Return To Aveley With Glenda

A Memory of Aveley

Hello Glenda, my dear. I remember that name - Lighten. Where is Eastern Ave? Is it the road where Trevor Johnson and David Warren lived? Michael Cox there too. Remember him? Now I remember our dads - good mates - working at the Tunnel. Down in Church View at the bottom were the Eggletons - much feared. Although the eldest was a decent bloke. But Ronnie! I worked as a labourer once for Eves (also at the Tunnel) to earn some cash before going to university. Ronnie got a job there too, but just a few days later they found him dead after a car crash with some kind of stake through his head. He and Tommy Ferguson (I think it was) shot off to Grays one evening (too fast) for some fish & chips and went off the road on that long stretch from Southend Road down into town. Now it's all Chafford Hundreds or something like that. All kinds of memories are starting to come back. Also living in Church View were the Savills. Kevin was always my best mate. I "discovered" him (I can't remember how) living in Bristol almost 30 years later. I visited him too for a few days about 10 years back. Once we all had bikes we used to cycle down past the Kenningtons(?) to Running Water Brook and play hide-and-seek on our bikes in the woods. Then we came home with huge bunches of bluebells for our mums. Like others I also remember the new slide in the park. On the left was an immaculate green where the older men played bowls. And once in a while there was a fair - I loved that game where you put pennies in a slot and let them run down onto the table hoping they'd fall squarely on a number so you got that number of pennies back. When I was in the Wolf Cubs we assembled at the top of Love Lane (weather permitting) in summer and marched down through the village to St. Michael's Church, where there was a war memorial in front. When Elisabeth became queen in 1952(?) all us toddlers dressed up in costumes for a party (tea, cakes and sandwiches) on the green in Central Avenue. After the dairy on the right going down was a sweet shop (Turkish Delight, Marshmellows!) run by the mother of Peter (? can't remember). At any rate he was in my class at school and after the 11+ went to Grays Technical College. On Friday evenings when we were about 17, I suppose, we used to go down to Thames Board Mills for the dance. Well, it was just having a drink and hoping to "pick up" a girl to shuffle about with. And with any luck she'd go to the cinema in Grays (State, Regal, Ritz ?) with you and you'd snog in the back row. Elsie (my adoptive mother) lived in The Complex on Southend Road before she died aged 90 in 2010. Mick, your dad's mate from the Tunnel, died in 1990 aged 72 (he was very ailing). My aunt Edie, Elsie's sister still lives there. She must be about 88. And her son is in Little Thurrock. My real mother Connie (85) lives near Boston in Lincolnshire with my half-brother Paul. They've renovated an old farm. I'm now 68 by the way. I phone Connie a lot and we talk about gardening, cooking, shopping. I reckon that's enough for now. Have to rest and see what other memories come back. Look after yourself, bye, Colin

A memory shared by Colin Newberry , on Apr 10th, 2014.

Comments & feedback

Sun Jun 7th 2015, at 4:58 pm

jhsalmon commented:

Fascinated to read this! I'm June Girkin (well, not any longer as I'm married). I lived in the High Street next door to David Shelley, and opposite the old Maltings and the dirt track leading to the allotments and my grandparents' house in Mill Road. Francis, why don't I remember you? I remember you, Colin Newbury, and David Warren, Kevin Savill and Trevor Johnson. And the Peter whose mother ran the sweet shop. My mum, Chris, worked there for years.

I thought everyone would have forgotten the quiet little mouse that I was but would remember my brother David, otherwise known as Buster Girkin, and perhaps my eldest, football-playing brother, Roy.

Ronnie Eggleton and Tommy Ferguson both came to sticky ends, if memory serves me correctly. Ronnie, as you said, went through the windscreen of a car and was impaled on fence spikes. I think Tommy fell out of the big oak tree in Belhus Park and broke his neck, but that would have been a few years earlier. They were both terrifying, but my connection to my well-known brother Buster kept everyone well away from me.

My second cousin, Brenda Thorogood, six months my senior and living five doors down the road, was my closest friend during those early days, and we often cycled off for picnics to Running Water Brook and Belhus Park. Her father's family ran the coal yard at the bottom of the High Street.

My father was very involved with Aveley Football Club and, being a carpenter, was one of the leading lights in the building of the stand there. My mother did voluntary work in the tearoom during matches, making and selling sandwiches and tea.

And every Sunday, we all got dressed up in our 'Sunday Best' and strolled up and down the High Street.

Gosh, what a long time ago it all was!

Mon Jun 8th 2015, at 9:20 am

Colin Newberry commented:

Hello June. Great surprise reading you here on a Monday morning. By the way, I wrote another long memory (my first) "Living in Aveley 1948-68" (my first batch that Glenda replied to). Maybe you can find it on this site (sometimes I find it a little confusing to move about), and a lot should ring a bell if you do find it.
I remember you with your curly almost "unruly" hair (no offence) living next door to the Shelleys. Mr Shelley was in the Aveley Silver Band. Mrs Shelley must have died of cancer, I think. I can remember visiting her in a London hospital with David ("Tiggie"). The name "Buster" given your brother is also familiar. Tommy Ferguson fell out of a tree while birdnesting - I think. There was a bullying gang down at the Junior School (Eggleton, McConnell, Cavanagh, Ferguson) who made every break (or play time, whatever it was called, a horror. The name Thorogood comes back now too. And you also went to Running Water Brook! The wooden stand at the Aveley FC ground - I remember sitting on it. More names have come back to me: Michael Kennard (the best athlete we had, and who I seem to remember once showed Ronnie E. what's what and left him draped over a dustbin in the playground); Jeff Collins also belonged to our little group (he was/is a Catholic, and his mother was also trying to get him to go to church - I went with him once as "moral support", but it was only a hall over Belhus somewhere, and it was then that I first discovered what Mary fanatics these Catholics are). They are here too in Catholic Bavaria of course. That's it for now, I reckon. But we're bound to dig up some more. Bye, Colin Newberry (then 22 Arnhem Avenue) (e-mail:

Wed Nov 18th 2015, at 8:13 pm

Roy Giggins commented:

Dear All, Glenda is my cousin by marriage, we were in the same class at Bushy Bit 1957 - 1962. Running water brook seems to be a magnet for us all. I remember the Thorogoods, Eggletons, McConnels and the Tubby's as 'families of note'. I lived in Crescent Road, 1948 - 1963. Good time, good memories. Roy

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