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Hello to all Expatriates !

We have received the following e-mails, from Upminster Expatriates, dotted all over the world, which has prompted us to build this contact page. Please E-mail webmaster@upminster.com, to be included in this Upminster Community Web page.

Tony Fox  6th August 2003

Although I have responded individually to a few of the messages on this ex-pats page, have never written for myself.  Over the past five years a few changes have happened in Upminster and Cranham, and perhaps they might be recorded here in case it interests this group (I qualify as an ex-pat because I am in San Diego).

1.  There is a major pow-wow going on about the architecture of the centre of Upminster.  The idea is that some sort of master plan, with a consistent architectural approach, could be adopted.  The time seems right given the likelihood of renewal of many of the retail buildings over, say, the next 20 years, if they are to remain quality places that attract the public.  The Bell School site is obviously pivotal in all this, and the pressure on capacity of good primary schools in our area again seems to be picking up.  My own view is that the loss of the "Bell" public house was the single event that led to the loss of attraction of central Upminster, and that some central, pivotal building could restore it.

2.  A new pub called the "Crumpled Horn" opened in Corbet's Tey Road, opposite the rec a few years ago.  This has been a tremendous success, and if you get a chance to visit it, then don't miss the photos of Old Upminster in one corner, and the Ian Drury memorabilia in another.

3.  St. Luke's Church, Cranham was completely rebuilt during 2002.  The only visible surviving bit of the old one seems to be its engraved foundation stone which was put in the wall of the new building, next to a new one that is the same size.  This church thus has two foundation stones !  Time was when a parish church lasted four or five centuries ...!

4.  In the local history area:
       a) An intriguing local figure called Ernie Brazier is emerging in the 1930s.  He drove the 248 (then single-deck) bus, may have been related to the publican at the White Hart (Hacton), and apparently impressed several ladies of his generation.  If anyone has any info, then would be glad to know.
       b)  Yours truly has started producing a series of booklets.  The first two are on Upminster Hall, and the two famous Georgian gents in our area (William Derham and James Oglethorpe).  These can be bought at SwanBooks (formerly Swan Libraries) and see www.swanbooks.co.uk.  This is basically a hobby for me, and there is certainly no financial profit in it for me, but if you buy a copy or two then you will be helping to support the typesetting, photography, and printing costs for the next ones in the series (if we could stretch to colour photos in the future, then that would be good).  The next one will  provide an outline general history of our area (I know, I know, it should have been the first one...!).  After that there will be one on the local landscape (much of the south of Upminster and Cranham is potentially iron age, and definitely no later than middle-saxon, believe it or not).
      c)  The Tithe Barn museum is growing stronger all the time.  It is open one or two weekends each month during the summer, and the Windmill is open on the other weekends.  So if you visit Upminster one summer weekend you are certain to be able to visit one or other of these rare types of buildings.
      d)  Those who may be missing Havering History Review  may be interested to know that it has found a new editor, after the sudden passing of greatly missed Don Paterson FRGS;  the Chairman of Hornchurch & District Historical Society has told me that October is the target date to get the next issue out.  Again, it will be stocked by SwanBooks, as I understand it.

5.  Broadfields Farm in Pike Lane is now a well-established headquarters for the Thames Chase initative, who are engaged in widespread tree-planting as well as other ecological activities. To its North, the Brandy Hall fields (which reached St.Mary's Lane) have been converted into a golf course.

6.  Trees.  It seems to me that we are missing a decent natural history of our area, and that trees would be a good place to start.  There is a 15 foot elm making a comeback in Folkes Lane, and several impressively large London Planes around.  Also am I the only one who thinks that the large conifers in the field in front of the Windmill are Californian Redwoods ?  (I know it sounds daft...!).  T.L.Wilson, Upminster's Victorian historian, was into trees, and conspicuous specimens feature in his books.  We should really do a census to see whether any of those survived the great storm twenty-odd years ago.  Franks Wood, behind the Brick Fields in Cranham, and still heavily carpetted with bluebells each Spring, seems to have survived the Thames Chase's coppicing experiment;  the hornbeams are recovering  well but I still disagree with the destruction of some of the oak standards. 

7.  And speaking of the Windmill, there is now Trust being formed whose aim is to return it to working order.

8.  Roomes Stores has opened a third building and is basically on the United Dairies site on the corner of Station Road and St.Laurence's Road, nextdoor to where the old Boys School stood, and across from Martins.  It is of nicely coloured brick and glass, and is, architecturally, a contribution that benefits Upminster, in my view, quite apart from the fact that it is a furniture store.  Roomes Stores, by the way, now has a website, and one page documents the history of that company.

9.  Nice new trains now operate to Fenchurch Street and Southend.  With privatisation, the train operator has reverted to the Victorian name of London, Tilbury and Southend (LT&S) although also uses the brand "c2c" ("City to Sea").  The new trains have sliding doors, decent furniture, decent loos, and no First Class compartments.  The line has been free of the maintenance problems that have been so widespread elsewhere in the UK.  West Ham is now an important interchange station that is served by an intermediate stop between Barking and Limehouse (formerly Stepney East). Upminster Station has also been converted with turnstiles operated by magnetic-coded tickets both in the Victorian building down the ramp, as well as in the new station on the bridge.  The staff now wear peacock blue uniforms.  Services are now often direct from Fenchurch Street to Southend via Upminster, Ockendon and Grays (and vice versa), although the Upminster-Romford branch (now electrified) is still a pull-and-push.  The LT&S, by the way, has become popular for Bank Holiday, steam locomotive services between Fenchurch Street and Southend.  Once again, big black 0-6-2 tank locomotives, trailing red carriages, can be seen at Upminster Station, and passing through the Brick Fields in Cranham.  The LT&S makes them use two locos, one of which runs light shortly before or after the train itself, in order to avoid obstructing the line should there be a breakdown of the primary engine.  Presumably the overhead wires are not coming to any harm !

So that's a bit of news.

Tony Fox

 Oliver Nottrodt 7th May 2003


Dear Sirs, I lost contact to a Family called Pickering . In 1986 the was living in 114 Corbets Tey Rd. The Pickering ís have got 3 childís an in 1986 an Irish Setter called Emma. I only remember the first name of one child: Ruth. Is there any chance to find them? Have you got tips for me? Is there a kind of forum for lost peoples? Thank you for your helping Hand.


Best regards Oliver Nottrodt, Hamburg , Germany

Angela M Taylor [ nee Gaunt] 23rd March 2003

My goodness gracious me - this does bring back memories. I found your site quite by accident My maiden name is Angela Gaunt - yes - a Gaunt - daughter of Arthur who was headteacher at Upminster County Primary from 1947 until his retirement. The School was certainly known affectionately as the Bell School but that was not it's name. I remember the Old Boys School on Station Road which was heated by Coke stoves in the 2 Classrooms there - but eventually it was pulled down for redevelopement and if I am correct the plans caused quite a furore. I was married in St Laurence by the Rev Hyla Holden in July 1964 and came up to Scotland thereafter. My father continued to live in Upminster until his retirement when he went to live in Kidderminster. He died there and is buried in the village of Chaddesley Corbett. Some of the teachers in the School have been mentioned - actually it had a very large contingent of welsh speaking staff - the renowned Mrs Williams among them. Someone mentioned the Music teacher - Dorothy Keillich [ I think that's the correct spelling] Can anyone remember the story telling sessions in the School Hall at Lunchtimes on wet days - I have memories of my Father re-telling the Just so Stories. What about those superb playing fields at the back of the School - classes held out there in the Summer. I bet they have been built on by now. Now in my day Secondary Schooling was very different - this was between 1947 when we arrived in Upminster and 1959 when I started Nurse training in London. Many left Upminster County Primary and went to Brentwood, Bancrofts, Forest, City of London Boys Schools - the girls went to The Ursuline, Brentwood County High, City of London Girls. Occasionally one or two went to Christ's College Schools. I had forgotten all about the Silver Horn Cafe - but I do remember very clearly Roomes Stores - the biggest shop in the place - also Dyer's Butchers . Ken Rose the Chemist's shop - oh yes - it's all coming back. Thanks for the memories.

