Beatrice Road and Surrounding Area

Memories of families who lived there

By Nina Humphrey (née Burton)

This is a spin-off from my article ‘Photo Album’ about Laindon’s postmen and women.

When somebody mentioned Beatrice Road in a comment, the subject began to drift off in a tangent. Eventually there were around thirty entries about the area and the families who had lived there. Beatrice Road no longer exists but the name has been retained for a footpath in the same area.

As this subject is very interesting in its own right and still receives occasional comments, I decided it really deserved a separate heading of its own. I therefore enlisted the help of the editorial team, to extract the appropriate comments and place them here, complete with map of the area and photograph of ‘Beatrice Path’.

Photo:Beatrice Road and surrounding area 1938

Beatrice Road and surrounding area 1938

Ordnance Survey Office.

Photo:Beatrice Path.

Beatrice Path.

Colin Humphrey

This page was added by Nina Humphrey(née Burton) on 11/10/2012.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

Further to the comment of Gloria Sewell, 20/10/11. She writes of a Mrs. James, her daughter Kitty and a son. The son was Freddie (Ginger), well known as a one of the better footballers of old Laindon.

By W.H.Diment
On 08/07/2013

Just an addition to the comment of John Bathurst 30/10/11 regarding the Ling family. Alice still lives in Royston Avenue (or did) until very recently with her two daughters and I often would see her walking her little white dog. William died many years ago.

By W.H.Diment
On 08/07/2013

A quick response to John, AKA Mr Dabber Dabhi. Great to see your post John, I will relay it to my Mum and Toppy. Great memories of simpler and perhaps better times, Keep well, all the best, Bobby

By Bob Saunderson
On 06/07/2013

Hi Bob Saunderson and Shirley Riches. Although not a Laindon boy (Basildon I'm afraid!) I remember Mary Luton, Alf Warren (Overalls!) and the Cleverley family as well as the Saundersons. The latter used to refer to me as John Dabber Dabby, since in 1973 I went to Abu Dhabi to work (it is next door to Dubai.) Home on leave from there the Saundersons very kindly let me stay with them, they were then living in Pitsea. 

Before this I was one of the youngsters who was mentored and encouraged by Alf in fixing cars. As a penniless Marconi Apprentice it was a financial necessity to do as much as possible for as little as possible but it was also a very enjoyable way to pass the time. We got involved in many escapades, one being a trip to Inn's the carbreakers in Lower Dunton Road. Fred Cleverley had an old VW camper van which he had taken the engine from for one of his Beetles. He asked Paul Southgate and I to get rid of the rest of it and I remember being towed in it by Paul at what seemed breakneck speed on a very short towrope and this was before I had even got a driving licence. 

I remember Fred's son (forgotten his name) having a small car called a Goggomobile which he got from Alf. Bob, I remember you and your sisters Toppy and Ruth well, was there not another brother? My best wishes to you all and of course your mother. 

I live in North Devon now but often go back to Essex to visit family. Maybe we could meet up with your Mum sometime. I got made redundant over three years ago after 40 years (never left Marconi but by then it was part of BAE Systems) so I potter around here with a smallholding.

By John Hawkins
On 24/10/2012

Hello Alan; regarding Old Bondy, yes I remember him. Some while back I wrote an article on the Basildon History site, which is still there and may be worth a read? I have a few articles on there and do have permission to put them on this site, if they would be of any use.

By Andrea (nee Pinnell)
On 28/09/2012

The above comments contain several references to the names of the families living in Beatrice Road and Bristow Road and Sylvan Road but there is no mention of Bridge Road.

Leaving Lungleys (or Townsends as it was before Lungley) behind and walking Bridge Road toward Tom Thumb bridge, on the left, in a small field just before the bridge lived Old Bondy. He was not a tramp although he looked like one. He lived alone. A really big man who never uttered a word or even looked at anyone he passed in the street. As a boy I heard tales of how brave lads would yell or simply say something to Old Bondy only to met with snarls and threatening gestures. Whenever one saw Old Bondy coming one crossed the street or quickly took another path. One never wanted to meet Old Bondy on a dark night.

There is also a reference to Lou and Harry Hill living at the junction of Beatrice Road and Raglan Road. I lived in Raglan Road but I was always under the impression that Raglan Road, coming from Berry Lane simply dead-ended amidst a wealth of bushes and underbrush. There only two houses. Ours was "Lowlands" and next door my grandmother in "Randley". Raglan Road never did the dog leg left which would have been necessay to continue to the Hills. Unless it went bravely through thick bushes!!

