Memories of an old Hadleigh resident


I was born in Hadleigh in 1923 at No. 5 Castle Road, which at the time was a nursing home. My parents Leslie and Doris Hawks lived at “Dorlie” No. 72 Castle Road West; overlooking  the Salvation Army farm and old Citadel.  It’s now owned by Robert Hallmann who recently very kindly showed me around my old home and which bought back some very happy memories. My Sister Erica was born later and married Francis Prout of G. Prout and Sons boatbuilders  of Canvey. They retired to live in Suffolk. Erica died 18th September 2010

My first school was a small school at  No. 15 Arcadian Gardens run by Miss Howeship. {Erica and my wife Pearl also  went there} from there I went on to Highfield College, Leigh and then Lindesfarne College, Westcliff.   I joined the Merchant Navy in 1938 as a deck apprentice and during the war served in the Royal Fleet Auxillary on tankers. On leaving the sea, I went into  boatbuilding on Canvey with the Prouts.

10th April 1948 I married Pearl Horder at St Peters Church Thundersley. {Pearl died 2006} Our first house was Alverstone No. 48 Castle Lane which cost us £900, a few years ago it was up for sale for £209,950.

I now live in Thundersley village.

My paternal grandfather, Alfred Hawks, was headmaster of the Church School, now Sandcastle Nursery. He was also on the local council and was choirmaster and organist at St James church. The first schoolhouse he lived in was on the site of Runwell House at the corner of  Common Hall Lane. On his retirement, he built Holbro House No. 40 Chapel Lane which still stands.

My maternal grandfather, Rev H Davis Bull was connected with the Congregational Church in Church Road. He lived at Resthaven No.5 Elm Road, Hadleigh. The garden backed on to Dorlies garden without a fence, which made a large area to play in.

I would like to hear from anyone who knew Miss Howeship and of the Nursing Home.

Attached are a few photos, mostly taken in the 1930s and the Castle Lane photo more recently.


More recent photo of ALVERSTONE (Occupied by Pearl and Ian Hawks in 1950)
HOLBRO HOUSE 1930 Alfred Hawks
Rev.& Mrs Bull
Castle Lane from Dorlie showing old elm trees and old S.A Citadel
Doris,Ian,Erica & Leslie Hawks 1941
Four years as apprentice aboard
Ian on left learning to wire splice

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  • I live at 5 Castle Road and had no idea of our house’s history until my neighbour showed me this. How interesting!

    By Joanna Stone (13/07/2021)
  • The photos of properties above show dates – I’m not sure if these denote the date of the property or of the photo. The photo of Alverstone states ‘1950’ – if this is meant to the date of the photo, I think it’s wrong, going by the style of the adjoining houses and of the car.
    {Thanks Terry; we changed the description accordingly.}

    By Terry Palmer (07/02/2021)
  • I have my mother’s reports from this school. They are headed Holmwood School, Arcadian Gardens, Hadleigh and are signed by Kathleen E. Howship.

    By Susan Fogg née Hawks (05/02/2021)
  • Lillian Howship taught at a primary school in Upminster. The school closed in 1943.

    By P Coffey (05/02/2021)
  • I was a pupil at the school at “Bonchurch” in Arcadian Gardens. I have no recollection of the school having its own name. I was there 1942 for perhaps 2 years when Kathleen Howship retired. My recollection is that her sister was a teacher at the state school in Upminster. In fact they both trained in the state system. Miss Brown was my first teacher and took the early classes as well as piano lessons which I also took. It was a very happy school with a high standard of education. In the more senior classes (8-9,9-10,10-11) Miss Howship had a school room on the first floor and taught all three classes together separating her teaching according to their class. It was a remarkable achievement and very successful.

    By Peter Coffey (05/02/2021)
  • Kathleen Howship with her sister Lilian ran Holmwood Preparatory School at No 15 Arcadian Gardens. Maybe the house was called Bonchurch. Lilian did not teach. Miss Elsie B Brown, a music teacher who lived in Glenmere Park Avenue, was assistance teacher.

    By Ian Hawks (03/10/2011)
  • There was a Kathleen E Howship & Lilian N Howship living at “Bonchurch” Arcadian Gardens,  in 1939.

    By Hilary (16/09/2011)

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