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Hullbridge Village History


The memories of Diane Hills

The Jays

Photo of The Jays in Crouch Ave before it was demoslished and re built it is a small white bungalow, red roof, two front windows with a door between them
				   			.Just above the door is a flat roof canopy. The bungalow is on an unmade muddy road that has a large stack of bricks which are to be used
				   			to build 2 semi datached bungalows in place of the white building. There is a more modern bungalow to the right of the white building and a 60's style chalet
				   			house to the left In 1964 when the photo above was taken the white bungalow was called "The Jays" and as you can see it was a typical "plotland property" that had been built in Hullbridge and surrounding area. This property is just about to be demolished and replaced by two semi-detached bungalows on the land, hence the bricks in the road.

Both my parents grew up in Elm Park and after they were married in 1964 they moved into the newly built "The Jays".Because both their christian names started with J they decided "The Jays" was very appropriate and so kept the name of the original bungalow. Next door on the left side you can just make out the property of Mr & Mrs Allen, they also had an old plotland style property. That property stood until the mid 70's.

My eldest brother Stephen was born in 1965, I was born in 1969 followed by my younger brother Anthony in 1971. Both Stephen and I went to Riverside Infants & Primary Schools and then to The Park School in Rawreth Lane where Asda now stands.

Dad the budding photographer

Dad has a love for photography and took many photographs and developed them himself. No idea what camera my dad was using he wasn't professional but he could have been he had his own dark room and has always collected cameras. Most of the parents down Crouch Avenue at that time got him to take photos of their children. I still have some more pics to upload.
I asked him today about pics of the carnival and he said he didn't take many stills but he did take cine film !!! It would probably be around 1977. He is pretty sure he had it converted some years back and is going to see if he can find it. Here are some stills he took around 1969 of the village.

A 1969 photo black and white showing a cross roads. On the right is some 
							rough looking corrigated iron buildings that are long and behind them is a two storey white building, on the left is a grass verge
							belonging to some properties that have a wooden bus shelter outside. A 1969 black and white photo showing the main shops in Hullbridge. It is taken from a corner
								shooting across a road. Down the road are several cars

The first shows Coventry Corner cross roads, dad is standing in the middle of the road on Coventry Corner Hill shooting towards Watery Lane on the right is Ferry Road and left Kingsway. According to Heather Favell who used to live on the left side corner, the old derelict buildings was Lofty Sawyers timber Yard Opposite before the bus shelter was Lucy and Ernest Fords shop in which they sold fresh produce including bread.

The second photo shows the main part of the village. Dad is standing on the corner of Thorpdene Avenue near to what was then the vicarage, across the road you can see the fence of the Garden Association.
I can remember going to parties in the village hall. I commented on the pram outside and mum said she thinks it was used as the clinic at this time and remembers taking us there as babies to be weighed. (COMMENT:This was confirmed by Hazel Denton on HMH Facebook 26.1.14 "yes the village hall was used as a baby clinic as well as a library".
To the left of the hall is Jack Wortleys shop, to the right 'Teds' and next to that 'Pellings'.
The third photo shows the shops down by Pooles Lane. I remember going to Kellies to get my sweets after school and also 'Jarvins' for sweets and toys. I love the row of cars in this picture. No idea who the person in the bobble hat is, anyone recognise them ?

Crouch Avenue and our Neighbours.

In the first picture dad is standing on Lower Road at the top of Coventry Hill its a view from the end of Crouch Avenue looking up Lower Road heading towards Hockley. Taken in 1969. To the right is now houses and the sport and social club then a few plotland bungalows and open fields.

Crouch Ave is still one of the unadopted roads in Hullbridge, although there are quite a few potholes it does look better than it did in 1964 when the second and third pictures were taken. In the second picture is my mum Jennifer Hills on the right with her sister and in the third picture mum is on the right and the man on the left is my uncle Arthur. — with Denise Boland.

Mr Ben Allen lived next door but one in an old plotland house in Crouch Ave to my parents. He was a local concillor and chairman of the council at one point. Dad has a lovely photo of Mr and Mrs Allen celebrating their Golden Wedding which must have been late sixties. I remember him as a lovely man who gave me ice cream on my way home from play school.

I have just been reading all about the Senior Citizens Day Centre on the website and there is a newspaper clipping from 1977 about the centre's 'band' the 'Jubilee's'. I knew of the bands existence because Tom Donatz, who was the pianist, lived next door to us in Crouch Ave and we could often hear them rehearsing through the wall.
Tom and his wife Connie were regulars at the day centre for many years, they were a lovely couple, Connie used to babysit for us sometimes and always let us stay up as long as we ran up the stairs and jumped into bed as soon as we heard mum and dads car pulling up in the drive.

Hullbridge Primary and Junior School.

My first infant teacher was Mrs Baker, then Mrs Taylor. In the junior school they was Mrs Howard, Miss Fairbrass who was then replaced by Mrs Lugg when she retired and yes the lovely Mr Thorley. I remember a really nice music teacher but I can't think of his name. There were lots of lovely dinner ladies and we all wanted to hold their hands. I remember the school concerts I was either in the choir or in the orchestra on my recorder. My dad did an audio recording of at least one of them.

I remember Peter Appleton because I used to tell him he was my boyfriend ! He used to go red and hide from me lol I'm not sure he went to Park, maybe that was the only way he could escape me ! He used to live down lower road passed Central and Pevensey in a detached house called 'Appledore'. He couldn't run very fast so he was easy for me to catch.

4th Hullbridge Brownie Pack

I belonged to the 4th Hullbridge Brownie pack (which must mean there were 3 before mine). I probably joined around 1977 we met once a week at St Thomas' church, two of my class mates Kathleen Fosh and Tamara Bird joined at the same time as me. Within each brownie pack you were split into groups all of our groups were named after sprites and elfs. I was a 'ghillie dhu' ! It is a type of fairy.
I loved the brownies, we went on a camp to Hockley woods one summer and we entered the carnival each year. In charge of our pack we had 'Brown Owl' who was Muriel Cooper, Snowy Owl (Linda Watling) and Tawney Owl (Beryl ?).
One Christmas I was asked to play Mary in the Nativity play and below are some of the pictures taken. You can see in the second photo it appears Tawny Owl is covering her ears, not sure why but maybe it was because the dialogue was wrong again or she could not get her head around us having a girl doll for Jesus !

Too many Hills in Hullbridge ?

Quite often I find that the "S" is accidentally missed on our surname and another family in the village, Hillis, also found they sometmes lost the ending of their name which caused much confusion. Mum became friendly with Mrs Hillis (Rita), to make matters worse the Hillis's had a son Stephen and another I believe was called Michael.
Both of the boys went to Hullbridge School, and there was not a lot years between Stephen and I and Stephen and Mike, so things often got complicated, especially at the doctors, school and dentist's.
Rita lived in the village and died here.

Park School, Rawreth

Well we had to wear royal blue skirts and jumpers in the 1st 2nd and 3rd year, when you got to the 4th and 5th you were allowed to wear black !! Big excitement at the time.