Registers.

Unfortunately, many of  those old Electoral records show only the name of the road without mentioning the house number or name.  The 1914 and 1915 Electoral Registers do not mention Walter Hayter.

Earlier, I had looked the family up on the 1911 Census and found them living at 11 Oak Lane, Twickenham  (Including mother-in-Law Emily Farris).

Therefore, I believe the date on the back of the photo is incorrect and it was actually taken late 1910 or early 1911, just before they moved to Twickenham.  The little girl looks about 5 years old and that would tie in with that date.

The family came from Shaftesbury, Dorset where Walter and Emily married in 1900.  The 1901 Census shows they had moved to Acton, Middx.  They  moved to the shop/house in Laindon late 1905. (They are not on the Laindon 1905 Electoral Register, which is usually recorded early in the year)..  They lived at the shop from then, until moving on to Twickenham by 1911.

To sum up, we now know the shop was somewhere on the Laindon High Road, within the Laindon Station Estate.   Exactly where, is still to be established.

Mabel was an only child and she never married.  She died 12th February1986 in Farnham, Surrey, aged 80.

Click on picture to enlarge the image.

Photo:Close up of the photo.

Close up of the photo.

Nina Humphrey

Photo:Back view of the postcard as it appeared on eBay.

Back view of the postcard as it appeared on eBay.

Nina Humphrey

Photo:The photo as it appeared on eBay

The photo as it appeared on eBay

Nina Humphrey

This page was added by Geoff Martin-Smith on 23/01/2017.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

Whilst "Ancestry" is a very good site it cannot provide evidence of a person's past lives. I do believe in reincarnation having seen the way Nina goes about gathering information. Her determination to discover facts about people and places lead me to believe that in a past life Nina may well have been a ferret. 

Note from Nina:  Could be, but in this life, some of the Archive's contributors have nicknamed me 'Miss Marple'!

By Donald Joy
On 02/02/2017

If they are leaving, perhaps this would explain the blank name board and lack of other signage.Just a thought.

By Paul Stickland
On 02/02/2017

Yes you have the right family.  I also traced them to Dorset/Wiltshire on ‘Ancestry’ but didn’t mention anything earlier than Walter and Emily’s marriage in 1900 as I wanted to mainly focus on the shop.  The information we have gathered, plus the age of Mabel, would appear to confirm that the photo was taken 1910/11 as suspected. At that time, I feel they were preparing to leave the shop, just before moving to Twickenham. Amazing what a bit of scribbled writing on the back of an old picture postcard can uncover.   I imagine the word ‘wartime’ was somebody making a guess.   

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 02/02/2017

I have been researching the family on Ancestry.com. It seems that John Farris died in 1914 and his wife Emma in 1917. All the records I have found have them living (and dying) in Wiltshire or Dorset. This suggests that the photo must be pre-1914. Perhaps the older couple where visiting to help set up the new business. I know you can get led astray with these Ancestry searches but it seems to be the right people. Hope this might be of some help. 

By Paul Stickland
On 02/02/2017

Nina well done and thank you for carrying out the research for us (we know you love doing it). This is good information, the early families came from all parts to Laindon didn't they. Good to know that our guess of the shop being in the High Road is correct. So I wonder where the boundaries of the Laindon Station Estate ran to? Those boundaries might help, especially where they intersect with the High Road.

By Richard Haines
On 01/02/2017

Please see my latest update of 1.2.2017 which I have added to the main article above.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 01/02/2017

Richard, I believe the row of terraced shops near the station to which you refer are shown in the article ‘Old Photos of Laindon’.  On the far right of the 8th row down.   Also in the row below that, 2nd from right.  Again although there are similarities, none are the shop in question.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 30/01/2017

Ok I've been doing some thinking about exactly where the shop must have been, assuming it was in Laindon High Road. If the dates are as it says on the photograph 1914-1918 (and the styles of clothing do fit that date) then the only position it could have taken up (looking at the 1922 map) must be in the terraced row adjacent to Windsor Road. This would be a good location for a tobacconist (people smoked on trains then and this was right near the station) and clearly adults and children alike would buy sweets for the journey. From the map (it has copyright and I can't show it here) there appears to be 6-8 shops about the size in the photograph. Nina you might be able to check through the site photos for one that looks like it but from a later date.

