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Markhams Chase Recreation Ground


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Recreation Ground - Markhams Chase Recreation Ground - Markhams Chase Recreation Ground - Markhams Chase
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Location: Recreation Ground
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 07/04/2007
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments:
Location: Recreation Ground
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 07/04/2007
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: A Sunday football match takes place in view of the former Markhams Chase Centre.
Location: Recreation Ground
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 07/04/2007
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: In the background the Church View housing estate, built on the fields of James Hornsby School, was currently under construction.
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Recreation Ground - Markhams Chase
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Location: Recreation Ground
Photographer: Bix
Year of photo: 07/04/2007
Copyright: Basildon History Online
Comments: The view looking towards Janet Duke infants school.
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The recreation ground at Markhams Chase was created in the 1960s in part on the former fields of Bluehouse Farm.

The main recreational areas at that time were in two locations. One of them, the larger of the two and rectangular shaped, bordered Leinster Road from its junction with Markhams Chase as far up as the then recently completed cycle path to Laindon Link. The other, which was less than half its size, on one side ran parallel with the diagonal farm approach road while also bordering Markhams Chase directly opposite Janet Duke infant school. Both recreational areas were totally open with no roadside fencing. Recreational activity soon commenced and the main area had three football pitches laid out, which from 1963 were being used by local clubs like Basildon West End Reserves. It was in the 1980s that trees were planted to screen the fencing that was eventually erected alonside the Leinster Road cycle path.

In 1973 the recreation ground was enlarged when the farm house and adjoining land, which was still residential until around 1972, fell into a ruinous condition and following a fire was demolished with the land, including the approach road off Markhams Chase, being absorbed into the recreation ground and the Bluehouse Community Centre then being built closeby. Also in the 1970s a children's park opened to the left side of the Community Centre and an artificial hill was created bordering one of the two ponds now within the recreational area.

Within the grounds until 2011 was the Markhams Chase Sports Centre, opened by Basildon Council in 1989. This stood partly on the site of a former changing facility erected in the 1970s. The adjacent car park was once the site of Lawrence's General Stores, and run by the owner Ted Lawrence from 1936 to 27th August 1970, when it closed as a result of a compulsory purchase order for an extension to the recreation ground.

In the 1990s part of the recreation ground was lost to housing.

Basildon Round Table once held their annual Firework Fiesta here, and travelling fun fairs have also set up in the grounds in years gone by.

During early to mid October 2017 a new pathway was completed running from the top end adjacent to Leinster Road around the outside ending at the Bluehouse Community Centre.

Page added: 2002
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Text researched and written by William Cox, 2006 with revisions 2015.
Copyright © 2002,2015, B. Cox - Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.

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