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Basildon Urban District Council - 1956 Tenants Handbook extract - Part 2

The following is a continuation of the main subject headings taken from the 1956 edition of Basildon Urban District Council's Tenants Handbook.

To return to part one click here.

Fire Precautions

         There are several main causes of accidental fire, these include fires caused by hot ash; defective or improperly cleaned flues; accidents due to children playing with fire; heating apparatus in a defective condition; inflammable liquids like petrol being near to naked flame; careless smokers; short circuit and other defects in electric apparatus. Many fires could be prevented by observance of the following simple rules :-

 1. Keep no rubbish in the house and burn garden refuse well away from sheds and other inflammable structures.

 2. Remove hot ashes in metal containers and do not carry burning coals from one room to another.

 3. Do not light fires with the aid of petrol or paraffin.

 4. Do not keep petrol in the house.

 5. Clean chimneys, flues and ovens regularly.

 6. Protect open fires with guards.

 7. Keep clothes horses well away from fires.

 8. Train children to have a proper respect for fires.

 9. Provide ash trays.

 10. Fill and clean oil stoves and lamps in daylight.

 11. Do not smoke in bed.

         It is an advantage to know the location of the nearest fire station and the nearest telephone call box, and how to get in touch with the station.

         If you are unlucky enough to have a fire in your house the first thing to do is to warn everyone on the premises and call the Fire Brigade. All windows and doors should be closed to exclude draughts and an attempt made to extinguish the fire remembering that water cannot be used on burning and " live " electric apparatus. In dense smoke there is always some fresh air near the ground so protect your nose and mouth with a wet handkerchief or cloth and crawl on hands and knees. Burning clothes on a person should be extinguished by smothering the flames with heavy coats, blankets or rugs.

Health Services

Hospital Services.

         The general and maternity hospital in the area is at St. Andrew's, Billericay, telephone number Billericay 602, which has over 400 beds and is controlled by the South East Essex Hospital Management Committee. It is situated in Stock Road close to Billericay railway station.

Infectious disease cases are normally admitted either to Thurrock Hospital, Stifford Long Lane, Grays, telephone number Tilbury 4601, or to Westcliff Hospital, Balmoral Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, telephone number Southend-on-Sea 44415.

County Health Services.

         Health Services provided by the Essex County Council are as follows :-

 1. Clinics for expectant mothers, infants and children under school age, and schoolchildren.

 2. Midwifery Service.

 3. Health Visiting by specially trained nurses who give advice and guidance in the home.

 4. Home Nursing is provided on the recommendation of a doctor or trained nurses who attend to such matters as the dressing of wounds, the giving of injections, etc.

 5. Sick Room Equipment. Articles commonly required are available on loan.

 6. Domestic Help Service. Domestic help may be obtained where there is a need on health grounds. There is a charge based on income but help is provided free where payment would cause hardship.

 7. The Clinic Premises in the District are :-

 Craylands Health Centre, Timberlog Lane, Basildon.
         Tel. No.: Vange 2166.

 Pitsea Health Centre, The Broadway, High Road, Pitsea.
         Tel. No.: Vange 2275.

 Laindon Health Centre, Florence Road, Laindon.
         Tel. No.: Laindon 161.

 Billericay Health Centre, Laindon Road, Billericay.
         Tel. No.: Billericay 423.

 Wickford Health Centre, Nevendon Road, Wickford.
         Tel. No.: Wickford 3364.

 Church Hall, Pound Lane, Bowers Gifford.

         Information may be obtained at any of these Clinics regarding the arrangements for expectant mothers, post natal examinations, infant welfare, school medical matters, dental clinics, eye clinics and other specialised sessions.

         All of the County Services mentioned above are administered from the Area Health Office of the County Council and enquiries regarding any of these services may be addressed to the Area Medical Officer of Health, Dr. W. J. Moffat, 153 High Street, Rayleigh, (Telephone No. Rayleigh 831).

         Services administered direct from County Hall, Chelmsford, by the County Medical Officer of Health, Dr. G. G. Stewart, are the Ambulance Service and the Mental Health Service.


