Saturday, 14 April 2007

Route D - Bardfield

From a combination of Memories of Basildon – Jim Reeve and talking to Maud Sargeant, copies of papers kept in the back of Basildon Library and what was already written about the trail.

Turn right into Clay Hill Road.

‘Vange Hall which is near where Puck Lane meets Clay Hill Road, was the site where fragments of Celtic spear heads and sword blades have been found, also Roman tiles and bricks.

Witchards off Clay Hill Road. The name was rumoured to be derived from a Basildon ghost story.
A bowling alley mechanic claimed he had seen a headless ghost at the Basildon Bowl in Southernhay, Basildon, in September 1978.
Bob Spooner (20) of Thorrington Close, Basildon was so shocked he had to be taken home by his manager Norman Waggot, reported the local newspaper.
"It really put the wind up me" said Bob. "I dropped the screwdriver I was carrying and ran to tell Mr.Waggot". Bob said the ghost was dressed in overalls and was leaning over a bench in the workshop. But he had no head.
He said that several workers at the Bowl knew there was "something funny" about the building. Sometimes "a kind of mist descends and holds you back like cobwebs".
Another mechanic Peter Greenway said the staff often had a laugh about it but nobody could ever give a satisfactory explanation. "One day one of the pin spotter machines did a full cycle on its own when the electricity was turned off" he said.
This story was written so much better by Peter Lucas - BASILDON - Birth of a City

vin said... Each Neighbourhood had its own Shopping Centre and Neighbourhood Community Hall. There is one a Kingswood next to the Owl and the Pussycat Pub in Clay Hill Road opposite Kingswood Junior School. These halls are under the control of the control of the Community Associations for the respective neighbourhoods.

Daphne Andrews said:- Clay Hill Road used to be known as Bull Road
Pat Watkins said:- There was a Bull Pub, nearby to where the shops are at Clay Hill Road
BASILDON - Birth of a City - Peter Lucas In 1963 17 cannon shells were discovered by builders on a house site off Sparrows Herne.
From Sue - As you go past Kingswood Medical Centre there is a dip in the land where a stream used to run.You can follow the course of this stream if you follow the line of oak trees across the road and on through the back gardens of Sparrows Herne. The land where 31 and 33 Sparrows Herne now stand used to be a Market Garden and for many years the owner could not be traced. They built the houses after the rest of the Bird's estate on a raft of concrete to prevent subsidence. The stream made the land very damp.

Continue down Clay Hill Road and you will see Kingswood Medical Centre on your right the Owl and the Pussycat on your left, and then proceed a little way ahead (at 800 metres) you will see Kingswood Primary School on your right. Then approximately 1000 metres from Puck Lane you should turn left leaving Clay Hill Road and entering Cherrydown East. There is a Ford Car showroom on your left.
At the end of Cherrydown East, you will see a sculpture on the right-hand side. This is ‘Water Feature’ by William Mitchell.
Basildon Development Corporation was based in Pitsea then moved to Cherrydown.
You now come to a large roundabout turn right here and continue past the Ford Offices, Trafford House, built in 1977, and named after Trafford Park in Manchester, where Henry Ford produced the Model T car.
Vin said - Trafford house was named this as Trafford Park in N.W. Manchester was the first place in England where Henry Ford set up business in England and made the Model T Ford (T stands for Trafford).

Saturday 14th April - Portrait of Essex by S.A Manning, published in 1977
A more recent development at Basildons towncentre is Station House, a vast air-conditioned office building.
Closely connected with the Fenchurch St to Southend Line by a covered walkway, it should help provide office jobs, the scarcity which has led many workers to trawl to London and Southend.

From Basildon railway station opened on Monday 25th November 1974 after a long campaign begun in the 1950s. There were initial concerns that British Rail might close either Laindon or Pitsea but this proved unfounded.The original proposed site was further east at the junction of Clay Hill Road and Southernhay, which at that time was undeveloped. A signboard was even erected at this site but removed in 1963 when plans fell into doubt.At the time of opening the booking office was to the left of the front entrance, with the rear entrance opening out onto a covered walkway to Station House.To the left of the rear entrance stood a small shop run by John Menzies. During modernisation in the 1990s the booking office was re-sited directly opposite the main entrance and the rear entrance was bricked up. At the same time the station shop was moved to the left of the front entrance. Access to the platforms is by separate stairways to the right and left of the ticket gates. This access area was widened during refurbishment with turnstiles installed. Each of the two platforms has a waiting room and a lift for the disabled. The waiting rooms had door access but both are now 'open'.The windows overlooking the road were covered behind a Network South-East hoarding board until the early 2000s, when a facelift to the front of the building incorporating a new covered entrance was completed.From its completion to 1977, Station House had remained unoccupied. When the Ford Motor Company took over occupation they had it renamed Trafford House, which it remains to this day.
March 1975 - Station House office complex, built alongside the new Basildon Station in Cherrydown East, completed. The eight storey high building, occupying 741,000 sq. ft. of floor space, remained empty until 1977 when it was renamed Trafford House & became the headquarters of the Ford Motor Company's European Truck Division.

