Laindon Park Country Dancing

By Val Scurlock (Nee Newman)

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Laindon Park Country Dancing' page

The Laindon Park country dancing group went to a festival at Markhams Chase school in 1959. We are the dancers nearest  to the camera. Sorry, there are a lot of bowed heads and backs but the first couple is David Hodgson and me, and the fourth couple is David Newman (my brother) with I think Maureen Hugget's sister. I can't remember any one else's names. We were dressed in blue and white gingham.

This page was added by Val Scurlock (Nee Newman) on 20/06/2013.
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Editors note noted! Can somebody tell me, is Laindon library still in the shopping centre? Need to ask as haven't been to Laindon for a number of years and things change. I know Manor Mission is where it always was albeit smothered by Lidl store. Thanks in anticipation. 

Editor:  The Laindon Library stands on the corner of High Road and New Century Road, exactly where the Radion cinema used to be. 

By Donald Joy
On 28/08/2015

Oh well Val, I can't be right all of the time, I am a bloke after all. If Mrs Stringer didn't play the piano then maybe she was a campanologist, as her name rings a bell ! I think it almost magical, somebody mentions one thing and suddenly the cogs start turning and many more things come to mind, linked or not.  Only been aware of this site 3 weeks at the most and am loving it. Sharing memories with names I thought I had forgotten, looking at photos of people and places that all meant something to me and stirring memories of good times (or not so good). Hoping to make it to Manor Mission in September, have some photos, map and Laindon magazine that I want to get loaded on to site. Be nice if I meet old schoolmates without fighting this time.

Editor:  Please note September's Memory Day will take place at Laindon Library (not the Manor Mission) from 10am until 12noon.

By Donald Joy
On 27/08/2015

You're really good at remembering things Donald. My memory is very patchy but bits come back now and again. I do know Mrs Stringer. She was my aunt, Lily Stringer, and as you said Peter, who is my cousin. I am fairly sure she didn't play the piano though and my brother David also said she didn't. She used to be the Sunday School teacher in St Nicholas church hall and Mr French also did. He was a farmer at Wash Road, I think.

I think Mrs Card who used to be teacher in the second class up, used to play the piano in the school but  possibly Mrs Wilson or Mrs Hodgson also played. I think I can remember the music coming through a loudspeaker when we were dancing out of doors. Mr Rand was also a good musician when he came to the school.

You've got us thinking Donald, and Jan, I think I must have missed your last post, which it looks like it was 2 years ago! You mention the shop. That was Coopers' shop when I was a child. We lived in Basildon Road close by to the shop so I was always in there. I can remember taking empty vinegar bottles to be filled up there and the sugar in thick blue paper bags, and the big tins of biscuits which were weighed into paper bags. It's amazing how I can remember food!! I can also remember the other shop at the other end of Basildon Road, which was run by Susan Gregory's Gran I think at one time. I can remember the flying saucers there. In those days lots of little shops were opened in different places.

By Val Scurlock née Newman
On 26/08/2015

Would I be wrong in thinking that the piano was played for this event and many others by a Mrs Stringer who had a son at the school named Peter?

By Donald Joy
On 17/08/2015

Yeah I remember Donald Smith, I used to be him! When my mother remarried I was adopted by her new husband and became Donald Joy (a real joy?) I had a little difficulty recalling you Jan until I realised that was the short version of Janet, then I remembered you, simple enough wasn't it?  I remember all the names you mention and others you didn't and then I thought, there were so many of us in that class, who would recall all of them?  I must have been a nightmare to the staff as I can remember when the teacher would point to a pupil who would then stand and recite the times table that they were told to do.  I could do them all except the 9s which it took many more years to master. Teacher points to me, I stand, teacher says 9s, I try unsuccessfully, feel stupid and embarrassed, then tell the teacher f#*@ you I'm going home and did! My cousin Cassie Turner who was also in our class can verify this and here we are some 58 years later she still often reminds me of this and tells me how ashamed she felt being my cousin!

One other lasting memory is from one of my school reports from this time. It said "is not above deceit to avoid detection" which I thought with such good words in it must mean something good. Had I known at the time that it meant that I told lies I would have denied it!  Good to hear from you, reel off any more names that come to mind as will I.  Any others from this time should join in, makes nostalgia fun. 

By Don Joy (Smith)
On 12/08/2015

Yes Val I think Mrs Hodgson lived in Pound Lane. There were two parts to Pound Lane I think - either side of the A127. I lived in Dunton Road so the first part of Pound Lane was off Wash Road and Mrs Hodgson lived a couple of houses down on the right hand side after I had gone across the A127. Can't believe I used to cross that road on my own aged 7. Not so much traffic then I think. 

Who remembers the sweet shop by the bus stop near the school. 4 fruit salads for 1 penny, flying saucers, crisps with blue bags of salt ohhh so many memories. 

Another name just come into my head Donald Smith - anyone remember him. 

I do remember the walk up to the church hall - lovely walk in summer, terrible in winter. 

Remember playing the recorder for Snow White and the 7 Dwarfes. Linda Brazier was one of the Snow Whites - was the other Christine McArthy.

Yeah I'm on a roll now as the names coming flooding back - Pat Mayhew. Anyone remember having to go into Mr Wilson to read? I do - for weeks I stumbled over one sentence and I can still remember it (don't ask me what I had for breakfast but yes I remember it) it read "Elizabeth thoroughly combed her hair" and I kept saying throughly combed her hair and was sent back to class.

By Jan Wright
On 05/09/2013

I can also recall walking up from the school to the church hall to do country dancing when I was in Mr Stones class in Autumn 1957. I cant remember who my partner was but it might have been Gillian Bull, Pamela Lane or even Valerie Newman !! That school had a real magic about it and I know everyone who went there loved it.

By Richard Haines
On 12/07/2013

Yes, you are quite right Jan. It must have been 1957. That was when my brother and David Hodgson left as I was two years younger and I left in 1959. Well spotted. I have still got the apron that I made in Mrs Hodgson's class.

By Val Scurlock nee Newman
On 11/07/2013

I remember going to church hall to do country dancing, I went to Laindon Park 1955-61, remember Mrs Hodgson, I think she lived in Pound Lane near park, Mrs Hughes and Mrs Card, lovely days.

By Keith Nock
On 08/07/2013

Was this picture really 1959 because I would have left Laindon Park 57 or 58 and David Hodgson was older than me (he was my teacher's son) and would therefore have left before me.

By Jan Wright nee Smithers
On 08/07/2013