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Basildon Stories
My Memories - Part 2
by Martin Twelftree

The publicans race

     I remember each year on a bank holiday, I think it was Whitsun bank holiday, the publicans from the Prince of Wales, Wash Road, the Fortune of War, which stood on the corner of the Arterial Road and Laindon High Road North, the Laindon Hotel and The Crown at the top of Crown hill, Langdon Hills, all taking part in a race. All four publicans were pulled in wheelchairs by a team of four men from the Prince of Wales to The Crown stopping at each pub to have a drink and some sort of contest. Like at the Laindon Hotel one of the contests was each team had to smash a old piano up and put the bits through a hanging tyre. The first team to complete the task were back on there way to the finish, which was a struggle to pull a large publican up two hills to The Crown.

More Laindon and Langdon Hills memories

          The only shops of old Laindon still standing are the ones on the corner of Durham Road and the High Road, which is now called Parkinsons corner after Mr Parkinson had his shop and garage here after being moved from his original site on the corner of Somerset Road and the High Road. The old Radion cinema stood on the corner of New Century Road where the new libary is today, while on the other corner was a sweet shop. Just along on the corner of Manor Road and the High Road was Slopers dairies and his shop. A little further along was the Police Station on the corner of Victoria Road and the High Road. It was on the end of the old terrace houses which are still there today but was demolished to make way for the roundabout.

     Many of the side roads were unmade so to deliver milk to the bungalows up some of these roads you had to park just at the end of the road and walk miles to some of the homes that were spread out. I remember once parking up at the top of Victoria Road just by Railway Approach with Mr Firman and we walked with a crate of milk down Victoria Road to a bungalow that was about where Southfields industrial site is now. We passed an old man leaning on his gate and he said "looks like we are in for a storm," and on the way back to the milk van the heavens opened up and we got soaked. I will always remember that!

     By Laindon station on the other side of the bridge was a row of railway cottages about where Collings depot is today. The other side of the railway lines was a clinic and a car repair garage, which is where Acorn windows is today. Just passed the clinic was a few bungalows built in a semi circle.

     On the left hand side of the bridge as you were heading towards Langdon Hills was Cottis the bakers just about where Valence Way starts at the roundabout today. There was also a few shops that ran parallel with the bridge. One of them I remember, being a bed shop. On the other corner where Florence Way is stood a big house which I think was a doctors house.

     There were shops on both sides of Langdon High Road up to Emanuel Road on one side, and just passed Valence Way on the other side as you are heading towards the Crown.

     Next to the Methodist church which stands on the corner of Emanuel Road were two little shops. One was a ladies hairdressers, the other a little cafe where we would sometimes stop for a cuppa. Between St. Davids Road and Alexander Road was the Catholic church which was demolished and moved to a new church in Florence Way. Opposite Alexander Road was the junior school which is still there today but not used as a school as Lincewood school is the new junior school.

     The High Road used to go straight up then before the Triangle shops were built. On the junction with Berry Lane and the High Road stood a small estate agents. I remember a milk lorry getting stuck half way up that hill because of the snow one time. It was a very steep hill. The road used to continue right up to The Crown public house, which is now a Harvester pub and not called The Crown unfortunately.

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Page added: August 2008
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