BACK TO BASILDON
Now we return to Gale's Corner and begin the end of our walking tour
to go back to Basildon where we started out.
Right on the right side of Bull Road where the junction is is Railway Cottages
named after the Railway behind them and one of them was a workhouse in Victorian times.
Next came shops, then "The Bull" public house and Southview Road unmade road, also
more shops then two old houses. On our left is Gales Corner shop, a somewhat huge gloomy one and
then about four fields of which one was used as a fairground.
Modern bungalows and roads of the thirties stretched along and beyond and
towards Vange until we come to a few more fields. Also on our right were very few bungalows until
we reach the junction leading to Langdon Hills and Church Road.
So we take Church Road on our right and turn into the area of Basildon. Here
at the junction around us on both sides of the road are fields and bungalows until we approach the
On our right we come to an unmade road of St. James; nothing is on the other until
we cross over the railway bridge. Here on our right is a small Post Office and shop and a concrete
road which leads to Gordon Road. Also along this side is a built up bungalow area of the thirties. On
our left side are different bungalows of different shapes leading up to "Joeatta" Poultry Farm, the first
farm on the outskirts of Basildon and on our right we pass two open fields then about four houses
built in the thirties and leading onwards to more poultry farms and fruit trees.
On our left passing "Joeatta" Poultry Farm is the unmade road called "Honeypot Lane"
where there was a murder commited. Then follows a shop, two more poultry farms, then a bungalow
then some open fields with Holy Cross Church in site.
On our right we pass one poultry farm and then open fields with two old wooden
cottages and the unmade road leading up to the Moat House Farm. Then we reach Holy Cross Church
so our walking tour of Old Basildon and District is over.
MY COMMENTS ON BASILDON
I have a lot to say against the New Town of Basildon and also some for it. But
having lived in the area all my life I must confess that I am sorry that I could not mention Laindon
which also forms a part of Basildon. Although I was born within sight of St. Nicholas Church I did
not live there, but we moved to Vange in the early thirties; then to Nevendon then finally back to
Vange where I am living now.
Laindon never attracted me much, I saw the High Road now and again and also as a boy nearly got killed
by a bomb in Lee Chapel which were fields then.
Basildon would have looked better if it were carefully laid out and planned. However
there was a reckless mad rush in 1948 to build a New Town and in that mad rush it destroyed its own
soul by destroying nearly or almost all its historical buildings and landmarks which is a shame
and a crying pity for future generations.
I wondered why often the town centre kept changing itself (it has changed itself six times already)!
Still, I lived and witnessed the changes around me and came through it all. But
unfortunately Old Basildon together with Nevendon has been completely swept away for ever; also the
farms and green fields. Perhaps in God's good time ahead of us we will witness the end of Basildon
Old Basildon and Nevendon were never like plotlands in Laindon (Dunton); they were solid brick
or asbestos permanent homes. As such they were denied the right compensation for them. It is absurd
for the New Town to dismiss these homes as shanty towns or shacks. As many a true old Basildonian would
say "Who are you trying to kid Guv'nor?"
Title: The story of Basildon & District as they were 1937 - 1947 by Thomas Edwards.
Source: Local Studies section - Basildon Central Library, St. Martin's Square, Basildon.
Comments: This account is reproduced in its entirety, unedited and unabridged.
Unfortunately Thomas' account of Basildon & District as they were 1937 - 1947 was undated but had been in the 'local history' section
at Basildon Library for many years prior to appearing on this website in 2003. He also contributed to A Century of Basildon by Marion Hill, published
Thomas John Edwards passed away on 17th October, 2006 and is buried in the churchyard at St. Peter's Church, Nevendon.