Primrose Hill Estate

Plotlands

By Martin Richardson

By a quirk of fate, I was cycling with a group of fellas from Annan, a town in southern Scotland, having just moved to a village nearby.  Up on the beautiful hill road above Langholm, one of the group enquired where I was from.  "Essex"--"which part"---"Langdon hills"---"I came from there"---"what school did you go to"----"Langdon Hills Primary"----"I went there"---How old are you?----"59"---so am I.  Turns out we were in the same class and have become good friends.

Anyhow, the upshot of this is that he lent a book about Basildon history and what I would like to know is whether Primrose Hill Estate was part of the Plotlands.  My mum and dad, me and my sister lived there from around 1950 to about 1958.  Bob and Gladys Richardson, Martin and Molly.  They tragically lost a son, Peter, drowned in a garden pond.

This page was added by Martin Richardson on 27/06/2015.
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I wonder if Martin Richardson is related to Molly who lived in Shakespeare Avenue in the late 1950s and attended Langdon Hills school.

By Paul Gibson
On 06/07/2015

I am obliged for being reminded that the Francis family lived on the Primrose Hill Estate, chiefly because, after Horace Francis died, Florence, his widow, moved to live in Tyler Avenue near my home in Basil Drive.  Florrie Francis was a very keen member of the Co-operative movement and worked hard in her attempts to preserve the Grays Cooperative Society as a retail business when its influence in the area began to decline.

When the Francis family lived on Primrose Hill Estate, their address was “Le Colombier”, Heywick Drive, and further along that same road, in a property named “Blenheim Lodge”, lived the Quinells.  Mrs Quinell, was, like Mrs Francis as I recall, also a Co-op member.  My mother Lilian Bathurst, yet another member of the Ladies Section of the Grays Co-op Guild, together with Mesdames Francis, Quenell and Kidell (mentioned elsewhere on this web site) were all members of the Gray’s Co-op Women’s Choir who practised regularly at St Peters Church hall in High Road, Laindon. Another member of the choir from the Primrose Hill Estate was Mrs Fernandez who lived at “Stansfield”, Kilowan Road.

The Fernandez family had a sizeable plot of ground and Mr Fernandez was a keen poultry keeper. We, my mother and I, visited their property frequently because the son of the family and I were in the same class at Markhams Chase School.  There was another child of the family; an older girl. We usually came away from such visits well supplied with fresh laid eggs.

Two “farms” remained adjacent to the Primrose Hill Estate, the long standing Lee Chapel farm and what had, more recently, been created “Castlemain Farm” although this latter was, to mind, more of a Paddock than a farm since its existence seemed to revolve around horses.  “Castlemain”, Uppercrest Road is recorded as the Chataway family’s residence and Mrs Chataway was well known of as a keen horsewoman. The Basildon Development Corporation decided to preserve the name “Castlemaine” and it has now been bestowed on the pub in The Knares, Lee Chapel South.

Uppercrest Road appears on no street map I have ever come across but that fact may not be particularly significant as a number of “roads”, not only on Primrose Estate, but also throughout Laindon and Langdon Hills, were left both un delineated and un-mapped.  Several families lived in properties on the estate that had their addresses recorded simply as “Primrose Hill Estate”, so, presumably, the postman at least, knew where they were.

By John Bathurst
On 30/06/2015

Yes,"Ivydene" was our bungalow.  A Mrs Francis, well known in the cooperative movement, was friends of mum and dad; she also lived on the estate.

By Martin Richardson
On 28/06/2015

The Primrose Hill Estate in Lee Chapel was, perhaps, the most remote areas of our community sixty odd years ago. It was mainly accessed by a long walk along Lee Chapel Lane (Oxford Street) from High Road, Langdon Hills, just below the “Crown” or by using the wicket gate across the railway at “Barker’s Crossing” at the end of Northumberland Road.

The estate had been divided into “streets”, none of which had been paved and given the names Heywick Grove, Benton Drive, Restrover Road,  Kilowen Road, Merris Avenue and Wenlock Avenue. There was a family with the surname Richardson (Robert and Gladys) living in Wenlock Avenue in 1949 which may be relevant. The dwelling was named “Ivydene”. The surname of “Richardson” was present in all the areas of Laindon and district.

Most of the younger children from the Primrose Hill estate attended Markhams Chase School (now known as Janet Duke School).

By John Bathurst
On 28/06/2015

The Primrose Hill Estate was part of the Plotlands.   There were many areas of plotland dwellings around Essex, Dunton being the most known and talked about.  Others were in Laindon, Langdon Hills, Nevenden, Pitsea and Vange to name just a few and some further afield at Jaywick for example.    

By Nina Humphrey(née Burton)
On 27/06/2015