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Hullbridge Village History

Hullbridge Youth.

The memories of Dave Bodimeade

From one end of Hullbridge to the other.

I lived in Hullbridge from birth in 1967 until 1978, first off of Kingsway and then on the Crouch Caravan Park in Pooles Lane.

I have many memories of Riverside Primary School, which I attended from 1972 to 1978. Mr Hardy was the head. I can't remember my infants school teachers. My junior school teachers were Mrs Alderton, Mr McCarthy, Mrs Howard and then Mr McCarthy again (to be replaced by Mr Whittle). I remember the junior school being a big L and, as you worked your way up the years, you got towards the top of the L. Other junior school teachers I remember were Mrs Fairbrass, Mr Rose, Mr Williams (PE), Mr Goble, Mrs Dawson (she may have been deputy head) and an old lady (whose name escapes me ) who retired from the juniors after 24 years service. At her leaving presentation Mr McCarthy pointed out very helpfully that she'd started teaching at the school before he was born. I'm sure she loved that. I only remember two teachers from the infants school two Mrs Spicers.

I liked Mrs Alderton even though she was quite strict. Mr McCarthy was very popular with all the kids. We were delighted to discover he was our 4th year teacher and devastated when he left. Mrs Howard had the class that was in the stand alone classroom between the infant and junior schools. I recall her hair being very orange and never moving, with a plentiful quantity of hairspray probably being applied every morning. Mrs Fairbrass taught my brother and sister. She was very strict but a great teacher. She never taught me but hers was the one class my brother and sister learnt most in.

I have good memories of the shops in Hullbridge, particularly those at the river end of the village. The VG store was on the corner of Pooles Lane. Opposite that you had Kellies the newsagent and the greengrocer next door now private houses. Further along was the cake shop (Barton's I think). I used to get two cream doughnuts for 14p on my way into school. There was a toy shop too, an off-license (Unwin's I believe) plus a hardware store by Wallace Close. All have been replaced.

Mayfield's (at the top of Mayfield Avenue) deserves a special mention. A sweet shop open till late in evening. Heaven ! So sad that Mayfield's also went !

In the middle of the village you had Budgens and the Post Office side by side. This was almost next to the doctor's surgery where Dr's Kendall practiced in their home. There was also a Barclay's Bank. The old village hall was where the Golden Lion now is. The closed down Sue Ryder shop was the Spar supermarket and we had the Ferry Pharmacy where the craft shop is. The only survivor from 30 odd years ago is the fish shop, which used to be called the Ferry Fisheries.

On the corner of Lower Road and Ferry Road we had the International Stores supermarket where the newer Budgen now is. Opposite, on corner of Ferry Road and Coventry Hill, was an old convenience store which closed down in the very early 70s. Two or three doors down on Lower Road (opposite the bus stop) we even had a record shop, sadly, like many shops, long gone.