         Ambulances are available free of charge on the recommendation of a doctor or nurse. In an emergency where there is a telephone dialling system dial 999; where there is no dialling system simply lift the receiver press the emergency button and ask for an ambulance. 999 calls are relayed to Chelmsford and callers should state fully the name of the district where the ambulance is required so as to avoid confusion. There are two local ambulance stations, one at Craylands Clinic, Timberlog Lane, Vange, and the other at St. Andrews Hospital, Billericay.

Mental Health.

         The County Council are responsible for the care of mentally ill persons before admission to hospital, and for the ascertainment and care of the mentally defective. Occupation Centres are provided for those of the latter group who are able to travel to the Centres.

School Health Services.

         In addition to the services outlined above, the School Health Service arranges for the regular medical inspection of all pupils. Where a child is regarded as handicapped by reason of a physical or mental defect, the Education Committee makes special provision for the child's education.

         Enquiries in connection with the School Health Service can be made at the Clinics listed or addressed to the Divisional School Medical Officer, Dr. W. J. Moffat, 153 High Street, Rayleigh, the same address as the Area Health Office.

Tuberculosis Care Association.

         This voluntary organisation exists for the special needs of persons suffering from tuberculosis and for their families. The Hon. Secretary is Miss J. A. Blanks, "Greyfriars," Highlands Avenue, Vange.

Care of Children Apart from their Parents.

         This is the responsibility of the Children's Department of the County Council and enquiries should be addressed to the Children's Officer, County Hall, Chelmsford.

Welfare of Aged and Handicapped Persons.

         The Welfare Department of the County Council is responsible for the welfare of aged persons and those handicapped by being blind, deaf, dumb or by illness, injury or deformity. The County Welfare Officer's address is 73 Springfield Road, Chelmsford.

Basildon Urban District Old People's Welfare Committee.

         An Old People's Welfare Committee has been set up for the Urban District to promote and assist the general good for all old people in the Basildon Urban District by assisting the work of statutory authorities and voluntary organisations engaged in providing facilities for physical and mental recreation, developing physical improvement, furthering health, relieving poverty, distress or sickness, or in pursuing any objects which now or hereafter may be deemed by law to be charitable.

         The Honorary Secretary of this Committee is Mrs. M. King, of " Terveuren," Hill House Drive, Billericay.

Gardening Notes

         It is sometimes found in the gardens of new houses that builders have spread the bad subsoil from house foundations over the good topsoil in the garden to be. Should this be so the first job is to remove the bad soil by trenching it in, i.e. turning the top to the bottom and bringing up the good soil suitable for plant growth.

         The ground can be rough dug in the Autumn and manured and subsequently put down to a cleaning crop such as potatoes. On really light land Spring digging is best, and the ground needs yearly dressings of leaf mould, bulky manure or compost.

         Ordinary grass land can be double dug - the turf being skinned into each trench where, chopped up and lying face downwards it will soon turn to fibrous loam.

         Drainage where necessary, should be considered. It pays to get the land into good heart before embarking upon a garden.

         When starting a garden, care should be taken to select suitable crops - both in vegetable, flower and fruits, according to the type of soil, and a suitable strain of seed selected. Plants doing badly, or unsuitable to the soil, should be ruthlessly removed as it is important to maintain general health, and weaklings will soon introduce unhealthy conditions. At least three inches of well aerated humus containing top soil should be aimed at for seeds.

         Weeds should be suppressed in Spring and Autumn without fail. Weeds harbour pests and diseases rob garden plants of food.

         Mainly the fertility of the soil depends on :-

 1. Good drainage.

 2. Aeration.

 3. Humus.

 4. Adequate Lime.

 5. Cleanliness.

 6. Adequate Water.

 7. Returning to the land the supply of plant foods that crops remove in yearly growth.

         Where soil fertility is maintained the garden owner is amply rewarded.

         To maintain fruit trees in a healthy condition care should be taken to see that the right varieties, suitable to the locality, are grown, and the correct pollinators selected.

         The trees should not be planted too closely together and must be on the right root stock. The soil must not be deficient in Potash, Nitrogen, or Phosphates. Frost pockets must be avoided. Young trees should never be planted straight into grass. Heavy pruning, the cause of excessive wood growth, and little fruit, and a subsequent unhealthy unbalanced condition of tree, resulting in attacks from pests and diseases, must be avoided.

         Fruit trees should be grease banded at the beginning of each October to check caterpillar.

The Vegetable Garden.

