Boys Will Be Boys

Growing Up In Jacksons Lane
By Roger Whisken

 As far as I know Jacksons Lane looks the same on Google Earth. My parents moved to a new house in the 50s at the top built by a firm called Moody’s. (You can zoom and drag this image to look at the area better).

As you went down Jacksons Lane you went over a bridge over the railway. At that time the steam trains used to come out of Billericay station. We used to get bits of brick and used to try and drop them down the funnel of the engine as it came out from under the bridge, we never timed it right and it would bounce off the drivers cab and the fireman would be waving his fist at us. I  guess we thought it was a bit of mischief but I guess today we would be vandals. Thinking back we spent quite a bit of time playing on the railway line. We would put penny coins on the track and they would be twice as big after a train had gone over them. We would put our ear on the track to listen for when a train had left the station as we had seen cowboys do it in the movies to see if the train was coming. On the far side of the track on the line to London there was a long sort of concrete box a couple of feet from the track, maybe for gravel but it was always empty. One summer we had the idea that if we sat in it we would get a really close view of the train going past. Anyway two of us sat in the box and the electric London train came flying round the corner, it wasn’t until it got close that we realised the train body was wider than the wheels and we crouched down in the box. I am sure the train sucked the air out of the box because I remember I couldn’t breathe and the train seemed 10 miles long, it was probably fear that stopped me breathing. None of us ever told our parents what we got up to, and looking back now I guess I am lucky I am here to write about it, but at the time it was just having fun. Todays generation are obviously safer in their bedrooms with a playstation.

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  • We too had a Moody house, ours was in Norsey Road at the top of Jacksons Lane, we were the first semi in the row. We had a back entrance via a little lane from Jacksons Lane alongside the first house, where the Taylors lived. I lived there from birth until I was 18 when my parents moved “down the hill” to a new house in Outwood Common.

    By Bill Pipe (12/11/2020)

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