Hullbridge Village History
Hullbridge Primary School.
Hullbridge Primary School.
Hello I'm Heather Reeve.
I was at Hullbridge School from 1955 to 1961, Mr Hardy was head master,
Mrs Scrume was dinner lady , Mrs Alditon, Mrs Wier, Mrs Longthorn,and Mr Francis,
were my teachers, I remember it like yesterday, Graham Hardy one of Mr Hardy's
children was in my class, and Miss Crabbe did the office.
Below is a picture I have of the female teachers at Hullbridge Primary School.
My large local family
Mum, Dad and siblings.
My dad John Thomas Reeve came from Rayleigh, he had 3 sisters (Alice, Lil and Doll who lived down Rawreth Lane) and a brother Jack (James) who got killed in the war
when only 21 and whose name appears on the memorial in Rayleigh.
Mum Margaret Louisa Maynard had two brothers George and Bill Maynard. Sadly her mother died giving birth to George. Mum was born in Berkhampstead.
Mum and dad wed in Rochford Registry Office 27 Feb 1931, at the time dad was living at "Kenilworth" on Lower Road whilst mum was at "Deniston" on the Hullbridge Road. Once married they moved into "Hillside" and stayed there till they got a council bungalow in Rydal Close, behind Rydal Villas.
I have a brother Jacky who is 14 years older than me and I had a sister Barbara Violet who was 18 years older than me. Having elder siblings was very helpful. They told me lots of stories and how during the war they would hide under the table during air raids, unlike being in London there was no Tube to go to and not many Anderson shelters erected.
For a while dad worked for Eastern National as a bus driver. as seen in the photo below on the left his conductor sitting on the right is Stan Amos.In 1958 the company wrote to him advising he had won an award from the Road Operations Safety Council. The letter can be seen below.
Dad was enlisted for the war in 1945 and he was a taxi driver at the time.
Dad did not own the bungalow we lived in he paid 1/3d a week until he moved to Rydal Close with my mum.
Aunts and Uncles.
Lilian M married Alfred Collins in 1939 and they had Johnny, Kit, Rose and Micky and lived at No 3 Abbey Road. Alf played the drums in a Old time dancing band and his drums took pride of place in the sitting room.
Alice E married Percy E Watts in 1926 amd they lived in Rayleigh and had Donald , Denis, Derek and Doreen, 4 D's.
Doris (Doll) married Henry (Jack) Hayes in 1941 he worked for Pinkertons all his working life and they lived in a house owned by the Pinkerton family. Their children are Pam, Johnny, Brian, Janice and Wendy.
George Maynard and Joyce Butcher married in 1945 and had Tony and Patsy.
William C Maynard and Jean Nash married in 1951 and had Terry and Janet. They lived in Thundersley. Uncle Bill was in the army and when he came out he became a policeman and then a postman in Thundersley for many years.
Tony and Patsy Maynard.
They are related to me through mum's brother George. Tony married his school girl sweetheart Diane Trigwell in 1978 and Patsy married Kelvin Barron in 1969. Photos of their weddings are below. Johnny, Kit, Rose and Micky Collins.
John H (Johnny) married Doreen O Wilson in 1954. A photo of their wedding is below. Kit (Kathleen M) married Kenneth J Churcher in 1954. Kit had a medical condition where she had one blue eye and one brown eye COMMENT: The condition is known as Heterochromia and is caused by one eye having an inadequate amount of Melanin whilst the other has an excess. which must have been awkward for her when she was a dinner lady at Hullbridge Primary School. Ken and Kit also in the mid 1960's ran the Fish and Chip Shop on the corner of Kingsway and Lower Road, possibly the first "Chippy" in Hullbridge. A photo's of Kit and Ken can be seen below. Kit is standing by one of the two footpath styles that were situated on the footpath in front of the Rose Garden and Anchor Gardens. I think they were put there to stop cyclists. Ken and Kitty had a little girl Christine, and when she was about 6/7 they tragically lost her, some people may remember the event as it got a lot of coverage in the press. She went into hospital to have her tonsils removed and that was successfully done but nobody attended to her during the night and there was complications and she passed away. There was hell to pay and Rochford hospital got in a lot of trouble.Below are two photos of Christine when she was two and six. Following Christine they had Kerry.
Aunt and Uncles who were not.
Mum and Dad taught us to call their close friends Aunt and Uncle, something that I still do.
