New London Road 1892, Chelmsford
Memories of New London Road 1892, Chelmsford
Chelmsford, New London Road 1892.
This is a view taken from the bottom of London Road, near to the High Street. It has now changed beyond all recognition. However there is one building which has not changed in appeareance one bit, and still exists to this day. If you follow the buildings on the right side of the road, literally the last one you can make out has its apex roof towards the road. Well, this is the Chelmsford Institute building which was erected in 1841. Google this and you can still see it just the over side of the London Road bridge. Someone I recall mentioned going to the Orpheus Coffe Bar. Well, this was the very next building up the road, and it has been many shops over the years. At present I believe it is a men's clothing shop. However many years ago the door also gave you access to the basement of this building, and this is where the Orpheus was located. You could also exit out the back door, and... Read more
Chelmsford & local memories
Read and share memories of Chelmsford and Essex inspired by Frith photos.
I was born in Chelmsford in 1937 and can remember going to the market every week and seeing all the farm animals such as cows, bulls, pigs, sheep, chickens, rabbits, etc. all there for sale. My favourite part, though, was where they sold dogs and puppies and my parents always said no to my plea to buy one every week. About 20 years later in the early 1960's I had two sons of my own and history repeated itself as I took them both in their pram to the market every Friday. It was the best day of the week and they loved to go around the pens up close to all the animals. We had walked from Westlands Estate and if the weather was fine we would have a picnic in the Rec (central park) next to the market. While I was growing up, my great-uncle Len Gifford was the Market Inspector, a tall upright man and well known around town, usually to be seen on his bicycle. He... Read more
Coffee Shop in Duke Street
The smell of coffee probably wafted out from the shop at No.10 Duke Street. Basil Harrison was the town centre's grocer for many years who specialised in coffee. His coffee grinding machine stood just behind the shop window from where he could watch the passers-by and the town's changing life. He left diaries of all the observations he had made over the decades. Many of his earliest memories were put together by his daughter, Prue James, in book form under the title of A Duke Street Childhood - growing up in Chelmsford, 1900 - 1918. This was published in 2001.
The Civic Suite
This photo was probably taken soon after the newly built Civic Suite was officially opened for use as public offices. The town's population was expanding rapidly as the local big industries attracted more and more workers from far and wide. Chelmsford Borough Council was incorporated in 1888 and in its early years the small number of employees worked in rented rooms or buildings. In the late 1920's the building to the left of the 1960's Civic Suite was built to accommodate both staff and a Public Library. In 1972 the Chelmsford Borough Council merged with the Chelmsford Rural District Council to become the Chelmsford District Council. This was changed back to Chelmsford Borough Council four years later. By 1988 new buildings had been erected at the rear of the Civic Suite and the Public Library and Reading Room was moved to the new County Hall building extension, in Market Road. The Civic Suite remains the office accommodation for the 21st century created Chelmsford City Council.
New Street 1950s
In the late fifties I went to the Cathedral School in Chelmsford and we lived in Rainsford Road then. Sometimes after school I would come home via New Street, and also later in the sixties when I went to the Grammar School. There was a junk shop with sweets on the ground floor. I wasn't interested in the sweets, I just headed up the stairs to a treasure land where there were old books, records and assorted odds and ends lying around. No one else ever went up there. I didn't often buy stuff but might still have one or two. I remember seeing a book of old German nudes and being shocked, and reading reminiscences of Rossini and Beethoven.
The Old Hawkes Sweet Factory in New Street, Chelmsford
Hi my name is Doug, when I left school at the age of 15 in 1955 I worked at the Hawkes sweet factory as a sugar boiler, amongst other things, and it was there that I met my first girl friend. Although she married someone else, as I did. I have kept in touch with her all my life, she, as I, have very fond and vivid memories of the place. I am writing one long letter to my grand children in Australia at the moment (there's forty lines to a page and it's one hundred pages long at the moment) of which I post them just 3 pages every ten days. It's not a book, but just a story of my life for them. I am very familiar with the factory but my main interest at the moment is, what was the place built for? Or, what was it before the sweet factory? I think that it may have been some sort of a 'coaching house' where horse riding... Read more
Waiting For The Bus 1953
Pictured is the spot in New London Road where I used to wait for the school bus to Moulsham Schools. On the left was the Slyths Monumental Showroom full of sample headstones. If it was raining I would shelter in there out of the rain. To the left of Slyths (out of shot) were the Congregational church schoolrooms. I believe that the Boys Brigade were located there and on Sundays they could be seen marching their band down New London Road towards the Congregational church.
