Stock History
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
By Charles Phillips
In 1901 Stock Parish Council must got a little bit nervous, as on 15th April they passed a resolution that the public were not be admitted to council meetings. It is not known when the resolution was rescinded.
Also in 1901 Richard Adam Ellis acquired Greenwoods. Even today his legacy lives on. He was born in 1855 and was one of the founders and for many years senior partner in the City of London firm of Richard Ellis and Sons, Auctioneers, Estate Agents and Surveyors.He married Emma in 1878 and had two sons and a daughter. He was many things including a parish councillor, churchwarden, Justice of the Peace, president of Stock Cricket Club and the President of the local Conservative Association. He owned one of the first two motor cars in the village. Ironically he lived in the Buttsbury part of the village. In 1902 Richard Hugh Adam Ellis, the son of Richard Adam Ellis, died in India at the time of the Durbar held on the occasion of the Coronation.
In the village during the Edwardian period there was, of course, no electricity, no gas, no running water, no sewerage, and no telephone. For cooking and heating you depended on coal or wood fires, for lighting on candles or oil lamps. For water you depended on pumps and wells and to get rid of your doings you had to dig a cesspit. The post office used the Morse code telegraph system. Public transport consisted of the carrier's cart, which in 1906 was daily to Ingatestone and to Chelmsford on Tuesdays and Fridays. There was a doctor, but if you hadn't got money you depended `friendly societies' to help you out if things got bad. On the other hand there was a police constable in the village. Some time between 1889 and 1906 the mill had acquired a steam engine, as it is described in Kelly's Directory for that year as wind and steam.In 1905 a motor bus link was suggested between Chelmsford and Stock. The Great Eastern Railway operated a number of buses in the Chelmsford area - to Danbury, Great Waltham and Oxney Green starting on 9th September that year and on the basis of the evidence available that the GER originally intended four routes from Chelmsford – Stock being the fourth one Although the Rector and the majority of the inhabitants of the village supported it, Mr Ellis opposed it on the grounds that it would be injurious to trade and spoil the village. He was concerned that the buses would bring undesirable people into the village, or so I was told by a great uncle of mine (George Such). In 1903, during his last illness, Cardinal Vaughan had stayed at Lilystone Hall. The Dunn family was ecumenical. In 1904 Mr Dunn donated a quarter of his land to All Saints to extend the churchyard.
In 1904 one event that was not much noticed outside a small circle, was arrival into the world of Lewis Donald Jarvis. Donald has left a legacy to village in many ways.
A minor industry of this period was cheese making carried on by Mr Nisbet.
In 1905, Dorothy Ellis, the daughter of Richard, married Lt Vernon Harry Haggard RN, the nephew of the writer Henry Rider Haggard.
1906 was a hard winter as complaints were made to Stock Parish Council about the damage done to Church Green opposite the Almshouses by children making slides. In the same year Chelmsford Borough Council wanted to extend its boundaries further into the Rural District, opposed by the Parish Council. There was also a shortage of water from the pump on the Green, about where the Billericay bus stop now is and the Parish Council decided that a new well was to be sunk. Tenders were received from James Walter Jarvis and Sons, Edgar
Jarvis, Alfred Woodward and Mr Jennings. It is not known what the tenders were, but at the meeting of 3rd December Mr Woodward said that he could do the job for 10 shillings. The pump was actually in the Buttsbury bit of the village. A photograph in the Annals of Stock clearly shows both the Green and the pump and the caption is `High Street, Buttsbury'.
In 1906, a decision was taken by the Non-Conformists to erect a building for a Sunday School at the end of the Church. This was opened in the same year. Every village had its characters and Stock and Buttsbury were no different. There was man by the name of Charles Marshall, nicknamed Spider, who was a little man, an ostler who groomed the horses and slept in the stable loft of the Bear (whose symbol up until the recent alterations was a White Bear and the inn was painted white). He was full of lice and a favourite trick of his was to go up the chimney in the bar for a pint of beer, sit in a little bacon loft up the chimney and come down when he'd finished the pint.