Stan & Janet Macy (Mount)  12th February 2003

Hi, just found this website and loved reading all the messages. My name is Janet Macy (Mount) , and I lived at Cedar Gardens, Upminster till I married and then Bridge Ave, Upminster Bridge. I went to the Bell Scholl but have to confess I dont remember the names or any teachers, I then went to the Technical School at Greys on the Green Line Bus. My husband originally came from Hornchurch, lived at Warriner Ave and Station Lane until we married in 1955 and went to Drury Fall School . He says he remembers Mr.Porter Headmaster, Mrs Davies taught English, Miss Pattmore (?) and Mr. Samuels took Physed. this was up to 1946. We left England for N.Z in 1963 and live just out of Auckland, and enjoy our life here. Our email is stan.janet@xtra.co.nz , or 36 Hamilton Drive Waiuku, NZ and would love to hear from anyone who remembers us!!

Regards Stan and Janet

David Coppard  6th February 2003

I was born in Romford 1949, we lived in 18 Highfield Cresent by Upminister bridge from 1949-60 and then lived at 194 Hall Lane in Upminister and then moved to Ingatestone in 1965. I remember going to a large school in 1955 down by Upminister Bridge and I had to cross a footbridge over a river to get to it, there was a motor bike store on the corner. Then in 1956 I went to a small school on the hill going to Upminister, it was next to a girls school and near a large park, think it was called Upminster House school then I went to boarding school in Surrey and Sussex. Left England in 1974 for Canada, spent 4 years in Saudi and now reside in Alberta, Canada. I have been back to UK twice since 1974 and it has really changed since I left as I got totally lost on all the new roads and motorways. I had some good friends in Hall Lane, Valerie Robinson, Simon Kippin,Tessa Kippin aqnd Sherry Ray, would like to contact them.

David Alden 20 December 2002

I lived in Spencer Crescent from 1939 to 1962. Was back there in June 2002 and on a dare from my wife of 34 years , we went into the Bell School and got ourselves a great tour from the Headmaster. From the old days I recall Mr Gaunt as the Headmaster, Mr Ellis as the Football coach, the concrete air raid shelters in the playground, Abrahams and his ducks and penny loaves, The Cosy Corner Cafe, the Bell Inn, the 86a buses, the Co-op, Football in the Rec , Saturday morning pictures at the Capitol Cinema (Kit Carson, Cowboys and Indians). Then in summer we would run over the golf course to fish and paddle in the River Ingrebourne. Went to Palmers (Marlborough House) 1948 - 54 on the Push and Pull Train. What happened to Simon Small and Ted Pryor and the rest of the 53 and 54 football teams. Studied accounting, became a Chartered Accountant. Spent some years in Jamaica but in South Florida for the past 24 years and now a US citizen. But then you never forget your roots. Upminster was a great place in the 40's, 50's and 60's and still seemed a-buzz last June, but behind that it looked a tired place. Would love to hear from anyone who was at those schools in those years. David Alden December 20, 2002 Contact me at dalden@myacc.net

Dave Crispin 28 November 2002

Just a short line to see if any of my old school mates are still alive and kicking. If anybody at the plough hasn't noticed i've been gone for 12yrs. Living in gods country - Western Australia. I also lived for most of my childhood in Heron way, Cranham like some of the other guys on this page . Attended Hall mead school in the mid seventies. Left and worked in a bank in london. Changed jobs moved to Bermuda for a while. Went back to Cranham, couldn't settle their so came to Western Australia. Still think about the great laughs at school. Drop me a line if you get five minutes.

Colin Argent 25 November 2002

Dear Upminster expats.  Hi my name is Colin Argent and I found the web site by accident just looking for a contact of my past. I lived at Heron Way in Cranham from 1957 and emigrated to New Zealand in 1975, my mum still lives there. I went to Oglethorpe primary school in 1958 and left in 1964, I always remember a teacher Mr Coles who use to go berserk and give the slipper to everyone.  One Christmas a boy named Paul Webb gave a slipper to Mr Coles for a Christmas present, Mr Coles gave it back to him across his backside. I then went to Hall Mead secondary school from 1964 till 1969. When I left school I took an apprenticeship with Ford Motor company, spending 2 years at Harold Hill then going to Dagenham. I have a twin sister named Janice who lives at Canvey Island. I have read all the letters on this site and many bring back old memories, with Silver Horn, playing soccer on the park at Corbetts Tey on a Sunday afternoon. I use to go fishing at pikes pond, parklands and the old gravel pits at Ockendon. Drinking in Plough and Sunday at the Masons. When I was 14, I use to work at the fish shop Veniís doing the spuds for chips 4 nights a week, then on Saturdays selling wet fish, they use to be the best fish and chips around.

If there is anyone who remembers me my e-mail address is argents@xtra.co.nz

Jim Tyler 6 August 2002

 I lived at 8 Garbutt Road from 1939 (birth) until 1961. I attended the BELL school until 1950 & remember some of the people with messages on this site & would love to hear from anyone who may have known me. Some email addresses now seem unobtainable. I can be contacted at jamesvtyler@btopenworld.com Have particularly tried to contact Susan Eady in Canada but email address coming up unknown.

Kevin Cassidy 4th December 2001

Since I last wrote to your page in Feb. 2000, I have had the opportunity to re-visit Upminster. The first time for 25 years! Memories, how great they are, but alas how restrictive and outdated they can also become. I arrived at the station at around 9-30 from Fenchurch Street (nice train) and left again at 4 o'clock. I had a full day of walking around the shopping area, the park, the windmill, Corbetts Tey, the lake just before you get to Corbetts Tey, Gaynes school, my old house in Rushmere Ave, the old library park (clockhouse) and ended up having a beer with an old buddy in the Jobbers Rest. I'm sorry to say, memories are best kept as memories, for me anyway, as I got back onto
the train, rather depressed after the days journey and grateful for my lot in life. Regards Kevin Cassidy eccassidy7@rogers.com

Terry Clear 24th October 2001

Hi,what a great idea having an Upminster expats page - reading through some of  the entries brought back some memories.I lived in Hornminster Glen, Upminster Bridge from 1955 to 1959 and attended Branfil school before my family moved to Kent when I was 10 years old. I remember Joy Laflin (who doesn't remember me!) and Joan Gardner from school and possibly Martin Palin who I'm sure lived across the Ingrebourne fromm the back of Branfil. Does anyone have any memories if Upminster Bridge ? The cage of monkeys outside the station? The Leggets who had the Upminster Bridge paper shop - I think they moved to Bournemouth? I was ballboy for a while at Hornchurch and Upminster football club and went horseriding in Cranham, right near where the underground trains were parked. I have been living in the South of Spain since 1989, in a small mountain village near Malaga. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers me - maybe they can jog my memory a bit further !

Sheila Colbourne 21st August 2001

Having read through the messages over the last few months I have at last summoned the courage to type my own to add to those of my ex-fellow pupils of Gaynes School, namely Barry Dix and Ashley Fearon. My name is Sheila Colbourne nee Cook and I was born in St Mary's Lane, Upminster in July 1956. I attended the Bell School in St Mary's Lane from 1961 to 1967 when Mr Gaunt was the headmaster and I remember him as a kind gentleman who smelt of after-shave and cigarettes. I recall once spending 2 shillings credit money from school lunches on a box of chocolates from the tuck shop for my mum and getting a good telling off from my form teacher Mrs Rae. Of course, who could forget Miss Killick, the music teacher who strove hard to make us perform at the highest level whether at a school concert or a competition at Stratford. Woe betides anyone who deemed to cough during a performance, who remembers that terrible tin of black cough sweets that came out of her pocket. One taste and you were afraid to cough.