Baptist Chapel, New London Road
To the left of the Chelmsford Infirmary and Dispensary (as it was known), stands the Ebenezer Strict Baptist Chapel which was built in 1848. This place of worship is still in regular use in the 21st century despite its congregation having to do so against the noise of the traffic from Parkway, which now crosses New London Road and past its east boundary wall.
I remember Chelmsford, my dad used to work on the Eastern National Buses for twenty eight years as a 'clippy' til 1973 when he died. We used to live in Waltham where he cycled down to the village to catch the bus, which was two miles away. Does anyone remember him? He was Gorden Redman.I remember when the Queen came to Chelmsford and have picture of her in a car on Broomfield Road.
Hawkes Bros Ltd Confectionery Manufacturers
My great grandfather, Albert William Hawkes, his brother Charles and their brother-in-law John Burles had a sweet manufacturing company on New St, in Chelmsford. They also had a sweet shops on Duke St, Springfield Rd and two shops on Moulsham St. There was a wholesaler of Hawkes' sweets behind the shop in Springfield Rd. I have a vague memory of the manufacturing business being sold to Rowntree in the early 1960's, which then merged with Mackintoshs. I would be interested in anyone who has memories of Hawkes Bros Ltd.
I lived in Coval Lane from my 1st birthday to my 24th birthday - 1948/1971. Then I got married and moved out. At that time the shop on the corner was a wool shop because my mum, an ardent knitter, bought most of her wool there. I think somewhere there was a Barclays Bank and the Greasy Spoon Cafe as we called it was down an alleyway between the wool shop and Thompson's Builders merchants, right opposite the Pavillion Cinema, where as a young boy along with my brother we used to watch the Saturday morning pictures. Just along, further towards the County Hotel, was a fish and chip shop equal in quality to Robinson's in Moulsham Street. I can still remember walking up Coval Avenue and through the passage between the chip shop and the County Hotel with mum and my brother to get fish and chips as a treat on a Saturday evening and then listen to Journey into Space on the radio, as we did not... Read more
Chelmsford, Shops in The High Streeet, 1919.
This view is taken from outside the island where the current Lloyds Bank stands, and shows the view down the High Street. In the background can be seen the spire, which was the Wesleyan Church, and to-day is the site of the old Caters House. On the right hand, you can see a shop blind near the horse and cart. Beyond this is where the current Marks & Spencers stands. The stone bridge would be just past where the church once stood.
Chelmsford, Rainsford Road, 1906.
The lady standing on the left hand corner is at the top of Waterhouse Lane. Beyond the man leaning against the lampost is the start of Rainsford Road. The first 2 smaller houses that you can make out, on the right, are where the present Esso petrol station stands. The larger house just beyond them, still stands to day, admittedly with the larger chimney pot shortened, but this is on the corner with Maltese Road. The wall that can be seen this side of the woman, was the wall of a large detached house which once stood there. This was demolished and that land is now used as a car park adjacent to the County Hotel.
Chelmsford, Duke Street, 1925.
This shot hasn't changed much on the right hand side at all. There is one more building towards us, out of shot, which is where the present day Co-op Store stands on the corner of Wells Street. The large building in the distance with the chimney pots still stands to-day on the corner of Broomfield Road. To the left hand side, this has totally altered. Gone is the old bus station which used to be there, to be replaced by the newer ones complete with obligatory few shops and many apartments. These were no doubt constructed to cater for those who needed as short a distance to the railway station, in order to commute. Is it an improvement? Some improvements are that, but not all. Some merely become a blot on the landscape, fulfilling the artistic desires of architects.
Chelmsford, New Street, 1920.