Sometimes he wouldn't come down, so they used to smoke him out. One Christmas Eve he wouldn't budge, so they rammed a bunch of faggots up the chimney and set fire to them. He still wouldn't budge. In fact, he never came down alive. Let us say that there were a few problems over the burial. That wasn't the end of Spider, because he started to haunt the place. Dick Weston, who was the landlord of the pub in the 1960s, liked him. The story of Spider was recounted by James Wentworth Day of Ingatestone, who was, amongst other things, a writer of country affairs in his book on Essex ghosts. Bob Stripe, who came after Dick Weston, told me that he saw Spider.
At the Leather Bottle, there was played a game of skittles, one skittle still exists, I was told by the current owner of the former alehouse. At the Hoop and the Baker's Arms there was played a game called Toad in the Hole. At the latter there was also played a game called Up the Nail. Edwardian Stock and Buttsbury was when the dialect was spoken and any one from outside the county or indeed from the county who was not acquainted with it would not have understood what a lot of people were saying. The dialect was a local variant of the English language. All counties had it and it certainly survived into the 1950s. I grew up thinking a snail was a 'hodmedod'. To some extent in a few old village families it still exists.
It is said that in 1908 a Scout troop was formed in Stock, one of the earliest in Essex. However the earliest date for evidence of Scout troop in Stock is a warrant dated 21st November 1911 as the Scouts HQ have a record of a G Hall being down as the Warrant Holder on that date. Stock was and is part of the Billericay District and there were only three troops in the district at that time. The discovery of this Warrant in May 2007 caused a slight bit of confusion as it had been long held that the troop was founded in 1921 and had celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1996.
In 1910, the original Non-Conformist Chapel had fallen into such disrepair as to be uneconomical to repair and so it was decided to pull it down and lay out the ground with ornamental shrubs and trees as a disused burial ground.
In 1911 Chelmsford Rural District Council proposed to erect some cottages for the labouring classes. Stock parish council did not think that they were required. For a few years the Rectory Hall had been used for a number of things including various educational classes. In 1912 there is mention of it being used as a reading room, which I interpret as a library, which was only open on Mondays and cost Id for three months. The reading room in some form seems to have been in existence since at least the mid 1880s.
Meanwhile motor traffic was developing, as Stock parish council got a bit worried and passed a resolution that a speed limit of 10 m.p.h imposed through the village. The road was causing trouble even as it was being improved as the County Council was tarring it. Despite all the motor traffic or various sorts - bicycles, traction engines and steam wagons - there was still a lot of horse traffic and the new tarred road surface was felt by Stock parish council to be dangerous to the horses. The County Council was asked to discontinue tarring the road. Kelly's directory of 1912 Kelly's directory of 1912 has a cycle and motor agent in the village. In Kelly's Directory for 1912, the combined population of Stock and Buttsbury in the 1911 census was 1,384. Some of Buttsbury's letters went through Billericay. All of Stock's went through Ingatestone. The combined village boasted a wide range of trades. Apart from the cycle and motor agent there were beer retailers, farmers, a doctor, a policeman, a blacksmith who was also an innkeeper, innkeepers who were simply innkeepers, builders and also contractors, ordinary butchers and pork butchers, grocers, drapers, a saddler and harness maker, a baker, rate collector and assistant overseer, a plain shopkeeper, a bricklayer, a miller, a boot and shoe repairer, a market gardener, a sub-postmistress and stationer, a gravel and sand merchant, a shoemaker, a relieving officer and registrar of births and deaths, a chimney sweep, a gardener, a poultry dealer and parish clerk, a Protestant school master and mistress, a Catholic school mistress, a general carriers. Both Church of England and Catholic priests are listed, but not the Non-Conformist Minister. The gentry are listed (private residents). Interestingly, one of the farmers was a woman, as was the carrier. The carrier went to Ingatestone daily and Chelmsford on Tuesdays and Fridays, where those who went observed the motor buses and may have wanted the village to be served by them. .
