St Catherine's Church c1955, Wickford
Memories of St Catherine's Church c1955, Wickford
Weddings And Funerals
I used to walk past this church on the way to visit my grandparents in Highcliffe Road. There was a path which lead up behind the church and onto a back road to Highcliffe. My schoolfriend Jill married in this church in 1980. My great-grandfather was buried here in 1949 under the yew tree, my great-grandmother joined him in 1991 and grandfather's ashes were placed here also in 1991. There are numerous graves which relate to members of the Wickford community including one elderly lady who lost both her sons during WW2.
My Sisters Christening
I remember going there for my sister's christening in 1956 (our family name was Markham) and also belonging to the youth club, which was run by the curate. I only remember the vicar as a rather stern man. I also belonged to the Sunday School which was run from the School down the road.
I remember walking past this church to visit my grandparents in Highcliffe Road. There was a short cut just before the church; I remember there were nice trees that overhung the pathway and it was lovely in summer. Further down the hill is the Wickford C of E Infants School.
Wickford & local memories
Read and share memories of Wickford and Essex inspired by Frith photos.
Fox & Hounds Ramsden Bellhouse
I just found the Ramsden Bellhouse site and wrote in the guest book. My memories of Wickford are shopping there, watching cricket, catching the bus. I worked in London and more than once getting off the train in Wickford I would take the bus in thick fog with the conductor walking in front . After arriving at Jackson's Corner Farm I would alight and had to walk home to the pub from there, no street lights of course. My father bought the Fox in I think 1950 when we moved from Hornchurch. He collapsed and died on New Year's Eve 1960 while dancing with my mother at the White Horse Ramsden Heath, I don't notice any mention of the Fox now, Is it still there? It was a Mann Crossman & Paulin pub. I live in Arizona and sadly never get back home any more. I am amazed at the growth of Ramsden.
My grandparents moved to 49 Highcliffe Road in 1947. They were one of the first families to move into the new council houses. There they raised their six children, three of whom went to Beauchamps School. My mother and her sister both went to Chelmsford Grammar School after passing the 11 plus & 13 plus respectively. I remember visiting with my mum and walking from their house down to the park at the end of the road. My grandfather kept greyhounds and was a gambling man. It all ended with the death of my grandmother in 1995. I have not visited the house since then, but last walked my dogs in the park around 2004 with my dad who lived in Wickford until his death in 2008. I must say that the area hasn't improved in my eyes, but I guess that's nostalgia for you.
Just along from Halls corner past the police station on your right are two shops. One was a sweet shop run by my great grandparents - Orrock. This must have been in the 1940s as I remember my mother telling me about it. My great-grandfather died before I was born but I remember my great-grandmother as she lived to a ripe old age of 96 passing away in 1991. She seemed to me to be a matriarch and everyone gravitated towards her including my grandfather who lived in Highcliffe Road and would walk the 2 miles to visit his mother every day. To this day there are family members living in the building although they do not run the shop.
Sugden Avenue to Broadway
I remember walking through here many times as child and adult. We used to walk from Sugden Avenue where I grew up and where my parents had bought a small bungalow in 1957, down to the town in bare feet! It used to take around 25 minutes to walk it. We must have been a bit wild, living in Sugden was like living in a rural area and kids were allowed more freedom in those days. The railway station is a stones throw away from the broadway and Castle pub and I used to take the train to Southend every Saturday with a friend to look around the shops.
As a teenager I used to catch the works bus from here. It picked up all the workers for Matchbox Toys in Rochford.
