As my Grandfather Alf Bainbridge had a farm on what is now the
church in Basidon Town Centre, the natural spring was one we would draw water from to boil the kettle on our visits on a
Stepping off the steam train from Rainham and to be greeted by Alf in his dog-cart,
in the shafts was Dick, all the leather work was polished as ever, my mother would even comment about the labours of an
in-law, can you imagine the looks behind her back!
On a warm summer morn we would be met by barks and excitable whelps from many cocker
spaniels that Alf reared. Elsie, my Nan, would bring on beautiful Persian Blue kittens, plus for us kids the animals
of his smallholding had secrets galore, everything was, come and see this, and don't forget to see that! The pig
in the sty, a cow for fresh milk plus the goat for some cheese, a roan pig that never grew from being a piglet was a farm
pet, and there was always farm folk about, either working for a few bob or just passing through.
Alf's home was a treat filled at the time with artefacts of a time stopped still, the
boom time of the fifties were just about to arise from the rationing period. There was nothing to compare the fare on the
table as I fondly remember to the local shops at Cherry Tree corner in Rainham.
If Dad had scored a goal the day previously, he had an honour of being number eleven for
West Ham United, we would all listen to his account of what was, as opposed to being written up in the Sunday papers,
which in them days were usually got from a neighbour en-route who brought a quire home, as newsagents were few and far
If it rained at all Alf would leave galloshes and wellies at the bottom of Hot Water Lane
at the corner of Northumberland Avenue so we would venture further, my Mum didn't go all that often; something about the
grass was to long, bugs and that!
I am glad to have left an aperitif of a warm Sunday morning in Essex, thanks for the time.
Title: A Teabreak Tale by Ken Bainbridge.
Copyright: © Ken Bainbridge, September 2010.
Comments: This account was supplied by Ken Bainbridge for use on the Basildon History website.
The property in question was "Homelands", which stood in Pond Lane, an unmade road off Hotwater Lane and now lost in the creation
of the town centre.