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A Basildon Chronology
1990   1991   1992   1993   1994


Mandeville Way railway bridge linking Laindon with Langdon Hills opened. The new bridge, built over the Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness rail route at a cost of around £1 million, was one of the last phases in the completion of Mandeville Way (Road 50 and now B1036). Up to the present it also remains as the last new vehicle bridge within the borough to cross the L.T. & S. railway.


Heron Retail Park, Pipps Hill, Basildon opens. The retail park, located off Miles Gray Road, was built on a large undeveloped site cleared in the 1960s by the development corporation. Part of Basildon Road and Bracken Mount, both of which were residential, were lost during the clearance. It took its name from the company responsible for its creation. Halfords, Comet and B&Q were some of the first shops to open at the park which also offers free parking. It is now known as Pipps Hill Retail Park.

20th March

Sainsbury's Homebase House and Garden Centre at Vange opened. The new store at London Road, Vange has 45,700 sq ft of sales area, parking for 270 vehicles and 60 sales staff. Homebase managing director Dino Adriano performed the opening ceremony. This store was the first of three to open within Basildon, the others being at Hazelmere, Pitsea (since closed) and Mayflower Retail Park.

29th July

Thamesway bus company founded. The new company was formed to take over the service routes in the southern area of Essex currently being operated by Eastern National Omnibus Co. following the deregulation of bus services on 26th October, 1986 (Transport Act 1985). From 19th August those services, which included all Basildon and surrounding area routes, were then operated by Thamesway. Both companies were owned by Badgerline Holdings Limited. The company, which took over the Basildon depot at Cherrydown East, has since being rebranded First Essex after Badgerline became part of FirstGroup in 1995. Their buses, finished in a predominately white livery with lower pink and purple striping, carry a simple 'First' wording next to the company's circular logo.

26th September

St. Luke's Hospice officially opened by the Duchess of Norfolk, Lavinia Fitzalan-Howard. The hospice, housed in the former Fobbing Farm in Nether Mayne and run as a registered charity, was built to help people with a terminal or life limiting illness. It was co-founded years earlier in 1983 by nurse Trudy Cox and her husband Les who with the help of a dedicated team of fundraisers raised the necessary capital to turn a vision into reality. In July 2014 a day hospice and other additional facilities were added to the site.

6th November

Diana, Princess of Wales visits St. Luke's Hospice in Nether Mayne, Basildon.

30th November

Basildon Magistrates Court in Great Oaks opened. Lord High Chancellor, The Right Honourable Lord Mackay of Clashfern performed the opening ceremony. Built at a cost of more than £2 Million, the new purpose built courthouse is a replacement for its ageing equal at Billericay; opened in May 1940. The chosen site had from around 1979 previously housed a temporary Unemployment Benefit Office (UBO) that relocated to Regent House in The Gore.



St. Therese of Lisieux catholic church in Florence Way, Langdon Hills opened. This new church, including presbytery and hall, was built to replace the former building that stood in the High Road between Alexander and St. Davids Road. The new site was once called Bristow Road and Bristow Close and was formerly residential but had remained undeveloped years after the last bungalows had been demolished in the 1970s.


Berry Boys Amateur Boxing Club's new headquarters and gym opened. The club, founded in 1946 by Langdon Hills resident Fred Nunn, had various homes in both Langdon Hills and Laindon in its long history but had been forced to move from their previous Northumberland Avenue home, which was needed to make way for the Station Gate parade of shops. The new training facility at Valence Way, Langdon Hills is 80 x 20 ft on a large site that includes a football pitch, used by the club's youth football teams. It was built by long serving head coach Ned Quirey, whose son Mark boxed for the club, and various other friends and stands only a short distance from the club's original training headquarters at St. Michael's mission hall, which once stood in the former Salisbury Avenue.


Mayflower Retail Park at Gardiners Link, Basildon opens. Mothercare World, Curry's electrical, Homebase House and Garden Centre and MFI's furniture store are some of the first businesses to open in the new units. A separate Tesco superstore and petrol filling station are another feature of the retail park. The chosen site had remained undeveloped since the town's inception and required a new access junction off the A127 Arterial Road. A McDonald's drive-thru and restaurant, built adjacent to the park, also opened this year.