I subsequently went to Gaynes Secondary School in 1967. Some of the names I recall from those days were, Ann Daltrey, Ann Thurston, Julie Cudby, Denise Baldry, Lesley Cudby, Susan Harper, I believe she emigrated to Australia, Elaine Nichols, Frances (Fanny) Harris, Alison Emes, Betty Hayden, Susan Cooper, Elizabeth Ball, Gillian Aldridge, Joy Auton, Susan Tollar, Paul Beresford, Tony Herbert, Nigel Ware, Gary Collett, the two Michael Taylors. Of course Barry and Ashley have mentioned several names previously so those I may have forgotten please forgive me. Mr Williams was my form teacher for all but the 1st year of my time at the school and tried so hard to make me understand maths, but sorry sir I still struggle. I also remember Mr Mack Geography, Mr Hill History, Mr Langley English, Miss Clapham Domestic Science, Mrs Sherwood, Needlework, Miss Dowling Religious Education and Mr O'Neil French, Miss Jenkins PE and Mrs Fordham Typewriting and Shorthand.

I left Gaynes in 1972 and relinquished all ties with Upminster when my parents, who are still alive and enjoying their retirement, moved from St Marys Lane in 1989 for the bracing sea air of the Isle of Thanet in Kent. I too am living in Thanet with my Husband. My 2 brothers were Terry and Michael, Terry being the eldest by 6 years and Michael the youngest by 6 years. Terry went to Ogelthorpe and Hall Mead and Michael followed me to the Bell and Gaynes. We were all at some time during out teenage year's members of the Triune Youth Club at the Methodist Church in Hall Lane. My close pals at that time were Diane Faiers and Helen Watson, both of whom I am still in touch with. I would be interested in hearing from anybody who remembers me or my family.

John Kidd 13th August 2001

Hi Upminster, I am an expatriate but living only 60 miles away down in Sussex. I was very interested to read your expatriates page, particularly the item from Charlie Ford. Could you forward this e mail to him please? I was at the same schools as he was and I remember him well and also many of the names
he mentioned, such as Len Bones.

I was born in 1950 and lived first at no 290 St Mary's Lane moving to 30 Marlborough Gardens in 1956. My mother & father are Bert and Betty Kydd and I have a brother, Terry and sister, Pat. I went to The Bell school where Mr Gaunt was the headmaster. We always walked to school and often got into mischief and adventures on the way home! My friends at the school included Denis Donovan, Andy Rayner, Stephen Jolly and Alan Howard.

I spent 2 years at Hall Mead where my brother was also a pupil. Miss Dickens was the headmistress. I then transferred to Palmers Boys school in Grays which involved a lengthy journey every day on the 370 bus. I was part of the large circle of friends in the hippie years, 1967-9 mentioned by Charlie Ford. We seemed to spend most of the time hanging around in large groups in Upminster Park & the Minster Bar in Station Road.

Upminster was a great place to spend one's childhood and teenage years. I left in 1969 when my family moved to Felixstowe but kept in contact with several friends for years afterwards, including my 1st long term girl-friend, Pauline Robinson who lived with her parents in Front lane, Cranham. The only person I am still in touch with is Denis Donovan who I have known for over 45 years and returned to live in Upminster some years ago. If anyone remembers me from those happy years in Upminster I would be pleased to hear from them by email at : john.kydd@uk.royalsun.com 

Cheers John Kydd

Sue Stacey 6th Aug 2001

What a great site this "Ex-pats" is! Wonderful reading all the memories. I have recently found the web site friendsreunited.co.uk and through
this am making contact with old friends. Memories are such precious things - such a shame that when we are young we lose contact with such special people in our lives. I went to Branfil School (left in 1963) and then Gaynes (left in 1968). I am hoping to make contact with any old school friends - and rekindle the memories. I now live in North Wales. Warmest Wishes to anyone who remembers me.

Betty & Tony Bridgens Canada 31st July 2001

Hello, Expats
There's a little statue of Peter Pan which stood in the front garden of 22 Southview Drive during Hitler's War; when bits of shrapnel fell about him. It now stands on a rock overlooking the fabled Trent Severn Waterway, which runs from Lake Ontario to Lake Huron. At this point the waterway looks a lot like the Thames at Henley, at least it does in the summertime, and the main hazard in Peter Pan's existence is that of being knocked off his rock by our exuberant Labrador, Bailey. Hello, we're Tony and Betty Bridgens. Tony's dad John worked in the paint laboratory at Ford's Dagenham, and his mum claimed to have been Lord Nuffield's private secretary. Betty's dad is Ken Rose, of K.H.Rose M.P.S., Chemists of 64 Station Road and Cranham and he and his wife Renie who had the beauty salon opposite the Bell Hotel, now
live comfortably in Orillia, Ontario. Tony was Hamilton Bridgens and attended King's School, Rochester, and Betty was Betty Rose and attended Palmer's School, Greys. Now we operate a splendid Bed and Breakfast, and we encourage anyone visiting Canada to drop in and stay with us. You may even get an Upminster Discount! We are about 90 minutes north of Toronto in a beautiful part of this great country. Check out our websites! http://bettyandtonys.com

Clive Herbert 24th July 2001

What an interesting website! I was born in Romford (Oldchurch ) in 52 and lived in Hornchurch until I married and moved to North Bucks in 1974.My Upminster connection (apart from cousins who lived in Springfield Gardens)was created when I started Senior School at Hornchurch Grammar in September 64 , and found a lot of my new schoolfriends were from Upminster and district. I remember well our old Headmaster Mr May, who lived just off Corbetts Tye Road - one of the old school, not to be messed about with ! We used to bunk on board a bus at Upminster Bridge to get a lift to school (Supercoaches was the bus company) until I bought a motorbike and sidecar in 68/9 and 'cruised' to school on that. I remember also the Cafe by Upminster Bridge station 'The Beachcomber', where I made a lot of friends and drank far too much coffee for my good. We used to ride out through Upminster to the Half way House (for another coffee no doubt) then return home at all times of night and early morning - happy days! I wonder if anyone out there recalls me or our group of school friends from the 64 to 69 period. We did have a reunion at the old White Hart in Hornchurch about 10 years ago, organised by a lovely lass from our year called Linda Harvey -That was always one of our favourite watering holes for meeting up at before we went on to dances at places like the Lawrence Hall or the Youth club opposite the Church at Hornchurch. I remember the many parties around Hornchurch and Upminster - they were a great schooling in drinking and learning about girls! ( The summers were also hotter then of course ! ) I seem to have lost contact now --- if anyone recalls me or that era I'd be pleased to hear from them - cwherbert@aol.com is the address.. all the best Clive Herbert

Martin Stephenson Ontario Canada 12th May 2001

Hi Upminster (and Cranham): I really enjoy visiting this website and I pay particular attention to the 'ex-pats' page. I now live in Ontario Canada, having moved here from Cranham in 1975. My family moved to Cranham from London's East End in 1946 (or maybe early 1947), I was two years old when we moved. We lived at 36 Chester Avenue for 20 years or so, and then after I got married I moved away. About a year later I moved back again when my wife and I purchased a house at 21 Sunnycroft Gardens. In 1975 we immigrated.

