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Basildon Stories
The story of Basildon & District as they were 1937 - 1947 - Part 5
by Thomas Edwards


     We now retrace our footsteps back through the High Street to the Barge Inn and beyond. We now leave the busy built-up area of Vange behind us and continue along the A13 to the older part of Vange.

     On our right we pass a small sweet shop and Thomas' Garage opened in the thirties. Over on our left we pass Wharf Lane and a small Roman Catholic Church built in 1924 and one shop called "Rowe's Diary". Then we come to Bishops Garage and some small bungalows, among them one black thatched cottage. On our left we pass one open space then 'Ramsey Stores' and an almost completed road called Ramsey Drive. Then the road curves here and dips towards Grays.

     On our right we come to some old cottages built perhaps in the 17th Century and what remains of the old A13 begins here and turns into the new A13 further along. Here in this old road stands Vange War Memorial. We continued along on our left passing a bungalow then open fields and on joining where the old A13 comes out beside the Vange Off License.

     We find on our left side two old black cottages dating back to before the First World War. On our right past the Off License is an unmade road going up to Vange heights which is crowned by some early twenties and thirties bungalows, about a hundred in all. They have a good view over the marshes towards the oil refineries.

     On our left passing the old black cottages we come to an old house which was called 'Tilbury's Nurseries' where people bought plants and flowers. Then came an unmade road called Glenmere Avenue in which were many bungalows of the thirties and then an allotment site and finally Brickfield Road led to Vange Army Camp where there was three ack-ack guns and two search lights stationed there in the war years.

     On our right we pass more bungalows until we see some Victorian houses and an unmade road leading up to Vange Hall; among these Victorian houses is Vange School Shop where the school children bought their sweets and then Vange Primary School which is Victorian.

     We pass an open field on our left and across an open field we see All Saints the Parish Church of Vange on top of a small hill. When we walk up to visit this church we pass a small pond in the field nearby. On this spot was old Vange Rectory long since gone. How old it was I do not know; it existed there in Tudor times. Vange Church is 11th Century and has a bricked up small Norman window in the south side wall. There is also a good view towards Fobbing.

     Now we pass Vange School on our right, a small field then Vange Rectory which stands among the trees and the first Vange School now called cottages; we pass an open field on the left side and then a field with a pond, some bungalows of the thirties and then four old Victorian houses. Here the road turns off towards Fobbing and the A13 goes onto the right.

     On our right side we pass more fields until we reach a public house called "The Five Bells" built in the 17th Century, and so we come to the end of Vange with just a forge and some houses turning into the A13.

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Page added: July 2003
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