A Basildon Chronology|
1940 1941 1942 1943 1944|
Laindon Athletic Sports Club for boys founded. The clubs' formation was aimed at providing a range of
sporting activities of which football was to prove the most popular. The club established its home matches at Langdon Hills recreation ground where they
played in various different Essex leagues as Laindon Athletic F.C. In the 1990s the club moved to Markhams Chase but in recent years is no longer
represented in any Essex leagues at either junior or senior level. The name does still exist though as there is a Laindon Athletic Veterans F.C., with teams
made up of over 35s who play their home matches at Gloucester Park.
The A127 Fortune-of-War roundabout at Laindon is believed to have become fully operational in the autumn
of this year. Work began on the Arterial Road roundabout in 1939 and was in a state of near completion by September 1940. The two main reasons
leading to its construction was the road, opened just 15 years earlier linking London with Southend, and junction, known as Laindon crossroads and part
of the B1007 (since re-routed) Chelmsford to Horndon-on-the-Hill route, had become a busy interchange, not least due to the development of Laindon. The
Fortune-of-War Inn, which gave its name to the roundabout, had opened at the same time as the road and soon became a popular 'stopping off' point for
passing traffic and charabanc day trips to Southend. So much so that an R.A.C. sentry box and officer would often attend to control traffic flow during
busy periods. The roundabout survived to 1995 and though technically extant, is no longer operational having been closed to right turns from April of that
year. Calls for its complete removal have so far not amounted to anything except the implementation of traffic speed cameras on each approach and a
20 mph speed restriction zone on the roundabout itself.
An auxiliary fire brigade at Laindon under Section-Officer R.F. Cole
known to have attended call outs. The brigade operated from a small auxiliary (section) fire station in
the High Road between Shepherd's Restaurant and the Laindon Recorder office. It survived to December
1961 when the main Essex County fire station at Broadmayne in Basildon became operational. All equipment
including vehicles were then transferred to the new station. The Laindon station was then used as
a storage garage until the late 1970s or early 1980s when it was finally demolished. Laindon Community
Centre car park and building now covers the site of the former fire station.
Whilst engaged in a World War Two dogfight with
German Luftwaffe fighters, a British Spitfire Mk1 R6635, of 41 Squadron, RAF is involved in a
mid air collision with another Spitfire, P9428, and crashes near Markhams Chase (now Janet Duke)
school in Laindon at 15.25 hrs.
A British Spitfire crashed ¼ mile south east
of Nevendon Hall. The pilot Flight Lieutenant John Terence Webster was killed when his parachute
failed to open. His name was commemorated in 1994 when a street name on a new Wickford housing estate
was named Terence Webster Road.
A German Luftwaffe Dornier Do-17 Z-2 Bomber, Werk Nr 3294
was shot down by British fighters at Gladstone Road, Langdon Hills. The crash was recorded as
happening at 14.33 hrs in an area now incorporated in the Marks Hill nature reserve. Three members
of the crew were killed. These air raids became known as the Battle of Britain, and this date is
specifically remembered as a key turning point in the battle for air superiority waged by the
German Luftwaffe over the Royal Air Force.
To counter possible German ground invasion the local
Home Guard began the construction of concrete pill boxes at various locations within the district. One
example at Church Hill, Laindon survived into the 1980s while others, like those at Wat Tyler Country
Park in Pitsea, can still be seen today.
Laindon Fire Service attend a blaze at an electric plant machinery
premises adjoining the Fortune of War public house. The damage was put at £1,500.
Elim Pentecostal Church at Gun Hill, London Road, Bowers Gifford opened. The
assistant superintendent, Pastor George Stormont dedicated the church which replaces a South Benfleet branch whose Pastor,
G.H. Croft became superintendent of the Gun Hill branch. From 8th February 1956 the building was registered for
marriages. The building had formerly been used since 1885 as a Mission
Chapel by Pitsea Congregational Church who vacated around 1927 to a larger building at Rectory Park Drive.
Len Thipthorpe of Woodview, Timberlog Lane, Vange establishes L.T. Carpets. This small local carpet
fitting business, founded by Len Thipthorpe, began at the family's bungalow home at Timberlog Lane, which remained its base for the next 74 years. Mr.
Thipthorpe later retired in 1992, after nearly 50 years, leaving the business with two brothers Darren and Gary and Laver. The Timberlog Lane site, since
numbered 198 sometime in the 1960s and now in the Barstable neighbourhood, closed in April 2017 and the business was transferred to within a branch
of Carpet Sense at High Road, Laindon.
As hostilities continue an Anti-Aircraft shell
exploded causing considerable damage to a property called Nightingale in the Lee Chapel Lane area
of Langdon Hills.
The Winston Club at 1 Northumberland Avenue, Laindon
registered as a mutual society. The club is named after then prime minister and conservative party leader Winston Churchill. A
club had been in existence on the same site since around 1923; firstly known as the Laindon Legion
Social Club, which had its Friendly Societies registration cancelled in 1928, followed soon after by the Carlton
Social Club, which survived until the current name change. The Winston Club nameboard was later
changed to one bearing the name Winston Social Club, which it remains today.
Alma Hatt succeeds A.D. Cheshire as Clerk to the Billericay
Urban District Council. Mr. Alfred Cheshire, whose other duties which passed to Mr. Hatt included
that of returning officer at general and local elections, had held the post since the formal constitution
of the council in 1934. Mr. Hatt would be the final Clerk of the Council as the post was later redesignated in
1965 to that of Chief Executive Officer.
A German V-2 rocket fell on Pitsea at Northlands
Drive. Fifty people received injuries, five of them serious. It left three houses totally demolished
and many others badly damaged.
Four houses were destroyed along with serious damage
to 21 others when a German V-2 rocket exploded in Langdon Hills. The V-2 rocket, which landed in
the garden of Hewfy a bungalow on the north side of Vowler Road, left 1 fatality and 4 people with
serious injuries. Edith Fyffe, 72, whose property Hewfy was destroyed in the blast, was injured
at the scene and died the following day in St. Andrew's Hospital, Billericay.
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