Here you can just see a part of the goods yard, opposite Marconi's Buildings, which were where goods trains pulled up, and were unloaded. Various horse and carts would stop here to collect their goods. Amongst them wouild be the various coal merchants horse and carts, ready to load up and take out to the customers. Two such merchants existed with very small offices either side of Duje Street. Moyes and Charringtons are just names that spring to mind. Seeing a coal man, with his leather part over his shoulder, and something covering his head, carrying a sack of precious coal that meant warmth once more. Hearing it being dumped in your shed, and mother watching as he took his empty sack out, folded it in half, and put it on the pavement. Had he delivered 5 or only 4 sacks? Nothing missed a mothers stare, to short change her could be the start of an argument.
Chelmsford, Car, Duke Street, 1925.
The car would have been parked outside where the Duke Street Post Office once stood. The man behind it about to step on the pavement has just crossed Broomfield Road into Duke Street. Behind him can be seen the awnings of the fruit and vegetable shop which once stood there. Even clearer in this picture is the 'Teas' sign which for many years was referred to as The Greasy Spoon Cafe. The large building in the background, to the left, has long gone, and is the present site of The County Hotel.
Chelmsford, Infirmary, 1895.
This may well have been called the Infirmary, so its use didn't change a great deal for many people lots of decades later. It then became the London Road Hospital, and the A. & E. section were accessed down the extreme right of the building. This was to come to an end much later when Broomfield Hospital was first constructed. This same building still stands to-day, being used differently, and can be seen on the Google maps. The centre part was still retained up until about 3 years ago, as the main entrance was used for women who still attended for mammogram examinations. As you entered the main entrance, there were stairs slightly to the right which lead to upstairs. Now this service may well be at the Springfield Hospital.
Chelmsford Tindal Street 1906.
For many years this was known locally as Back Street. Out of shot to the right would have been the Corn Exchange; originally used by farmers. However later in life it became the dance hall where you could go and jive the night away. Coming out, you turned right into Back Street where there were 3 drinking haunts all on the right side of the road. There was the White Hart Hotel, the Spotted Dog, and last of all, The Dolphin. It was here that many a night was spent drinking to enjoy another week over. Pete Townsend and his group, The Who appeared at the Corn Exchnge one Saturday night in April. Between the Corn Exchange and the first building was the car park. These were indeed happy days and jobs were easier to come by. Pope & Smith also had a sports shop about halfway down again on the right. On the left hand side where Judge Tindals Tavern is to-day, was the original site of the butchers... Read more
Chelmsford, High Street 1955.
This photo shows the view from the bottom end of the High Street leading up to the Shire Hall in the very far distance. One can clearly see the blinds on the shop on the corner of Springfield Road, and the Boots logos and sign on the wall of the building. To the left side between the two parked cars, hanging from the wall of a building is a sign. This was in fact the Queens Head public house, now long since gone. Just beyond here there used to be a Currys shop, though not for electrical goods like to-day. It was here that I purchased my first new bike. I was doing a paper round for Smiths the newsagents in the railway station, and it was my wages that I paid in weekly until the bike was finally mine. Just past Currys was The Singer Seweing Machine shop. I was a young man straight from school and this was my first job. There was a manageress and about... Read more
Chelmsford, High Street 1969
This is the view looking down the High Street, and you can see four cars parked on the left hand side of the road outside a large store. You can just make out the name, Bonds. This was in fact J. G. Bonds which has long since gone and is now the site for the Debenhams present-day store.
Chelmsford, The Wesleyan Church 1898
This building I remember all too well. I had started working for a firm of demolition contractors, and they had the contract to pull it down. I was not very experienced but you soon picked things up as you went along. You had to learn quickly and safely, because there was not a lot in the way of health and safety aspects then. I remember only too well when we had to get onto the roof of this large building and carefully takes apart the tiles to get down to the roofing timbers below. There was just a tiny problem; the church as you can see is located very close to the river. When you were up there you were only too aware that down below there was a narrow foopath that ran alongside the church. Pedestrians were protected from the river by an iron railing that ran the depth of the church. So you had to work safely, because if you slipped you had to hope it would be... Read more
Chelmsford, Duke Street 1919.
