Some Schoolboy Memories


By Roy Elsegood

Sweet and card shop in the High Street

I was born in Hadleigh in 1937.
I can remember the ‘tank traps’ and metal studs that were put across the road in front of the Wagon and Horses pub. On the footpath they were more like large inverted pudding basins made of cement/concrete.
Going towards the Fire Station there was an emergency pool of water on the right by the entrance to Florence Gardens, adjacent to the footpath, but not above ground, more at ground level separated by a fence from the footpath – to stop boys like me and my brothers from getting in, maybe!?

Just beyond the Salvation Army buildings there was a shop – Lockwoods I think – that sold carpets etc, and Mrs Lockwood was a teacher at Hadleigh School.
Opposite the Fire Station Mr George had the Bakery; there was a sweet and tobacco shop run by a Mrs Jones further down. Later on Mr Bob Banbury took the shop over.

Next door was Tom Reynolds Scrap Yard and further along there was a fruit and vegetable shop called ‘Lowery’s’. On the other side of the High Street there was Lawrence’s shop that also sold sweets! I can remember the two ladies who lived and worked there.
After the War, word went round that Lawrences were selling fireworks, so next morning, quite early, my sister and I were first in the queue when the shop opened – but all they had were coloured matches, quite a disappointment and certainly not as good as the fireworks we were expecting!

Brackins Dairy was on the right, and on the left of the High Street was Dossett’s Cake Shop where we used to sometimes buy 1½ d Fairy Cakes for our mid morning school break.
I also remember the Post Office, but that’s about it!
I’m sure there will be other contributors who will be able to fill in the blanks?

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  • I live in New Road by the park and I’m desperately trying to find out the history but I can’t find it on any census – would anyone mind a chat?

    By Danielle Robbins (27/02/2021)
  • Hi Harry – I was in your class at school! I have a class photograph, I think taken sometime between 1946-48, showing you standing in front of me and behind a very pretty girl with blonde hair! Also in the photograph are Martin Ling, David Lloyd, Tony Freeman, Keith Chase, Michael Colclough, David Cockburn, Gill Chalk, Roberta Hatt, Sally Welton, Joy Gradwell, Sheila Upton – and a lot of others. I wonder where they all are now? Do you remember the bread van that used to go to James the Bakers in London Road? It was shaped like a loaf!

    By Roy Elsegood (19/02/2021)
  • I moved to New Road in 1940. Remember all the shops, businesses and the tank traps mentioned and almost all other shops in London Road. I also went to Hadleigh Primary in Church Road. Anybody need a list? There was an anti aircraft gun in New Road and lots of shrapnel to collect. Poor but happy days.

    By Harry Potter (09/02/2021)
  • It was a long shot; thanks for letting me know anyway, Roy.
    ATB, Ian

    By Ian Davidson (23/01/2021)
  • Hello Ian, I’m sorry I can’t help – I didn’t know your step gran, or sadly, anything about her. Maybe others looking at this site will be able to help?

    By Roy Elsegood (22/01/2021)
  • From an utterly selfish angle I picked up on your article as much as anything because of reference to Waggon & Horses and your dob 1937, i.e. ten years before myself, therefore on that latter point alone you may hold some information that could be invaluable to me.
    If you refer to the item “Nanny Ede’s Cottage” elsewhere on this site, all will become clear, but basically I am trying to find out whatever I can about my step nan Elizabeth Ede (1875-1965) and the cottage (105 London Road) in which she lived until turfed out by the Council.

    I believe the cottage was probably late 18th century/early 19th century and demolished in the early ’60s unlike the cottages that are still there which I also believe were erected some time later. I have a picture taken in 1910 showing what must be Nan’s house with white weatherboarding though I only ever knew it as having a concrete façade with lines drawn in the rendering (probably with a finger!) to represent, of all things, crazy paving.
    When she moved there I have no idea nor why she was my Nan. What I do know is that polling records show that she was there in 1937 along with a man called Thomas William Davidson (d. 1994), who would become my dad. Why he was lodging there I do not know though he did marry my mother in the Methodist Church directly opposite in 1938.

    Coming back to your article, I, too, recall most of the shops you mention including Bob Banbury and his shop. Somewhere around 1964 word went round that he had had a terrible accident: it was said that one of those massive reels that carried power cables in those days had rolled off a lorry and crushed his legs. Although he survived, from then on of course, he walked with crutches and retired to a cottage in Daws Heath just across from the timber yard down there.

    I lived in Mornington Crescent, Hadleigh from 1957-1964(?)

    By IAN DAVIDSON (17/01/2021)
  • Yes good post Roy & could you leave two pints tomorrow

    By David Solomons (05/12/2020)
  • Great post Roy well done.

    By ROGER SHINN (19/11/2020)

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