Hullbridge Village History
The Hodson's of Hullbridge
I used to live in Creekview Avenue right at the end on the right.
My dad was Eric, Hullbridge Radio and Television, he died 11 years ago and the church was full of people who knew him. He was one of the originals from Hullbridge.
I remember the phone number off by heart. 230382 and originally it was just Hullbridge 382.
Like many others in the area we moved out of Plaistow, whilst I was still very young about 4 I think, that would be 53 years ago, wow! never thought about how long ago till now.
I remember being walked to school down Ferry Road by my dad when
the old oak trees still lined it but even then there were occasional
giant stumps where some mighty Oak or Elm tree used to be.
Dutch Elm disease was just hitting England.
My dad got to know everyone very quickly because his mum and dad lived in Ambleside Gardens. In those days the plots of land were sold to the highest bidder in the Anchor over a pint of beer. My dad bought a plot in Hillcrest from his mums friend and started building our house. To start with we lived in a caravan and air raid shelter on this plot of land and my dad having left STC (Standard Telephone and Cable) which was a well paid job suddenly found it a struggle to get paid for any repairs he made. He took a shop which was then a second hand shop with Mr Chamberlain, right next door to the post office and we became good friends with Val Palmer and her hubby(Can see his face but can't remember his name).
Mr Pearce was the village Copper who lived at the police house and there was the Moss's, I think that ran the Anchor.
Dad was also very good friends with Georgie Boul, who had a garage opposite
the Anchor and his best friend was Burt Lord in Burnham Road.
As kids I remember going on outings with Burt and Anne Lord and their kids, Linda, Christine, Jacky, Mickey and I am sure there were others. Burt used to do the banger racing at the Weir and always looked black with oil from fixing engines. We went out altogether one day and held hands in a circle in the back of one of his big lorries, it sticks in my mind now that we were laughing so much that the bumps and bruises we got when we hit the sides of the lorry never even hurt.
There was a man called Mr Rockall that lived opposite the Lords family and he made glass figures, especially Bambies and I believe he became quite famous for them. I can remember watching him make these tiny and sometimes large ornaments that were absolutely beautiful. Loads of stuff comes back to me when I think about my childhood that I am sure I could write a book about it too. There was never a dull day unless I had chicken pox and I never remember being bored. Life was really full of magic and only nice things.
I think the day I grew up a bit was when one of my classmates Glenys Draper went missing and was found murdered. Mum and Dad kept us in for weeks when that went on and I remember it being on the television news and in the papers. We didn't get any counseling afterwards, like you would have now and I am sure it affected everyone in the school at that time.
When I went to school at Hullbridge there was no swimming pool and swimming in the river was considered very dangerous. It being dangerous and a temptation to us children the school felt it had to start teaching swimming. As it happens over at Battlesbridge was The Blue Lagoon with its rather large swimming pool and we were coached over to it and taught to swim.