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Hullbridge Village History

The History of 59, Lower Road.

This property was owned by Mr Eddie c 1928 as part of his Hullbridge Gardens Estate.
Mr Spencer Welsh the Grandson of Mr Eddie recalls in his memories.
Having initiated and commenced his development of the Hullbridge Gardens Estate centred around Coventry Corner, Mr Eveleigh (Eddie) built his shop unit c 1928 adjacent to his timber yard situated on the right hand side.(see left photo above.) His eldest married daughter Jessie Welsh who lived next door to the left at "Alpha" number 63, helped serve in the shop selling building supplies as shown in the window of the photo above amd paraffin for home heating from a drum in front of the wood yard.The store also supplied the materials required by the estate building team and their workmen, managed by his son in law Draughtsman/Bricklayer Thomas Welsh and his sons Edgar Reginald Eveleigh , Roofer/Carpenter and Henry Francis Eveleigh, Painter/ Decorator/Glazier. Painted on the upper right hand side wall in large red letters weree the words "HULLBRIDGE BUILDERS SUPPLY". To the right of the palling fence was a single storey, building which was Mr Eveleigh's building operations office (Frank Eddie Builder Ltd)....
....The shop later became the "MERMAID ANTIQUES" shop before sale c 1960 when it was wholly converted to residential use.

An advert in the Hullbridge Chronicle dd 20 Aug 1937 shows a Mr Wilson E Love selling Coal and Coke, Sand Ballast Bricks and all building materials from an address of Coventry Corner Hullbridge with Tel No Rayleigh 273. In the same paper is an advert for J. E. Love of Elmcot, Grasmere Avenue "The Local Builder".

At some time around 1950's the builkding was split into three shops:George Boul's Garage, Mrs Griffiths Hairdressers and Mr Chamberlain's electrical store.

J Woodgate Hairdressing

On the back of the Hullbridge Chronicle dated August 20 1937 was an advert: J Woodgate. Ladies Gents and Childrens Hairdresser. Coventry Corner, Hullbridge

Mrs Griffiths Hairdressing Salon.

Mr Chamberlains electrical shop

Jan Withers recall in his memories "Mr Chamberlain had a Electric shop near Coventry Corner next to where George Boul had his garage. He used to be the only place you could go to get your batteries charged for your radio, he eventually moved further into the village in the shop next to Mr Wortley's new Butcher shop that is now the beauty salon next to the fish and chip shop.

George Boul's Garage

This was the village's 1st garage. Although it was not the first place to store petrol, that was at "Pop Withers's removal yard at the top of Coventry Hill.
George Boul's garage had two manual pumps. You can see the garage on the corner of the road nearest in the first picture above (Padgett 6012).
Elizabeth Gatehouse recalled on the Hullbridge Local History Facebook Group on 27th Jan 2014 that her Auntie Marie worked at the garage and provided a photo of her operating one of the petrol pumps (see above.) That must have been quite a feather in George's cap as Marie was voted Carnival Queen for the village in the early 1950's. John Thorpe remembered George and his garage in his Biography Paths of Fromer Time
" Remembering another character in the village I recall George Boul. He was one of the best mechanics I have known. George used to work on Canvey Island for quite a large bus company. I think it was owned by a Mr Bridge. This was during the war. George would travel to work on an old motor cycle. As well as the bus work he had his own garage; this was situated where the Budgens store stands now (year(2000)). This site has changed hands several times. I think the people who occupied it loongest was the furniture company "BFW" Beautiful Furniture in Wood. When George had finished his day's work at the bus station he came home and started work in his garage:he always had a long list of customers as he was such a good mechanic. If he couldn't fix it, I doubt if anyone could.

As can be seen in the middle photo above around 1969 the site was in disrepair and it was around this timeThat Mr Eddy sold the land and the buildings were demolished to make way for a newly built store, a major part of the building that exists today (year 2014).

International Stores

In 1972 this premises was for the first time the International Stores Tel Southend 230134.It was not listed in 1971 directory.
Greg Colbourne, Hazel Denton and Andrew Thompson recall the opening which was conducted by a TV personality of the time Monty Modlyn and Greg was able to toget his autograph (see above). Hazel and Andrew remember seeing the newspaper cutting in which Andrew and Chris Denton appeared.
The last time International Stores appeared at this address in telephone directory was 1975 May. On 23 Feb 2014 David Low posted on the HMH Facebook Group "When I was young child it was an International Supermarket, I remember it was great fun running up and down the aisles which seemed so massive then skidding on trousers legs. As a shop manager now I find these children a irritation. However I think that's just my age, haha! "
Susan MacNamara's future husband worked in the store.


On 23 Feb 2014 Marc Wilson posted on HMH Facebook Group "Hi i had a job at BFW around 1979 / 1980 as a Saturday lad. I think the manager was called David Ware who did live in Waxwell Road. The furniture was beautiful with makes like Old Charm. The upstairs had beds and rows of settees. I spent many a hour upstairs out the way having a sleep on these comfortable chairs in between making cups of teas for the salesmen . For a days work I'd get a crisp £10 note. How strange I now work as a Manager in a furniture store !"
Jay Evans recalls in a posting on the HMH Facebook Group dd 23 Feb 2014 "When BFW was in the village my dad bought one of the globe mini bars from there ,that thing was well cool."

Budgens Stores

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