Early Days in Wickford

My ancestors in Wickford

I have spent a large part of my life in Wickford and the first recollections were of living with my mother and maternal grandparents in Seven Acres, when I was about 3 (1960).  My grandmother used to take me through the Memorial Park along a path way (I can remember the smell of creosote as we walked through the path onto Runwell Road (the path came out near the Church).  This trek was on our way to a General Store called Hales, at the top of Swan Lane.  Billy Hales was the proprietor and he had an African Grey parrot in the shop that would wolf whistle as you walked in.

Also, when I was a baby, my mum would take me to the Arcade and to E & K Fruiterers.  As she left me outside in my pram and bought fruit the lady that served noticed I was eating a Cox’s apple which I helped myself to, I’ve loved them ever since.  Also I remember the old Doctor’s surgery in the High St in a large Georgian house, I think Dr Renton lived there.

Another memory from my mother was that she and my Aunt (Joyce and Betty Johnson) lived in an old cottage called ‘Elms Cott’, in Church End Lane, back in the late 40s/early 50s, with their grandmother, Zilpah Heard and Great Uncle Robert Heard (both from Tollesbury).  Both Zilpah and her brother are buried in St Mary’s church.  My grandparents are buried in Wickford Cemetary and also my father – the only American there.  My mother and aunt went to school with the Keelings, the Jupps and the Coopers – all old Wickford families.

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  • I remember Bill Hales and his wife who ran the shop in Swan Lane. At one time they had two parrots, the grey and a green one which I think was called Lollipop. We lived in Egbert Gardens and I remember as a child running errands to the shop for our neighbour, Mrs Kersey, to get her a pack of 10 Guards cigarettes. Our neighbour on the other side, before Birs Close was developed, was Mrs Hales, who lived in a bungalow on a large plot of land which included an orchard that ran along the bottom of our garden. Mrs Hales was the mother of Bill, and, with her husband, I think originally owned the General Store in Swan Lane.

    By Paul Winslow (09/03/2019)
  • Hi

    I remember the Jupps (Ronnie, Dickie and Arthur), and also the Coopers who lived in Athelstone gardens. I went to school with them.

    By bobcroot (10/11/2016)

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