My parents moved to Wickford in 1955, we had a bungalow built in Highcliffe Road, by local builders the Gunnets, and my sister was born there in 1956. It was a lovely place to live, across the road and a short walk where a few shops. A general store, a butchers and a newsagents, which then was run by a Mr Lovekin. The other way up the hill was the Hilltop Stores run by Mr and Mrs Usher, their son was Brett, I remember them because he became an actor, and us girls loved going in the shop just to see if he was home ! He was rather good looking, or so we thought. My mum got on well with them and they were a lovely family. I seem to remember there was a market garden opposite, and a bus stop. Nearby the store was a ramshackle bungalow owned by a lady who I ashamed to say we all thought was a witch... as in the genre of children,... Read more
Wickford as A Boy
A part of my boyhood was spent on a smallholding just outside of Wickford, the smallholding was called Littlemead. When I first went to Wickford my uncle Ted picked us up from the railway station in a pony and trap, the horse was called Lady. At Littlemeade there was no running water, no electricity, no gas, the source of heating and cooking was a black range in the main room. All I can remember of the location was that when we left Wickford we went to the top of a hill and turned right, it was quite a long drive before we went over a railway bridge and very quickly turned right down a lane to where there was a prefab. Littlemead was beyond this across two more fields. Quite close by was a windmill as I remember and a big house owned by someone called "The Major". We had dogs pigs cattle and of course Lady. Another thing I remember is that a public footpath to Wickford... Read more
Although I am relating to a time a little earlier, around mid and late 1940s, the scene in the photo still resembles the countryside as I remember it. Wantz Corner branched off in three directions, and for me, all leading to aunts, uncles and cousins, living in the area, fields to roam and play all day, haystacks to build tunnels in (I can't ever remember being chased away by a farmer), and of course school. I lived in a little unmade road called Gordon Road just a short distance from there, off Swan Lane (my front garden was a corn field) , the road in the photo, going straight up was then called Churchend Lane, and when I became older I went to a Youth Club situated just a little further on around that bend (it was only in a Nissan type hut but they had table tennis and I think a dartboard, and you could get a soft drink). I also recognised the railing on the right... Read more
I remember going to the Gospel Hall to Mr & Mrs Potts and family every Sunday afternoon from Woolshots. We used to have magic lantern shows and sometimes if we were good we got tea and bread and jam. I think we were sent to get out of Mum & Dad's hair for a while. Dad used to work in the greengrocers on the corner. Happy days, even my kids have happy memories of trips to Wickford when they were young before we left in 1980.
This is the corner of Wickford High Street/London Road, so called due to the well known family known by the name as Halls, they were shopholders, and supplied pet foods and some farm produce. They also had another shop in the High Street which was an Ironmonges, which was an old house converted into a shop, and i remember as a child having to walk up a few steps to enter, Mum used to buy things like string and washing line pegs etc.
Deirdre Avenue, Off London Road
This is Deirdre Avenue - one of the roads I endeavoured to deliver newspapers on frosty cold mornings at the age of 12 years, I had to get up at 06.00am, rush straight out without a cup of tea, pop into Andrew's Newsagent, and get my sack. My other road I delivered to was Louvaine Avenue.
The Bus to School Stop!!
This is one of the bus stops that used to have lots of kids awaiting the Bus to take them up the Southend Road to Beauchamps School - although there were also a couple of 'elite' who mounted this bus to take them to Rayleigh Swaine, the Grammar School at Rayleigh!
Just opposite this bus stop was a very old Public House called The Castle, which was pulled down around late 1980's - much to the publics disgust!!
Living in Wickford
Up until I was 4 years old we lived with my Grandad and my Aunt Ena at no 2 Deirdre Avenue (now no 9). My Dad and Grandad had a small holding and people came from all around to buy their fresh vegetables, these would be classed as organic nowadays. My Aunt Ena also helped out with the vegetables, when she wasn't working at the kiosk on Wickford Station. She later married the station master George Walker.
At that time there use to be meadows on either corner of Deirdre Avenue and a stream running down to London Road. In the summer the meadows were full of buttercups to run through and play in.
In 1949 when I was 4 we moved to the house on the corner of Highcliffe Road. This pair of houses were the start of Highcliffe Estate and the first to be completed by the apprentices, and there is a plaque on the front of the house showing this. There was a special ceremony... Read more
I had lived in Basildon and married a Dagenham man in 1975, we moved to a turning called Woodfield on the newly built Moody Estate off Nevedon Road. To go to the shops or rail station, we had to pass Hall's Corner. I remember a green grocers (where I left behind a bag of tomatoes I had just brought), a newsagent and art shop being there back then. I use to love going to the market just behind the shops. We moved to Ilford in 1981 (he wanted to move as the rail season tickets were getting expensive). I still hope to move back to Wickford one day.
Good Old Days?
I remember walking past this point on shopping trips with my mother, being dragged along (wasn't good at walking) or on my way to/from school. I was born in 1953 in Sugden avenue where bungalows had massive areas of land (maybe I was small) with them and even a caravan on one plot.
I also remember standing outside the pub with a bottle of coke and an arrowroot biscuit (dog biscuit, wonderful biscuit by Meredith & Drew if only they were still around)
My Mother & Father both hairdressers used to work in the town, my father worked in a shop on the righthand side going up high street towards the pub.
My Grandmother lived at the top of Southend road in School house, another memory in that area as we moved a few times but always came back to my Grandmother in between houses.
I do remember Egan's buying my first record there for 6s & 4d.
Memories of the school with a swimming pool and the... Read more
Living in Wickford
I lived in Wickford until 1963. My sisters and I would walk down London Road to the high street, first stopping at the little sweet shop and then looking into the windows of Prentice. I got my first 2 wheeler there in 1954.
