Some memories

On behalf of Bob Davies

By Steve Cooper

Various branches of my family have either lived or been connected to Laindon. One of these is my father-in-law, Bob Davies, and as Bob isn't 'computer friendly' I have said I'd add his thoughts because he is keen to not only recall his memories but also to hear those of others. His niece, Gloria Sewell, is a regular contributor. Bob, in his younger years, lived in 'Lilac' in Beatrice Road with his mum and dad, Jack and Daisy. He later married Vera Turner who lived in 'Ferndale' in Sylvan Road and they moved into 'Kalverdene' also in Sylvan Road. In approx 1964 they moved from there to live in Great Knightleys, Basildon.

Some of Bob's memories are: The regular bike race up Crown Hill where riders had to sit on their bikes backwards to pedal. His long time mate Lenny Hudson had an older brother, Teddy, who entered it and won in approx 1943.

He also recalls the door to the tunnel behind the St Nicholas church altar steps that was believed to go to the Manor House. A trip down this tunnel was stopped when they came to a part blocked by water. The mention elsewhere of the shop E. C. Andrews jogged his memory. It was taken over by Green Stores and then by either Stanleys or Stanfords, he's not sure which. They sold washing machines etc and he recalls his sister Violet (Gloria's mum) getting one on 'the never' but the shop went broke and she didn't have to pay for it.

This page was added by Steve Cooper on 03/01/2012.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

Hi Bob Saunderson I remember you, but more so your sister I think, Toppy. I am one of the Cleverley’s, not Beverley's as Mrs Sewell remembers. We were the family of Jehovahs Witnesses 5 boys 4 girls, mum didn’t stop at 4 as Gloria remembered us. 

I knew your nan very well she was so kind to all us kids. I used to go and do her shopping in Lungley’s for her and she always rewarded us with a thruppeny bit for sweets. We sometimes used to go in her house to see who she called grandpa, he was very elderly and never spoke but always smiled and loved to see us children, we always gave him a kiss on the forehead. 

Alfie used to work in a garage at the end of the garden on his cars, Toppy as we knew her was such fun and such a character, I always thought of her as Ann of Green Gables, she actually was more friends with my big sister Carol than me but I was always trying to get in on the action.

I also remember a little old frail lady Mrs Tuffnall and I remember her always living alone until she passed away. Do you remember Mrs Brown that lived next door to us, I think, she had about 5 children? She wasn’t there for long though. 

I also remember Lynn Davies because she was great friends with my eldest sister Cherry she was always at Lynn’s house and was devastated when they moved. 

I have some vague memory of the Bonniface name for some reason, were there 2 girls in the family? I think they lived near the wood yard where my dad worked for a while, also a clinic was next to the wood yard if I remember. I would love to hear from anybody who remembered us regards.

By Shirley Riches nee Cleverley
On 14/06/2012

Hello Shirley, yes Mrs Davies was my grandmother, I was the eldest grandaughter Gloria.

I held my wedding reception in Lilac next door to you. I had a son Tony in 1961 we were always at my grans, I remember you and the children.

I expect you remember Lynna's chicken she used to push around in the pram, she now lives with her family in New Zealand and is herself now a grandmother.

My dear grandmother Daisy Davies lived into her 90s and was always the kindest sweetest lady that you could know, there is a picture of her outside Lilac in Beatrice Road, in one of my stories on the Sewell Family memories section of this site. There are quite a lot of reference to the residence of Beatrice Road.

I would also add that Lynn your sister Cherry’s friend was the only child of Bob Davies whom this page is about. He now lives in New Zealand with his wife Vera (nee Turner), of approx 65 years, she lived in Sylvan Road as a child (next road to Beatrice Road).

So your family and mine must share many childhood memories one of course being Mrs Lungley’s sweet and grocery shop and post office on the corner of Beatrice Road and Berry Lane.

Do you remember my Aunty Lowl used to always have her sister Aunty May with her because she needed extra care being of a simple mind but never the less a sweet lady.

By Gloria Sewell
On 19/04/2012

I note that Shirley Riches is not connected to the Walter Riches I knew and who was also known as George Garnish as he was adopted by the Garnish family who lived in Waverly Road. Walter/George after the war married one of two sisters named Player who lived in High Rd. North. He was employed as a coalman for Hall & Co. Perhaps he has relatives still living in Laindon.

By W.H.Diment
On 01/04/2012

No sorry I'm not related in any way to Walter, as I'm actually a Cleverley I married a Riches, so I asked my husband if he knew a Walter, he has no recollection either. His family are all from Dagenham. 

The Cleverleys lived in Beatrice Road, next door to 'Lilacs' I believe all througout the 60s, we were a large family of 11. 

I have a memory of Mrs Davies, elderly with white curly hair. I remember her grand daughter more, Lynn, my eldest sister Cherry was great freinds with her.

By Shirley Riches nee Cleverley
On 31/03/2012

Hello Paul Huish; I missed your comment sorry about the delay getting back to you, we rented Cefen Mabely, but I am sure you theory is right as the lady we rented from was Welsh and her old mother was called Mable. I knew it meant something in welsh but I could not remember what, as it was 1961 when we first moved in there. 

What a lovely story, mind you I hate hunting, but such was a necessity in the 10th century to survive. Thank you so much for the information.

Mary Norman I also recall the story of the tunnel as a child but it was a bit more extreme. My brother Fred thought it ran from St.Nicholas to Little Bursted, such I would think is the imagination of a child after hearing Uncle Bob talk about "The Tunnel", the story grew in our minds.

By Gloria Sewell
On 26/02/2012

Is Shirley Riches whose name appears on this page related to a Walter Riches who married one of two sisters who lived in High Rd. North. If so I remember a journey with Walter which may be of interest to her.

