Wartime memories Langdon Hills and Laindon

Salisbury Avenue Primrose Estate

By Thelma Oliver

I lived at the end of Salisbury Ave which continued through a small wood into a field and then Primrose Estate. My house was opposite Marlborough Rd and further along was Gladstone Rd between them lay Gibsons farm with cows, horses etc.

We had milk direct from cows collected in a jug an when the war started we were given a registered milk man Sonny Firman with his hand barrow and churns of milk.

Up through the roads mentioned to the top and circling round we came to Norview house and many days were spent scrambling over wall to scrump apples.

I would mention there was no electric lamplight in winter time. Coal was delivered during summer when ruts had dried out.

My parents once a week attended Lee Chapel Social Club, this was a social evening tea biscuits and dancing (I played piano for waltz etc. before portable record players came into being) this was in St Nicholas Hall at Barkers corner end of Eliazabeth Drive. 

This page was added by Thelma Oliver on 17/03/2014.
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I think it is remarkable that Thelma Oliver was as a young child sufficiently proficient to play the piano for  dancing at St.Michaels Hall. Pre-war we had to rely upon the bands of Bunny Briggs at St. Nicholas Hall , Cyril Lammin at the Basildon Country Club at weekends or a record player at The British Legion Hall on Wednesdays.

By W.H.Diment
On 23/03/2014

Hello Ann. My son Trevor has issued to the site a good photo of Social Group perhaps someone will recognise faces and names. Mrs Hopper and family I had the Chelmsford school uniform from her daughters as they grew out of it, wartime meant no new clothes because of coupons. I also walked across field to Mrs Francis for goat milk when her nanny goat was milking. No other names spring to mind.

By Thelma
On 22/03/2014

Hi Keith, glad someone remembers Gibson's. No road existed, they farmed land between Marlborough and Gladstone Road.the fields lay between the roads and climbed upwards towards Norview. I remember the girls who were older than me and I am sure one of their brothers was killed by a cow kicking him in the head, do not know his name. One of my friends Gladys Robinson lived with her parents in one of the converted barns, her dad being a farm hand. I spent many hours picking blackberries selling to shops for 3d a punnet, also fishing in pond for newts etc. Very wild where I spent my happy days.

By Thelma
On 22/03/2014

Hello Thelma. Good to see your article re. Primrose estate, socials etc.  I am still awaiting publication of a photograph of the party put on during the Coronation celebration by the committee members. Programme of details is already on site by the way and the person who put it on is asking if any one else remembers people or events from the Primrose Hill estate folk. Hope you do not mind me commenting on the fact that the hall you mentioned was in fact St. Michaels not St.Nicholas.  I do however remember it was used by St.Nicholas Church for things like Girl Guides as I attended there until we were transferred up to the hall by St.Nicholas Church around 1954.  At that time I lived in Edgware Drive just off Markham's Chase near the school.

By Ann Rugg
On 20/03/2014

Hi Thelma.  You mentioned Gibson's farm.  My auntie was Peggie Gibson, her brother was Fred.  I was quite young when mum and dad took me over there.  What road was it in?  Do you remember my uncle Albert Bull who married Peggie?  They lived near there.   I have some photos of my mum about 8 years old on a horse at Gibson's farm.  I remember Fred Gibson had 2 sons, Ivan and Trevor.  Fred was married to Ivy.

By Keith Nock
On 19/03/2014