In 1912 the National Steam Car Company had taken over the Great Eastern Railway's motor bus services and started a number of additional routes, one to Galleywood. In 1913 this was extended to Stock and in 1914 to Billericay. Clearly Mr Ellis had withdrawn his objections. It is not known, either the date the service to Stock started or if for a short time this was originally daily as the earliest known timetable is for July 1914 and shows buses on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and then only to Stock. That for February 1917 shows buses right through to Billericay only on Tuesdays and Fridays which suggest a reduction in service because of the war or that this was the winter service . In mitigation it should be pointed out that the timetable dated July 1914 is at the back of a Great Eastern Railway’s timetable along with other bus timetables. The earliest one I have found for Galleywood is in the same company’s timetable for April 1914. This suggests that the National Steam Car Company was not always forward in letter the GER have copies of its timetables. Although not Stock – the April 1914 timetable shows a Mondays to Saturdays service to Widford and the July 1914 timetable shows a Mondays to Saturdays service to Margaretting (afternoons only). This latter ceased at the beginning of the First World War and was not resumed until afterwards as part of the daily service to Brentwood.
By 1920, the bus service to Billericay was daily. The main bus stop then and until after World War II was in the Square at the Bear.
These early buses were not petrol driven, but steam driven using paraffin as a fuel. The buses didn't look any different from a contemporary motor bus, for example the famous London General Omnibus Company B. It was the mechanics that were different.
The date the first flying machine landed in Stock is not known, but according to the late Charlie Cottee, it came to land at Holes Place farm. It is not clear as to why the pilot chose to land there. It didn't land properly and had to be righted. The pilot went to stay at the Isaac's house and Miss Isaac was given a short flight - the village's first air traveller! One incident, according to Charlie Cottee, just before the first world war a man with a muzzled bear on a chain turned up in the village. On the village green he started singing or chanting. A crowd gathered. The bear stood on its back feet and did a dance. It then got down on all fours. Donald Jarvis got a bit close to it and suddenly it curled one of its front legs round Donald's leg. The man told Donald to stand still. He must have been terrified. After a while the bear released its hold and Donald was free and unhurt. The man then went off towards Chelmsford.
According to Hermione Lang, the village was a bit of a holiday resort with visitors coming from London.
In 1913, the house adjoining the Chapel, then known as Rose Cottage, was purchased for the Minister and became known as the Manse.
Father Cologan in 1908 had been made a Domestic Prelate and had become a Monsignor. In 1913 his health began to fail, and on lst January 1914 he officially retired, his successor being Father Cyril Shepherd.
In 1914 the Rev Gibson resigned because of ill health and was succeeded by the Rev Frederick Austen, who was inducted on 4th August 1914, not the best day for the new Rector as on the same day Germany declared war on Great Britain.
The village was a place of strategic importance in connection with preparations for defence against a possible invasion, as it formed part of the second line of defence between London and the coast. Within a week of the war starting a battalion of infantry was quartered in the village, the first troops being a battalion of the Warwickshire Regiment, about 1,000 strong, who camped on the common.. There is also known to have been a Scottish regiment in the village - the Royal Horse Artillery, which used to undertake manoeuvres on the Common with their artillery pieces. The sight of horses, limbers and guns dashing round the Common was no doubt magnificent, but it didn't do much for the cricket pitch. The Common turned into a mud swamp.
Two or three empty houses were used as mess rooms and temporary barracks, but the vast majority were billeted in private houses. The various companies held daily parades in the streets. There were frequent test alarms, often the middle of night, when the troops paraded in full kit on the Common or went on a route march. Trenches were built on Hodges' farm and were opened to the public to view the parapet, drainage and a roof made of wood and earth. Charlie Cottee in his writings noted that they were never needed in the war.