The public house which can be seen on the right, still stands to-day, except that it is now called the Railway Arms. The lampost that can be seen on the left would be standing outside the present day railway station. Where the trees are on the right, would be the site of the of the old Quaker Building which was used from about 1823 until the 1950s. It was named after Anne Knight who was originally born in Chelmsford. At one time it was part of the old Anglia University building, before that was resited. At present it is being kept tidy and awaiting re-development. Beyond the tram is the view down present day Duke Street towards the Cathedral.
CHELMSFORD, TINDAL STREET, 1919
This shows the view looking up Tindal Street from the London Road end. In the centre of the photo you can see a sign sticking out. This you can just make out is the Spotted Dog public house which was there until that side of the road was developed. Just beyond the cars you can make out a large building on the left, this is the one shot where you can see the Corn Exchange. This as mentioned previously was the site during the 1960s where many famous artists appeared at the Saturday Scene, counting Rod Stewart, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, The Yardbirds, Pink Floyd and the famed Jimi Hendrix. Who said we missed out on anything? For ten shillings you got a night of escapement and entertainment with just a few hundred people. Nowadays you have to go to Hylands and join tens of thousands of people at the V Festival. We got to see our idols really close up, and with a chance they would also be... Read more
Chelmsford, The Can Viaduct 1895
In the foreground can be seen the lake which is situated alongside the railway line, with the viaduct in the distance with its spans and arches. The lake itself was actually created when extra soil had to be found to raise the level of land high enough for the viaducts to be created. Remove the soil, fill it with water and you have a lake where fishermen have sat on its banks for many a year.
Chelmsford, The Recreation Ground, 1895
Through all the trees, you can see in the background the spans and arches that make up the railway viaduct. The footpath exists still today although in some what different surroundings. Where the little girl is seated at a boating stage, well, this went many years ago.
Chelmsford, High Street, 1955.
Looking up the High Street, at the very top you can just make out Shire Hall. The building to the right, which used to be J. G. Bonds, is now the Debenhams store. The building just beyond the lamp post, sticking out, is actually on an ismall island; and is where a branch of Lloyds Bank still stands to this day.
CHELMSFORD, SHOPS IN MOULSHAM STREET, 1919.
This is the view looking to-wards the stone bridge and the High Street. The buildings on the left hand side are now the C0-op or Quadrant Stores. On the right hand side there used to be a greengrocers shop, now I think it's a hairdressers. Next to it used to be butchers, later a fish shop, now I think it's some kind of fast food outlet. The old Regal Cinema used to be a bit further up, now that's gone as well. To the right would have been the turning for part of Baddow Road, with Lovedays the jewellers opposite the shop you can see on the near right. In the very farthest point away you can make out the old tall Wesleyan church, which in turn was the site of the now defunct Caters supermarket.
Chelmsford Public Library.
This fine building is still a listed one located in present day VICTORIA ROAD SOUTH, and is opposite the SOCIAL SERVICES buildings which are a part of the ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL complex. After being situated here it then moved to the large building next to the newly transformed bus station. It stayed there for many years. before that building was taken over as part of CHELMSFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL offices. From there it can now be found below ground level at the aforesaid ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL complex. But back to the former public library. For many years it formed a part of the old Esssex University before that in turn was relocated to the old Hoffman Works site. At present due to its listed status it awaits the developers who have yet to get aroung to actually improving a site which is a blot on the centre of towns landscape in its present state. The development as one understands it will be somewhat of an improvement but however it is believed... Read more
Chelmsford, Duke Street.
The large building just beyond the memorial was long ago replaced by newer BOROUGH COUNCIL offices. Beyond that is where Coval Lane was constructed, and across that road is where the PAVILION CINEMA stood. Just past the car parked on the right, where the man is, can be seen the turning of BROOMFIELD ROAD. In the background to the right there is a sigh that can been seen saying "TEAS." This was for many years still referred to as the greasy spoon cafe, and many a stop was made there. It remained open way past the 1970's.
