Memories of Lockers

My Childhood Home
By Richard Harington Hawes

I was bought up in Lockers on the Southend Rd from 1950 to approx 1962 after we came home from India. I remember the Coronation in 1953 very well, my father hired a TV with a 12 inch screen. The house had garden of 5 acres (sadly built over since then). We had a gardener called Quarterman and aptly named sine he really was small; he had 10 children and lived in an old windmill about half a mile away. At the front of the house was a beautiful Cedar tree which I see is still standing. My Grandmother lived in No. 22 High St, see photo.

Our doctor was Dr. Gunter and one of his relations died in one of the Comet crashes. Butchers name was Aldeslade and the local store was Pattens (no supermarkets in those days). There was small Ritz cinema in Chapel Street. I used to go by bus to school, St Michael’s Chelmsford at St Michaels kindergarten, passing through Stock, where I used to have riding lessons. We went to church every Sunday at the church situated between Chapel Street and the High Street. The lights outside the house were lit by gas and you could hear the trains being steamed up in the days when they were steam driven. Billericay to Liverpool St. was electrified later.

If the current owners of Lockers read this I would love to pay them a visit, please contact me through the website.

No. 22 High Street, where my Grandmother lived

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  • Just to fill in the gaps, I think we moved in around 1964, and sold the house to Dick Parks the architect who designed Millers, which was built in the vegetable garden for us by Fordham Builders in 1968, originally reached through the gates (which had come from the old town hall). The skeleton of a horse was found when Millers was being built, and reburied to the side of Millers where the chimney is. Mr Quartermain was our gardener too, and lived in a cottage near the windmill at the top of Bell Hill, cycling to us when he visited. Mr Parks had a swimming pool put in the garden at Lockers and we used to climb over the wall between the two properties to use it. My father was a GP in Billericay, originally with Dr Gunter in the High Street, then at 80 Western Road with Dr Butcher and Dr Porter and latterly Dr Afifi. When Dr Butcher retired, No 80 was sold and the property demolished to have two new properties built n the site. The practice moved to its present site further down the road. Lockers was a lovely house, the outside remains pretty much as it was in our day. The interior is completely different looking at the online photos from Savills when sold in 2019 – a shame. Southend Road was pretty quiet when we were first there, but much busier when the new road from Basildon was built alongside the school and the road significantly widened. Old maps suggest that Lockers had a fair bit of land on the other side of the road in the meadows, but not in my time.

    By Alastair Cuthbert (31/01/2020)
  • I have plenty of old photos. In those days the garden covered 5 Acres with a double tennis court and Arbortoreum with some fantastic trees. There was a coach house with about 4 stables and a huge hay loft.

    By Richard Harington Hawes (30/07/2018)
  • Hi Richard,
    I have added some memories of my own here
    Thank you Richard for provoking some wonderful memories.
    Yes Richard, I do remember you!!

    By Robert Grieve (17/07/2018)
  • Dear Richard,

    It was a pleasant surprise to read that you used to live in Lockers Hall many years ago. I grew up next door in Millers, and have always been fascinated with what the Lockers Hall Estate would have looked like prior to Weir Wynd development. Dr Cuthbert, who my parents bought Millers from in 1983, actually used to live in Lockers before having Millers built in the grounds. The old iron gates and part of the old garden wall are still there, as is the very mature Camelia next to the gates. I contacted Mrs Cuthbert many years ago now to see if she had any old photos of the grounds before development, she didn’t, but she wrote a very vivid description of what was there, including all the specimen conifers, and the grass tennis court etc. I remember Mrs Cuthbert saying that she also got the developers prosecuted for cutting down some of the protected species of trees, eg a punch bark tree. She mentioned that the owner imported them from abroad.
    I would absolutely love it if you had any old photos of the grounds, or simply sharing some further memories. I believe your father was a colonel?
    Best wishes

    By Simon Walker (27/05/2018)

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