By W.H.Diment
On 23/02/2012

Nice to see the local rumour of a tunnel between St Nicholas Church and Manor House raising its head again! In the early 1930s a deep trench was dug along the High Road to take the new sewer. As he suspected that the tunnel was an old wives tale, my father Alec Norman, walked the length of the trench and could find no sign of the tunnel, which must have crossed the road. As he always said "Why would anyone dig a tunnel that long?" However, if there ever was a tunnel, it would be more likely to lead to Laindon Hall

By Mary Cole née Norman
On 22/02/2012

Hello, I just read your comments re Cefen Mabely. I think this must derive from the name of a very old mansion house in South Wales called Cefn Mably or Cefn Mabli in welsh - welsh for Mable's Ridge (the house is built on a ridge between Cardiff and Newport and the land was used as a hunting lodge by the daughter of an old Welsh warlord in the 10th century - called Mable). The Mansion was converted into apartments a few years ago. Email me if you would like some pictures or more informmation.

By Paul Huish
On 13/01/2012

Editor: Comment temporarily removed for Editing

By Shirley Riches nee Cleverley
On 30/12/2011

June; Bob Davies is my uncle he is over 90 now and living in New Zealand. 

Violet was my mother, sadly now gone, she was named after your mother Violet Gertrude, so I do believe we are 2nd cousins it's such a small world now.

By Gloria Sewell
On 16/12/2011

I believe Bob was my mother's nephew. Violet was one of my mother's bridesmaids. I wonder if he remembers an Aunt Gertie. I am her daughter June which I think would make me his cousin

By June Wagner
On 13/12/2011

Agree Richard, this was a great era for music, but getting back to my Uncle Bob Davies he was so friendly with Lenny Hudson before my uncle left to live in New Zealand. 

I knew and respected Lilly Hudson very well, she lived in Tattenham Rd., untill she passed away in the early 80s. Her daughter then worked in the Co-op chemist in the Laindon Shopping centre. Does anyone know of them today?

By Gloria Sewell
On 27/11/2011

Stanwood's did have the small shop in Laindon as you have all agreed here. However, for records the Stanwood's in East Walk, Basildon was where most of the teenagers would go to buy the latest hits. They had a fantastic little shop upstairs where you could listen to your record before buying, this was before WH Smiths opened in the Town Square. You could also order older records which had gone out of the hit parade and they would be there waiting within about two days. I'm sure the girl in there got fed up with me ordering Eddie Cochran records after he died.

By Richard Haines
On 26/11/2011

Thanks Nina for sorting that out and for the list.

By Andrea Ash (nee Pinnell)
On 26/11/2011

Hi I remember buying my first tape recorder from Stanwood's it was a reel to reel Grundig.

By Keith Nock
On 26/11/2011

Before Stanwoods, the shop in the fifties was Laindon Radio & TV Services, the proprietor was C. Keegan. Followed by Stanwood Radio Ltd during the sixties, which was re-located to No. 42 in the newly built Laindon Centre. Link:

By Nina Humphrey(nee Burton)
On 26/11/2011

Yes of course you are both right it was Stanwoods but from the 1960s, We had our washing machine in the 1950s when it was a local independant. Perhaps someone could look up the proprietors name? Stanley really does ring a bell. When the shop went into liquidation Stanwoods bought it and continued for a few years after. As my Uncle Bob Davies is 92 now and I was only abouthink I think we are doing well but I would of course love to know the owners name then.

By Gloria Sewell
On 26/11/2011

Andrea. I am sure you are right about Stanwoods. There is a list of Laindon shop names and where they were situated on the Basildon website. I attach a link:- http://www.basildon.com/history/laindon/lhrs2.html

By Nina Humphrey(nee Burton)
On 26/11/2011

You know, its weird, I lived in Denbigh Road and I thought that when the post office closed, the shop that took over was called Stanwoods. Does anyone have a list of the shops for that area?

By Andrea Ash (nee Pinnell)
On 25/11/2011

Yes, it was a Service Agitator. Mum had worked so hard for years with her copper, washing board and blue bags. She was so lucky to get the machine for nothing but she really did deserve it. The shop was Stanley's. When Uncle Bob and Aunty Vera lived in "Kalverdene" I lived in an asbestos bungalow in Albermarle Crescent called "Cefen Mabley", welsh for our home. I think I had to walk about a mile along the path, left over the station bridge going towards the Crown or up the High Road to Dry St. to get to it. When my first son was a baby my husband worked nights. Uncle Bob and Aunty Vera would not let me stay in the bungalow alone as none of the windows shut properly at night (no health and safety then). We had the two back rooms and a kitchen in "Cefen Mabley"; the rent was £1-10 shillings a week. My husband used to drop me off on his motorbike and sidecar and I would stay with them at night and he would then pick me up in the morning. I was always so proud of my Uncle Bob, he had polio as a child and always walked with a limp but he never let anything get the better of him. I spoke to him on the phone recently as he; his wife and family live in New Zealand. I don't see them now but my memories of "Lilac", "Kalverdene" etc. are like yesterday. Lynn his daughter was one of my little flower girls at my wedding.

A little footnote; we never had much at that time as my mother was what you would now call a single parent. All my Aunts and Uncles clubbed together and gave me the best wedding reception ever at" Lilac". I do so much adore them all.

By Gloria Sewell
On 25/07/2011

I can remember my father-in-law, Bert Peters of Dunton Road, Laindon talking about the backwards bicycle race in which he also took part. According to him, the race was eventually stopped for road safety reasons. He went on to riding a penny-farthing around the town instead.

By Anne Burton
On 06/07/2011
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