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Posted by Brian Slaughter on 10/8/2012, 1:22 am
I was born in 1945 and lived my first five and a half years in Hotwater Lane Laindon, and I think out house was where the Police Station is now in Basildon. We had a long walk from Laindon to home, past the side of Churchill & Johnson the builders merchant down an unmade road even unpassable in the summer, but with a concrete path along its full length. Part of the way it followed the railway, and with a bit of luck we would have the joy of a steam train going past, although I donít think mum was as thrilled as myself. Although we moved to Kennel Lane in Billericay after being compulsively purchased by the Basildon Corporation in 1951, I kept close ties with Laindon as Dad owned the Paramount Electrical & Radio Stores in Laindon High Road directly opposite Durham Road. I believe the two shops opposite are still there, the one on the corner was Greens Store and can remember seeing the cheese being cut on the board with a wire, and all the big tins of loose biscuits, the shop seemed to be so big then, and next door was a newspaper shop with very large jars of sweets, heaven for us little kids. I can remember the glass accumulaters dad used to charge for peoples radios before the dry batteries were on the market, it seemed to be a busy business in those days. I used to be out and about a lot with Dad, from Pitsea, Langdon Hills and all the back roads in between, and visited so many little wooden houses miles from the main roads most without water and sewage or telephone, and when you needed a doctor it was a long way to get help, particularly in the winter months. I can remember very clearly when the second TV channel came and dad had to fix a converter box on all the older TV as they were only made for the BBC, it was a huge job, luckily he had me to help!!!, but I think I was a good help, even helping with the TV ariels on the roofs, only single storeys though. Next door was Tom Card the fish monger, and I remember the smell of the kippers being smoked, and the fish & chips on Friday night, wonderful memories, and Laindon was a wonderful place, I remember it well with fondness & sadness.