From Ford Motor Company entered the business world on June 16, 1903, when Henry Ford and 11 business associates signed the company's articles of incorporation. With $28,000 in cash, the pioneering industrialists gave birth to what was to become one of the world's largest corporations. Few companies are as closely identified with the history and development of industry and society throughout the 20th century as Ford Motor Company.
As with most great enterprises, Ford Motor Company's beginnings were modest. The company had anxious moments in its infancy. The earliest record of a shipment is July 20, 1903, approximately one month after incorporation, to a Detroit physician. With the company's first sale came hope—a young Ford Motor Company had taken its first steps.
Becoming a Global Company
In the 50's came the Thunderbird and the chance to own a part of Ford Motor Company. The company went public and, on Feb. 24, 1956, had about 350,000 new stockholders. Henry Ford II's keen perception of political and economic trends in the 50's led to the global expansion of FMC in the 60's, and the establishment of Ford of Europe in 1967, 20 years ahead of the European Economic Community's arrival. The company established its North American Automotive Operations in 1971, consolidating U.S., Canadian, and Mexican operations more than two decades ahead of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Vin said:THe Ford Motor Company was founded on 16 June 1903. The first Model T Ford built in England was at Trafford Park, Manchester. The factory opened in 1911 and 30,0000 Model T's were manufactured over the years.

Continue past the railway station going under the railway line and into Southernhay. Take the underpass on your right, which eventually brings you into Market Pavement.

From Route E ( I thought it might fill it out a bit more) At Market Pavement where the first shop opened on 16th August 1958.In 1961 where the market now stands were three butchers, 2 bakers and a store owned by Littlewoods. In the 60’s when the Market opened at first all the market traders had sheets on the floor, but they sold everything.Opposite is the Bus Station, and Blenheim House, built in 1961, which used to house the Locarno Ballroom. Here you will see a 96m x 4m mosaic by John Gordon, consisting of 16,000 hand printed tiles running across the buildings fascia.

From Paul Dawson - a Market Manager
Basildon Market will be 50 years old next year. It was originally managed and organised by the council from 1958, although we owned the land.
The Market Traders took it over about 12 years ago. They have 41 log cabins,65 stalls and 3 mobile units. The majority of the traders are local with a variation of different stalls from tattooists to greengrocers, health food to fishmongers.
Some traders have been here from day one, some have been here for 35 - 40 years.
The market trade used to be hereditary, passed down from father to son, it isn't anymore.
In the hey day of the Market every part was used of the site including the car park, the traders used to park in the swimming pool car park, and another car park.
In the regeneration the council would like to have their council offices where the market is, the market doesn't want this they want to stay where they are, Paul also claims that the town is busier when the market is on.
Before the supermarket became quite so powerful there used to be 19 greengrocers and now there are only three. Three greengrocers is good for a market these days.
There used to be more of a greengrocery and a produce market, now days it's more of a general market.
The market managers are trying to encourage people to come back and shop at the market, they will soon have parking bays for the public to pull up and load up their merchandise, short term parking bays.
The benefits of the market are variation and atmosphere.

Bullet Points for Route D

  • Vange Hall (opp Puck Lane and further down) was the site where fragments of Celtic Spear heads and sword blades have been found also Roman tiles and bricks.
  • Clay Hill Road used to called Bull Rd (and before that Timberlong Lane).
  • Witchards is supposedly named after a ghost story where a bowling alley mechanic saw a headless ghost in 1978. (Saw it at the bowling alley).
  • At the end of Cherrydown 'Water Feature' by William Mitchell
  • Trafford House - named after Trafford Park in N.W. Manchester. The first place in England where Henry Ford set up business and made the Model T Ford.
  • Railway Station opened on 25th November 1974.
  • Market will be 50 years old next year.
    Before Supermarkets became so powerful, at one time there were 19 Greengrocers in the markets Hey Day, now there are three - but that is good at todays standard.