I first attended school at the All Saints Church Hall (the Vestry Hall) which was located on Front Lane close to Wantz Bridge where I was in Mrs. Kemp's class. This was the 'Infants school extension' to the Old Boyd School (further up the hill along St. Mary's Lane) where the 'Juniors' were taught. One morning in 1950 the entire Infants' school was marched from the Church Hall, two-by-two, hand-in-hand to the brand new Oglethorpe Primary School.

Mr. Dance was the school's first Headmaster and Miss Cook was Headmistress of the Infants' school. I clearly remember Mr. Dance - I loved to draw rocket ships and he frequently admonished me for my interest in such things. Many times he told me (in no uncertain terms) "men will never go to the moon". Years later when I was watching the first moon landing on television I wondered if he was watching it too - or turning in his grave maybe!

Following Oglethorpe I attended Gaynes. Throughout my school days I enjoyed the company of many great friends but unfortunately I have managed to lose touch with all of them. If anyone reads this who thinks that they remember me - please drop an e-line to martin.stephenson@peelpolice.on.ca. I would love to hear from you.

Helen Souissi (nee Newman) 31st March 2001

I was born in Barking in 1949 and moved to Upminster in 1954 or '5 (it was Christmas time and my grandad died on Christmas Eve. My dad agreed, much to my mum's reluctance, to go and live in her, much bigger-than-our, house) to look after my nanna.

It was quite an adventure for a five year old - especially to move to a 'big' house with three toilets, backing onto a park - we had a wooden gate going into the 'Rec' - and I thought I was so clever to be able to lift the latch with a wooden lolly stick to get back in again. I remember trying to cut through the woods and playground belonging to the convent school - to visit my friend Lesley Bishop - so the nuns wouldn't see me. I never got caught but the  'Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted" sign sure put the wind up me.

I went to Branfil Primary School, and I remember my first teacher - Mrs Gillam - a lovely kindly, plump lady. She seemed really old, but was probably only in her 50's. I also remember the headmistress - Miss Spencer ? - when it was your birthday, she had a cardboard birthday cake brought into assembly - which had sweets inside. She was tall and slim and had short hair and glasses.

My teachers in the Junior school were - Mrs Griffiths - she was good at sewing, and we had lovely cross stitch lessons. I still have a tray cloth I made with her. I used to walk past her house - through the alley way by the allotments, on the way to school. Then there was Miss Stevenson, who married, I think, when I was in her class. She had a plump bottom and we used to be fascinated with her wiggle. Miss Parker taught me in the third year - a great knitter - we had lovely knitting classes, I remember. Finally, the wonderful Mr Jenkins, who drove a green car (Austin, I think) and had a daughter - Rhial - Welsh - I'm not sure of the spelling - and then twins - around the time I was in his class. Strict, but a great teacher - he told us so many exciting stories about his experiences - I remember him reading 'Ghunga Din (?)' which most of us couldn't really understand, but listened politely - I've got a vague idea he'd been in India, as he seemed to have a fascination for the place. I also remember the headmaster - Mr Ford - whose favourite expression was "I'll tan your hide". I got sent to his office once by prefects, for rolling down the grassy bank outside the playground - it was an area near the river Ingrebourne banks, that we could use to play on - but I think I just got a mild repremand. I also remember Mr Hill(s?) but he never taught me - he seemed really popular with his classes.

I had such a lovely childhood - my neighbours - the Kents - were great to me - she was Swedish and the house was always full of people - they had a cottage in Stone - near Maldon, I think - and were always taking me there with them for the weekend. I can remember many of the other neighbours too - the Greens at the end of the road had beehives, and their daughter, Caroline, got stung on the eye once. Our opposite neighbours - the Cashes, had two sons, Brian and Barry and a dog called Rusty. I used to play a lot with Joy Laflin - my mum kept in touch with hers till only about three years ago, when Mum died in Brentwood (where we moved in 1963) - but strangely enough, she never mentioned Joy in her Christmas letters. Her Grandfather - Mr Young - had been the headmaster of the 'secondary modern' school in Upminster and smoked really strong cigars - if I smell that smell now - I always think of him - and her aunty Pat also lived in their house - she was a DS teacher at a school in Hornchurch. I really liked her mum - who seemed so young and energetic - alway playing tennis over at the Rec tennis courts - the alleyway into the Rec was opposite their house. Next to this alleyway lived the (?'s) who had a wayward son called Clive and a daughter called Jenny - I was scared of him - I heard he'd been expelled from school - he turned up at my secondary school - Hornchurch Grammar. There were rumours going round that he had pictures of nude girls on the ceiling above his bed, and his parents didn't object - and he was only about 14 at the time!! They always seemed to be rather avant garde - for one thing - they'd concreted over their front garden, when all normal people at that time grew hydrangas and clematis!! I lived two or three houses from the Coxes - whose daughter - Hillary - was so tragically murdered in Brentwood in the 70's. Their spaniel dog - Candy - was always coming up our sideway and I had to lead him out with biscuits. I read in one of the other messages - about the Silver Horn Ice cream shop -just up the road from us - where we used to get the MOST delicious ice-cream I've ever tasted - the owner used to wear tinted glasses - thinking back - I'm not sure if he was blind. I remember seeing something called Yoghurt in that shop - I found this intriguing and longed to taste what it was like - but never did for about another seven or eight years! - maybe it was a kind of health food shop too - but I was mainly interested in the 99's. Joy and I used to go to two sweetshops up the road in Corbetts Tey - one had the post office - a family with four kids moved in to run it a couple of years after I moved there - the owner of the other one used to make really innovative ice lollies - such as cider, and coconut milk - we were always excited to find out what new flavours were on offer! There was also a bakery called 'The Baker's Oven' where we used to go and buy our cakes for tea - I remember the meringues. I think the owner had a daughter called Melanie - a few years younger than me. I also remember going down to the Ingrebourne for tiddlers, playing in the Rec playground till it got dark in the summer - no worries about being abducted then, exploring the windmill ruins. Later - the Sombrero coffee bar just when the Beatles hit the scene. I hated it when I moved to Brentwood when I was fourteen - I never felt I really belonged there as I was still going to school in Hornchurch - at weekends I still used to trek over to Upminster and Hornchurch to meet up with my schoolfriends - this was around '64-66 and there seemed to be loads of coffee bars in the Upminster/Hornchurch area - everyone showing off their 'leathers'.

Well - I enjoyed reading some of the other stories about Upminster memories, and hope what I have written will evoke some happy memories in others.

Helen Souissi, Abu Dhabi

Julie Angel 12th Feb 2001

Hi, My name is Julie Angel and I lived in Severn Drive, Upminster from 1965 (when I was born) til 1987 when I moved to South London. I worked as a medical photographer for the Royal London Hospital for 2 years, the as a forensic photographer with the Metropolitan Police for 10 years. In 1997 I left London for Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA where I am studying archaeology for a B.Sc. and due to graduate this May 2001. I wonder if anyone that knew me from Engayne School and Hall Mead School is out there? Names I remember off the top of my head include:- Graham Tullett, Jackie Warren, Claire F Smith, Sharon Ferris, Karen Saunders, Sally Wainwright, Leslie Littlechild, etc. I was at Hall Mead between 1976-1983. Anyone who may remember me, or who knows some of the names I have listed, please get in touch!


Andy Lane 30th January 2001

Hello! I enjoyed your Web-Site and it brought back memories as I spent quite a lot of time as a child (1942-1961) either living in Tudor Gardens (one set of grandparents) or Bird Lane (the other set of grandparents). As you mentioned that you would still like to collect information about Upminster, I thought that I would suggest my Mother who was born in Upminster and lived at 6, Bird Lane (also known as 6, Pantile Cottages) until she married at the age of 23 (she will be 82-years old in June this year). I asked her if she had any objection to my passing her address on to you and she said that she would like to be able to contribute information about a (rather) neglected part of Upminster. Her memory is still quite good, but is better when she gets going! Her Grandmother is buried in St. Laurence's churchyard (family name Owers) and her parents in the cementry in Corbets Tey.