         Here it is very important to practise an adequate rotation of crops - that is, to see that no crop occupies the same piece of ground two years running. If a three year rotation is carried out, two good things will result. First, the soil will be kept in good fertility, because different crops need different foods, and one particular plant food will not quickly become exhausted if a variety of crops take their turn on one piece of the garden. Secondly, crop rotation is one means of helping to suppress the pests and diseases which can become so troublesome

         If a three year rotation is practised, one piece of ground will be used for potatoes, followed the next year by green crops, and after that by roots. The only exception to this rule will be the onion bed. Onions do not like new soil as a rule, and they require a very well cultivated bed with plenty of manure if possible, so they should be kept in the most suitable place unless they are attacked by any pest or disease.

         It is always a mistake to grow too many potatoes, and better to keep early and second early varieties, with not too many main crop ones. If blight occurs on the later ones, they should be sprayed with Bordeaux mixture, or their tops should be cut off and burnt so that the disease will not spread to the tubers.

         When green crops are being planted out, it should be remembered that although they like manure, the ground must be firm when they are planted. Loose ground is often the reason why sprouts become " blown " instead of firm and hard.

         Root crops do not need manure, in fact it will cause the roots to branch out and become "fanged".

         All crops should be given plenty of room. It is a great mistake to grow vegetables too close together.

Rates - How the Money is Spent

         On the front of the Council's rent card you will see that a sum for rates is included in your weekly rent, and any change in the amount of rates charged in the district will cause either a rise or fall in you total weekly rent. Part of the amount of rates paid by you every week is collected by the Council and paid to the Southend Waterworks Company ; in fact, a typical three bedroomed house is charged about 1s. 9d. per week for this service. The remainder of the rates item is for General Rates (except in the case of a few houses where drainage rates are payable). The Urban District Council as rating authority for the area charges rates, not only to provide money for its own services, but also on behalf of the Essex County Council for County services; in fact, out of every pound you pay through your rent for your rate liability, 13s. 9d. is paid over to the County Council. This is spent by them on services such as education, health, (including child welfare and midwifery), police, fire brigade, County highways and welfare (including the care of the aged and infirm).

         The remaining 6s. 3d. of every pound is spent by the Urban District Council on local services, including sewerage and sewage disposal, highways, housing, parks, cemeteries, public lighting, administration and sundry health services (including public conveniences and water supply), food and shops inspection and infectious disease prevention.

         Although tenants pay their rates weekly with their rent, they are just as much ratepayers as the people who pay half-yearly, and just as much affected by the rise and fall in rates, and the same basis of assessment of property is used, that is, the estimated annual rent arrived at in accordance with the rating acts.


         The Essex Education Committee is the authority responsible for educational services throughout the Urban District. For divisional administration purposes, the Urban District comes within the area of the South East Essex Divisional Executive. Children residing within the Urban District who qualify for Secondary Grammar and Technical Education on the results of the Committee's General Admission Examination are admitted to the following schools :-


         Brentwood County High School (Girls).
         Grays Palmers Endowed School (Boys).
         Grays Palmers Endowed School (Girls).
         Chelmsford County High School (Girls).
         King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford (Boys).
         Brentwood Ursuline High School (Girls, R.C.).
         Brentwood Sir Anthony Brown's School (Boys).


         Grays County Technical School (Boys and Girls).
         Mid-Essex Technical College, Chelmsford (Boys and Girls).
         South East Essex County Technical School, Dagenham.
         Rayleigh County Secondary Technical School.
         Fryerns County Secondary Technical / Grammar School, Basildon.

The following is a list of Primary and Secondary Modern Schools in the Urban District :-

         Basildon Manor County (J. & I.)
         Bowers Gifford C.E. (J. & I.)
         Buttsbury (J. & I.)
         Billericay (Mixed)
         Gt. Burstead (J. & I.)
         N. Benfleet C.E. Vol. Controlled (J. & I.)
         Dunton (J. & I.)
         Greensted (J. & I.) (Barstable)
         Laindon High Road
         Laindon Markhams Chase (J. & I.)
         Langdon Hills (J. & I.)
         Laindon St. Nicholas Lane (J. & I.)
         Nevendon (J. & I.)
         Nevendon Craylands
         Pitsea Junior
         Pitsea Infants
         Ramsden Crays (J. & I.)
         Swan Mead (J.)
         Swan Mead (I.)
         Vange (J. & I.)
         Wickford C.E. Vol. Controlled (J. & I.)
         Wickford (Infants)
         Wickford (Junior)
         Whitmore Way (I.)
         Whitmore Way (J.)
         St. John's School, Billericay
Secondary Modern
Secondary Modern
Secondary Modern
Secondary Modern
Private Mixed School

To be completed 1956-57 :

         Timberlog County Secondary Modern School.

