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A Basildon Chronology
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1945   1946   1947   1948   1949
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1945

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A German prisoner of war camp opens at Dry Street in Langdon Hills. The 'hutted' camp, as it became known, was numbered 266 and capable of holding up to 750 prisoners. The camp closed in July 1948 and in 1955 after the buildings had been removed the field was cleared and a cricket square created which was then used by Westley Cricket Club from 1956 to 1969. The field, which is now marked by a beacon, forms part of Langdon Hills Country Park.

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5th July

Mr. Ray Gunter elected Labour MP for the Essex South Eastern constituency. Majority 3,591. Labour win General Election.

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1946

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Berry Amateur Boxing and Boys' Club in Laindon founded. The club was founded by Langdon Hills resident Fred Nunn who lived at Cantab in Berry Lane and in its early years were sometimes represented as Berry Athletic Boxing Club. The footballing side of the club is known as Berry Boys YFC. The club initially trained at St. Michael's Mission Hall in Salisbury Avenue, Langdon Hills. The club later moved to a number of locations in High Road, Laindon including the old Fire Station, and from sometime in 1970 had been based at Northumberland Avenue before the building was demolished in the 1990s to make way for the Station Gate Shopping Centre. Early tournaments were often held at the former Laindon Memorial Hall in the High Road. Since 1991 the club has been based at Valence Way in Langdon Hills on a large site that includes a football pitch for use by Berry's youth football teams.

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A.W. Rust establishes a menswear and leather goods business in Pitsea. The business, known as Alf's, began with a stall on Pitsea market and went on to trade for over 50 years, mainly from shop premises in the High Road. These were at 3 The Parade and Ribblesdale, where the shop was called Alf The Market Man. From the 1970s the business was based at Northlands Pavement and finally at 25 East Walk in Basildon town centre.

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Bowers United Football Club founded. The club, founded by Bert Salmon as Bowers Athletic, initially played their home fixtures on a pitch to the rear of the Railway Hotel public house in Pitsea. The team later moved in 1963 to Gun Meadow in Bowers Gifford but had to move again, to Crown Avenue, Pitsea, when the A13 was realigned to Sadlers Farm in the 1980s. The new ground, later named the Len Salmon Stadium after the founder's brother, has a 2,000 capacity, of which 1,200 can watch undercover. For season 2004/2005 the team merged with Pitsea United to become Bowers & Pitsea F.C., which they remain today.

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Basildon Town Football Club founded. The early years of the clubs' existence was spent playing at a small ground near Stacey's Corner, Timberlog Lane. From here they progressed through the Thurrock Combination and Parthenon League becoming a senior club and joining the London League. The ground was leased from the development corporation but this ran out in 1959 and the club moved briefly to a pitch at Burnt Mills Road but were forced to leave due to high rental costs returning to junior league football in the process. In 1964 they merged with Pitsea United who played at Gun Meadow behind the Gun public house. They remained at Gun Meadow, despite parting with Pitsea in 1969, until 1971 when a dispute forced a move to nearby Eversley Road. In 1995 the club moved again to the G.E.C. Avionics ground at Gardiners Way where they remain today.

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1st August

New Towns Act, 1946, legislation receives Royal Assent.

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11th November

Stevenage in Hertfordshire is designated Great Britain's first new town.

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1947

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Howard Park in Pitsea created and named after the dairy farming landowner Harold George Howard and family who lived nearby at Blue House Farm, London Road. The park, which covers an area of 5 acres, was presented to the people of Pitsea as a VE (Victory in Europe) memorial, being first announced in May 1945. The childrens play equipment was partly financed by a contribution of £245 collected by the Pitsea and District Services Welcome Home Fund between 1945-1947. Howard Park later became home to the war memorial; another gift from the Howard family, and was renamed in June 2010 to Howard Diamond Jubilee Park by owners Basildon Borough Council to mark Her Majesty the Queen's 60 year reign.

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Pitsea New Cemetery at Church Road opened. The 14 acre site at Bowers Gifford was created by Billericay U.D.C. to address a shortage of available plots in the various churchyards within the district, some of which were approaching their capacity. It is now owned and maintained by Basildon Council. In 1998 a crematorium was added to the site.

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January

The first tenants begin moving into properties on the King Edward Estate at Laindon. Building work began on the new housing estate around 1945 and continued into the early 1950s. The first properties built were at King Edward Terrace and King Edward Road, part of which was 'made up' along with other roads created during its construction. It was built on behalf of Billericay Urban District Council and is notable as being their first large scale housing project undertaken in Laindon.

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6th August

Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, passed in parliament.

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1948

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Basildon Cricket Club reformed with home matches once again played at Rectory Road on land now covered by the Tractor Plant in Cranes Farm Road. Prior to the outbreak of war the club played at a field off Rectory Road having formed sometime before 1933. The club president during these times was Mr. Monkford.

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The Laindon Revellers Concert Party formed. The Revellers, founded by Mr C.R. Clark and known to his friends as 'Nobby', also included Fred Penson Snr. and other family members Pearl and Fred Jnr. They performed entertainment shows, revues, pantomimes and dances around the area, many at the Laindon Memorial Hall or the Hut Club in Samuel Road, Langdon Hills, raising considerable financial sums for local charities. They were still active in the early 1970s.

