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Hullbridge Village History

The memories of Christine Gray

Nan the Garage owner.

I was born in London in 1953 and my sister Teresa was born at Rochford Hospital in 1957. We lived in a bungalow called "Clarewood". Next door to us was were dad (Stanley Gray) worked, it was the Hullbridge Garage owned by my Granddad Bert Knight and transferred to my Nan Ethel, upon his death. They were not my real Nan and Granddad from a lineage point of view but to Teressa and I they were, having brought up mum since she was a small child and Nan was really mums aunt.
It was an Esso garage situated on the top of Coventry Hill opposite Hillcrest. (COMMENT:The garage land was first owned by "Pop" Withers as explained in the memories of Pete Withers).In the photo below you can see dad offloading the fuel into the storage tank.
In 1967 Nan sold the garage to Amoco and part of the sale meant she got 2 houses built. (COMMENT: The garage was opened under the direction of Southend Racing Equipment Ltd an amalgamation of Olis Thatcher, Southend Racing Partnership and Track Accessories. The garage was named Hullbridge Motor Company. Nan's garage was demolished and re built which is the same building that is there today. Dad continued to work there and helped with the hand over of the business.

A black and white photo showing an Esso petrol tanker offloading on a garage forecourt A black and white phot showing a man bending over to tie his shoes laces
		    						whilst behind him is a young boy and lady and behind them another older gentleman. To the right of them is a gentleman sitting in an old car. They are all
		    						 at an Esso Garage A black and white photo showing 2 children on a garden path the young girl is on 
		    						a wheeled horse and she is looking back at a young boy who is meant to be pushing her. An Esso petrol station sign is in the top left corner.

Lovely neighbours

Living at Clarewood meant we had some lovely neighbours. Next door to us was Tony and Susan Lane, followed by Mick and Muriel Norris.
Opposite to us was a bungalow called "Dawn Mist" in which lived Colin and Glad Chart and their children Lynn and Keith,Both Lynn and Keith spent a lot of time with us.
Down the road beyond the Norris's bungalow were two council houses the nearest was the home of Mr and Mrs Edwards, who like dad loved gardening and grew Chrysanthemums. Dad entered and won many times trophies at the Hullbridge Garden Assoc's annual show.
Further down the road on the opposite side, near Burnham Road lived the Baker family. Alex was the assistant scout group leader, Scottish and they had three children Hazel, Paul and Valeire.
Linda and Susan Looker lived in the house that stands on the corner of Hillcrest and Coventry Hill, you can see it in the background of the photo with Teressa and Keith. Next door but one to them, down Coventry Hill lived Mr and Mrs Ivy Thacker.

A black and white photo showing a group of
		    							 children mainly girls gathered in a garden in front of 
		    							some window panes leaning against the conservatory of a bungalow. 
		    							This is a party held at my home.
Our home Clarewood. The children in this photo are (L-R) 1) Keith Chart (siiting on chair), 2)Me (tallest), 3) ? (standing next to me , 4) ? (hidden face), 5)Teresa (sister in same print as mine) 6) ? (standing) 7) ? , 8) ? , 9) Lynn Chart (pulling funny face), 10) ? (sitting on horse), 11) ? (standing behind horse), 12) ? (sitting next to Lynn), 13) ? . I think Anne Norris and Geraldine Nicholls are in here. Photo courtesy of Valerie Baker showing the family less Hazel. The Baker family's bungalow.

Hullbridge Primary School

In 1962 Hullbridge Primary entered a team of girls into the schools netball competition and we won it.

Black and white photo showing a group of 7 girls, 4 standing 3 kneeling
		    						dressed in white blouses and Navy shorts in a field. Centre girl kneeling is holding a cup and the girl behind her is holding a netball. Victorious Hullbridge Primary School netball team, the girls in the photo are:
BACK ROW (L-R): 1) ? ,2) ? , 3) Lynn Chart, 4) ? .
FRONT ROW (L-R): 5) Glynnis Draper, 6) ? , 7) Kendal Snelling.

The terrible murder of Glynnis Draper.

In 1964, 2 years after the above photo was taken the village was in utter turmoil.

ST Peter and ST Paul, Hockley.

I was married in 1975 in the church on the hill, St Peter and St Paul, Hockley.