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Pitsea - From 1929 until 1945
by Jeanne Hart (née Lepine)

     I moved to Pitsea in 1928 from Highgate in London when I was three.
It was a great step for my father who borrowed 10 shillings to put down as deposit for a new bungalow in Rectory Gardens.

     Rectory Gardens was an unmade road with sleepers running down the centre and only a concrete narrow path out side the bungalows.

     The bungalow had no main drainage, only an outside loo which required emptying twice a week. My father dug a hole in the field at the back and deposited the sewerage twice weekly. Other people did the same. My father also dug a trench from our bath which had no soak away to the ditch outside. Some one reported him and he was made to stop. We had to empty the bath by hand.

     Pitsea was a delightful little village then. I remember all the shops in the London Road. Especially Starlings, a grocery plus oil shop in London Road. Next to Starlings was a pathway going up the hill in the direction of Pitsea Church and continuing to Pitsea Station. A short cut from going round the road via Station Lane. This road had the old Pitsea Market as well as a barbers shop which allowed its dirty water to run into an open ditch. The smell was awful.

     During the Second World War I would go into the mail sorting office and ask if they had any mail for me. Surprisingly they would hand it over. We were encouraged to write to any of the forces. My sister and I duly did.

     It was very sad when years later I went back on a nostalgic journey only to find Pitsea had been swallowed up by the town of Basildon. Basildon as I remembered it was only a small village further on from Vange.

     I could go on for ever with memories of Pitsea. I only left when I was 21 for a house with main drainage in Westcliff. I lived there until marriage. Ah Happy days.

Title: Pitsea - From 1929 until 1945 by Jeanne Hart (née Lepine).

Copyright: © Jeanne Hart, August 2014.

Comments: This account was supplied by Jeanne Hart for use on the Basildon History website.

Page added: August 2014
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