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25th May

The Government grants provisional approval for the creation of a 50,000 population new town to be called Basildon in Essex. The choice of name is derived from the existing Basildon village which lies to the centre of the proposed designated area.

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July

Billericay Urban District Council open a refuse tip at Pitsea. The tip, which is located close to the council's own sewage treatment works off Marsh Road, was brought into use as the existing site at Wickford had reached its capacity. By 1953 the tip was receiving up to 10,000 tons of refuse yearly which had increased to approximately 14,923 tons by 1956 leading the following year to the council leasing adjacent land with an expectant tipping life of 12 years. A further acquisition of 74 acres around the turn of 1962 was expected to increase that to 20 years. On site facilities included a corrugated iron paper bailing shed and a brick built workers' mess, erected at a cost of £1,400 in 1961. The site eventually reached its capacity in 1987 and the area was closed off and landscaped and remains out of bounds to the general public to this day.

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29th July

THE DRAFT BASILDON NEW TOWN (DESIGNATION) ORDER, 1948 submitted for government approval.

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30th September

Government Minister of Town and Country Planning, Lewis Silkin, MP, visits Laindon High Road Senior School to address a public meeting on the proposed Basildon New Town Designation Order. The meeting was called by Billericay Council to address growing public concern over the future plans to transform the designated area into a new town.

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7th October

A public inquiry into the planned new town is held at the Memorial Hall in High Road, Laindon. The inquiry was called by the Ministry of Housing & Local Government represented by the Planning Inspector, Kenneth Sutton Dodd.

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1949

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Collinson Fencing established. The Laindon based fencing contractor was founded by George Arthur Collinson and traded for much of its life as G.A. Collinson Fencing Co. Ltd. During the 1970s the company, now run by the Grant family, was based at Manor Road on the former Regent Metalworks site, having previously been at Staneway, before moving in 1979 to new purpose built premises at Stannetts on the Laindon North industrial estate, which was then currently under construction. The company, whose open backed vehicles were finished in a green livery, was very successful having secured contracts with British Rail and their successors Railtrack and Network Rail before a downturn in work caused it to go into administration in December 2007 and cease trading.

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4th January

Official approval of the 1948 draft designation order confirming Basildon's designation as a new town is given by the Labour Government's Minister of Town and Country Planning, Lewis Silkin, MP. (Basildon New Town (Designation) Order, 1949). The area designated for development covers 8,834 acres, from which 7,546 acres lie with Billericay Urban District and the remaining 288 acres are within Thurrock Urban District.

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3rd February

Government appointed Basildon Development Corporation established; (Basildon New Town (Development Corporation) Order, 1949), and tasked with the creation of a new town within a designated area as defined in the (Basildon New Town (Designation) Order, 1949). The first seven appointments to the board are: Sir Lancelot Herman Keay, K.B.E., F.R.I.B.A. (Chairman); Mr. E.L. Protheroe (Vice-Chairman); Mr. Mark Auliff, J.P; Mrs. E.J. Gregory, O.B.E., J.P.; Mrs. W.M. Knight, J.P.; Mr. F.C. Jobson, J.P. and Colonel S.A. Smith, M.C., M.I.C.E. The Corporation were given the use of two rooms at a location in London by the Ministry.

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25th April

Basildon Development Corporation serve official notice of its intention to acquire Gifford House at Bowers Gifford as its new headquarters. (Basildon Development Corporation (Gifford House, Bowers Gifford) Compulsory Purchase Order, 1949). The Corporation began its existence working from temporary accommodation in London and were able to move into Gifford House in London Road, Bowers Gifford in October 1949. The property, built originally for the Rector of Bowers Gifford in 1924 and standing in about 1.3 acres of land, was then converted to office use and additional buildings were also constructed within the grounds. The Corporation remained at Gifford House through to its eventual dissolution in 1986.

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23rd May

Brigadier W(illiam). G(wyn). D(ansey). Knapton, C.B.E., M.I.R.E. is appointed the first General Manager of Basildon Development Corporation.

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13th June

Noel Tweddell, A.R.I.B.A., appointed Chief Arichitect Planner to Basildon Development Corporation. Noel Tweddell held the post until 1958 and was responsible for the preparation of the Corporation's first 'Master Plan'.

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5th September

Craylands Senior Council School for Girls and its Boys' counterpart, amalgamate to become Craylands County Secondary School. Mr. Louis A. Gredley was the first Headmaster. In 1968 the school merged with Fryerns Grammar & Technical to become Fryerns Comprehensive.

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7th December

Basildon Development Corporation's Engineering Department established. Mr. H.W. Dupree, A.M.I.C.E., is appointed as the Senior Engineer. The core responsibilities of the department will be to effect land surveys, roads, surface drainage, planning of sewage treatment works and the supply and distribution of water, electricity and gas. Long established consultancy firm E.C. Harris and Partners were appointed as quantity surveyors to partner the corporation in these endeavours.

 
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.

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