Wickford Shopping Centre - photographs and comments.

Carlton Cinema
Carlton Cinema
Mayes Bros Hardware Shop
Churchill Johnson Ltd
Wickford Park Garage located in Nevendon Road, at its junction with Grange Avenue
G. English
Wickford Market
Wickford Market
Wickford Broadway
High Street view
Tilburys Butchers
Gigneys Delivery van
Jessie Spaldings
Pardey and Johnson

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  • The Carlton Cinema was run by my Dad and Mum, Ronald and Maureen Chapman, in the early 1940s.
    My aunt Eva apparently used to work in Purdeys. Would love to see an enlarged version of The Carlton Cinema photo, as that may well be my dad!

    By Dawn Corallini (26/03/2018)
  • Photo 1, yes my grandad moved from the shop in the photograph two doors down. He still ran the shop in Wickford whilst setting up the shop in Hockley. The first shop would have been on the corner opposite Walters & Stanton, before moving to the shop in the current position, which was the launderette. Very happy memories working in the Hockley shops as a young teenager.

    By C Chapman (26/02/2017)
  • My grandfather (Arthur Stanhope Johnson) was the Johnson part of Pardey & Johnson. They had another shop at 118 Hampton Rd, Ilford, where my father was born in 1903. Arthur emigrated to New Zealand with his family in 1909 after withdrawing from the partnership. Not sure why he did this, but there is a notice in the London Gazette of Feb 1909 showing that Leonard Branch Pardey and Sidney Pardey would carry on the business under the existing name. Leonard Pardey is one of the witnesses of Arthur and Minnie’s marriage in Mar 1902 in Ilford.

    By Bruce Johnson (16/08/2016)
  • I remember Culleys very well in the 1960s. Mr Culley always wore a brown coat and was a bit frightening to us kids who would gaze at the toys. I remember when it closed down, I bought lots of Hornby Dublo items very cheap.

    By Andrew Neil (26/08/2014)
  • Is Culleys the name of the toy shop in the High St in the early 60s, roughly opposite where Woolworths used to be?

    By Eddie Franklin (12/08/2014)
  • Looking at Mr.Denis Smith’s last posting brought a grin to my face.

    ‘Harrington’s News Agents’ at the beginning of Station Approach and Jersey Gardens. Owned by Bessie and Harry Harrington……whenever you entered the shop both Bessie and Harry would greet you with warmth . That is unless they were arguing…..as one of their former paper boys I witnessed this as an everyday occurrence ……but there was never any violence,..more or less Bessie telling Harry what he hadn’t done…….

    I can still after all these years remember my paper round……out of the shop and my first call was the Old Bank, up the side of the railway to the flats which were fairly new, then off Market Road, cycle back down into the High Street and do several of the shops. Turn into London Road and do several houses and shops in Lower London Rd, several houses in St Peters Terrace….across to Victoria Avenue, cut thruogh the middle into Louvaine, out the top of Louvaine into Deirdre Avenue, into Elder, where I had two houses. Back up to the top of Elder and cut thru a muddy track that bordered on farmland, to terminate in London Road near to Sugden Avenue.

    Then cycle down to Ramsden View bungalows which was my last delivery, all that for 15 shillings a week and most everywhere else was paying a quid….five bob difference was a lot of a Mars Bars in those days.

    Oh and on a Sunday everyone wanted those stupid papers that carried supplements, I used to leave that shop on a Sunday morning and be like Grenville in Open all Hours. Struggling to get traction, seeing over the top of a gigantic pile of papers that were resting on my handle bars, and trying to keep my balance.

    I can close my eyes now and see the inside of that shop…..absolutely wonderful memories. Sometimes old Harry would send me off to lower Southend Road beside the River where Rippon’s was situated, if he ran out of a certain paper or magazine. The shop is still in situ today but is faceless in character and certainly doesn’t offer the same personal touch from Bessie and Harry, God bless their memory and them.

    By T.A.Williams (04/04/2014)
  • To go back to times of war.  I remember that in those times Charlie Simpson, always seemed to have some sweets in his pocket. This may have been due to the fact that he was in the Home Guard, and knew Bessie Harrington quite well, Bessie kept the sweet shop at the lower end of Jersey Gardens. There was also a Mr Shipley who kept a cycle shop in that area, also there was a shoe repairer who was Mr Leitch, later to be taken over by a Mr Salmon. Mr salmon had a brother, who, when I worked at Runwell Hospital gardens in about 1954 looked after a work gang of patients; Pete Salmons was his name, and he lived off the Runwell road, more or less backing onto the cricket ground.

    By denis smith (11/02/2014)
  • My mum, then Jean Blaney, worked in the post office in Pardey and Johnson in the early fifties, and my dad, Donald, was a postman there. They were married in 1954 and stayed there until my dad passed away in 2002.

    By Judy Payne (05/02/2014)
  • When I was very young, certainly under 6 years old, my Mum, Ruth Flexman, shopped at Pardey & Johnsons, as they were cheaper than next door, Schofield & Martins.  There was a young lady who worked on the butter and cheese counter, called Muriel.  She always teased me about my beauty spots, which were really only brown moles, but which were a fasionable item of makeup for young ladies who liked to copy the film star, Margaret Lockwood.

    Pardey’s was divided into two sections and through a wide doorway was the vegetable section and post office.  I often tripped in the doorway over an open sack of muddy potatoes.