There were, at the start of the war, refugees from German occupied Belgium billeted in the village. Detailed instructions were issued to all householders for the evacuation of the district in the event of enemy invasion and arrows were affixed at street corners to be followed in any general evacuation.
The village was on a direct route from the continent to London for the German air force. It was surrounded by gun and searchlight emplacements and during an air raid the chief danger was shrapnel and shells from our own guns. Two of the guns and a searchlight were in a meadow in front of Fristling Hall Farm. There were air raids and blackouts. The catholic school used its cellar as an air raid shelter. Others constructed their own shelters. Children from the National School had to go and lie under a hedge in an adjoining meadow until the enemy aircraft had passed by.
On a Saturday night at the end of September 1916 a German airship was brought down at South Green near Billericay by a combination of anti-aircraft guns and aircraft. As it burnt, the whole sky was lit up. Great excitement prevailed in the village and the next day people from the village and beyond went to look at the wreckage
Young Lewis Donald Jarvis wrote in his diary ‘I watched the Zeppelin being hit by a shot from one of our aeroplanes, and drifting in flames low over the village towards Billericay. The whole village was lit up (and the amount of traffic through the village all the day following was enormous). Charlie Cottee wrote many years after the event ‘Early in War 1. Zeppelin brought down Billericay Saturday night. Set on fire. Everyone in it died. Next Sunday morning in chapel not very interested in the service. Soldiers marching past – attracted us youngsters. Home to diner. Then off to see the Zep. We went nearly to South Green. Fragments of the Zep were strewn for quite long distances. Aluminium chips, burnt silk cord, and cloth. Quite a time it took, before getting home to a late tea. One incident. Mr J Madle from Stock, brought his sister Emma to see the Zep in his horse and cart. When Jimmy got to a corner of the road a lorry came along with the rudder of the Zep. This piece was longer than the motor carrying it, and on the corner as the motor turned the rudder swung round over the top of Madles cart. Emma ducked in time to save her head being knocked off. A memorable day. Stock boys sold pieces of the Zep and made quite a bit of cash. They were not the only ones. Quite a few people picked up souvenirs. Not everyone was as lucky as the boys of Stock. It was said when L32 was burning that a newspaper could be read from the glow within a distance of twenty miles and that the sky was lit up for sixty miles.
In another incident a Zeppelin was damaged in one of its petrol tanks and dropped the tank, which fell about a mile south of the village.
There was also conscription of the men from 1916, though not all of those who got called up even left the country. For example, one man's war service in the Royal Marine Engineers was at Brighton, Felixstowe and Harwich.
Food started getting short, in part due to the German U-boats having been too successful at sinking British merchant ships, and rationing came into force on 1st January 1918.
On the night of 28th –29th January 1918 one of the huge Gotha aeroplanes which were also used by the Germans for bombing raids was shot down between Stock and Wickford by two pilots from No. 44 Squadron based at Hainault Farm flying Sopwith Camels. However I have not been able establish if there were any casualties in the Gotha The crew of three of the Gotha were all killed
On 11th March 1918 a ban on taking photographs, making sketches, plans, models or other representation of any place or thing came into force in certain areas within the Metropolitan Police District, and parts of Essex, Kent and Surrey. Stock and Buttsbury fell within this area. This meant it was prohibited to either take a photograph, drew a sketch or it might be held by an over zealous policeman publicly write a description of Stock almshouses. Or Buttsbury church. You were not even allowed to carry any such equipment which would have enabled you to do the afore mentioned. So our over zealous policeman could arrest you simply for carrying a camera – even if there was no film in it. Or for that matter if he felt that zealous for carrying a pencil. The ban did not apply to photographic or other studios or private dwelling houses or gardens or attached premises or persons or things therein or prohibiting the possession of photographic or other apparatus, materials or things intended solely for use in such places. Trying telling that to an over zealous policeman if you were taking a photograph in the front garden or taking film to be developed. Equally it would suggest that the over zealous policeman could arrest you for having in your possession a photograph of let’s say Stock almhouses or Buttsbury church. The ban came to an end at the end or just after the end of the war.
