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Hullbridge Village History

The memories of Shani Sewell (nee Cox)

Oakleigh and neighbours

My maiden name is Cox I was born in 1958 and we lived next to Kit and Ken Collins. Kevin Collins was at the bottom of our garden in Oakleigh Ave so knew him well.

Hullbridge Infant and Junior School.

I knew the Taylor family who lived in Abbey Road especially their children Billy, Linda, Ian and Pauline and their mother Martha unfortunately she died 2 years ago and her husband, felt he could not stay in the home and moved nearer to Linda in Leigh.

Hullbridge's Shops

The hairdressers at 76 Ferry Road was where my first job was, we started young in those days. At 11yrs old I went in there every Saturday and shopped for Mrs Robinson and her other hairdresser called Janet. I would go to the shops for both of them and then do odd jobs in the shop. I only lived the other side of Oakleigh Ave so mum kept an eye on me.
I used to enjoy Pellings it was quite an emporium. Mrs Pelling is still in the village.
My friend used to live over the betting shop and her dad ran it but names escape me now. (COMMENT: Don Conway wrote on HMH Facebook Group 23 Feb 2014 "Shani, I remember a Gary Palmer lived with his family at the betting shop, can't remember his sisters name though.
That's the name thanks Don Conway his sister was my friend and she was Susan. I remember Gary having a fractured skull as a young boy through going into a new build house and falling through the floor, on one of the new housing estates being built. There was a chemists at 90 Ferry Road called "Ferry Pharmacy" I worked in there when I was 14 for a couple of years in 1972. There used to be a record shop on Lower Road in what was Memraid Antiques I think the chap who ran the shop and lived there was John Howard, he was in the music business until he retired and a friend of a friend.
There was a shop called Bijous on Ferry Road owned by the Trunley family andI used to go to school with the girls who lived above the shop.

Ever changing secondary schools

When I lived in Hullbridge our secondary school was Sweyne, shortly after that my sister started secondary and it was Greensward. A few years later my brother came along and the school was Park. So none of us had to tread in our siblings footsteps or live in their shadows at school.
Sweyne had just changed from grammar to comprehensive when I went there, must have been about 1969/1974.

Mum's Keep Fit Class

From the early 80s for about 20 years my mother ran keep fit classes and then line dance classes at the Community Centre. Andy Thompson played the music for her using a cassette player.

Konto Froh

In the 1970s my husband ran the first disco in Hullbridge village hall. He and Pete were called "Konto Froh" they were the talk of the village for us teenagers. The disco became a monthly event for some years. The village hall was owned by the parish council, a couple who lived in Hullbridge were caretakers and they dealt with everything so it was with them that they made the arrangements and bookings.
Cash was used in those days.The discos were Saturday nights only, we had a tuck shop with soft drinks only and a band of helpers from Hockley (where the D.Js came from). They began in 1972/3. The whole area was plastered in posters so everyone knew about it and came in droves.