We would go the pictures in what later became Woolworths, the site of my first Saturday job.
The Coop was in the high street and was the busiest shop.
My dad had Barclays account number 2.
Alvin Stardust Mums Cafe at Wickford Station
Right, I may be showing my age now and out of the blue finding this on the internet about 1973/1974. its about Alvin Stardust and his Mum at Wickford BR Station, for some bazaar reason at the age of 13 myself and a mate David Hook we used to travel from Harold Hill ( aka arnold 'ill) to look for grass snakes and lizards along the railway line and banks, looking back at this now and why we traveled all this way to do such a thing now is really funny now and probably then was a normal thing to do at aged 13yrs,,,,,,what makes it even more funny is seeing lady running down the road from the station shouting " He's at the cafe ....he's back it's Alvin Stardust" I was told it was his Mum doing such a thing! Oh joy such nice memories looking back now and also the Mum must have been so proud to do such a thing too!
My sister and I were evacuated to Wickford in 1940, I was just over 5 years old and my sister 11 years old. We came from the east end of London. We moved into a bungalow with an elderly lady called Mrs Walker, there was also a middle-aged man, I think he was Mrs Walker's husband. We did not live there for very long as the enemy planes were crashing and dropping bombs on the area, I remember we had a bad winter with very deep snow for us to play in. We were suddenly put on a train back to London and then on to the Wye Valley. After the war I hitch-hiked from Leytonstone E11 all the way to Wickford and we ended up at Mrs Walker's bungalow only to find that she had died and been buried two weeks before, the middle-aged man had already left the bungalow, I presumed he had sold the bungalow. I wondered if anybody remembers the Mrs Walker who lived in a bungalow at the... Read more
Blue Lagoon Battlesbridge
The Blue Lagoon at Battlesbridge was a very small nightclub. I worked there on a Saturday evening as a waiter in the restaurant. The other waiter was Bernie Wright, and we were both students at Southend Catering College. The kitchen was run by one of the lecturers at the College whose name I forget. I remember that Keith Skues from Radio Luxembourg was a gust DJ one night.The nightclub was situated on what is now a ststic caravan park, which was in my youth the Mayphil Swimming pool. It is close to the Hawk public House
I believe the owner was a man called Tuck.
Looking at the pics on here I don't see Warders Bakers, does anyone remember them?
A Walk From Shotgate Baptist Church to The Nevendon Road Part 1
My name is Kevin Mears, I lived in Wickford from my birth in 1958 until I got married in 1980. I shall describe my memories of Wickford in the 1960s and 1970s as a couple of walks around the Wickford area. The next walk again starts at the Shotgate Baptist church and ends in the town. Leaving the church, turn right in to Bruce Grove, then you immediately come to the junction with the Southend Road. Stopping at the junction there was a dairy depot and playing fields to the right where all the milk floats were kept. Turning left in to Southend Road, several yards on the left were a couple of shops, followed by a grassed area. On the east side of the Southend Road there were open fields with views to Rawreth Shot. Further along on the right was another shop. Walking for another couple of hundred yard you come to the railway bridge that carries the Southminster branch line. Just before the bridge is a road on the left where... Read more
A Walk From Shotgate Baptist Church to The Nevendon Road Part 2 See Part 1 Below.
Continued from Part 1 below. Next to Martins Bank was a record shop, where I remember going with my parents and standing listening to records in the small listening booths. Next to the record shop was a row of weather boarded houses, which were set back from the road a little further. Opposite these was a row of old cottages and the Congregational Church, where my father was the Scout Leader. The church was a red brick building. Once inside there was a big area with pews, and an upstairs gallery, where I always enjoyed sitting. Towards the back of the church on the right hand side was the organ, which my father occasionally played in services and the pulpit. On the left hand side was a door that led to a small hall, where Sunday School was held there was also a room at the top of some stairs that was used for Sunday School. Also leading off this room was the play room, for the very young children... Read more
A Walk From Wickford High Street Down The Rettendon Raod
My name is Kevin Mears, I lived in Wickford from my birth in 1958 until I got married in 1980. I shall describe my memories of Wickford in the 1960s and 1970s as a couple of walks around the Wickford area. This walk starts where the Southend Road joins the High Street I start my next walk down memory lane. Starting to walk along the Rettendon Road towards Rettendon there was a cake shop and newsagents on the right and on the left the Swan pub. After the junction with Swan Lane there was a garage and a hardware store where my mother worked for a little while. The shop was made out of wood and burnt down sometime during the late 1960s. Behind this was a playing field and opposite a new row of shops. Further along on the right was the Carter and Ward offices and next to that the entrance to the Memorial Park. The entrance was along a road way, through some gates, across a bridge over the river... Read more
A Walk From Shotgate Baptist Church to The Nevendon Road Part 2 See Part 1 And 2 Below.