By Richard Haines
On 30/01/2017

I'd like to disagree with Richard's comment, "very happy days, never ever to return". The comments posted on this site help me to relive those days if only fleetingly and inside my own mind. Other people's memories and the stories they tell relating to them are fascinating and inspire many other memories of mine and others. And so it goes on thankfully. Hope you take my point Richard?

By Donald Joy
On 30/01/2017

Not quite sure how Miss Jollyman came into this discussion on the shop. Clearly she left an impression on some of the boys. For me she was one of the character teachers at LHR . In the Biology class we learned all about the reproductive parts of flowers, such as the stamens and pistils and we had Anenomes growing in water filled receptacles, so that we could study the way they survived. Miss Jollyman was interesting to say the least. All the desks in her classroom were well polished in Lavender Wax by her pupils. She smoked a lot which didn't do much for her smile but never mind, I loved going to her Biology classes and she gave me a good mark with the comment 'Satisfactory MAJ' . Like thanks Miss, nice remark after a 12 month session. I'm sure those who had her as a class mistress, not just a Biology teacher would have learned to love her more. Very happy days, never, ever to return .

By Richard Haines
On 29/01/2017

Yes Miss Jollyman was still there whilst I attended, we knew her as Miss Woodbine, can't think why?  Reading through my note to Alan once more couldn't help thinking that I sounded somewhat snotty, sorry for that Alan. 

Back to the photo: Am surprised that the proud subjects and the supposed professional photographer didn't think to pick up the litter strewn in front of the shop. So it's not just a modern day problem then?

By Donald Joy
On 29/01/2017

Thanks for the clarification, Donald. Miss Jolliman (if she was still there during your time) would have been proud of you. When it came to English, I was totally perplexed by subject, object, predicate etc. I am told diagramming a sentence is not even taught today. No point it seems. Everything is do as you like with no right or wrong. I am beginning to sound like my grandfather.

By Alan Davies
On 29/01/2017

What a wonderful photo, if for no other reason than the amount of interest and comments that it has inspired. Every now and then a picture comes along and gets everyone fired up, that's what it's all about ! 

Note to Alan. Confections are made by a confectioner in a confectionery, although over the years correct grammar has suffered abominably to the point where virtually anything is accepted. (Shame) As a p.s. English was the only thing I was good at. 

By Donald Joy
On 28/01/2017

It certainly is intriguing Richard.  If it wasn’t along Laindon High Road – where was it exactly?  I’m still researching and should receive a bit of information this coming week that may or may not be of help.  I hate giving up on anything, so will keep on going (like a dog with a bone!) 

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 28/01/2017

Nina thanks, no it's not Nightingale Parade, as you said. Wherever this group of shops is, it would stand out on the 1922 map, Laindon didn't really start developing fast until the 1930s. At the moment I'm assuming it was on the High Road as there wouldnt have been much point in building it anywhere else.

By Richard Haines
On 28/01/2017

For the benefit of those who don't remember, Clarnico was famed for their Mint Creams. These are still available although the packaging is named Bassetts the company that currently owns the very old established Clarke, Nicholls and Coombe sweet makers. 

Maybe my suggestion of Vange being a possible location makes a small amount of sense ? Whoever wrote on the reverse of the photograph may have made a mistake ?

Editor:  Yes, could be a mistake, but haven't given up yet.  Note: My favourite was Clarnico fudge.

By Donald Joy
On 28/01/2017

I believe you are referring to Nightingale Parade.   There’s a couple of photos of that block under “Old Photos of Langdon Hills” (see article list).  Although there’s some similarity, it isn’t the shop in question. 

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 27/01/2017

Today I looked on the 1/2500 scale OS Map for Laindon dated 1922. This should therefore have picked up the terrace of shops where this tobacconist/sweet shop was located. Surprisingly there were very few buildings on the High Road at all in those days.

The first group going north from the station, on the High Road were adjacent to Windsor Road, this looks like a terrace of up to eight shops. They do not look flat fronted, as on the photograph. Going north, very few buildings at all, the Laindon Hotel and a couple of semi detached shops or houses then the group of three houses in a terrace nearly opposite Nicholl Road (one of these housed the district nurse in our day).

