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Hullbridge Village History


Rev'd Brigid Main

Beryl was born in 1933 and her early years were in Walthamstow. In 1939, along with her sister Rene, was evacuated to Wellingborough in Northanptonshire. They had the good fortune to be placed with a family with 2 daughters of a similar age. The father was an active lay preacher and this Christian atmosphere and learningon a daily basis was pivotal for them both.

When Beryl moved back to Walthamstow she gained scholarship to South West Essex Technical College, Walthamstow.
She left there at 16 and after one job, that didn't last, went to work for the P & O Shipping Line. Initially she was employed as a clerk but soon transferred to the Cruise Department as a Travel Consultant where she advised "would be travellers" and made bookings. Working for a Cruise company she sometimes made 4/5 cruises a year.Sometimes as a holiday but often acting as a Courier.

The beginning of her life as a Christian dated back to her evacuation to Wellingborough. When she returned to Walthamstow she joined Spruce Hills Baptist Church. Through the years her Christian life expanded as she became involved with Christian Aid and the Torch Fellowship. The Torch Fellowship is a charity to the blind and partially sighted.Beryl became a designated driver, picking people up for meetings and taking them home. Even though she had moved to Hullbridge, she continued to return to Walthamastow to do this until the journey became too much.

Beryl had moved to Hullbridge on the death of her father and joined the congregation of St Thomas's. She had many roles in the church, as Sacristan and always beavering away quietly in the background as well as running Gordon's Group for mothers and toddlers.
Beryl was a lady who lived out her Christian faith at every moment.

I first met Beryl at the Retreat House at Pleshey and have many memories of her and with her close friend Pam, enjoying "Quiet Days" and once again beavering away on work days polishing and gardening, serving lunch at the "Open Day" and whatever else was needed to be done.
In Particular I can see her clearly singing her heart out on "Pleshey Sing Days".

The Beryl people did not see

Pam Melville.

I have known Beryl for over 50 years and we have been friends for over 20 years. She enjoyed her new home in Hullbridge and also St Thomas' church. She did the Christian Studies Course in Westcliff and made her Cursillo at Pleshey in 2000. She really loved Pleshey where she felt very close to God. She spent many "Quiet Days" and weekends there. She became minute secretary for the Friends of Pleshey for a few years.
She loved the "Singing Weeks" that Brigid and Laurie ran.

Over the years Beryl and I enjoyed many holidays together, including a trip to Sri Lanka where we rode elephants bare back and fed the baby orphan elephants bottles of milk. She also loved Disneyland.Queuing up to go on the rides, the highest, fastest, wettest, she loved it all.
Another time we went to Durham and went down a coal mine. I knew a different Beryl to most people. Even last year we went to Ireland and enjoyed the caves of Mahon and Galway Bay.
Our final trip was last Oct/Nov in Wales. She said it was a fabulous place and she would like to go back.

She was the best friend to me and to my family. She was thrilled to know that Adam and Lynn were going to Moorlands Bible College.I will miss her very much. She was kind, gentle and very generous. I just want to say goodbye dear rfiend till we meet again!


Compiled from the memories of villagers.

Although Beryl was slight of frame she was a strong, determined and a wonderful lady whose commitment to St Thomas's Church and the children of the village will never be forgotten. She was a server within the church, and would always be helping at any of the functions. Many of the villagers must have met her behind one of the stalls at St Thoms., Community Centre or Hullbridge Centre, raising as much money as she could. Her pride in St Thomas's was constantly evident and she was often seen tidying and cleaning when she felt it needed doing.
One of Rev., Harvey Reed's ideas was to set up a children's prayer group at the church for the village's mums and young children. He associated it cleverly with one of the Children's TV characters of that time "Gordon the Gopher", so began "Gordon's Group. When Rev., Reed retired in Feb 2012 the group may have had to close, but Beryl said she would love to run it in his place, and she did so successfully.
She lived at the Tower mobile home site down Pooles Lane and her neighbours can not think of a bad word to say about her, she was descrete, quiet and unassuming.

The following are some extracts taken from the Hullbridge Facebook Group on the announcement of her death.
Becky Chaplin wrote " I will miss Beryl so much, she was such a lovely lady. Last year 'Gordon' invited everyone to a party. It was actually Beryl's 80th birthday, she was so happy to see all the children and mums, then at the end she told me that it was the first time in her life she had ever had a birthday party. RIP Beryl, you were one of a kind."
Hullbridge Coffee Tots wrote "Beryl Spread your Angel wings, wish we could see you now. Wow what a smile and elegants you have always owned xx You are resting in peace, believe that so very much. All the many questions you have had surely you have the answers now. You beautiful women who gave so much to everyone you met. We will miss you so very much. From all of us at Coffee tots xxx AMAZING WOMEN xx"
Claudette Darmanim wrote "Beryl a kind welcoming woman to everybody she met and walked through those church doors! She took note of all the names of the kids and have them chocs for xmas and Easter! Let's hope we can have same kindness and good heart like Beryl to everyone around Beryl from Claudette, Jayden and Cohen."