In 1917 the National Steam Car Company was offering `Special Sunday Trips' from Chelmsford to such delightful places as Galleywood, Stock and Billericay. For 6d single fare Stock was yours on Sunday, provided it didn't rain or snow, as the buses did not have roofs on the upper decks.
In 1918 a branch of the Women's Institute was formed in Stock.
Donald Jarvis recalled a common phenomena during the war of hearing the rumble of the guns in France.
The main preoccupation of Stock parish council during this time seems to have been about getting a mains water supply to the village: no mention of a sewer.
In 1917 the Catholic Church decided that it wanted a separate diocese for Essex and wanted Chelmsford as the cathedral town. It is fairly certain that the Church of Our Lady Immaculate in the London Road would have become the new Catholic cathedral, but there was a slight problem. The Bishop elect, Bernard Ward, suffered railway enthusiasm and wanted the Cathedral at Ilford. A compromise was agreed and Brentwood was decided upon. Thus the Diocese of Brentwood came into existence. For a time during the latter part of and just after the war a halt was opened at Margaretting near the church on the main line, used by some people from Stock and Buttsbury, although the service was only a couple of trains a day. The halt had a pair of platforms and some oil lamps and no shelter.
On Monday 11th November 1918 the armistice came into effect. My mother, Margaret Phillips, recalled coming home from school for lunch and seeing a man riding through the village on a bicycle with Union Jacks in his lapels and shouting, "War all over". Donald Jarvis recorded that the end was announced by the air raid sirens of Chelmsford sounding the all clear and the church bells of Stock, Margaretting and Galleywood ringing.
The war was followed by the great Spanish Influenza epidemic. Two people in the village are known to have died from it - a young mother and her baby in a cottage in Mill Road. She left several children.
Then followed the Peace Celebrations and a Peace Committee was formed, with the ministers of all three churches on it: 15`h July was a national holiday. In Billericay there was procession through the streets. In the countryside around the village no less than 16 bonfires were lit and in the village itself one was lit in the meadow behind the Bear. Stock didn't have its own celebrations until August Bank Holiday Monday, 4th August, when there were sports for children in the Rectory Meadow (the Glebe) and a concert in St Joseph's School. This was not a complete success as many of the men in the audience had drunk a little bit too much and did rather a bit of heckling.
In 1919 the Marconi company at Chelmsford had started wireless broadcasts. These were somewhat intermittent, and in 1920 the company transferred its broadcasting to Writtle.
Meanwhile steam buses had been replaced by petrol buses and the service was now daily.
The War Memorial to the 41 men from Stock and Buttsbury who had lost their lives in the war was unveiled on the Green on 28th November,1920, by Brigadier-General R B Colvin C.B. M.P. at a formal ceremony. In 1921 the British Legion started selling poppies in the village.
By 1921 the original Scout troop had been disbanded and in that year a new troop was formed. The leader was Major E N Cubitt and the deputy leader was Donald Jarvis. In about 1920 the Leather Bottle beer house on Leather Bottle Hill closed.
The village possesses only one political Association - the Conservatives, but not everyone is a Conservative. Certainly prior to and after the Great War some interesting things went on. Donald Jarvis said that in one of the two general elections of 1910 Liberal supporters put their leaflets through the letterbox of the local Conservative Party headquarters. At another time someone else put a Conservative poster on a village pump. At another time, the local men's club had let the rectory hall for a Conservative General Meeting. Unfortunately they hadn't told the men in the club, who, not all being Tories, decided to do something about this and took a wet sack and put it over the chimney of the hall stove. Mr Ellis was observed by the members of the men's club addressing the Conservatives in a smoky atmosphere
From about 15th May 1920 the bus service from Chelmsford through Stock to Billericay became daily. Initially there were only two buses a day except Sundays when there were three buses.