By Alan Davies
On 28/09/2012

The caretaker at Langdon Hills School was, I think, Joe Ling. He had a son, Joe Ling, who was a really good footballer.

By Janet Harper (nee McDonnell)
On 26/09/2012

Hi Shirley, Lovely to hear from you. In short the answer is yes I remember your family (and the VW's and your Dad's pigeons) very well. Nan and Alfie both passed away 6 years ago and had lived in Alexander Road for about twenty years after "The Auto" was pulled down. 

Toppy, my elder sister now lives in Northhamptonshire and is doing well, I'll be chatting with her tomorrow so will tell her about this. Regards to all your family.

By Bob Saunderson
On 16/06/2012

Hi Bob Saunderson, I remember you, but more so your sister I think, Toppy.  I am one of the Cleverleys, not Beverleys as Mrs Sewell remembers. We were the family of Jehovah’s Witnesses, five boys and four girls; mum didn’t stop at four 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 Lungleys for her and she always rewarded us with a thrupenny 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 Anne of Green Gables, actually, she 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 frail old lady, a Mrs Tuffnall, I remember her always living alone until she passed.  Do you remember Mrs Brown who lived next door to us?  I think she had about five 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 Boniface name for some reason, were there two 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.


By Shirley Riches nee cleverley
On 15/06/2012

Some further information from 1949 that may help to refresh your memories: In that year, Beatrice Road, Langdon Hills residents’ surnames were listed as Arthey, Davies, Frances, Geoghegan, Hagger, James, Moule, Purkiss and Tufnail. Those in Bristow Crescent were Barnett, Davis, Hayes, Mansi, Noad, Pomroy, Rogers and Williams, whereas Bristow Road was Boniface, Clarke, Freeman, Gilchrist, Gregory, Hayes, Llewellyn, Luton, Marshall, Moore, Pestell, Saberton, Scott, Skeggs, Townsend, Wright. Lastly, the residents of Sylvan Road were Barnes, Bartlett, Bond Cooper, Gough, Stupple, Turner and Warren.

By John Bathurst
On 30/10/2011

If it is of any assistance, in 1949 there was a Leonard, Annie and Charlotte Ling living at “Eston”, Lincewood Park Drive, Langdon Hills, an Alice and William Ling in 20, Royston Avenue, Laindon and Joseph and Doreen Ling in “The Bungalow”, Shakespeare Avenue, Langdon Hills.

By John Bathurst
On 30/10/2011

Gloria; Thought the Lings lived down there somewhere near clinic? Mr Ling was a school caretaker and one of the sons was called Eddy?

By Andrea
On 29/10/2011

Andrea, they might well have lived on Bristow Rd., I only new Janet's family. Do you remember she went out with the boy with the big yanky car can't think of his name.  There were a couple of houses behind the bushes opposite my grans but can't recall who lived there.

By Gloria Sewell
On 28/10/2011

Gloria; did the Lings live down that way too?

By Andrea
On 28/10/2011

Hi Janet with the help of my Aunty Marion here goes. 

Next down was the Harvey's with Joan and Bill. He married a lady called Mable who later lived near us in the prefabs.

Then Mrs Francis who lived with her daughter Hilda; who's husband died just after they moved there. Later after Mrs Francis moved a family of Johova Witnesses, the Beverlies moved there. My gran used to feel sorry for the kids (4) and always bought them a Xmas gift. 

Then my gran and grandpa Mr Jack and Daisy Davies with Violet & John (killed in the war). 

Eileen, Bobby, Betty, Kenny (had Kens Autos Old Fortune).

Marion and Pat. 

Next was Mrs James with Kitty a son and Gwen (also killed in the war). 

Then on past Raglen Rd my Aunt and Uncle Lou and Harry Hill with young Harry Mavis. Aunt Lou always looked after her sister who was simple minded, sorry her name has slipped my mind. Aunty Lou also cleaned Barclays Bank in the High Road for years. 

Round the corner was the gate of my Uncle Bob and Aunty Vera's house, but their address was Sylvan Rd. 

Also in Sylvan Rd was Mrs Turner, Vera's mum, and Mavis and Silvia. Silvia being a good friend when we were young, we did loads together with my mum's youngest sister Pat, lots of trips to Berry Lane Rec. etc. 