Continued from Part 2 On the south side of the fire station were a few houses and then a footpath that led to the other entrance to the recreational ground. Also in this area, Laburnum Avenue, were a lot of war time prefabricated houses, which were later demolished. A little further on, on the left hand side was an old village hall type of building, Im not sure what it was for but I remember that is was used for child clinic, as I remember going there for my various jabs when I was really small. To the side of the hall was a track that led to the brick fields. These were some fields where they had extracted the clay to manufacture bricks, obvious really! There were some of the old buildings and machinery left standing that were used for the brick making process. But best of all there were several ponds where you could catch newts, tadpoles, sticklebacks, water beetles and all sorts of aquatic creatures. Some of the dragonflies... Read more
A Walk From Shotgate Baptist Church to Wick Lane
My name is Kevin Mears, I lived in Wickford from my birth in 1958 until I got married in 1980. I shall describe my memories of Wickford as a couple of walks around the Wickford area. My first walk is from the Baptist church in Shotgate to the the C of E Infants School on Southend Road. Turn left out of the Baptist church, which I used to attend in my teens, and proceed along Bruce Grove. Most of the housing along here were bungalows built by Carter and Ward. A little way along on the left is Lucerne Walk, where friends of the family used to live, the Bartlet family. My mother used to take me and my sister in her big Silver Cross pram to visit Ralph Bartlet and his sister Hele once a week so that we could play. Further along on the left was a fairly modern (at the time) industrial estate, where the Keil Kraft factory was and also a factory the manufactured lengths of thin plastic tubing... Read more
Does Anyone Remember Joseph's The Jewellers?
I'm trying to find out the history of a shop located in The Broadway which is now Kraftt Jewellers. Does anyone remember when it was Josephs? and does anyone have any pictures? I would be really interested to know what it was before Josephs as it's a really interesting building.
Brock Hill /Wantz Corner
I lived at the junction of Brock Hill and Wantz Corner from birth in 1949 till 1960. In those days we had fields to the side and rear of us and also across the road in Brock Hill. We played in the brick fields, and I remember my mum shooing us all outside to get fresh air. We didn't have a TV so we spent a lot of time outdoors, making secret dens and building forts etc. Some time after the floods of 1953 the Water Board excavated a very deep trench in the ground at the side of our house and dumped what seemed like mountains of clay on the land at the rear. What joy! We could climb up the hills and hide in the valleys. We also developed a great method of throwing sticky balls of clay for long distances by moulding them around a long stick, preferably made of willow. I'm ashamed to say that we used our new-found expertise to hurl mud at one of... Read more
The Brickfields ... Those Tall Terraced Red Houses - Still There..
The Brickfields, a place to catch sticklebacks,newts, tadpoles and slow worms. A friend of mine used to live in one of the terraced houses,I believe they must have once been workers' houses and were then taken over by the council. They still exist today, and fortunately haven't been ruined by renovations, as far as I can tell anyhow. There was a path at either side of these terraced houses and when we went round the back there was a communal path, which led to the back gate, of a small yard - nobody used the front doors back then, and they all had a very long stretch of back garden, mostly used for growing vegetables, very beautiful and very well kept, behind of which went straight onto the brickfields, I don't believe they were even fenced off! Anyway. I've rambled on about these houses rather a lot, sorry, but they were very unique to me, I'd never been in any house quite like it, the front door led straight into... Read more
My Memories of Wickford
My parents and I lived in North London near Hendon aerodrome. Because it was well known as an RAF base the German Luftwaffe raided the area regularly. My parents decided to move to somewhere safer and because my mother's sister, Mabel Dunk, owned the cafe opposite St. Andrews on London Road, in 1940 my mother took me to live with her until my father could find work and somewhere to live.
We'd only been there a week or so when a landmine exploded just behind the cafe on the other side of the river. My parents had not realised that Wickford was on the direct route the bombers took to London! Later in the war it became known as doodlebug alley.
My father eventually bought a coal business in Runwell Road and we moved into a bungalow in Highcliffe Road, which in those days was unmade and without mains sewage, although we did have water and electricity, unlike some other areas like Ramsden that still relied upon gaslight.
I went... Read more
Wickford is nice.
It's good to know that others have fond memories of the childhood haunts I shared with many other kids of the baby boom generation. For me the brickfields were the best, many a school holiday was spent there from dusk till dawn.
