Kathy Racher Memories (2).

Photographs of the 1940s and 50s.

Based on a conversation between Paula Sloane and Kathy Racher originally recorded in 2012. 

1st Wickford Girl Guide Float
Wickford Louvaine Avenue V.E.day party 1945
V.E. Day party Louvaine Ave 1944
Kathy Racher
Bailing out in the Wickford Floods
Wickford Paper

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  • I think the chap who ran the mobile fish and chip shop in Alderney Gardens before it caught fire was an uncle of yours. His name was Craven, I think.

    By bobcroot (17/02/2016)
  • My Grandparents lived in Swan Lane, Mr and Mrs Rosa Craven.

    l also had two uncles that lived in Wickford, l cannot remember their names.

    l would love to hear if any of the family are still there.

    By Brenda Morley (14/08/2015)
  • The barbers would have been Ansteads. I was at school with Roy Anstead. I recall Culleys Gift Shop, I bought a set of ebony elephants there, the prices ranged from 2/11 for smallest to 7/6  for the largest.

    What was the name of the radio and TV shop next to Culleys? Was it Collins? May have had a hanging clock ouside.

    By Lorraine Taylor (14/03/2015)
  • My late father lived in a bungalow called ‘Kendene’ on the London Road. I think it was a market gardener’s, his name was John Howard Brooks, and he died in May 1994 aged 72. His mum had remarried to a Jim Prichard, they emigrated to Australia in 1952, the year I was born!

    By Mrs joan draper (13/03/2014)
  • Hi Kathy. I was reading your article and found it very interesting as my Dad lived in Swan Lane as a boy until he died 5 years ago. I remember him telling us about the Pratts that got killed during the war. My mum still lives in Swan Lane and during the 50s she worked in a baby shop in the High Street called Giles; my parents surname is Fleming. I also had a friend called Heather Racher, any relation?

    By Sharon Oneill (05/08/2013)
  • Can anybody tell me what was the address out side which the photos were taken at the 1945 party. I live at no. 19.

    By Dave Brand (04/07/2013)
  • Hi Kathy, read your wonderful article on your memories of Wickford. You state in your closing paragraph, your memory of both Guernsey Gardens and Jersey Gardens being unmade roads, as a young boy growing up I can remember the company ‘Road and Public Works’ digging out the foundations for the new roads and watched their machines with schoolboy joy as they used both an RB22 and I think from memory an RB19 excavators with the bucket that travelled up the jib as opposed to today’s excavators which are fixed to a separate hydraulic arm. However having lived in Jersey Gardens since I was brought home from Billericay Hospital after birth, I have to disagree with your comment that the road was boring. I believe you said you moved away at the age of two, well I spent my entire life up until I married my wife at the age of twenty four in Jersey Gardens. My Grandfather and Grandmother had their bungalow built in Guernsey Gardens just prior to the outbreak of war, my Mother, now eighty one, still lives in Jersey Gardens and would not move anywhere else. My experience of neighbours both in Jersey and Guernsey was more of friends than neighbours and as my Mother in her twilight years would say, “the kindness shown me by my many neighbours you couldn’t get anywhere”.  After my Grandfather’s death in 1975 my Grandmother shared that same sort of neighbourly friendship and care. I can also remember the two huge oak trees that stood on the opposite side of the road from Jersey Villas. These were pulled down by ‘Bonker Wood’ the tree feller from Hambro Hill, Rayleigh, and I stood and watched him bring them both down, in three stages using chain saws and his lorry and hauser cable. A sight you rarely see in today’s world.

    By T. A. Williams (28/01/2013)
  • The baby clinic was started by Mrs Robert FREW. She was helped by a Mrs GOSLING. Mrs FREW was head of the Red Cross during the 39/45 War

    By Geoff Whiter (21/09/2012)
  • My wife Maureen was the girl repairing stockings in Bell Cleaners 55.

    By bob croot (16/01/2012)
  • Because Kathy and I can completely agree about what she has said about the High Street I have noticed that we have both omitted to mention at least one shop and that would be Batas the shoe shop.Their factory is/was in Tilbury? This was in the parade of shops next to or near the North Thames Gas Board show room. Kathy also names Sketchly the cleaners whereas I named the Bell Cleaners which was somewhat earlier but I think at the same location. I can recall that they had a young girl, sat in their window repairing nylon stockings. That would have been in 1955. Were they that expensive that a repair was worth it? I also have the same photos taken in Louvaine Avenue for our Victory Party. My mother is there as are my aunt and uncle, Bill and Edie Ffitch, Mrs Sutton and Sid. Corrine Tilbury, Doreen Deer, Lawrence Lay, Mr and Mrs Holloway and their daughters and all the children who lived in the avenue.

    By Geoff Fairey (27/09/2011)
  • How wonderful, this site is getting more like “Friends Reunited” everyday. Because I was born in Louvaine Avenue, in 1939, and lived there until 1949, I knew straight off who the author of this article is. We shared many happy times together with the other children born or at least living in Louvaine during those years, Corrinne, Sylvia, Sid, Hilary, Henry and a whole list of others. Can you imagine we all almost learned to swim in the Crouch at the bottom of the Avenue, in about 6 inches of water! Our parents were none too pleased.. Many thanks Kathleen “H”

    By Geoff Fairey (11/09/2011)

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