Belmont Avenue (b), photographs of the end of the 1950s.

Prompted by the memories of Sue Sage of the 1950s.

I am attaching a few family pictures taken in and around the house where I was born. At the time it was called ‘The Ark’, and I think that the address might have been 32 Belmont Avenue – on my birth certificate it just says ‘The Ark, Belmont Avenue’. I think my parents lived there from when it was built in 1957 until 1961. Both my brother and I were born there. My mother, Daphne, died in 2018 and my father unfortunately died relatively young in 1989.

My memories of that time are very sparse. I used to play with a little girl about my age called Carol, the daughter of a neighbour. Tragically Carol was killed in a road accident when she was still a child. A terrible thing to happen to a family and if any of them should read this then they should know that I still think of them.

I came across your archive while I was doing some detective work on family history and it was amazing to come across Sue Sage’s post – especially as she mentions my mother by name and her dog as well – actually that dog died before I was born and was replaced with another dachshund named Mandy.

I don’t know if the house is still standing.  I did drive down there on a whim some years back but couldn’t locate it so perhaps I have the number wrong. My only real memory of the house is of a plague of caterpillars all over the washing line one year!

Walking along Belmont Avenue in 1958. Daphne and Peter White with their dachshund, Mandy. Nicholas is in the pram.
Daphne White and her dachshund, Mandy, in 1959.
Nick White
Nicholas White, 1959.
Daphne White with Deidre Poole.
Nicholas White with Moggo, the cat.
Photograph sent by Christine Brannan. The bungalow was designed and built for Christine Brannan, using some land from Belmont Manor. The bungalow is now being converted to a house (2021). Christine's comments are shown below.

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  • Belmont Manor was originally in 4 and a half acres with 250 fruit trees. My parents purchased it in the 1950s, and my father gave me a piece of land and I had a bungalow built, which I designed myself! It’s the one on the left hand side that looks as if it’s being changed into a two storey. Next door was the beautiful original old Belmont Manor House. When you opened the front door which faced sideways on to part of the land the field was an absolute sea of primroses in the spring! Later a developer named Alan Perrin, who became friends with my Dad, made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, and he sold that side part to him where he built several houses on the land and part of the deal was he would build a new Belmont Manor for Mum and Dad. That was built right next door to my bungalow. Then the old Manor House was knocked down. My mother’s sister, Mrs H E Knowles, lived there also until she died. My sister moved out also and married and my parents decided to downsize, so in 1970 they retired to Bournemouth. They were so well thought of in the road and they gave them a royal send off! Of course it was an unmade road at first before the road became as it is today. My cousin Janet, who still lives in Wickford, keeps me up to date. Will send the photos of the Manor and my bungalow as it is today.

    By CHRISTINE BRANNAN (24/08/2021)
  • Wonderful to hear the history of Belmont Avenue

    My bungalow is still there and my cousin Janet sent me a photo yesterday as it looks like they are turning it into a house! When we first had it built I designed the whole thing so remember it well. It was an unmade road, so dreadful to push a pram down in bad weather because it all turned to mud!

    By CHRISTINE BRANNAN (21/08/2021)
  • Remember the little boy falling and dying. Very sad. Also is Nicholas the brother of the little baby sister that died? I was only young but think that her name was Daphne

    By CHRISTINE BRANNAN (20/08/2021)
  • I lived in the bungalow which is still there today. I was next door to my mum and dad, Mr and Mrs Large, who lived in the original Belmont Manor. It was a beautiful house and we had 4 and a half acres of land with 250 fruit trees plus chickens, two geese which were eventually sold to the next door neighbours. Some wonderful and some sad memories. One girl down there lost her baby and went into deep mourning as couldn’t get over it. A girl called Betty lived opposite and my son used to play with her children. Ron Geary and his wife lived there and he used to repair watches! His wife died and I did keep in touch with Ron on Friends Reunited but sadly I heard that he also died .

    By CHRISTINE BRANNAN (20/08/2021)
  • The house looks like the one at the bottom of the second part of Belmont Ave, which is still there, on the left before the corner of 1st part of Belmont. If it is the one I remember, the next door neighbours were the Kirby family, who also suffered a tragedy. Their son, Peter, died after falling from a tree in The Chase, while a group of us children were playing.

    By Val Ramsden (28/01/2020)
  • I think I recognise the house … maybe closer to 40 Belmont, or it was knocked down when the Tudor Avenue estate was built in the early 1970s.

    By Janet Taylor (23/01/2020)

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