Life In Old Aveley During The Second World War, Before The Prefabs And Estate Were Built.

A Memory of Aveley

I was 7 when we moved into 128 High Street, Aveley in 1942. Our back fence backed onto the rec' and my best friends were Donald Crawford, Ray Andrews and Bob Painter. It was during the Second World War of course, and I returned after being evacuated to Ireland after we were bombed out in Romford in 1940.

My dad, also Peter Gough, was away in Europe with the 8th Army then, as were most men, so the local boys ran wild. I recall P.C. Dunn quite fondly, he was kind and fair to the boys of the village. He was one of the very few men left there then.

My grandparents Lilian and Arthur Rush owned the "Old Ship Inn" at 58 High Street junction with Ship Lane and next to Fry's the cobbler and opposite the Co-op and Pardey & Johnson, grocers.
I came out of the RAF and married Pat Hatch in 1956. Pat was a friend of Pat Palmer, the granddaughter of Jack Thornhill who owned the "Prince Albert" pub (now a Chinese restaurant).
We are Catholic, there were very few in Aveley then and Sunday Mass was held in the Prince Albert.
Pat's parents were Rose and Jim Hatch who lived at 72 High Street, in the big house to the right of the photo (between Read's paper shop and Woodyatt's the greengrocer), opposite the bakery. Pat's house was demolished and a small parade of shops is on the site now.

Our next door neighbors were the Shelleys (Derek Shelley's granddaughter now has the flower shop in the High Street). On the other side of us lived Dr. Borland who had a Scottish accent.

The Painter family lived down Halll Road and Brian and Len Hermitage lived at the top of the High Street, next to the Village Hall (probably number one Purfleet Road.)

My Granddad then bought Lennard House and the surrounding land. It was further down the High St. (past Pork Alley) on the left just before the blacksmith and Pavitt's wood yard. which was on the corner of Park Lane.
He built two cottages there one for my parents and one for my aunt Gladys Barker.

In 1945 I got a scholarship and every day rode the train up to St. Ignatius' College in South Tottenham until 1950 when my Parenst belived I was running a bit too wild and decided I would benefit from joining the RAF as an apprentice (at age 15). I never really lived in Aveley after that and spent most of my RAF time in Germany before marrying Pat Hatch who was my sister Eileen's best friend.

After the RAF I joined Ford at Dagenham on the drawing board and pat and I lived in Romford until Ford invited us to come to the States where we lived in Michigan, Mexico, Brazil, Paris, etc. and after 42 uears we retired here to Naples, Florida in 2000 where we live now.

I still remember the big party for VE Day; tables were laid out down the middle of the High Street and all the merchants and farmers donated food such as we had never seen before. I also remember the big Guy Fawkes bonfires at the top of Purfleet Road and Grange Road and the boys throwing lit fireworks at each other.

At 128 High Street we didn't have a phone in the house and my mother kept chickens for their eggs and my brother Arthur and I kept ferrets which one night escaped and killed Mother's chickens. So, no more ferrets, which we used to catch rabbits with and sell to Jim Hatch for 5 bob each.

Pat's parents moved to Thorpe Bay in 1955 and my parents moved to Benfleet then Leigh.

A memory shared by Peter Gough , on Feb 4th, 2012.

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