Silva Lesley Bewers Carter, 1907-1996.

The man who 'built half of Wickford'.

Born in Victoria Villas, Runwell Road, on 11th September 1907, Silva went to school at The Old School House in Runwell, and was brought up in a family who were keen members of the Salvation Army.

He served an apprenticeship with his father, as a carpenter and joiner, later breaking away to work for Mills and Son, becoming actively involved in shop fitting.

He married Ivy at the age of 23 on the 4th April 1931.  Together they built a bungalow known as ‘Redlands’ in Harold Gardens.  This was their home for many years and also from where his business was started. 

In 1932 he started to build bungalows when he formed a partnership with Stan Ward.  This later became Carter & Ward of Wickford Ltd. where he remained Chairman until his death. He is perhaps best remembered as having built a huge number of bungalows not only in the Wickford area, but also through-out Essex.

During the war years, he was area leader for the Ministry of Works, being occupied with war damage.  During this time he was proudly able to assist in building Anderson Shelters as well as repairing war damaged buildings.

In 1958 Silva became a founder member of The Rotary Club of Wickford, of which he was President in 1960-61 and again 1986-87.  Rotary remained a big part of his life to the end.

He was also Chairman of the Eastern Federation of Builders and also a Councillor for eight years to the then Wickford and Billericay District Council.

Although Silva was a very busy man he remained a loving husband, a wonderful father and a much loved Grandfather and Great Grandfather, as well as a good friend to many people.  He reportedly can also be remembered by his never ending repertoire of humorous tales.

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  • I remember my grandad, Frank Carter, would take me and my brother and our cousins to see great, great Uncle Silva and Aunt Ivy. They would let us swim in their pool, and I’ll always remember we would watch the squirrels in their garden, as they had a feeding area for them. And I’ll always remember they had a little dog – think he was called Toby – he would wear a little tartan jacket and I’ll always remember Aunt Ivy used to walk Toby in the park. When I was young she would always chat to me and my friends. She was a very nice and friendly lady.

    By John wilkinson (03/05/2019)
  • Golden was brought up with Silva, like a brother, by Silva’s father Frank, as both of their mothers had died young. They were cousins.

    By Bob Plimmer (22/01/2017)
  • Silva Carter had a brother, Golden, who also lived in Wickford. We have their photograph.

    By Jennifer Read (28/03/2016)

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