Dundonald Avenue Memories

I lived in Dundonald Avenue, it was a quite prestigious road lived in by bank managers and accountants. No one cared what colour, race or creed you were, but a divorced person was shunned.

Monday was the day for doing the washing, it was a cardinal sin to put washing out on any other day. I went to Chalkwell School but due to the baby boom many of the classes had to take place in St. Michael’s church hall, I enjoyed school except the days when the Nit Nurse, Nurse Butcher arrived. Once she undid my plaits and I couldn’t re plait my hair my mother went mad.

I was a keen brownie and later Girl Guide, I remember Miss Selby who ran the nursery on the corner of Fillibrook Avenue and the huge greenhouses at the back. One thing stays in my mind, the day we went to a Jamboree in Chelmsford and met lord Baden Powell, who started the scout movement.

One of my early memories is of taking jam sandwiches and a bottle of pop and wandering along the cliffs to Hadleigh Castle where we spent the whole day playing and watching the grass snakes and lizard . We stayed out all day, no one worried about us as long as we got home in time for tea. I also remember that the insurance man called for his money every Friday evening. A fond memory is of the A1 cafe on the corner of Chalkwell Park Drive, where you could buy the best dripping on toast in the town. Another memory was the horses at Howard’s Dairies on the London Road, one horse, named Captain was inclined to bite, so he had to wear a muzzle. One big treat was the Saturday morning pictures at the Corona on Leigh Road. There was usually a cowboy film, the boys would shout and whistle all the time . The film was always breaking which caused pandemonium, until it was repaired and everyone settled down again.

I remember when the new bridge was being built in Old Leigh, I went to watch the excavations and saw a man fall in and no one was able to get him out. Can anyone else remember that incident?


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