Marconi Works, 1920
I first started working for Marconi in September of 1969. My wife started there the same time as myself. For 22 years it was like working in a large family group. Some you got on with, others you didn't. But through it all we soldiered on. We were in the printed circuit board manufacturing process plant. We made all sorts of boards, both rigid and flexi rigids. Some boards were even made there that fitted in the front of satellite dishes to pick up and decode the signal from the dish itself. Then came the trouble when Arnold Weinstock was due to retire. After all the dust settled, the firm's directors decided in their infinite wisdom to leave traditional market places that had served them and their customers well, and instead to concentrate on the lucrative defence market. So well-known brands like Hotpoint and Schreiber were simply sacrificed and dumped. The in-car mobile phones which were installed at the Waterhouse Lane site; well. they went as well. Everything that the... Read more
Chelmsford, Shire Hall 1895.
Many years ago the Shire Hall was where the Quarter Sessions trials were held. This would be the same as the Crown Court trials of to-day. The magistrates court was held in an old building which can still be seen in Church Street. Nowadays it is where the magistrates courts are to be for the time being. Enter into the foyer and Court 1 is to your right and Court 2 to your left. Court 3 can be found upstairs on the first floor. The adjoining picture room is where inquests used to be held. Now these are held in the main Essex County Council complex in buliding C, which is one of the first of the buildings to be constructed. While the Quarter Sessions were still being held here prisoners were transported via a tunnel under New Street to Shire Hall. The old police station was at the top left corner of Waterlloo Lane, and was sold off years ago after the construction of the new police station at... Read more
Chelmsford, New Street 1919
The building to the right with the sign outside it is the old police station at the top of Waterloo Lane. The path on the left, and what can be seen of the edge of a building is that of Shire Hall. The tree is growing at the very edge of the grounds of the cathedral.
Edith Ella Hanchett
The two ladies are of the era of my grandmother, Edith Hanchett. It reminds me that my late father, Arthur Hanchett, was born in 1919 in Moulsham Street. Is it possible the lady on the right could be her? Sadly she died in 1929 in a road accident. This is the same year Wyatt Earp (of western fame) died in America.
My great-grandfather was the bootmaker who worked from the shop in Moulsham Street in the late 1890s. His name was Leonard Orrin and he married Annie Caple in 1901. I believe the shop was owned by his father and mother, Thomas and Eliza. They lived at 123 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford.
He and Annie went on to have 11 children, one of whom was my grandmother.
I have in my possesion a pocket watch, the final proceeds of a family will of which William Loveday was one of the executors. It was given to my grandfather, one Arthur Raven as a keepsake in clearing up the last few shillings of the bequest. In searching my family history I came to Chelmsford and found that the shop known as Lovedays Jewelers was still trading. I so entered the shop, thinking I just maybe lucky and find myself talking to an ancestor of William Loveday the watchmaker, but it was not to be so, I was told that the Lovedays had relinquished their interest in the Jewelers shop (seen left/centre of picture 69019 Chelmsford, Moulsham Street ) but their trading name was so good for business it still remains over the shop. The Loveday's started trading at the end of the 19th cent. They were entered into my family tree history by way of my gradfather Arthur Raven's sister Alice Elizabeth Raven marrying William Loveday in 1865.... Read more
My grandfather owned a music shop in Rainsford Road during the late 1920's and early 30's. It was called Crayfourd's Music Centre. Does anyone have any information on his shop?
Circa. 1880's Blacksmith
I am tracing my ancestors as my mum and siblings were brought up in a home. Her grandfather was a Prison Warden at HMP Chelmsford around the 1900s and his father was a blacksmith. That's all we have apart from addresses on the BMD Certificates. 2 Buckhurst Villas/Village Springfield and what looks like (but not clear) 1 Devon Terrace Chelmsford. Anyone with any info - it would be enlightening and we would be very very grateful (and excited). Thank you.
I would like to know what was the history of the old Tudor-looking public toilet building that used to be at the bottom of the bus station when I was growing up in the 1950s. It was a shame to see it demolished. Does anyone remember it? I have searched the internet and nothing comes up. I always remember going in there when I came to town with my mum on a Friday and she would collect my dad's wages from the bus station as he was a conducter. Then we would go to the Blue bird cafe across the road. Vicki Manning.