My mother is Eileen Lane (nee French) 200, Willowfield, Telford, TF7 5NZ. I am Andrew Lane, Wiesenweg 8, 85551 Heimstetten, Germany.

Christeen Akre 17th January 2001

I just came across your web site for Upminster and it brought back many happy memories.  My name is Christine Akre (Bowles) I was born at 19 Highview Gardens and went to the Bell schools, my first teacher being Mrs Gunn and my last Mrs. Williams. We were her last class before her retirement and I still have the piece of coral I bought from the auction of the contents of her cupboard!  The other teachers I remember were Mrs. Stebbing, Miss Cavanagh and Miss Ungoed.  The pupils I remember being at school with are Rosemary Taylor, Kate Brannigan and  Jennifer Carrott.  The highlight of our time there was when a car burnt up in the alley behind the shops on Corbets Tey and we were allowed out of class to watch the firemen put it out! There were many others (we had 45 in our class) but the names escape me now.  I went on to Coppers-Coburn in 1973 but moved to Peterborough in 1975 and over time have lost touch with everyone.  I would love to hear what my compatriots are doing now !  I have a sister (Jennie) and brother (Michael) who both went to Gaynes after the Bell. My Grandparents (Harold & Lottie Axtell) lived at 5 Highview Gardens and had the best display of snowdrops in Upminster in their front garden!  I remember playing endlessly in the Windmill Field, the park and at the house behind ours (the Gibbs family lived there), before they pulled it down to build the flats.  We went to the Old Chapel  - does anyone know what happened to it? I understand it s not used as a Church anymore. I now live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, where Iím married with 2 small children and work for the Government.  would love to hear from anyone who knew me or my family!  My e-mail is Christine.Akre@ec.gc.ca

Steve Cordery 29th November 2000

I encountered your excellent web site by following the link from the East of London Family History Society http://eolfhs.rootsweb.com/ . Just like all your other correspondents it has been an absolute joy to read the
reminiscences of life in Upminster. My family moved to Corbets Tey in 1958 and my parents still live in the
same house in Huntsmans Drive. My brother Bob and I went to the Bell school and then on to Palmers in Grays. My sister Julia was a few years behind us; she also went to the Bell but then went on to Gaynes. We have all married
and moved out of the area but still make frequent return trips to visit our parents.

My particular contribution to your "Memory Lane" is a transcription of a piece of paper I found recently while sorting some of the old rubbish I had left in my parent's loft. For some reason, I made a class seating plan in my final year at the Bell. This must have been academic year 1964-65 as I have just found my Junior School reports. According to this, my teachers through the years were Mrs Day, Ms Raindle, Asquith and the legendry Mrs Williams. I have reproduced the list below, supplying forenames where known (or vaguely remembered!).

Girls : Lesley Anderton, Sue (?) Arliss, Janet Benfield, Ann Campbell, Gillian Counsell, Frances Cousins, Ann Davis, Jennifer Drake, Barbara (?) Dunkley, Susan Haye, Ann Hopkinson, Kay Hurrel, Kathryn Lovegrove, Susan Lovell, Alison Munro, Rachel Oglethorpe, J Otto, E Staley, Dorothy Tagg, Ruth (?) Waddell, Julia Warin, Kathryn Webster, Gillian Yorston. Boys : Colin Barnes, Gary Blakeley, Ian Breckals, Michael Collis, Steve Cordery, Steve Daly, John Davis, J Dowding, Paul Drake, P Evans, Nigel Farrier, Michael Gibb, P Jordan, Timothy Kidd, Andrew (?) Lane, Graeme Player, Alastair Robertson, Graham Rogers, R Ryan, Nicholas Sherwood, Paul Somers, Clive Taylor, Andrew Trott.

I do have a personal web site http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Stephen_Cordery/  where I will set up a page with this information on in a more readable fashion, but in the meantime, any old acquaintances are welcome to contact me at steve.cordery@bcs.org.uk Keep up the good work with the excellent web site.

Steve Cordery.

Joan Haggard (nee Carter) 25th November 2000

I visited this page today and it brought back so many memories. I wonder how many other people visit it, wondering if they know somebody. An old neighbour or school mate ? So I thought I would add my memories, and hope that somebody would read it, and feel the old home ties pulling them back home to their childhood days. I was raised in Chelmsford Drive. Went to school at Branfil then Gaynes from '54 to '64. I thought I would only mention teachers' names, those that I can remember...... Mr C A Hill of Branfil has to stand out the most to me, as I am quite
sure he did to many. At Gaynes, it has to be Mr & Mrs Craven, who in my mind, were the corner pillars of the school. As I was one of the girls who had to make the tea and coffee for them. If anybody should read this, and remember the old times, please e-mail me at ukLady49@webtv.net

Carolyne Palmer (nee Warren) 4th October 2000

I have just stumbled across the expatriates page. Glad to know that there is so much interest in Upminster ! I moved to Upminster in 1974 and attended Coopers' Coborn from 1973-80.Since then I've not lived in Upminster as I went to University and then lived around UK until 1989 when we moved to the Middle East. We have lived in Saudi Arabia and Qatar and are now in Dubai having been here for 31/2 years. I visit every summer as my Mum still lives in Champion Road but am now only in contact with two people from school. Anyone who knows me, please e-mail at cdpalmer@emirates.net.ae

Jane Cunliffe (nee Aylett) 11th Oct 2000

I found this wonderful page just when I had decided to make an effort to contact old school friends. I orginally came from South Ockendon but went to Gaynes School from 1962 to 1967 but after leaving to live in
Leicestershire in 1969 I completely lost touch. As my class will all be approaching their half century I though it would be fun to piece together the missing 33 years. I have a class (2A-1) photo in front of me on a trip
to the Houses of Parliament on 28 January 1964 with the teachers Mr. Chamberlain and Miss Evans. Some of the pupils are Linda Newby, Sheila Gardner, Shelagh Duckworth, Denise Joslin, Jennifer Prigg, Linda Kemp,
Trevor Wade, Brian White, Raymond Stroud and John Freeth and lots more. This isn't a good memory. I wrote the details and names on the back of the photograph at the time. I would love to hear from anyone from this year, or if anybody else knows of their whereabouts please contact me at janecunliffe@lborosu.org.uk

Glenys Turner 3rd Oct 2000

 A big thank you for this opportunity to make contact. I am hoping to find any past friends and acquaintances that may remember me , I moved to West Horndon, Thorndon Ave., in 1956 and went to Oglethorpe primary school for a while before attending Gaynes about 1958 where I did years 1 to 4 (4A) and was supposed to be in school a few more years but left mid-term quite suddenly when my mother passed away, even my closest friends never knew what happened to me. My name is Glenys Mansell now Turner and I have lived in Brisbane Australia since 1973 but remain in close contact with several school friends mainly Jennifer Pepperell and Leueen McGrath who were my best friends , also Richard Stanley (Stan), Glynis West and Brian Morris--- We all used to frequent the "Regent " cafe, the "legion" youth club and the Masonic dance hall in Hornchurch. Leueen and I met again when I visited U.K. in 1989 and because of that meeting have renewed my friendship with Jenny & Stan. I also have an older brother Brian Mansell who did E.C.1 & E.C.2 under the guidance of Mr. Craven. If anyone out there remembers any of the names mentioned please email me at : glenandjim@bigpond.com.au

Hugh Barnard 28th Sep 2000

Hi I'm Hugh Barnard lived in Engayne Gardens in Upminster from the fifties to about 1970. Went to the Bell School in the fifties and then at school outside Upminster. I remember the Silver Horn and later in my teenage years, the Minster Cafe and Windmill Hall dances. I've spent most of my life on the continent, mainly Paris and Brussels, messing about with computers. I came back just recently and have settled in Stoke Newington in London. Will visit Upminster soon and take a look around.

