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The Bell & Bell Corner

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Central Upminster 1907 - The cross roads is the junction of (North) Station Road with (South) Corbet's Tey Road, Crossing St Mary's Lane  (West St Mary's Lane) formally known as Upminster Hill, (East St Mary's Lane) formally known as Cranham Lane)

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The Bell Hotel was built in about 1770, or a little earlier, as part of the improvements to the village by Sir James Esdaile. this replaced an earlier hostelry which stood further back from the road on the edge of the old village green. This picture dates from the early 1930s, when the development of St Mary's Lane was virtually complete.

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Looking westwards from the Bell Corner in about 1911. At this time the shop was Gooderham's grocer's store and had earlier been the post office, before opening of Gooderham's new premises on the corner of Howard Road in about 1907. This site is now occupied by the Do-It-All store.

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A policeman stands on traffic duty at Bell Corner in about 1930. Road traffic was already on the increase and the signpost in front of the inn was soon judged to be a traffic hazard and was removed in August 1934.

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Matthews coal wagon stands outside The Bell, 1908. opposite can be seen the chestnut trees which gave the name to the house, The Chestnuts, and garage owned by the Aggiss family. the spire of the former National School in Station Road can just be seen in the centre of the view.

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Another delightful view, looking northwards past The Bell in about 1917. The inn had been remodelled within the previous decade with a new entrance, reshaped windows and a prominent trade sign. It was demolished in 1962 and replaced by an ugly, modern shop development.

By: Tony Benton

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