In the summer of 1921 the National Omnibus Company, which the National Steam Car Company had become, was running daily services through Stock to Southend. In the autumn and winter this services initially ran only on certain days of the week. When it didn't, you had to get a bus or walk to Billericay and get a train. The service later became daily throughout the year. People took to the buses because they offered a quick and cheap way to the seaside. The through service to Southend was convenient as it meant not having to get on a train at Billericay.
Westcliff-on-Sea Motor Services had also intended to run a service from Chelmsford to Southend. The reason that it was not able was because when the applications by the National and it came before the Southend Light Railways Committee that of the National was favoured.
People now acquired motor bikes, some with sidecars. The rich had motor cars. Garage proprietors started in the village. Someone became a char-a-bane proprietor and in 1923 ran an excursion to the first Cup Final to be held in the newly opened Wembley Stadium.
In 1922 the British Broadcasting Company started transmitting. One of the first people in the village to have a wireless was the Catholic priest, Fr Cyril Shepherd. In this age of the Internet and multi-station coloured television, it is impossible to image the impact of the wireless. For the first time you could hear someone far away speaking. To hear a play or the news or a talk or a sporting event. The trouble was that early wirelesses had an awfully lot of wires. Another early listener to the wireless in Stock was F C Marks, who lived in Mill Road in a house then called Highfields. In 1921 in Mr Marks had erected a hut in a field in the meadow alongside Mill Road, which he made available to the village. It was in this building that a friend of his gave a demonstration to the village of wireless. The demonstration was free, but a collection was taken for Chelmsford Hospital. Mr Marks' friend of was Guglielmo Marconi
1926 saw the opening of the first Village Hall on the site in the Mill Road in front of Unwin Place; it was originally called the New Hall. According to some sources it was originally erected in 1923 as a private venture to be let out for private functions. A movement inaugurated in 1926 resulted in the formation of a limited company which purchased the hall for the benefit of the village. Mr Marks' hall, popularly known as `The Hut', then gradually fell into disuse and was eventually demolished.
By 1926 the Post Office was in the General Stores, run by Mrs A E Howard. The telephone came to Stock in 1924, with the opening of a public telephone exchange, originally named Stock Common. .
In 1925 the ford at the bottom of Stock Hills was eliminated with the construction of a bridge over the Stock Brook.
Earlier Stock parish council had been debating whether to erect public lavatories on the Common.
Cricket had started again. The cricket club went to the War Office in London to seek compensation for the damage to the cricket pitch. They received £10.1 is - quite a lot in those days. The restoration was paid for by the local doctor, Doctor Clarke. Mr Ellis gave the club a heavy roller and a wire fence was erected to fence off the pitch. Two stories about the cricket club in the inter-war years. Firstly, a fixture at Laindon was always timed to coincide with an East End shirt factory's annual outing to Southend so that the players could meet the girls at the Fortune of War. Secondly, Stock once played Maldon Grammar School. At the end of the match when the score book was looked at the scorer, Charlie Coffee, was asked where Maldon's innings was. He replied, "They never got us out." At one time Margaretting would not play Stock or fix up a match: some thought that this was because they did not like to be beaten.
Eventually a fixture was agreed with Stock's usual eleven, while Margaretting had no less than four men from the Essex County side. They still lost!
A meeting was held to discuss forming a football club. Quite a number of ex­servicemen agreed and so Stock United was born. The first recorded season was 1920/1. The Stock colours of Cambridge Blue was chosen by Fred Makings, a man of professional standard, who had Cambridge connections.