Regards Hugh Barnard

Peter Bradfield 4th Sep 2000

Good day;

My name is Peter D. Bradfield, I used to live at 11 Griffin Ave, just off of Front Lane. My sister's name is Sylvia. My Grandparents used to live at 8 Brunswick Ave. We moved there when I was about 7 (spring of 1955.) I attended Ogelthorpe school at first then went to Engayne when it first opened (1958). I finally ended up at Gaynes for about 2 years until my family emigrated to Canada in June of 1961.

I have a lot of great memories of my few years around Cranham and the area and have come to realize how important those years and memories are to me I lived for a time around Manitoba , Canada (real close to Hudson Bay) then we moved to the USA (the Chicago suburbs) where I finished School. Enlisted in the Marines in the mid 60's for a while I now live south of Peoria, Illinois USA . I'm a Design Engineer at Caterpillar, been married 23 years, have two wonderful grown daughters and son-in-laws and a cool 8 year old grandson.

I would very much like to hear from anyone who remembers me from school or the neighborhood. I can be e-mailed at pdbplb@dpc.net better late than never. Thank you for the web page of memories for myself and the family

Kerry Peters  7th Aug 2000

What a wonderful web site. My name is Kerry Peters nee Murray and I went to The Sacred Heart of Mary Convent School for Girls from 1971-75, and St Peters Primary School in Romford before that. I lived in Romford until I married and emigrated to New Zealand in 79. I was a member of The Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps and had many friends in other local youth bands. It would be great to catch up with old friends that I've lost contact with over the years and just to be able to find out what's going on around the old haunts these days. I'd love to hear from anyone that's interested you can contact me at - dollmakernz@yahoo.co.uk or -23 Dorset Street Tapanui West Otago 9155 New Zealand

Tony Burns 18th July 2000

Expatriate from Cranham. Moved to Heron Way in '59 moved out to Basildon in '77. Just read the other e-notes reminded me of Silver Horn in Corberts Tey Rd, especiall the cider ice lollies. I went to St Joesphs in Upminster, then St Egberts in Chingford and then Hall Mead till I left in the summer of 1970 and went to work for Plessey in Ilford. Played in the Brick fields a lot on bicycles, mopeds and motorbikes. Spent a lot of time playing darts in the Plough. Gigs at the Windmill hall. Now living in Benfleet. What ever happened to Vicky Maddern who lived with her dad the actor in Sth Ockendon...? And Gillian Counsel who lived in the area between Hall Mead and Hall Lane, the name of the road escapes me...!! Various parties in the Avon Rd area with party seven's and party five beer can's ! First time I got "legless" on Barley Wine in the park down by the Optimist. Who was it who used to have a Panther and side car and another guy who had a Matchless... lived down the bottom of Corbets Tey.......? Yes I was quite into Motor bikes... and still am!

Regards, Tony

Mike Harman 18th June 2000

Hello upminster, my name is Mike Harman and I lived in leasway from 1965 to 1988, when I moved to california. i attended bell school and later gaynes secondary. I would like to hear from anyone who might know me and used to know me.

Charlie Ford 15th June 2000

Dear Upminster webmaster,
I was forwarded loads of e-mails from people from the town, and want to thank you for your work.

I am Charlie Ford, born in Leasway on September 20th 1950, and lived at 25 Park Drive from then until 1973, when I began a series of moves: Grays, Brighton, Leeds, Fulham and now Hanwell, London W7.

I went to the Bell Primary. My junior teachers were Mrs. Jones, Miss Durant, Mr. Brett and Mrs. Williams. I don't remember any girls names in my class apart from Elizabeth Pryke, why I do not know. I have a list of the boys: Gordon Warren, Graham Davis, Stephen Jolly, Peter Newton, Christopher Storie, Gareth Lewis, Allan Phizakale, Peter Gardner, Robert Trott, Barry Lewis, John Butler, Graham Hill, Gordon Brown. I have a photo of this lot at Hampton Court in 1972.

I had a huge circle of friends and aquaintances in the hippy years - 1967-68 - from several surrounding schools.

I am particularly anxious to contact Richard 'Len' Bones, who lived in Argyle Gardens, backing onto Cranham fields. He was one school year older than me. He did not go to the Bell. I knew him from Palmers, where I was from 1962-67. We were like brothers and maintained contact through to the late eighties. He had a brother Michael, who must have been born in about 1952.

I would be most grateful if you would put this onto the web, along with my e-mail address.

Thanks again, Charlie

Terence Turner 27th April 2000

I was an ex-pat for over 30 years, and recently returned to the UK. I was interested to see your Web site, as I lived in the area for some years, i.e. 1940- 1964. I went to the Bell school until 1950 . I have a lot of good memories of Upminister,and it was strange to return there recently after so long abroad. Unfortunately several of the buildings in the centre are no longer there, but a lot of the surrounding areas have survived. I have a photo from 1908 showing the east side of Station Rd.,& those houses are still there, I believe. I am particularly interested in trying to locate the members of the 1950 football team from the Bell school ( or indeed any other pupils from that era ). I have a photo of this team, and published it last year in the local paper ,and succeeded in locating a few members of the team.

Anyone out there know anything which might help ?

Regards : Ternece Turner

Nancy Bassett 21st April 2000

I am looking for any help on a family by the name of German, who lived in Upminster. Our Harriet Ellen was born in 1896 and was the daughter of George and Jane German she married in Romford in 1918 and came to NZ but lost touch with her family, she had a sister possibly named Ada and a brother who was in the navy and drowned in some sort of wartime sinking. We also think she had half brothers. Any help would be much appreciated

Sincerely Yours Nancy Bassett

Vicki Harrison 14th April 2000

My name is Vicki Harrison (Egles) & just lately have been thinking allot about Upminster. Both my brother (Jim) & I went to 'The Bell' Primary School where our father also taught. We lived at no 93 Coniston Avenue & both went to Palmer's schools at Grays - the Boys School is no longer in existence & the girls school on the hill is now a college. Is the blossom out yet in Springfield Gardens ? assuming the cherry trees are still there as would love to see it again. We remember the Silver Horn ice cream parlour with great affection in Corbets Tey Road & the windmill, the rec & the Cake Oven. We moved from Upminster in 1960 ( a sad day!) but hope to revisit this year. Is there a list of B & B's available please? Thankyou for a most interesting site

Regards e: vicki.harrison@ntl.com

Irene Taylor 5th April 2000

On the 31 January this year, I posted a message on the "Expatriots Page", asking if anyone might have information about my Joyner family, who I had lost contact with. This was subsequently printed in a feature article by the "Romford Recorder" in early March. I am delighted to be able to tell you, that earlier this week I received an email from my long-lost cousins!! A friend of theirs saw the newspaper article, and sent it on to them. Thank you for supplying the medium by which this was all possible. I am very grateful to everyone responsible for the maintenance of the Upminster Web Site, and the "Expatriots Page" in particular.

