Laindon was a very
different place then with the sorting office being the postmaster's parlour and the Post
Office itself was the front room of his house.
A quote from Gladys in a newspaper article in
1977 said, "I used to walk miles delivering letters and Laindon was all fields and farms in
those days. Sometimes I'd have to walk about a mile or more across fields to deliver one
letter. While the men were away at war the wives and sweethearts would be waiting at the gate
every morning for letters."
Other early memories of Laindon life recounted by Gladys included:
The muddy, unmade roads, with duck boards to walk on and carrying torches in the dark as there
were no street lamps.
Coal being delivered by horse and sledge because the roads were so
bad. Tom's buses that would pick you up and drop you off exactly where you wanted.
And her brothers walking to Laindon Station through the mud in their wellies, leaving them in
the hedge and changing into shoes to go on the train...and the wellies would still be there,
in the hedge, on their return.
The last post for Gladys...
newspaper covered the story when Gladys announced her retirement after 36 years of service in
1977. At the time of her retirement Gladys was working from Basildon sorting office having
transferred there from the former High Road office at Laindon where she had worked since its
opening in the early 1950s. It is believed her earliest years were spent working from the
first Laindon Post Office when it was run by E.C. Andrews, which from the early 1900s or late
1800s had occupied a plot in the High Road on the north side of Denbigh Road next to T.E. Collins'
hardware shop. To the rear of the main shop was a sorting office accessed from Denbigh Road.