Hullbridge Village History
Swallow and Amazons
When we moved to Hullbridge( as some of the first incomers from East London)
around 1959/60 I thought I had come to heaven. At the time I was reading the
Famous Five and The Swallows and Amazons and this was the story come to life!!!
I was a real 'tomboy' and loved spending the days roaming the lanes on my own, walking along the river bank with my dog, a Westie called Jenny, climbing trees making dens and going to Malyon's Farm with Jenny Dunt, Peter Carter and Linda Thorn. I had many friends and we would also roam the village and surrounding area some of the names I can remember are:- Stephen MacInerny ( I don't know how he spelt his name), Gill Boulter, Linda Winn, Janet Wortley and Peter Botley . I always felt safe and loved the freedom I had to wander and roam.
A photo around 1962 in front of the school behind the Willow tree. The children were Mr Francis's class of 1962/3
Our bungalow at 89 Ferry Road was right outside the bus stop opposite Oakleigh Avenue and did back onto Abbey Close. When I was a teenager, friends used to get off the bus and jump over the fence straight into our home as Mum and Dad were always welcoming and always made tea, coffee and cake and listen to all our teenage woes! Hullbridge was a popular spot for us teenagers large groups of us from the village or Hockley or Ashingdon used to take our guitars along the river towards Battlesbridge, and on the flats light fires and have a lovely evening under the stars. No-one ever complained!
As a young girl I was in the guides and loved carnival time.
A photo 6th Aug 1963 of the 1st Hullbridge Guides on their Carnival float.
The girls are:-
Back Row L-R ??, ??, Linda Looker, Linda Winn, Dianne Lock ?, Jennifer Monk, Alison MacKenzie, Susan Looker.
Front Row:- Christine Gray, Kendal Snelling, Gill Dove, Theresa Hodson.
Dad was very active in the Annual Flower and Produce show and used to win prizes with his Dahlias, Mum was the school secretary after Beatty.
I was taught to sail by Mr Sutton, the Science teacher at Greensward who used to live in the village.
My brother Andrew Dove, really took to sailing and used to win almost everything going at the Up River Yacht Club. His friends were "Tasin,the Great", aka Matthew Shaw, Paul...... He is now a sail maker and sailor living in Guadeloupe and Antigua in the West Indies.
I remember how kind Barney and his wife were to me the old country man, storyteller and sometime poacher that lived a couple of doors away, half way up the hill on Ferry Road. My parent's neighbours became life-long friends.
I left Hullbridge as a student (1970) and lived in Brisol but used to come home every vacation when I would be a barmaid at the Anchor or work nights at Lesney's Toy Factory. On graduation I moved to South London. My parents moved away too. I still go back on occasion just to walk to Battlesbridge along the river bank and lanes or along to Brandy Hole. It is a perfect landscape for me with beautiful mud and big skies and if you visit my website you'll see that those are the subjects that I paint. (www.gilldove.com)