A group of men went from Stock to see the first F A Cup Final played at Wembley stadium. This was the match between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United which Bolton Wanderers won 2-0. The men went from Stock in a bus of sorts owned by the local garage proprietor. I seem to recall being told that it was called ‘Paddy’ bus’. But my memory may be deceiving me and the person who told me is now long dead. The final is remembered in part because about 300,000 people are believed to have got entrance to the stadium, which only had a capacity of 125,000. The spectators ended up overflowing on to the pitch including the playing area and mounted police had to be brought in to clear the spectators from the pitch including famously one on a light coloured horse. The game started 45 minutes. Although my source was not there, her brother was and she told me that she was told that spectators who’d fainted were passed over the heads of the other spectators to the first aid people.
In 1923 a group of farmers formed a bowls club. Mr Ellis presented the land on which the bowling green is situated.
August 1924 shows the service running to Laindon only on a Sunday. The rest of the week it only ran to Billericay. In August 1924 there were four buses a day through the village in each direction. Two Billericay or Laindon on route 4 and two to Southend via Billericay on route 12
In 1926 Stock parish council was receiving complaints about the speed of motor vehicles in the village and the noise of motor bikes, but the Ministry of Transport told the Council that they were not in favour of speed limits.
In 1927 or 1928 the first council houses were erected by Chelmsford Rural District Council in the village. It is known that at some time during the inter-war period a camp for unemployed men was built on the Ingatestone Road
Tilbury via Billericay, Wickford and Pitsea. In about 1929 Patten's Coaches started a service on the same route. In 1931 the two amalgamated. The reason and quite rightly for the competition was the National was not providing a very good service.
In 1926 William Dunn died and his widow put Lilystonc Hall up for sale. This was completed in 1928 and the house passed into non-Catholic hands, but the chapel remained opened for Catholic worship.
At some by the beginning of the 1930s the auxiliary power for Mill had been changed from steam to petrol.
In 1927 Stock Amateur Dramatic Society had been formed. One of the producers was Hermione Lang and the productions were very good: I have this on Hermione's own authority. Stock Drama Group's entry on the Stock Web Site claims that they were originally founded before World War II by the Women's Institute, gaining its own identity shortly after the war.
In 1930 the National Omnibus Company had become the Eastern National Omnibus Company. In the same year the route to Grays was extended to Tilbury at one end and at the other joined with some routes from Tilbury to Clacton or Harwich. Bus history is very difficult to understand. Stock had Eastern National routes to Pitsea via Wickford, Southend via Wickford Tilbury to Clacton or Harwich via Chelmsford and Colchester. Patten's ran from Chelmsford to Pitsea via Wickford. Patten's took over the Wickford Omnibus Company who had run from Chelmsford to Tilbury via Wickford in 1931. There was short lived service by Ongar and District from Stock to Brentwood via Billericay. Finally, in 1934 Patten's were taken over by the Eastern National.
In 1930 mains water finally reached the village. This didn't quite mean the end of pumps, as some were still in operation until at least 1934. They seemed to have gone out of use by 1936, but even today some still exist in the village. However, not all parts of the village received company water even then. For example, the hamlet of Tye Green in Swan Lane did not get it until 1939 and some houses in Mill Road were not connected until after the War. The inhabitants used to collect water from a well adjoining Swan Wood.
In 1932 Mr Ellis's son-in-law Vernon Harry Haggard, who had by this time made his way up the ladder of promotion in the Royal Navy and become chief of the submarine service in the Windward Isles, was knighted as Admiral Sir Vernon Harry Haggard.
In 1933 Stock found itself in a travel book, when Donald Maxwell (1877-1936)'s A Detective in Essex came out. The author had visited the village on a number of occasions
whilst researching the book, in which he mentions the Church and Mill. He also puts forward the idea that Stock was the cross roads of some ancient pre-Roman tracks. In 1934 electricity arrived: again, the whole village did not get it. For example, in Tye Green it did not come until 1957. Also in 1934 the first weekly collection of refuse started in the village.
In 1934 on the afternoon of Wednesday 4th July a village fair was held to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the joining Stock and Ramsden Bellhouse C of E parishes. The fair recreated the atmosphere of 1734, with various sideshows. A large number of villagers took for that day the names of parishioners of 1734 and wore period costume. For the afternoon the long green glade in Rectory Gardens did duty as the village street.