With grateful thanks Irene Taylor - Tasmania, Australia

Steve Greenham 28th Mar 2000

I just found your page and think its great, although i don't live abroad i've often wondered what happened to the people i used to go to school with. I attended gaynes from '71 - ' 76 and used to live in pike lane on Broadfields farm. I'm Steve Greenham and now live in Grays and have worked for London Underground from the time i left school, some names that come to mind are, Kim Broomfield, Martin King, Chris Hitchcock, Eddie McSweeney, Steve Bourne , Alan Turner, Debbie Woods, Dave Warburton who I believe is now working in Hornchurch. I Was wondering if maybe some sort of re- union was being arranged at the school next year for those of us who left 25 years ago. Steve Greenham

Kevin Cassidy 14th Feb 2000

Really glad to find your web site, I was born in Upminster and lived in Rushmere ave. until I left for pastures further afield. My name is Kevin Cassidy born in 48 with many fond memories of Upminster. Fond memories which are awaken when chatting with the children about what Dad did when he was young.

Starting off at the Bell school, with the apple fight the class had during play time when the class was held in the annex across St. Marys Lane, capital punishment was dished out to all. Cutting across the Bell playing field to the enclosed lane way behind the shops leading out onto Springfield Gdns. Springfield Gdns in full bloom with the cherry blossom. Playing in the Rec, wondering how anybody could watch that boring game of cricket, taking a short cut through the field behind St. Marys school to Boundary Rd hoping that the Nuns wouldn't catch you trespassing. Not forgetting, the best ice cream was to be had at The Silver Horn on Corbets Tey Road.

Whatever happened to the old school mate you had, and now you wonder, what on earth are these guys doing and what has become of them. I'll name a few, just in case it jogs a memory, Robert Mulley and Micheal Adams who lived on Freshfields, Barry Stains, Roy Freedman and Roy Morgan who passed away about six years ago. Bill and Ruby Morgan, Roy's parents where great, they always made me so welcome, they lived on Sunnyside Gdns. Trevor Lewis who lived down the hill going to Upminster Bridge and Roger Kemp who lived a few doors down from me.

I attended Gaynes Secondary and left there in 64 to take an apprenticeship in toolmaking. If only the youth of today could appreciate the benefits of a skilled trade. I now live just outside Toronto and am at the stage in my life where I'm thinking about the old times, if anything of what I have just described hits a key please drop me a line at eccassidy7@home.com

Irene Taylor 31st Jan 2000

I have just found this site by accident, and have been delighted to read through the emails from Upminster Expatriates - what a wonderful idea! I'm from Romford, and now live in Tasmania, Australia, but I had an Aunt & Uncle who lived at 36 Newbury Gardens, Upminster, and I just wonder if anyone might have any information about them, and where my long-lost cousins might be - I would love to make contact with them. Their names were Walter John JOYNER & Lillian Florence JOYNER (nee CHAPMAN), and their daughter Carol JOYNER was born about 1945 (I think), - there may have been other children as well, I'm not sure. If anyone can help, I would be very grateful for any information at all. Thank you to everyone for a great site!

Irene Taylor - Tasmania, Australia - Email: aitaylor@primus.com.au

Roy Tustin 14th Jan 2000

I found this site absolutely brilliant, it brought back so many happy memories. I moved to Cranham when I was 3 way back in 1953.  We lived in Lichfield Terrace opposite the Jobbers Rest, my mother still resides at the same house.  I attended Oglethorpe Primary School and later Hall Mead Secondary Modern Schoolas it was known then.  We were only the second year to attend this new school.The History of Cranham by A.W. Fox was fascinating the memories that flooded back, because of the vivid way he written the history.  At the beginning of hisintroduction he apologises for not being a professional historian, but the loveof Cranham comes through so much that I do not believe a professional could have captured his enthusiasm.I am fortunate to return to Cranham / Upminster on a regular basis due businessand I make sure that I visit every nook and cranny of the area. I would dearlylike to hear from any one who remembers me, from School, Cubs / Scouts and Church (All Saints).  I also used to do a paper round from Goldies from between1963 to 1966 I would like to apologise to all the people that received theirpapers late, I was never the early riser, first and only time I have been fired.I currently live in Port Elizabeth in South Africa (since 1974).  I noticed that Roome Stores are a major sponsor of the site, not sure if it is still a family owed business but Christopher Roome was in the same class as I at Hall Mead.Finally I have been trying to ascertain whether Hall Mead has an Old Scholar Society any ideas.I can be contacted at rmtustin@eastcape.net (home) or gmtp@feltex.co.za(business).

Regards Roy Tustin

Angela Tumbridge 14 December 1999

I was delighted to find your web site recently, and intrigued to read the e-mails from "Upminster expatriates". Unfortunately I didn't come across anyone I knew although, like me, many went to The Bell infant/junior school (1958 - 1964) and then on to Gaynes (1964 - 1969). I lived in the newsagent's shop opposite the Masons Arms pub in St Mary's Lane from 1953 - 1977 and understand the shop is still known as "Grummitts" to the pupils of Cooper-Coburn. Last year an old school friend (Ericka Colman) came over from her home in Australia and we went on a "nostalgic" tour of old Upminster haunts. We found the Mason's Arms pub to be unrecognisable inside but had a wonderful reunion lunch there with three school friends (two of whom are now teachers at Cooper-Coburn). I had also arranged a surprise visit to Gaynes school (the staff being only too pleased to help) and we wandered round reminiscing about our days there. By the way, I guess the odd visitor who reads this may have been a paperboy or papergirl for "Grummitts" or a customer - you may like to know my father (Fred) is now 82 and enjoying retirement at his home in Chelmsford. He has a PC and keeps in touch with friends and family via e-mail. I think it's a lovely idea to have a web site such as this and will visit from time to time to see if anyone I know has written in. Should any old friends wish to get in touch, my e-mail address is angie@saservices.co.uk

Barry Dix    14th May 1999

Although born in Mill Park Avenue in Hornchurch my most memorable years were spent in Upminster as i was schooled at Gaynes and 'the Huntsman and Hounds 'pub . Now living in South Bucks rarely return as most friends scattered around the country in those years after finishing school. Born in 1956 my Gaynes years would have been 1967 to 1974. Some of the names from that time now lost to me Graham Batt, Andrew Kester, Peter Norledge, John Fuller , Paul Beresford, Derek Holden , Gillian Aldridge, Helen Bowes, Lesley Ashdown ,Sarah Aggiss were are they now .Thanks for the site to bring on the nostalgia. i would love to hear from anyone that remembers me or those times at dixclan@claramail.com Barry (baz or basil) Dix

Dave Thurston     11th December 1998

Congratulations on a really fantastic website for Upminster. Being an ex-resident now living in Australia, it was great to see a few old names on your site, my family still live in Corbets Tey, Springfield and Arygle Gardens, so it's nice to remember the town without costing a fortune on a plane to see it !

Susan Eady    20th November 1998

Hi my name is Susan Eady I was born at 7 Garbutt Rd in 1950 to Leslie and Wynnefred Willis. I lived there in the same house untill 1964 when we moved to Canada where I still live. I recently got the internet and found this web site and have spent many hours at this site looking at the maps especially. I have not been back to Upminster since I left and found it very interesting to see how much of it still looks the same and how much it has grown over the last 34 years. I spent many hours at the rec which is still there and the park where the bowling green still is I always thought that was such a nice spot there with the duck pond. are they still there. I went to St. Mary's lane school and then to Gaynes. I still tell people stories of my childhood there. I often tell the one of how we never got sent home from school because of the snow but because of the fog. I remember the time when I went to St. Mary's lane school they sent us home early because of the fog and I was scared to cross the road because the fog was so thick, we don't get fog that bad in Canada, people often don't believe me when I tell that story. If there is anyone who remembers me or my parents or my sisters Pamela and Pauline and my brother Graham I would love to hear from them I can be reached at suzyq@renc.igs.net

Steve Leese    13th November 1998

Interesting web page.  I currently live in Harbor Beach Michigan USA.  I lived in Upminster in 1966-69 and attended Branford Elementary School.  I have a friend which I haven't been in contact with in about 15 years, his name is Chris Vanham.  I was born on August 25th, 1960.  You and I have many similarities, so I thought I'd drop you a note.  Some day my wife and I plan to return to England and try to look up some old friends and look at where I use to live if it is still there.  It was 123 Corbets Tey Rd.