Opposite Sylvan Rd was a bungalow on the corner of Beatrice Rd and Sylvan Rd where Mr & Mrs Seers lived. They had a big garden with two smashing dogs called Peggy and Mungie. Mrs Seers had no children but always gave us sweets when we talked to the dogs through the fence.

After my Uncle Bob's gate, (where his daughter Lynn used to walk her pet chicken in its pram) was a little bridge over a stream. 

The first and last house in Beatrice Rd was where the Warrens lived. They had a daughter Mary I went to school with, and a son Alfie, I think there were more. Mr Warren could always be seen with his walking stick, made from a brussle sprout stalk! 

Then you went on down the cinder path, to the station on the right was Bristow Road. The only family I recall there was the Bonnifaces as I was friendly with Janet.

Well that's the best I can do for now hope it stirs a few memories for you!

By Gloria Sewell
On 28/10/2011

It seems that there are several of us with connections with Beatrice Road but I'm sorry Bob I do not remember your name. In my childhood there was coming from Lungly's the first house occupied by the Hagger family, the second by the Tufnails (my grandparents) in a house called Lenrosa and next to them the Peterkins who owned a fruit and veg shop on the Isle of Dogs. I don't remember any further. Perhaps you or Gloria will be able to fill in a few more names.

By Janet Gadd (née Cuttler)
On 21/10/2011

Yes Bob, the shop was called Lungley's and they did do the Black Jacks along with the Fruit Salads 4 a penny if my memory serves me right, old penny that is. They were wrapped in a cone shaped piece of newspaper for us.

My Uncle Bobby Davies who lived in Lilac, Beatrice Road, now lives in New Zealand, he was friends with Alfie Warren another of Beatrice Road boys.

By Gloria Sewell
On 12/10/2011

We lived at "The Auto" next to the Tufnell's at the top of the road. I always remember my special treat of being sent to the local shop on the corner of Berry Lane (Lungley's I believe) to get my Black-Jack sweets. I mentioned your name to my Mum by the way and she remembers you. She is now retired and living in Billericay, although she comes over here to NZ each year for your winter, Regards Bob

By Bob Saunderson
On 10/10/2011

Bob, I can recall a Mary Luton when I was a child not much at the moment. Where in Beatrice where you?

By Gloria Sewell
On 06/10/2011

Interesting to see that I am not the only reader to have been born in Beatrice Road. Funny the way times change, it seems you have to go to a hospital nowadays.

By Bob Saunderson (Grandson of the late Mary Luton)
On 06/10/2011

Nina; at that time there were so many youngsters living in and around the area of King Edward Estate, I think every house must have had a child of school age, maybe that's why we can't remember each other. I was a bit of a tomboy - no frilly dresses for me I'm afraid. One lad that lived in your part of the area who I had a bit of a crush on was Brian Whitehead. We must have seen each other many times, our house was one of the pair of what they called 'Airy Houses' at the top of King Edward Road, my father built a wavy concrete fence across the front garden and for the whole of my childhood we always had a white dog (Snowy) with us. I don't know if this helps you remember?

By Gloria Sewell
On 16/08/2011

Gloria. I’m so pleased you like the map. I love it too, because it is so detailed. Unfortunately, it cuts off just before King Edward Road, so doesn’t show where I used to live on the unmade part, known as Alexandra Road. I think that is because in those days, the far north of Laindon came under Little Burstead. However, the rest of the map is brilliant. My husband Colin has been busy scanning the rest of it and will probably put it on a disc for Ian Mott as there is too much to send by e-mail. Then Ian will be able to publish it one way or another hopefully in the not too distant future. Unfortunately, although we lived in the same area and I must have walked passed your house four times each day when I was at Laindon school, I can’t say that I really remember you, however, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the articles you have written. Although my sister lives in Norfolk and my brother lives in Worcester, I never moved very far, in fact I now live just south of Laindon Railway station not far from where you were born in Beatrice Road. We occasionally like to take a walk back to where my parent’s and grandparent’s bungalows were on the unmade part of King Edward Road and although it has changed almost beyond recognition, I still feel as if I am going home.

By Nina Humphrey (nee Burton)
On 14/08/2011

How wonderfull Nina to see Beatrice Road where I was born in print again, I to would love to see the whole map again thank you.

By Gloria Sewell
On 14/08/2011