So our shop wasn't on this side of the railway line. Looking south of the railway there is a group of shops on the same side of the road as Langdon Hills School, just in advance of it coming from the station. I think I've seen a photo of that group of shops somewhere on this Laindon website.

By Richard Haines
On 27/01/2017

I still can't picture where this terrace of shops could be. On the Basildon site there is a list of shops going down one side of the High Road then back up the other side. Maybe it's in there but the early dates 1914-18 are scarce on that list. It does state what the uses were as well but even that can change with a change of proprietor. Also, how many were in this terrace ?

By Richard Haines
On 27/01/2017

Richard's comment makes sense if one assumes that they are waiting for the same sign painter/writer to install the "licenced to sell....." sign over the entrance door. Of course, on the other hand, why have all the advertising signs been put in place and the store stocked before the name goes up? Perhaps it was simply a matter of which tradesmen could be there at what time. The advertisers might have been able to command quick responses whereas the storekeeper, who had to pay for the name sign and the "licenced to sell....." sign themselves may have had to wait. Then again, why not wait for everything to be finished before contracting for a professional photograph, which I assume it had to be in that era.

By Alan Davies
On 27/01/2017

With regard to the blank signboard above the shop I believe they were probably waiting for the signwriter to come and put the final touches to the outside before official opening. Either that or they thought they would deliberately leave it off in order to confuse viewers of the photograph 100 years afterwards.

By Richard Haines
On 26/01/2017

Is it not rather strange that the name board above the shop is blank? Usually this would proudly display the proprietor's name or at least a name such as "The Stores".

By Paul Stickland
On 26/01/2017

Don't know if anybody has noticed, or whether it just hasn't been mentioned, on the left side of the photo is a board advertising R White Ginger Beer. This must have been quite an impressive shop for the time, just look at the size of the glass window panes. Only shops in major towns and cities had glass panels of this size at the time this picture was taken. 

Not wanting to be a wet blanket but, this does remind me of several shops that used to be in Vange. Yes, I did read "taken in Laindon" on the reverse of the photo, I just thought I'd say. 

By Donald Joy
On 25/01/2017

To Georgina's excellent point. In later times, notification of a licence to sell cigarettes and tobacco (or in other instances, alcohol) had to be posted above the entrance to the store. Or at least, that is what memory says. I see no such notification in the photograph.

The advertisements are interesting. Plenty of Cadbury while St Julien and Players were still around fifty years later. Perhaps they still are for all I know. Clarnico confections I do not remember. Confections strikes me as an odd word. One usually sees confectionery. Could it be that confections was more commonly used circa 1916 but has since given way to confectionery?

The women's clothing is interesting. The dress length and the very modest cut hardly seems to have changed since Victorian times. The changes to come over the next twenty years must have been quite a shock to the older generation. Conversely, the gentleman's ubiquitous cloth cap seems as if it could be anywhere from Victorian times up to well past the end of WW2.

By Alan Davies
On 24/01/2017

Thank you Georgina.  I will look into that.  In the meantime I have found out a little bit about them.  I was right about the name ‘Farris’.   The lady in the doorway is Emma Farris, wife of John Farris.  The other lady is their daughter Emily who married Walter Hayter.  The little girl is their daughter Mabel Hayter who was born in Laindon 1906. I have yet to locate the exact position of the shop, but I am working on it.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 24/01/2017

Hi Nina,  Did tobacconists in c.1914-18 have to be licensed?  If they did, and there is a site you can look at, you might find some info on this family.

By Georgina Nottage
On 24/01/2017

Yes it certainly is a fascinating photo and as I mentioned above while wearing my Editor’s hat, 'my research continues'.

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 23/01/2017

Fabulous photograph and early days there in Laindon. I remember Clarnico sweets but not sure now which ones I liked. Clearly also a tobacconist with St Julien and Players and note the glass jars with sweets on the right. Everybody smart and ready to serve in the shop no doubt. So - where was the premises located? This is clearly before the Boons era of sweet shops. Have you any ideas Nina ?

By Richard Haines
On 23/01/2017
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