My parents home was "Hillside" on Coventry Corner opposite my Auntie Win
and Uncle Stan Cullis's, Coventry Corner Stores. Uncle Stan and Aunt Win were not related but were really close friends.
They sold the property to Mr and Mrs Smith and here is a picture I have of the stores around 1960. They moved because they got broke into,
and the thieves stole all there old stuff, antics., Aunt Win never felt safe again
so they moved to Thundersley and into a caravan, it was lovely we used to go for tea every Sunday.
Best of friends
One of my best friends was Geraldine Nicholls (left) who was the older sister
to twins Hazel and Tony Nicholls. Her parents Ann and Nick lived further up the hill at
"Flanders" Lower Road. Geraldine was nearly three years younger than me. I guess Geraldine and I
just had to be friends what with my mum delivering her twin siblings.
Here is a picture of Geraldine and myself with our dolls and pram's in my front garden. Beyond the hedge can be seen the house that became "Mermaids" Antique shop on Coventry Corner and alongside you can just make out Lofty Soyer's Timber Yard, where he cut wood to how you wanted.
My dad used to go to his doctor opposite the old antique shop, can't remember the Dr's name COMMENT: Dr Bridges was well known for having a drink with his customers. but he and dad would have a cigar and a drink every time he went there, funny how thing change ! After Dr Bridges I used to go to Rayleigh Dr Jolliff, then Dr kendall moved in the village, his wife looked after their children, always remember the Jesus sandals and the kids running barefoot on the stones outside, then Mrs Kendall got to be a doctor to, and moved it to the centre.
Dad kept Turkeys in the back garden, he used to have them from 6 weeks old and would sell them at Christmas, plucked and dressed. I used to pluck them with a whole load of people and every body used to get one as payment. I would go across the road to Lofty and bag up the wood shavings he had made and bring them home for the Turkey's home. The following picture shows the Turkeys being kept in their house in our back garden. The twins in the push chair are Hazel and Tony Nicholls.
This is a postcard of one of the caravan sites that was down Pooles Lane. This one is named as Davis Caravan which was after the Recreation ground on the bend. On the other side of the river is Marsh Farm. The hill in the background does not yet have the radar dish installed.
I remember Kay Cotter, she was a lady who lived down The Walk, she was always out on her front garden sun bathing.
George Boul used to have the garage near the Anchor pub whilst his wife Yvonne had a little shop opposite from which she sold jewelry and clothes, you can see in the photo above
Ken Churcher in the grounds of the shop. Mrs Boul kept the shop going till she had a son. This was around 1960/1.
Vera used to own the cafe next door to the garage and it was here that Cliff Richard had breakfast with his manager and it was also
where Mum worked, it was called the Wayfarers Cafe. Here is a photo of Vera (left) and mum (right).
Both mum and dad also worked for Mr and Mrs Higgs who had a fur coat business. Dad was their driver and he even drove them around in South Africa.
It is easy to believe that when he left the Higgs's employment he set up as a cab driver outside Aunt and Uncle Cullis's place on Coventry Corner.
Mum also worked right down the end of Pooles lane for a farmer, can't remember his name but he had a field full of holiday bungalows. Mum used to white wash them every year for them, I used to go with her , they had a litter of alsation pups and I picked one we called him Kim, he was used to help look for my friend Glynis Draper who was found murdered by her piano teachers son , it was alful. I remember the police house and the police mans name was P C Simonds he had children one was Diane.
Down Kingsway used to be Hanover Farm and when I was young all that was left was an old tin barn that us children used to play in. I also remember it had a permanent occupant and beautiful Tawny owl that was ever so friendly, a rare sight these days. Below is a photo of mum holding my daughter Amanda in the garden of Hillside looking out across the field towards the old tim barn.
Today there are 6 houses on the land that our home was on and our lovely apple tree that is in the photo below of me on my father's motorbike in the garden of "Hillside" that has disappeared. I just loved sitting in it.
Not all Roses.
There has been sad times when people I know, even if not close have tragically died.There was the murder of Gynnis Draper and the accidental death of Nicholas Harrison who died whilst rock climbing, I remember reading about it in the local newspaper, possibly the Southend Standard. Nicholas was the son of local councillor Bert Harrison, of Harrison Gardens fame. The family lived on the corner of South Ave and Ferry Road in a bungalow there. Bert had 2 daughters as well.