In 1930 my mother, Mona Braithwaite, left Barnardo's to work at Hylands for Mrs Hanbury. Does anyone have any details or photographs of staff working there from1930 to 1935?
Meeting Aunt Phyllis And Cousin Brian For The First Time
My mother (Phyllis (Howard) Penn had a brother, Jim, who lived in Chelmsford with wife Phyllis and son Brian. Sadly, I never got to meet my Uncle Jim, as he died before my mother and I made this trip. I was 15 and our visit to his home was short, so never got to see the town.
I live in Melbourne, Australia, but am trying to trace the Woodfine family, especially William (b 1827), and Thomas, his father (b 1811) but also any other details. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Michael Blake
Wells Street Coop
I left Rainsford School in summer 1959 and worked for 6 month on Hoffman's assembly line. I then joined the Chelmsford Co-op Grocery, starting on the provisions counter, in Wells Street where I trained under Arthur Halliday (he also trained my father in about 1925). They were happy times. We served every customer from counters (no self service), everything was weighed and wrapped, ie bacon, butter, sugar, rice, biscuits etc. When the transaction was finished we put the customer's money and divi ticket in a wooden cup and sent it along the wires to the cashier who sat in a corner overlooking the whole shop. Us young lads used to double wind the spring mechanism so the cup exploded when it reached the office, much to the annoyance of Hilda (I can't remember her surname), a lovely lady. Other characters I remember from Wells Street were the assistant manager John ?, Danny ? (he was a Teddy Boy and had hair like Elvis), Gwen ? (from Wickford), and Mrs... Read more
Growing up in Chelmsford After The Second World War
I was born to a second generation Chelmsford family. My grandfather was the security guard on the Marconi's gate (Townfield Street end), his name was John Thomas Hanchett, he was the treasurer of the local Salvation Army. My father was Arthur Hanchett, a musician who played in The Chelmsford Citadel Band from about 1925-1962, he also sang with The Chelmsford Orpheus Choir and appeared at many functions around the area as a bass soloist. I am proud to have grown up in Chelmsford and have many memories of playing on the old bombsite on Townfield Street where I lived. I also have happy memories of the late 1950s and early 1960s, enjoying being a teenager in The Orpheus coffee bar in a basment on London Road just before the river crossing. Now I am retired I am reliving a different 60s, that of age this time, being 66 years old. So many old names of them days come to mind - Orrins, Harveys, Hulls, Haywards, Buckles. Old school... Read more
I used to go with my 'gang' (Tuska, Boots, Bude, Pat ect) to Baddow Meads cafe and play Buddy Holly etc on the juke box. My godmother was caretaker of the Congregational chuch next to the bridge by the river (now pulled down), and shops I remember were Sams (or Samuels?), Sadlers, nearly opposite the Odeon cinema, where I went to a jazz club every week.
My father was a Mortlock and was born in Chelmsford. His father was William born 1843.
I believe my Father lived at Bishops Hall Mill.
One of his sisters married into the Batsford family. If anyone has any information I would be happy to hear from them.
I was christened in the Cathedral and spent weekends with cousins that lived in the area during the 40s and 50s.
William Leech, Gun Maker 1796-1948, Still Trading
William Leech moved from St Martins in the Field, London to 20 Duke Street, Chelmsford in 1794. There he started up his gun maker's shop. Later he moved to 3 &4 Tindale Street, Chelmesford. Percy Leech, the last family gun maker, trading under W Leech & Sons, sold the business about 1948. The new owners continued to trade from the shop in Tindale Street until 1984. W Leech & Son still continue to trade up to this date from other premises.
The Leech family owned land across the road what they called the gardens, in which they had a range to test the guns that that they made. Also in the gardens was a shed in which they made up the cartridges for the guns.
The Leech family helped to form the Methodist Church in Chelmsford. They, along with other members of the Methodist Church, held services in their homes, before going on to rent a cottage in Springfield to hold their meetings.
Researching John Austin, Born 1916 in Chelmsford
Does anyone have any details about a John Austin, born in Chelmsford early in 1916 to a mother with the surname Gigney? My wife is trying to research her family history and as a Gigney believes this lady may have been a relation, making Mr Austin possibly a relative.