Way Back When

The Way We Were

Back in 1959, when I was two, my mum and I lived in Seven Acres with my Nan and Grandad and Uncle Len.  They were Mr and Mrs Len Johnson. Going further back, my Great Grandmother, Zilpah Murphy, lived in Egbert Gardens (No.10) from 1950 onwards, until she died in 1957, just before I was born.

Great Grandmother is buried in St. Mary’s Church on the Runwell Road.  My father was American and was the only American living in Wickford from 1966 to 1981 when he moved to Basildon.  Dad is now buried in Wickford Cemetery in Park Drive.

Remembering the following in Wickford:

Adcocks, Willow Café, Egans electrical shop, Adrians Records, Midland Bank, the doctor’s surgery behind Suttons, as it is now, Staffords Bakery on the corner across from the Swan, Franklins Butchers, the original Co-op food shop, Clapham Brothers furniture shop, Martins newsagents, Fish’s haberdashery shop, t he good ol Bake n Take on Halls Corner, The Castle pub, the railway cottages where the betting shop is across from Quirks Estate Agents, and, last but not least, the livestock market now built on where the Willowdale Centre is. 

Dr. Renton’s surgery in London Road and Prentice cycle shop, Rowlands sweet shop in the old Southend Road and of course Selina Squirrel toy shop when the old Post Office was open.  Not forgetting the Midwife’s bungalow and Methodist Church at the bottom of Southend Road.

Those were the days.

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  • Reference Susan Burn (née Fenton): I knew your Mum Joyce and dad Harry and I think you had a younger brother Steven. I was, and still am, a friend of your uncle Len who now lives in Spain. I remember your grandma and grandad, Marie and Len Snr at 7 Acres and when they moved to the estate off of Nevendon Road (Park Drive?).

    I remember your dad taking Len Jnr and myself to a martial arts exhibition in London round about 1965. I have only recently discovered Wickford Community Archive and realise your posting was in 2004 but if you or anyone else sees this reply it would be good to hear from you.

    I left Wickford in 1981 when we bought a house in Rayleigh where Len Jnr also bought a house. We left Rayleigh in 1989 and moved to Scotland where we stayed for 10 years before moving to Norfolk in 1999 where we are now.

    By Martin Bolton (22/07/2022)
  • I believe I am right in saying that Dr. Brown moved up to London Road and Dr. Renton moved to Swan Lane when the practice got too big at Halls Corner, as I was a patient of Dr. Renton.

    By bobcroot (22/12/2016)

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