I moved to Pitsea in 1928 from Highgate in
London when I was three.
It was a great step for my father who borrowed 10 shillings to put down as deposit for a new
bungalow in Rectory Gardens.
Rectory Gardens was an unmade road with sleepers running down the
centre and only a concrete narrow path out side the bungalows.
The bungalow had no main drainage, only an outside loo which required emptying
twice a week. My father dug a hole in the field at the back and deposited the sewerage twice
weekly. Other people did the same. My father also dug a trench from our bath which had no soak
away to the ditch outside. Some one reported him and he was made to stop. We had to empty the bath by hand.
Pitsea was a delightful little village then. I remember all the shops in the
London Road. Especially Starlings, a grocery plus oil shop in London Road. Next to Starlings
was a pathway going up the hill in the direction of Pitsea Church and continuing to Pitsea Station. A short cut
from going round the road via Station Lane. This road had the old Pitsea Market as well as a barbers
shop which allowed its dirty water to run into an open ditch. The smell was awful.
During the Second World War I would go into the mail sorting office and ask
if they had any mail for me. Surprisingly they would hand it over. We were encouraged to
write to any of the forces. My sister and I duly did.
It was very sad when years later I went back on a nostalgic journey only to
find Pitsea had been swallowed up by the town of Basildon. Basildon as I remembered it was only
a small village further on from Vange.
I could go on for ever with memories of Pitsea. I only left when I was 21
for a house with main drainage in Westcliff. I lived there until marriage. Ah Happy days.
Title: Pitsea - From 1929 until 1945 by Jeanne Hart (née Lepine).
Copyright: © Jeanne Hart, August 2014.
Comments: This account was supplied by Jeanne Hart for use on the Basildon History website.