Wickford Railway Station.
On leaving school and starting work, I used Wickford station every week to attend day-release on Mondays and evening studies on Tuesdays at Southend Technical College. I remember I could pay for a return ticket in the train, 20 No.6 cigarettes, a packet of beechnut chewing gum; clackerty clack, clackerty clack, from Wickford to Southend Victoria. On the short walk to Queens Road I used to purchase a large bag of chips and a large bottle of Dandelion and Burdock. All this and you got change out of a fiver. Weekends the doors of that station came second to my own front door. Across the other side of the platform stood the British Railway Club. Saturday lunchtime and evenings was a wonderful social hub. Paul Wilkes and his wife operated the bar, and the people that used to attend regularly became an extension of your own family. Saturday evenings would often produce some wonderful entertainment. I also met my wife in the club. Very, very happy memories. And something you don’t get today - CHEAP BEER. Mine’s ah pint !!!