Cross Farm was situated around the area which is now the Benfleet Road entrance to King John School and Alder Wood. The farm was sold and built on about 1872.
The farmhouse was still standing in 1948 and was occupied by Mr.W.Bridge who owned Leigh Building Supply Co. Ltd. Freddie Bridge, his son, was M.D. of Church Road Engineering, the local agent for Dodge trucks. The Bridge family also ran the Benfleet and Canvey Bus Company from the bus garage at Victoria House corner. The redundant farm buildings were let out, part to a slaughter house and part to my father-in-law, Mr Maurice Horder who ran a coachbuilding and sign-writing firm with his brother Cliff Horder. After National Service, John, Mr M Horder’s son joined the firm.
Mr. M. Horder was the sign writer, he was also a gifted artist and a member of the local Benfleet Art club. We have many of his paintings in the family. In 1951, the firm M Horder & Co. moved to the Dears Farm Estate on the west corner of High Road and London Road opposite Tarpots. The farm was sold and developed in around 1923. Mr Horder and family lived in ‘Valcasta’ a bungalow on the east corner of Shipwrights Drive and London Road now known as Five Oaks Estate after the large oak trees that were in the original garden.The bungalow was built in 1943 on a builder’s site. Catherine Horder, Mr. M Horder’s wife, embroided service badges during the 1939 war. Catherine also sang in Madam Freda Parry’s choir and sang old folk songs, solo.