Hullbridge Village History
I first met Chris when I was in my mid teens (1968), playing football for Hullbridge.
Every Wednesday night we would meet up at the Rec to train and then we would all mill into the "Country Club"
to quench our thirsts having had a nice warm shower in the pavilion. We finished training about 9 and something had to be seriously
wrong if, sitting in the corner by the bar, there was not Bob Palmer, Colin Chart, my father and Chris. Every week they set about
putting the world to right especially a little place named Hullbridge. At this time Chris was a member of the Hullbridge Labour party
and Colin was a member of the Conservative, so the debates were very interesting. As a young man watching this going on I picked up
many things that were to later help me in my career. I think Chris may have learnt the art of succesful debating
/ arguing here. Something that he was later to become well known and admired for.
These 4 musketeers as I started to call them started talking about the football club having to evolve and they liked the idea of belonging to a Social side of Hullbridge. They got talking to John Harvey and other commitee members of the Football Club and a proposal was made at the next AGM and carried and so was formed the Social Club. Next they turned their attention to the club having their own ground the account of which you can read in my father's memories.
I moved out of Hullbridge around early 70's but would visit my parents once a month and I always enjoyed reading the " The Resident" and "Hullbridge Herald" the predeccesors of Hullbridge Ripples. All of these publications Chris was involved in producing. I watched with interest Chris's involvement in local politics starting with the Parish Council around 1973 and from there to leading the Hullbridge Labour Party, being elected onto District Council for the Riverside Ward. All this was very time cosuming and need lots of dedication, as he also had a job to do at Fords as well as bringing up his children, quite remarkable ! He then went further and became chairman of the Hullbridge Community Association was like with the sports club was involved in the completion of the Community Centre. In his later years although in poor health, I met Chris again and did not recognize him till we spoke and it was clear his ill health had not in any way dampened his spirit, drive and determination. He even went on to help form the U3A Hullbridge branch. I have through this website spoken to many of Chris's fellow councillors, you could even say adversaries when it comes to Parish Councillors, but none have anything but admiration for what he has achieved and built with this village community.
Chris, was one of those unique people who were willing to dedicate and sacrifice a large part of his life to ensure the enjoyment of the many, us villagers. The day he moved into the village we did not know then but do know now he was angel sent to us to enhance our lives with his actions and his company. You are and always will be deeply missed. GOD BLESS!