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A Basildon Chronology
1915   1916   1917   1918   1919


Mass is celebrated in a family home by the Parish Priest of Billericay. Later in 1925 a catholic church (St. Teresa's) was established at High Road, Langdon Hills.


Lee Chapel Farm destroyed by fire. The farmhouse, built of timber and brick, is believed to date in parts to the 16th century. Its location was approximately in the area now bordered by Gaynesford in Lee Chapel South. A small pond, partially enclosed by woodland within the grounds of a local recreation ground, is now the only reminder of the farm's existence. A chapel, which gave its name to the parish, is said to have stood to the north of the farm. Possible remains have been uncovered during previous excavations of the area.


12th May

A second fatal explosion occurs at the British Explosives Syndicate factory at Pitsea. The explosion and subsequent fire, which took place in a Heat Test Room laboratory, killed two people and severely damaged the building. It is thought that the explosion occurred as a result of a bottle of Nitro-Glycerine being accidentally dropped. One of the dead was William Alfred Osbourne, 16, from Vange who worked there as a Chemists Assistant. The other fatality was that of the Heat and Moisture Technician whose name remains unknown.


27th November

A proposed new railway linking Pitsea with Canvey Island was announced in edition 30402 of the London Gazette. An as yet unincorporated company was seeking an Act of Parliament to construct the line off the Midland Railway's London to Shoeburyness route leaving Pitsea Junction station and crossing Bowers Gifford to terminate at a point close to Deadman's Point. A second line, with a junction off the proposed route would terminate near the Holehaven Creek at Holehaven Point where a deep water wharf would be constructed. The lines were to be for the transportation of freight and it was not at this stage intended that the route would carry passengers. Unfortunately the announcement proved premature and despite many revisions to the scheme through to 1921, including a potential direct link to the Great Eastern Railway (GER) line through North Benfleet to Wickford, none of the lines were ever constructed.


14th December

Mr. Frank Hilder elected Coalition Conservative MP for the Essex South Eastern parliamentary constituency - including Basildon. Majority 6,360. A coalition government is formed with Liberal leader David Lloyd George as Prime Minister.



Parkinson's garage service opens in High Road, Laindon. The business was founded by James Parkinson Snr. who opened a garage in an ex army hut next door to the families' Cottenham home on the corner of Somerset Road. Three of his sons; Bert, Cecil and later Cliff would all join the family business which became known as Parkinson Bros. All full range of services were available including petrol, mechanical and cycle repairs, taxis and their own brand of engine oil. When the A127 Arterial Road was completed in the 1920s a second garage opened at the High Road crossroads junction which Bert ran. Cliff would later run the business for more than 40 years until 2004, which included a move in 1970 into the former Greens Stores grocery shop on a larger site at 28-32 High Road on the corner of Durham Road because Basildon Development Corporation wished to create a roundabout in the High Road at the junction with Laindon Link.

15th August

The Ministry of Transport Act, 1919, passed in parliament. Section 17 (2) details the planned introduction of classification for important roads.

Text researched and written by William Cox, 2001 with revisions and additions 2002-2017.
Copyright © 2001-2017, B. Cox - Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.

Acknowledgements and Bibliography

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