Further Education Centres :

         Billericay Secondary Modern School, School Road, Billericay.
         Laindon Secondary Modern School, High Road, Laindon.
         Pitsea Primary School, High Road, Pitsea.
         Wickford Secondary Modern School, Market Road, Wickford.
         Fryerns County Secondary Technical/Grammar School, Basildon.

         The Basildon Urban District forms for education administration purposes part of the South-East Essex Division. The County Education Offices are at Chelmsford and the Divisional Education Offices at Rayleigh.

         Further information about the education service in the South-east Essex Division, and concerning other educational facilities provided on a County basis, may be obtained from :-

  The Divisional Education Officer,
Divisional Education Offices,
" Brooklands,"
Hockley Road,
Rayleigh, Essex.
Telephone No.: Rayleigh 441/2/3/4.

Library Services in Basildon Urban District

         The Essex County Library maintains four branch libraries and seven Centres in the Basildon Urban District. Particulars of branch libaries are as follows :-

Address: Hours of opening:
Billericay, 97 High Street.
         (Tel., Billericay 624).
10 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily except Thursdays.
Laindon, 3 High Road.
         (Tel., Laindon 2065).
10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays & Fridays.
  2 p.m. - 7 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays & Fridays.
  2 p.m. - 7 p.m. Saturdays.
Pitsea, Woodfield Hall, Woodfield Road.
         (Tel., Vange 2315).
10 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily except Thursdays.
Wickford, 56 High Street.
         (Tel., Wickford 2354).
10 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily except Wednesdays.

         The following library centres are administered by voluntary local librarians :-

Bowers Gifford, St. John's Church Hall. 3.30 - 5 p.m. Thursdays.
Buttsbury School. 3.15 - 4.30 p.m. Mondays.
Dunton School. 2 - 3.15 p.m. Wednesdays.
Langdon Hills School. 2.30 - 5 p.m. Wednesdays.
Nevendon School. 3.30 - 4.30 p.m. Thursdays.
North Benfleet School. 3.40 - 5.30 p.m. Wednesdays.
Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall. 2.30 - 3.30 p.m. Mondays.

         There are about 800,000 books in the County Library all of which are available to any reader, and of these about 30,000 are in the Basildon Urban District. New books are continually being added and books not in stock will be obtained for readers whenever possible.

         The Billericay, Laindon, Pitsea and Wickford Branches are all housed in temporary premises and consist of lending libraries for adults with some provision for children, though Billericay also has a reference and reading room. At every service point in the area there is a wide selection of novels, and non-fiction books on a variety of subjects.

         Membership is free to all persons who live in the County Library area.

General Information

Basildon Urban District Council (all departments) Council Offices, High Street, Billericay.
         (Tel. No.: Billericay 162).
Basildon Development Corporation Gifford House, London Road, Bowers Gifford.
         (Tel. No.: Vange 3261/5).
Essex County Council County Hall, Chelmsford, Essex.
         (Tel. No.: Chelmsford 3231).
Divisional Education Office Brooklands, Hockley Road, Rayleigh.
         (Tel. No.: Rayleigh 441).
Employment Exchanges :
(Ministry of Labour & National Service) 151 High Street, Brentwood (for Billericay).
         (Tel. No.: Brentwood 277).
High Road, Laindon, Basildon.
         (Tel. No.: Laindon 3220).
26 The Parade, Vange, Basildon.
         (Tel. No.: Vange 2152).
London Hill, Rayleigh (for Wickford).
         (Tel. No.: Rayleigh 496).
Fire Stations (retained only) :