Basildon Community Housing Association formed. The BCHA was established as a future landlord in the eventual rebuild of some Commission for the New Towns housing estates and, as a replacement landlord for West Kent Housing Association in providing an alternative choice to Basildon District Council in the proposed transfer of the remaining C.N.T. housing stock.


The Laindon (formerly Laindon Hotel) public house built in 1896 is demolished. The building had stood empty and boarded up since closure in the late 1980s. The demolition and site clearance, which began soon after a fire had rendered the building a danger, took up most of April. The site remained undeveloped for over 21 years before a successful planning application on behalf of the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain saw the site redeveloped as a fast food outlet.

21st April

Census statistics for the town of Basildon were recorded as 100,924. The overall figure for Basildon District, including Billericay and Wickford, was recorded as being 161,124 making it the most populated District in Essex.

11th July

A new temporary Police Station is officially opened at New Century Road, Laindon. The station, located on the south corner of High Road and New Century Road, is made up of two large single-storey demountable buildings. It transferred here from its previous temporary location, a detached bungalow at 11a Worthing Road, in use from September 1985. The site had remained unused since 1969 when the former Radion cinema was demolished. In 1998 the station closed when Essex Police opened a permanent station at Durham Road and Essex County Council later bought the land for a new Laindon library, which opened in 2001.


St. John the Evangelist Church in Forest Glade, Langdon Hills opened. The church was one of a number of new buildings and dwellings built on the former Berry Park plotland development. A later church extension was completed in June 2011.



Properties at Maplin Gardens in Barstable East are demolished. The 1970s flat roofed Cosmos system built housing estate had been a cause of concern over a long period due to a number of design issues. They were replaced with conventional housing. Some of the new tenants were from Laindon, displaced during the rebuilding programme on the former development corporation Laindon 1,2 & 3 (Siporex) estate.

17th January

Steeple View Community Hall in Willowfield, Laindon formally opened. The hall was built as a joint project by Basildon Council, Countryside Properties PLC and the Commission for the New Towns, who also contributed the land. It is now known as Steeple View Community Memorial Hall.


Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher MP visits Basildon in support of Basildon conservative MP David Amess's election campaign. The visit took place at General Electric Company (GEC) in Gardners Lane (now the site of Selex). David Amess went on to hold the seat for the 3rd and final time at the general election held on the 9th April.

9th April

David Amess (later Sir) (24,159) re-elected Conservative MP for the Basildon constituency. This would be the third and last of Mr. Amess' victories - he moved to Southend West for 1997 - and the last time the seat consisted of solely Basildon electoral Wards. He won with a reduced majority of 1,480 over the labour candidate Julian Fulbrook. Conservatives win General Election. The declaration was held at the Festival Hall on the aquatels site at Pipps Hill Close.

9th April

Teresa Gorman re-elected Conservative MP for the Billericay constituency which includes Laindon Ward. She took the seat with an overwhelming majority of 22,494 over Liberal Democrat candidate Frank Bellard, who pipped Labour into third place. Conservatives win General Election.

20th August

Supermarket chain J. Sainsbury open a new store and petrol filling station at Cricketers Way, Nevendon. The store, with a sales area of 36,000 sq ft and parking for 640 vehicles, is built on the former cricket field previously used by cigarette manufacturer Carreras Rothmans, whose social club was also located there.



Dunton boot sale at Dunton Road established. The Sunday and Bank Holidays boot sale was the second Dunton site to operate - the first in Lower Dunton Road closed in the 1980s - and is now believed to be the largest in the area. Due to its popularity a Wednesday sale was added in the 2000s.


Basildon Gymnastics Club training facility at Cranes Farm Road opened. The new club headquarters was constructed during 1992 at a cost of £300,000 on an undeveloped portion of land in a road previously known as The Avenue. The club, which was founded in 1969, had trained at St. Anselms School prior to the opening and soon after amalgamated with Castle Point and Magna Carta Gymnastics Clubs to form South Essex Gymnastics Club. In 2011 the club sold their premises and moved to Basildon Sporting Village where they remain today. A new housing development called Oakwood Grange, completed by property developer Bellway Homes, now covers the site.

