Carter & Ward, in the early days.

The growth of Wickford in the 1920s and 30s.

The 1920s and 1930s was a time of growth for Wickford. With the continuing massive imports of grain that had begun in the early 20th century, farmers were finding it difficult to make the land profitable, and many acres of land were being sold as building plots. Carter and Ward, formed in 1932 by Sylva Carter and Stan Ward, was one of the local companies who took up the challenge to build more houses, the majority of which were bungalows. (Sylva Carter’s father, Frank, had been a builder in Wickford for many years.) This photo shows a group of Carter and Ward employees in about 1935. Mr White is 2nd from the right. Can you name any of the other men? The main yard of the company was in Harold Gardens and in its heyday Carter and Ward employed around 300 local people, although the number during the war was larger as many prisoners of war were used in construction.


Carter and Ward employees.
Mr Barry White

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  • Hi my name is James Burbidge
    Edward Phillip Bewers was my Grandfather, and my mother was Ivy D Bewers, one of Edward’s daughters who lived at 160, Southend Road, Wickford.
    My father worked with Mr P Nutt on the history of Wickford.

    By James Burbidge (15/11/2023)
  • Did the company build any schools?

    By Carole Shorney (03/10/2022)
  • Did Carter & Ward build Holt Farm School in Ashingdon, which opened in 1957?

    By Carole Shorney (02/10/2022)
  • I started an apprenticeship as a builder’s plant mechanic and engineer here in 1969 aged 15.
    I used to wash cars on a Saturday morning and met Silva and Stanley many times. Jaguar and Granada (cigar ash, Stan).
    I also met Roy and Peter, and Peter’s white Reliant Scimitar was my dream car then.
    This turned out to be the best job i would ever have, being taught by real professionals was an honour for me and I respected every minute of it.
    Reading this brings back some good memories.

    By mark (25/03/2022)
  • I would beg to differ on the identity of the chap furthest right – that is co-founder Stan Ward himself, who was a bricklayer by trade. Incidentally, Silva Leslie Bewers Carter (my Grandfather…note the correct spelling) was a joiner & carpenter, as was my father, Roy Carter.

    By Lee Carter (15/03/2021)
  • The first man on the right of the image would appear to be Edward Phillip Bewers (1879-1953). He was one of Silva’s uncles.

    By James Nason (06/05/2019)

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