         Laindon High Road.
         (Tel. No.: Laindon 3298).
         Billericay Western Road.
         (Tel. No.: Billericay 398).
         Vange High Road.
         (Tel. No.: Vange 2218).
         Wickford High Street.
         (Tel. No.: Wickford 3065).
Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance 26 London Road, Brentwood.
         (Tel. No.: Brentwood 2008).
Chestnut Road, Pitsea.
         (Tel. No.: Vange 3273).
National Assistance Board Area Office, 11 Queens Road, Brentwood.
         (Tel. No.: Brentwood 3581).
Police Stations :

         Billericay High Street.
         (Tel. No.: Billericay 407).
         Laindon High Road, Laindon.
         (Tel. No.: Laindon 86).
         Pitsea Rectory Road, Pitsea.
         (Tel. No.: Vange 3125).
         Wickford Southend Road.
         (Tel. No.: Wickford 2013).
Registrar of Births and Deaths High Street, Billericay.
         (Tel. No.: Billericay 195).

Billericay Petty Sessional Division.

         A Petty Sessional court is held every Tuesday at the Police Court, Billericay, commencing at 10.15 a.m.

         The Magistrates appointed for the Billericay Petty Sessional Division are :-

(Chairman) F. C. Jobson, Esq.,
         " Rosendale," High Road, Langdon Hills, Basildon.
Lt.-Col. V. A. Gascoyne-Cecil,
         The Granary, London Road, Wickford.
Mrs. C. R. S. Gunter,
         " Crescent House," High Street, Billericay.
Mrs. C. Law, M.B.E.,
         " The White Cottage," Noak Hill Road, Billericay.
Mrs. L. F. Norman,
         7 Worthing Road, Laindon, Basildon.
J. L. Baucher, Esq.,
         " Little House," Laindon Road, Billericay.
F. W. Keddie, Esq.,
         Downham Grange, Downham.
A. Pavie, Esq.,
         " Lince View," High Road, Langdon Hills, Basildon.
R. W. F. Wilberforce, Esq.,
         Nevendon Manor, Nr. Wickford.
Mrs. E. J. Gregory, O.B.E..,
         112, Bull Road, Basildon.
Mrs. K. M. Welch,
         The Vicaridge, Great Burstead.
H. R. Dunnico, Esq.,
         17, Vernon Road, Leigh-on-Sea.
Capt. P. Sargent, D.S.C., R.N.L.,
         Wyverstone Lodge, 39, Hadleigh Rd., Leigh-on-Sea.
J. A. Watford, Esq.,
         " Gothersley," Nevendon Road, Wickford.
Ex-Officio: The Chairman of the Basildon Urban District Council.

Clerk to the Justices: W. A. Collins, Esq.,
         The Court House, Billericay.
         (Tel. No.: Billericay 942).
Probation Officers... F. Andrews, Esq., G. B. Bubb, Esq., and Mrs. M. Digby,
         Probation Office, 88A High Street, Billericay.
         (Tel. No.: Billericay 1115).

Civil Defence

         The Council are responsible for the enrolment and training of Civil Defence volunteers throughout the Urban District and there is an urgent need for volunteers in the following Sections of the Corps :-

 Headquarters  Ambulance 
 Wardens  Rescue 

Volunteers are asked to undertake two hours training a week on days most convenient to them at their nearest local headquarters; these have been established in Billericay, Laindon, Vange and Wickford.

         The training is not only interesting and enjoyable, but is useful in everyday life. In addition, provision is made for social and recreational activities.

         Join your neighbours in Civil Defence - the Clerk of the Council will be pleased to give any further information you may require.


         The Council collect waste paper, which is sold and the proceeds applied in relief of the rates. All tenants are therefore urged to save their waste paper and rags, and place them in a string tied bundle, box or other suitable container near the dustbin for collection when the refuse collectors call.


1. The regulations and tenancy conditions contained within the 1956 tenants handbook related only to Basildon Council owned properties within the Basildon district and not to Basildon Development Corporation properties, which were subject to their own conditions of tenancy.

2. These regulations and tenancy conditions though valid in 1956 are continually revised and should be seen only as a guide to how things were at that time. The current conditions of tenancy can be found on the Council's own website.

3. The three pre-decimalisation amounts of 1s 9d., 13s 9d. and 6s. 3d. are equivalent to 9p, 69p and 31p respectively.

4. Reproduced, including the text formatting where possible, from Basildon Urban District Council's Tenants Handbook - 1956 edition. Printed and published by Littlebury & Company Limited. The Worcester Press . Worcester

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