30th March

Barstable Comprehensive Schools' main three-storey classroom block awarded Grade II listed status. The rectangular flat roofed block was built in the early 1960s and came into use when the school, which was originally a grammar and technical, opened in 1962. It was designed by the Finnish architect Cyril Leonard Sjöström Mardall of YRM Architects, (Yorke Rosenberg and Mardall) (Francis Reginald Stevens Yorke and Eugene Rosenberg), in collaboration with Essex County architect Harold Connolly. The structural engineers were Ove Arup and Partners from London who were also involved with the town centre tower block Brooke House. From September 1968, when the school became a comprehensive after merging with Timberlog Secondary Modern, it became the 'Middle School', housing all pupils in their 3rd, 4th and 5th year of study - (the former Timberlog site becoming the 'Lower School' for 1st and 2nd year pupils). A separate building, known as the 'Upper School', was used by 6th and 7th year pupils who qualified to stay on.
Listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. Name: Barstable School; List entry number: 1235004.

22nd April

Basildon Athletic's Club runner Eamonn Martin wins the 13th annual London Marathon on his debut. He won in a time of 2:10:50 beating second place Isidro Rico from Mexico by 3 seconds, and to date remains the last of only six British runners, and the last Englishmen, to have won this event.

3rd May

The A13 Morley Hill, Stanford-le-Hope to Five Bells, Vange bypass becomes fully operational (national speed limit applied). The new road on completion was the final section of a continuous length of carriageway of either duel or triple classification stretching from the M25 to the A130 Sadlers Farm roundabout. As part of the construction an underpass was created at the Five Bells A176 junction which caused the original roundabout to be replaced with three smaller ones. The bypass eliminated the former One Tree Hill crossroads which despite/or because of traffic lights had become heavily congested leading to long tailbacks either side of the junction.

7th July

Kingswood Medical Centre at Clay Hill Road, Kingswood officially opened. David Amess, MP for Basildon, carried out the opening ceremony. A plaque commemorating the event can be seen on the inside front entrance wall.

9th October

Pitsea Crown Post Office at Broadway North closes. The post office opened in the Broadway in February 1961 after transferring from a previous building in High Road. It was closed as a cost cutting measure and re-opened from 11/10/1993 at the nearby Tesco Superstore in Hazelmere off Station Lane.



Supermarket chain Tesco open a new superstore at Mandeville Way, Langdon Hills. The new store, which received outline planning permission in 1992, includes a petrol filling station, parking for 410 vehicles and is the third Tesco's superstore to open within the town. It is built on the former Highbank Estate plotland development.


United Artists cable television service installed. The new service combining television and telephone in a single package utilised fibre optic cable laid in trenches throughout the town. It was run by Telewest Communications who later merged with cable operator NTL becoming NTL: Telewest which lasted to 08/02/2007 when the company was rebranded Virgin Media after merging with Virgin in 2006.


Great Berry neighbourhood centre at Langdon Hills completed. The centre, located in Nightingales, was built on or near a field that formed part of the former Great Berry Farm. The 4 units include a newsagent, off licence and sub-post office.

31st January

The transfer of the Commission For The New Towns housing stock takes place with tenants offered a choice of landlord. The majority vote for the local Council as their new landlord with 15% of tenants opting for the not-for-profit Basildon Community Housing Association (BCHA), since renamed Swan Housing Association. The necessary parliamentary legislation to enable the transfer was contained in The New Towns (Transfer of Housing Stock) Regulations 1990 which came into force on 14th September, 1990 and its amendment which took effect from 27/12/1990.

4th April

Basildon Hospital's refurbished maternity unit is formally opened by the Prime Minister, John Major. The unit's refurbishment was carried out following the centralisation of maternity services in Basildon and Thurrock. It is the first time since 1967 that a serving Prime Minister has officiated at an opening ceremony held in Basildon. Mr. Major, who spent an hour at the hospital before leaving for Harlow, unveiled a commemorative plaque in the presence of Basildon M.P. David Amess. This was Mr. Major's second visit to Basildon, his first having been during the 1987 general election campaign in support of local conservative candidate David Amess, where as a then government minister he gave a talk on a local radio programme.

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.

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