Hollidays was owned by my grandparents. It stood on the corner of Market Road and the High Street, opposite Garbetts the Chemist. It had a grocers shop on one side and a butchers on the other.
I was born above the shop just before the war. I went to Wickford Church of England School and then on to Wickford Junior School in Market Road. My parents decided to send me to this school because it had a school uniform. I remember helping in the shop measuring out sugar into blue paper bags and cutting butter into the correct weight pats and wrapping in grease proof paper.
I spent lots of time with friends during school holidays. Taking a bottle of juice and a sandwich and spending the day in the field and woods surrounding Wickford. No one seemed to worry we were away so long, hunger usually drew us home by dinner time.
I passed the 11+ and went to Chelmsford Grammar School. I had to go by train to Shenfield and change for Chelmsford. Many of my friends also went to Chelmsford Grammar and travelled by bus but I was travelsick on buses.
My parents bought me a bike about this time and we were able to wander further, sometimes even to Maldon. We were not encouraged to go to the cinema but joined Wickford Guides and danced at church socials.