Hullbridge Village History
The following was published in the village's "Ripples" June 2003 publication.
Its 1953 and a small boy, 6 years of age, stands at Coventry Corner wondering whether to catch the bus (fare 1 and a half old pence) or walk to the River Crouch. He has to take into consideration a visit to Collis's Corner shop or maybe Lucy's shop, opposite, to buy sweets,"what a treat !". He needs to be wary of Mr Reeves reversing his taxi out into Lower Road.
Mind made up, before setting off along Ferry Road, he waves to Dr Bridge outside his surgery on the opposite side of the road.
Striding playfully along, pasing bungalows and rows of houses, he says "Hello" to old Barney (Mr Lucey). On and on he goes reaching the top of the hill then quickly crosses to the other side avoiding Mrs Charlton's house (Maybe it's haunted!).
Now there's a detour down Sandy Lane (Thorpdene) to search for newts in the pond.
Back on course again, through the village he passes the Village Hall, Trunley's Pig Farm, Mr Long the Newsagents and the Mayfield Club.
Passing Skewpath (Keswick) under the Elm trees to the school with the willow tree out front, he waves to Beattie whose talking to Mrs Crabbe on her invalid Tricycle.
The journey's not over yet. There's a visit to Mr and Mrs Trower's Greengrocers which is near Mr and Mrs Short's shop, which is opposite Mrs Bradbury's Corner Stores at Pooles Lane.
Finally, it's down to the river, passing Mr Bull's garage, carefully watching the bus turning in front of Mr Moss's Anchor Public House. Time to take the footpath to the Smugglers Den then back onto the riverbank and old Jock on his houseboat.
Fifty years later (2003) the bus fare is 50p and Dr Bridge has made way for mannequins in police uniforms. Lorries are reversing into the Co-Operative stores on the site of Mrs Charlton's (maybe haunted) house. A fish shop, hairdressers, post office with youngsters outside make up todays scene.
Onto the library, past the paper shop and the doctor's surgery - wary of the many cars leaving the car park. The old willow tree stands in front of the old school house, a familiar land mark amongst the shops, restaurants and take away pizza bar.
Finally, down to the river, careful of a bus turning into the car park. A fond look torwards the Anchor Public House, knowing the Smugglers Den still nestles where it always did.
Just time for a walk back to the welcome and comfort of the Hullbridge Community Association for some well earned drinks !
"Oh! Happy Days!"