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A Basildon Chronology
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1910   1911   1912   1913   1914   1915   1916   1917   1918   1919
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1910

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Southend Waterworks Company carry out extensions to their existing mains network at Basildon, Little Burstead, Laindon and Mountnessing.

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15th January -
10th February

John Hendley Morrision Kirkwood elected Conservative member of parliament for the Essex South Eastern parliamentary constituency - including Basildon. Majority 1,911. The general election of January/February 1910 produced a hung parliament. The Liberal party won the most seats and formed a minority government with the support of the Irish Parliamentary Party.

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3rd - 19th December

Mr. John Hendley Morrision Kirkwood re-elected Conservative member of parliament for the Essex South Eastern parliamentary constituency - including Basildon. Majority 1,217. Liberals win general Election with a majority of 1 seat and form a minority government with the support of the Irish Parliamentary Party.

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1911

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The Vange and Pitsea Horticultural Society formed. Still active today, membership in its early years stood at 400 and was mainly male. Today, women form the main core of its members.

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13th February

The new Langdon Hills Council school opens. The school, located on the eastern side of High Road before the hill rises, replaced an earlier National Society school that still stands at the summit of Crown Hill and which is now a private residence. Langdon Hills later became a County Primary and closed in 1973 when a larger school was built in nearby Berry Lane called Lincewood. The school then became an annexe for Lincewood until the 1990s and is still used for educational purposes; now being used by Essex County Council as a Children's Support Service Centre.

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1912

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The first telephone in Laindon installed. An early single figure phone number was Bluehouse Farm on Laindon 2. Other single figure numbers still in use in the mid 1930s were the Laindon Hotel on Laindon 3, Grays Co-operative Society, High Road on Laindon 4, Crown Hotel on Laindon 5, Alfred Brooks, J.P., C.C., of Goldsmiths, South Hill, Langdon Hills on Laindon 6, Burnie and Coleman, Solicitors of 7 High Road on Laindon 7, Brookmans Farm, Lower Dunton Road on Laindon 8 and the Prince of Wales public house, Wash Road on Laindon 9.

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6th March

Mr. John Hendley Morrision Kirkwood, Member of Parliament for the Essex South Eastern constituency representing the Basildon area resigns from his parliamentary seat to become a Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds. His successor is The Hon. Rupert Guinness who in an unopposed bye-election on 16th March, 1912 retained the seat for the Conservative party through to 1918 when a new Southend seat is created and he is elected its first MP.

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1913

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28th March

An explosion at the British Explosives Syndicate factory at Pitsea kills three men and injures others. The three men: Arthur Cross, Henry John Hanna and John Bayles were all killed following an explosion in a gun cotton stove. Others working nearby were also injuried in the blast which completely destroyed the Stove building. The funeral service for the men, who all lived in or near Pitsea, took place at St. Michael's Church, Pitsea. They were buried in graves overlooking the direction of the factory which is now the site of Wat Tyler Country Park.

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1914

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The Cole family establish a grocery business in Laindon. This lasted through to the 1970s and included shops at 20 High Road, Laindon and in the High Road Langdon Hills as well as a stall on Basildon market.

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4th August

Following a German attack on France achieved through the unauthorised entry by German troops on Belgium territory, Great Britain, which had formed an alliance with Belgium dating back to the 1839 Treaty of London, declares war on Germany. This event was seen as the start of what became known as the 'Great War'. Many local civilians were to serve in the British army over the coming years and with any war, some would not return. In the years following the cessation of hostilities in 1918 war memorials to the fallen were erected at Laindon (1935), Vange (1922) and Pitsea (1928). A hall, simply called the memorial hall, was also built in High Road, Laindon in the 1920s.

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1915

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Mass is celebrated in a family home by the Parish Priest of Billericay. Later in 1925 a catholic church (St. Teresa's) was established at High Road, Langdon Hills.

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Lee Chapel Farm destroyed by fire. The farmhouse, built of timber and brick, is believed to date in parts to the 16th century. Its location was approximately in the area now bordered by Gaynesford in Lee Chapel South. A small pond, partially enclosed by woodland within the grounds of a local recreation ground, is now the only reminder of the farm's existence. A chapel, which gave its name to the parish, is said to have stood to the north of the farm. Possible remains have been uncovered during previous excavations of the area.

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1916

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12th May

A second fatal explosion occurs at the British Explosives Syndicate factory at Pitsea. The explosion and subsequent fire, which took place in a Heat Test Room laboratory, killed two people and severely damaged the building. It is thought that the explosion occurred as a result of a bottle of Nitro-Glycerine being accidently dropped. One of the dead was William Alfred Osbourne, 16, from Vange who worked there as a Chemists Assistant. The other fatality was that of the Heat and Moisture Technician whose name remains unknown.

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1917

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27th November

A proposed new railway linking Pitsea with Canvey Island was announded in edition 30402 of the London Gazette. An as yet unincorporated company was seeking an Act of Parliament to construct the line off the Midland Railway's London to Shoeburyness route leaving Pitsea Junction station and crossing Bowers Gifford to terminate at a point close to Deadman's Point. A second line, with a junction off the proposed route would terminate near the Holehaven Creek at Holehaven Point where a deep water wharf would be constructed. The lines were to be for the transportation of freight and it was not at this stage intended that the route would carry passengers. Unfortunately the announcement proved premature and despite many revisions to the scheme through to 1921, including a potential direct link to the Great Eastern Railway (GER) line through North Benfleet to Wickford, none of the lines were ever constructed.

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1918

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14th December

Mr. Frank Hilder elected Coalition Conservative MP for the Essex South Eastern parliamentary constituency - including Basildon. Majority 6,360. A coalition government is formed with Liberal leader David Lloyd George as Prime Minister.

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1919

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Parkinson's garage service opens in High Road, Laindon. The business was founded by James Parkinson Snr. who opened a garage in an ex army hut next door to the families' Cottenham home on the corner of Somerset Road. Three of his sons; Bert, Cecil and later Cliff would all join the family business which became known as Parkinson Bros. All full range of services were available including petrol, mechanical and cycle repairs, taxis and their own brand of engine oil. When the A127 Arterial Road was completed in the 1920s a second garage opened at the High Road crossroads junction which Bert ran. Cliff would later run the business for more than 40 years until 2004, which included a move in 1970 into the former Greens Stores grocery shop on a larger site at 28-32 High Road on the corner of Durham Road because Basildon Development Corporation wished to create a roundabout in the High Road at the junction with Laindon Link.

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15th August

The Ministry of Transport Act, 1919, passed in parliament. Section 17 (2) details the planned introduction of classification for important roads.

 
Text researched and written by William Cox, 2001 with revisions and additions 2002-2017.
Copyright © 2001-2017, B. Cox - Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.

Acknowledgements and Bibliography

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