    I remember most of the Wickford shops from 1940 to present day, but of them all, like most children, I particularly loved the Fancy Shop.  I had a passion for fountain pens and for some reason, mouth organs, though I couldn’t play one!  I would spend ages gazing at them and when I had saved enough pocket money, bought several beautiful pens and one mouth organ.  I still write with a fountain pen to this day – however, I never mastered the mouth organ!

    The top picture shows Salmons shoe repairers.  When I was 14, to earn some pocket money, I worked at Harrington, whose newspaper and sweet shop was next door to Salmons. By this time, Mr Harrington had acquired the shoe repairers shop and it became a toy shop.  I worked all day Saturday and Sunday morning for 10 shillings. 

    When I was 15 I changed my Saturday job to Woolworths and earned 15 shillings for the one day’s work.  Several of my school friends also had Saturday jobs there and three of us were put on the sweet counter.  We were all very small and our white overalls came down to our ankles.  In order to see over the counter, we had to stand on boxes of fudge or salted peanuts.  Mr Clements was the Manager there, a strict task-master, whose permission had to be obtained to go upstairs to wash the tray off the scales after the oily peanuts had been weighed.  His face never cracked to show even a smile, as we traipsed through the store in our white hats and long coats!


    By SANDRA ELLIS (Nee Flexman) (30/01/2014)
  • I remember a Roy White working for Salmons shoe repairs [top photo]. I think he was related to Barry White who has put comments on this web site. I lived nextdoor to Roy, Gorden and Cristine White in Station Avenue.

    By mick jennings (24/07/2013)
  • To John Wernham’s comment. My father, Andy Smith, was the window dresser in Mayes, not Mr. Channey, and he was certainly a fine window dresser. It was nice to know that someone really appreciated his windows.

    By Ms Margaret Carman (12/07/2013)
  • The sixth photo titled an early petrol station was in fact my Father’s garage. The business was a partnership between my Father ‘Ginger’ Fuller and Pat Gadson. They had two garages the one shown on the photograph in Nevendon Road the other by the bridge in Southend Road. The Nevendon Road garage was at the junction of Grange Avenue and Nevendon Road. It was called Wickford Park Garage.

    By John Fuller (20/06/2013)
  • I used to work in the shop that was called “Culleys” but it became Lauries. We used to sell toys ( some of the toys would be collecters items now!), cards, Papers, smokes, And Maggotts for fishing (one spoon full for sixpence, three spoons for a shilling! We used to keep the maggots in the fridge in old bisquit tins so they didn’t pupate ughhh!, along with selling fishing licences. Oh happy days,that was in the sixties. I worked with a lady called Muriel who had been there from when it was the fancy shop.

    By judy dey (18/06/2013)
  • My Mum, Cecily Fosh, worked in the Carlton Cinema, and my Aunt Doreen Bridge and her mum worked for Mayes. When my aunt and uncle, Ron Fosh, married, Mayes gave them a plot of land in Ramsden Bellhouse to build a house, as a wedding gift.

    By D. Fosh (02/03/2013)
  • The first photograph shows my late uncles shop which today would have been part of Corols……which used to be C.F. Salmons High Class Boot and Shoe Repairs, the building was split into two, one half being Shipley’s show room the other my uncles Shoe Repair. Aways a friendly character and simply known as Charlie. He and his wife my aunt Gladys lived next door to my Mother and Father at 32 Jersey Gardens…he had a son Roy and two daughters Stella and Pauline. When the business left Wickford, Charlie’s son Roy carried on and they had a shop in Rawreth and another in Hockley….today Roy still runs the shop in Hockley….Stella lives in Hullbridge and Pauline Chelmsford…….many happy memories growing up with Pauline as we were the same age…..my aunt Glad was a wonderful lady…..in all a great family.

    By T.A.Williams (20/10/2012)
  • Yes, Bob, it was Culleys. I too used to go there when able to afford it, Dinky Toys & later Matchbox. I remember a centre display cabinet inside & the maze of so many toys & Magazines etc., train sets etc. which years later you had off me.

    By Pete Villion (21/09/2012)
  • I also remember the fancy shop.I think it was Culleys.  I used to get Meccano magazine every month and a new Dinky toy every month if I could afford it.  This was opposite what is now 99p shop.

    By bob croot (06/04/2012)
  • The shop to the right was Schofield & Martin, which also sold food etc. then the Co.op butcher then Co.op food then English the butcher, a lot of competion in those days. The Co.op delivered to all outlying districts groceries, coal, milk, bread, all up unmade roads. The baker walking with a basket on each arm loaded with cakes and bread, they wouldn’t do it now.

    By bob croot (30/03/2012)
  • As a youngster, I remember “The Fancy Shop”. A proper toy shop. Tri-ang train sets, Keil-Kraft balsa wood model aeroplanes and 3/16th inch elastic. Of course, the elastic was never, ever going to be used to make a catapult.

    By John Hawes (26/03/2012)
  • Pardey & Johnson, the general stores, was also the post office after the war. The sorting office was around the back through the arch, food to the left and post to the right.

    By bob croot (19/03/2012)
  • The shop in the 4th photo is Mayes Bros Hardware Shop. They had a wonderful window dresser working there, I think his name was Mr Channey. People used to come from miles around to shop there as they sold just about everything. I often used to cycle over from North Benfleet as a young boy just to window shop there. They always put on a lovely winter scene in the window at Christmas. It’s such a shame that the shop is no longer there.

    By John Wernham (13/11/2011)

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