Regards Steve Leese

Lynette Symister   5th November 1998

My name is Lynette Symister (nee Esdaile). I live in NewZealand and I am trying to find any information on my relatives. I am a descendent of Sir James Esdaile of Upminster. Please include me on your internet page incase anyone out there has the information I am seeking. I know that Sir James was the Lord Mayor of London and that he started the banking house of Esdaile Hammet and Hammet in Lombard St. London. My email is lasymister@xtra.co.nz

Regards Lynette.

Douglas Renwick    25th Septemeber 1998

My Name is Douglas Renwick, I was born in Upminster back in 66, and went to Oglethope & Gaynes School. I was glad to find your web site and the contents within, its interesting to read some of the local history & the parts that you take for granted when you live there. After leaving the UK in 94 for Hong Kong I have only been back twice, the last time in 96, Things didnt seem to have changed to much when I was home ( but I am sure they had ). I would be glad to hear from any old friends that might know me.

Regards, Douglas Renwick

George Slater   8th September 1998

My name is George Slater and I lived and went to school in Upminster from 1954 to 1965.I attended The "Bell"School which was my next door neighbour ,as my father managed the Chemist shop in St Mary,s Lane.From the primary school I followed my sister Elaine to Gaynes Secondary School and was there right through to sixth form.Looking back i feel it was a good school and I made a number of good friends there.Some of the names were Timothy Webb,Alan Best,Mick Stone,John Rowell,John Saunders et al,If anybody knows the wherabouts of any or one of these please contact my email address  gretals@smartchat.net.au  .I am now living and working in Brisbane Queensland Australia and would be very appreciative of communicating with anyone who was at the school when I was.Upminster is a great community and I look forward to visiting again in the near future.

Regards George Slater

Neil Cresswell    27th August 1998

I'm now living mainly in California. About once a year I search the web for "Upminster" to see if there are any new links that will help me keep in touch with home. (I grew up in Upminster but have lived overseas since 1994.) It was a fantastic feeling to find a section on your pages for people like me. I'll certainly be checking back from time to time. Thank you for taking the time to make these pages available to all of us. I last visited Upminster in March/April of this year (1998) for a blessing service at St. Lawrence's and to bring my wife to meet my parents for the first time. (They still live in Upminster.) One thing I noticed is how quickly things have changed and I've only been away for a few years! My wife really liked her stay in Upminster and we hope to come back again early next year. Thank you once again for the effort you have put into this site.

Best wishes, Neil Cresswell.

Pamela Dean nee Cordell    3rd July 1998

I have recently returned home to Devon from a visit to Upminster for a walk down memory lane, and, having a couple of "whatever happened to" queries on my mind, asked my husband to surf the internet and see if he could come up with anything about Upminster and, perhaps, an address to which I could write.

What a lovely idea to have an Expatriates page. There must be dozens of us out there somewhere, although perhaps not all at this moment with access to a computer and the internet. I was born at 32 Bridge Avenue in June l932, when Upminster was only just commencing its rise from village status. Bridge Avenue then was not made up and rather muddy in the winter and number 33 was the last bungalow to be built for a while. Hornchurch Stadium was but a field at the end of the garden, where I played for much of my childhood, climbing trees, fishing for sticklebacks in the river Ingrebourne and making friends with the horses that grazed there, which belonged to Mr. Holt the greengrocer, who had his shop just across the bridge towards Hornchurch. At this time, both sets of grandparents and three aunts lived in Upminster, i.e. 64 Springfield Gardens, 26 Leasway, 43 Meadow Way, I think 45 Gaynes Park Road and lO Cranston Park Avenue, alas sadly now all passed on.

I started school at St. Mary's Lane Infants School, which I see hasn't changed a great deal except for some additional building. Then went on to Gaynes Secondary School. The same applies there. Was interested to see the uniform colours of green and orange still prevail. I was married at St. Laurence Church in June l958, which is the time I left Upminster and subsequently moved down to Devon.

My queries are; when was The Bell Hotel demolished? As has already been written, truly one of Upminster's tragedies. The Bell was a focal point of Upminster at one time and I can recall the brewer's drays delivering their barrels of beer. The cellar was beneath the road and trap doors of wood and iron opened up and the barrels slid down a shute. I feel there really should be some sort of "memorial"! How many people living in Upminster now know why it is called the Bell Corner?

Second question: what became of the lovely leafy (unmade) lane that ran along the ends of the gardens of Cranston Park Avenue,another hunting ground of my childhood? There was also a rookery there. The entrance was from Corbets Tey and it ran into the playground of Gaynes School. As you entered from Corbets Tey, there were two or three cottages on the left. I should love to know "when" and "how". Perhaps there is a historian in Upminster who can be bothered to read all this and come up with the answers. Enough for now, I think.

Pamela Dean nee Cordell

Tracy Myhre 29 June 1998

It's interesting that you should mention Upminster Common in your quest for information. I am researching my family tree and have found many people being born in Upminster Common. They used to own the blacksmith shop. I don't know what street it's on or even what it's called anymore. If you could give me any information on it, it would be appreciated.

My great grandfather, Edward Miller owned the forge at Upminster Common, Essex. His wife Susannah ran a shop at the back of the forge. They had thirteen children. Mention of Great Burstead and Laindon for birthplaces is fairly common among the children.

I have pictures of the forge still in existence with the name of V. & J. Quelch and Son on the sign.

Tracy Myhre

Peter Lunn    12 June 1998

For whatever it may be worth ...

(a) I have stumbled across your website, with much appreciation.

(b) There are presumably many and various "Upminster" expatriots scattered around the world. Who may, like me, very much appreciate the style and content of your website.

(c) I was born in Upminster (August, 1947 at 4 Brookdale Avenue) and lived there for nine years (41 Bridge Avenue until February, 1956) before moving to America. Although I no longer have family there, I have returned many times to Upminster, most recently for two weeks this past summer (1997). Found lodging in Romford because I could not find suitable-available lodging in Upminster or Hornchurch.

(d) I am now living in Leesburg, Virginia, near Washington, DC. I am now employed by the U.S. Department of Energy, where I manage a group of several hundred scientists studying global warming. I also serve on the White House Subcommittee on Air Quality Research. For many years I was employed by the U.S. Defense Nuclear Agency and co-chaired a U.S.-U.K. intelligence working group concerned with nuclear weapons effects, with frequent visits to MOD in London and the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment near Aldermaston. These days I revisit England mainly to wander about various formal gardens and visit various churches and cathedrals.

(e) My sister, also born in Upminster, lives in Georgia (we didn't know about the Oglethorpe-Upminster connection until stumbling across your website).

r, peter lunn

Helen Esdaile    05 June 1998

I am very interested in finding more information on Gaynes Estate and in particular Sir James Esdaile. I would be grateful for whatever you can tell me or perhaps you could just point me in the right direction.

Kind regards    Helen Esdaile

Neil Brown    06 April 1998

I just wanted to thank you for putting a web page up for Upminster. I grew up in Upminster and went to Branfeild Junior School and then Gaynes School. I lived in Corbetts Ave for 17 1/2 years before moving to Norfolk and then onto Melbourne, Australia, in 1991 I miss Upminster very much and believe the old saying "you never apreiciate anything until its gone" is very true. I would very much like to find out how the town is fairing and what changes have occured since 1991. Any information you can tell me would be greatly apreciated.

With thanks Neal Brown

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