I was born in a newly built house in Laurel Avenue - and was told whilst being built my mum and dad had gotten to choose which one they wanted! The midwife who delivered me was Miss Reece, who I believe lived in Wickford until she passed away. I have so many great memories, it's hard to know where to begin. London Road - I remember Billy Foyle had a lion in a huge cage, halfway up the London Road, and when I was pre-school age, my mum would take me to see it! We as a family would often go to Castledon Road and walk up to the Norman church, it was a lovely walk. There was an old bungalow converted into a grocery store up near where the Downham Arms is, and it smelled really musty - like old rotten cabbage, but came in handy on a Sunday as it opened in the mornings. On the corner of Laurel Avenue is a shop that was once a farmhouse,... Read more
The Blue Lagoon
Does anybody remember The Blue Lagoon at Battlesbridge? it was a nightclub/disco back in around 1970, it was round the back of the pub that is an eatery, I can't remember its name but it's still there (2009). The so-called nightclub was a kind of prefab building and I believe back in the early 1960s was once an outdoor swimming pool? I was just wondering if anybody had any information on it, or used to go there? I would be most grateful if you could let me know - thankyou.
Irvon Hill - Nr Wickford County Junior School
I remember the man who used to paint lead soldiers, he lived in that tiny little 'bungalow in Irvon Hill! A couple of years ago it got burnt down and now there's a new home been built there? Do you remember the Nursery opposite whereby there was an old man who would often give us kids loads of tomatoes on our way out of school? He had many big greenhouses there? and there was a muddy 'mound that we used to climb up and down (actually in Irvon Hill) ? It would be great to hear from you!
Living in Wickford 1963 - 1972
We lived from 1963 - 1972 in Wickford, all of us 3 children going to Wickford Junior school up Market Road. I can recall a man who used to paint lead soldiers from his house near the school. From 11 years of age I remember working at Tilbury's the Butchers shop on a Saturday for 10 shillings for the day. The shop was located at the bottom of the High Street. I also used to play tennis att he Wickford Tennis club at the other end of the High Street, next to the Coal yard as a child, practising every Sunday.
I went to Beauchamps school as did my 2 sisters. I can recall being in the school band and orchestra, cycling up the steep hill towards the school from where we lived in Bromfords Drive. I had a 'chopper' bike, and had to carry a tuba on my back as it wouldn't fit into our Mini car.
I remember playing with our woodwork made boats,... Read more
My wife's maiden name is Gigney and I know the family had busineses in Wickford and Stanford le Hope.
Can anyone supply more details? - one was a saddlers and general store. Do any photos exist of these shops? Indeed can anyone advise if they still stand or where exactly they were?
I was sent off to buy some bread by my mother. But crossing the river Crouch by the bridge was impossible. Wickford was under water. I don't recall the year. But the brand name of the bread was: Wheatchief. I used to buy sandpaper in Mays for my dad. And Egans, I thought they could fix anything, as well as selling records! But my Saturday haunt was the library in the High Street. A little room it was, housing their cardboard pockets to place your chosen book-ticket into. Does anyone remember the little library in the High Street? I went back to Wickford a fews years back, and well, the only thing recognisable was the cycle shop at Halls Corner - Prentice. Halls had been long gone too I was told. And the Castle Pub, now a supermarket is in its place.
Back in 1963
I was moved to Wickford with my family in December 1963, a hard winter, removal van had trouble getting up the unmade road. Coming from London, it was a bit of a sleepy village for me and especially for my teenage siblings. Had to wait for 2 weeks to be able to buy a number one record, from Eagans the music store. The chickens and sheep being sold in the market place located where the car park is now beside the community centre. Adrian then was selling records in the market out of cardboard boxes. Narrow pavements under railway bridge, where the little shops, the cabin owned by Mr & Mrs Gladdin selling cigarettes. I attended Market Road infant and junior schools, later attending Beauchamps. So many memories.
We left England that year for Australia. It was April, I was 12. All my friends left behind, playing in the park near the River Crouch. I don't remember names, it was long ago. I can see myself walking to different places, I wish I had more memories.
Willow Cafe Etc...
Returning to Wickford after being in the USA for a few years I remember the Willow Cafe, Egans, Adrian's in a hut in Market Road, the livestock market where the Willowdale Centre is now. Dr. Rentons Georgian house in the High Street, Fish's, Stafford's Bakery in the Broadway, the Co-Op being opened by Dick Emery.
Going to school at Wickford Country Junior School and Beauchamps....my husband was in the same schools and same year....33 years later we met and married!