A Walk From Shotgate Baptist Church To The Nevendon Road Part 2 See Part 1 Below - a Memory of Wickford.

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 and a kitchen. Beyond this was a door leading to another bigger hall which was used for Scout Meetings, Jumble Sales and the like.
Opposite the Congregational Church was Market Road, which lead to the other end of the market and the Community Centre. Further down was the Wickford County Junior School where I went to school between about i966 and 1969. The school was a big red building on two stories built around a quadrangle. The classrooms at the back of the quadrangle were made from wooden weatherboards and beyond those was a playground with some temporary classrooms. The headmaster while I was there was Mr Cole and some of the teachers that I remember were Mr Sinclair, Mr Morgan (PE) and Mrs Green.
Back on the High Street, next to the Congregational Church was a row of shops which included a newsagents and a travel agents. Outside the newsagents was the zebra crossing. Next was an area set back from the road with a china and cookware shop and then the only supermarket in Wickford, Finefare.
Opposite this area was the old Woolworths which sold loose sweets, and also test all light bulbs on a wooden box with all the different types of light socket, before they were sold. The building was used as a cinema before it became a Woolworths.
Next to Woolworths was a small road that led past the public toilets to a car park and Adrians Records. In later years this area was used as the market area.
Opposite, on the east side of the High Street, was an old house which was the original Frew doctors surgery, before the one just off the Southend Road was opened. Next to this was a row of shops leading down to Halls Corner. The row of shops included a pet shop.
On the west side of the High Street was a similar row of shops which included clothes shops, a Bata shoe shop and a chemist amongst others.
At Halls Corner, on the east side was an old wooden building that used to sell material for dress making. On the west side was Hall's shop itself, which I thnk was a pet shop, there was also a newsagents.
On the opposite corner was a big house which was used as a doctors surgery, and there was always a big boat kept in the drive, but I remember it being damages in a fire one night. In the grass outside this house was an old milestone.
Halls corner was where the High Street, London Road and Nevendon Road met. Turning right down London Road there was a row of shops on the south side that included a cycle shop, a Chinese restaurant and I think a music shop as well. Opposite was another row of shops and St Andrews church and church hall. Next to the church was the new police station. Next to this was a sweet shop and a fabric shop. Beyond this it was all housing from what I can remember. About a mile or two further on is Crays Hill where there used to be a couple of traction engines parked in a yard and then when out in the country there was a private zoo on the right with a lion that was kept in a cage, adjacent to the road.
Going back to Halls Corner, turn right into Nevendon Road, cross the bridge over the River Crouch and immediately on the right is Wick Drive which led over a small bridge to the Wick. A little way down Wick Drive, on the right, was a DIY shop where I worked for a few weekends, standing in for a school friend. Also, when I was young, there was a house that was used by the Abbey National as an office where my mother to go to pay the mortgage.
On the opposite side of the Nevendon Road was the recreational ground, which was used for the annual fair every September, part of the Wickford Carnival celebrations. Also in the recreational ground was a small play area, behind the fire station. There was a small hut in the grounds, which was used by the Play Leadership organisation, which my mother became the leader of in later years, she also helped to raise sufficient funds for a much bigger hut.
Next to the entrance to the Recreational Ground was an old peoples home, where I remember seeing the Blue Peter bus several times and next to the home was the fire station. The fire station had a big tower for drying the hoses and on top was a siren which called the firemen when there was a fire. The station was a part time station, which was unusual for such a large town.

A memory shared by Kevin Mears on May 20th, 2010. Send Kevin Mears a message

 Comments & Feedback

Tue Feb 17th 2015, at 5:56 pm
lynhumphrey commented:
Thanks,Kevin, for taking the time to write down all the above information! I went to school in Wickford from 1957 until late 1964, when my family moved to Sussex, though I'm still in contact with many people from the Wickford/Runwell area.

I can relate to many parts of your memories. The junior school, obviously, but also things like the Frew Doctor's surgery, as the Frew brothers were our family doctor. We lived in Runwell staff houses, so the Frews were doctor for most of the people in the road.

Thanks again for the memories!
Lyn Humphrey

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