The village celebrated the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary in 1935 with a `Pageant of Empire'. There was a cricket match between the men and the women. That same year there was an important change in the boundaries. Effectively Buttsbury as a civil parish was abolished to become part of Stock. A few outlying parts near Billericay became part of Billericay Urban District Council. There is a part of Billericay, which falsely bears the name Buttsbury. Buttsbury only exists as an ecclesiastical parish including Imphey Hall, White Tyrells, Ramsey Tyrells, Buttsbury Church and Fristling Hall.
About 1935 the Mill ceased working and in 1936 was scheduled as a building of historic interest.
In 1936 the church porch of All Saints was restored by Mr Ellis at his own expense. Mr Ellis, when he lived in Greenwoods, owned Swan Wood and it was he who was responsible for the planting of the rhododendrums and the bamboo in it.
In Stock 1936 saw the removal of the pump from the village green on 22nd February.
In 1937 the village celebrated the coronation of George VI with, amongst other things, a Royal Harlequinade was presented in the village hall by the Moss CoronationCompany – Stanley, Hermonoine, Noel and Peter John.. The day was appallingly wet. Despite this there was alving pictures of English history on the Common and in the school a gathering of people sang national airs while the rain poured down outrside. A planned cricket match between the veterans and the ladies was cancelled. The WI provided free teas to residents after the king’s broadcast. The evening finished with dancing and a bonfire was lit. In November some `Coronation Trees' were planted; one on the common, two on the Church Green opposite the almshouses, one the Green by the Church and two on the Village Green to the south of the War Memorial. That year saw the death of Mr Ellis's wife, Emma: his son Rae had died in the Great War in September 1918..the day was appallingly wet
The same year saw the closure of the Catholic School, after a declining number of pupils, most of whom were from Billericay. Also, as Lilystone Hall was now in non-Catholic hands there was a need to make alternative provision for a place of worship. It was therefore decided by the bishop of Brentwood, Bishop Doubleday, with the trustees of the Gillow Trust to close the school from the end of the summer term July 1937. In April 1937 the dedication of the Lilystone Hall chapel to Our Lady of Mount Carmel was transferred to St Joseph's school. For a short period the building functioned as both a school and a church. Some of the pupils transferred to the Catholic primary school in Chelmsford. With the transfer of worship from Lilystone Hall to the old school Catholics no longer had to walk down the hill to a service. Even then the road on the hill was becoming a bit dangerous to cross. And in those days you had Communion separate from Mass and later Benediction.. The devout could end up going to Church three times in day. Communion was at 8 and Mass at 10 with Benediction at 5: all in Latin. Until the early 1950s, when going to Communion it was necessary to fast from midnight. I believe special rules applied for Christmas Midnight Mass.
In 1937 Sir (later Lord) Percival Perry, the chief representative of the Ford Motor Company in Great Britain, acquired Lilystone Hall.
The entry for Stock in Kelly's Post Office Directory 1937 shows all five public houses, a variety of trades from Post Office, grocer, butcher, confectioner, boot and shoe repairer, cycle agent and dealer, motor engineer, baker, newsagent, radio dealers, coal merchant, builders, farmer, poultry farmer, farrier, plumber, goat farmer, cattle conveyers, nurseryman, general stores, house painter, dairy farmer, medical officer. The football, cricket and bowling clubs are mentioned, as is the village hall. The Catholic and Church of England vicars are mentioned and notable private residents. There is a police station, but no mention of the school. There are motor omnibuses to Billericay, Southend, Chelmsford, Pitsea and Tilbury Ferry.
The churches were starting to get together. On Good Friday the first United Procession of Witness was held jointly by the Church of England and the Congregational Church; led by the processional cross and the choir of All Saints with the Rev Austen and the Congregational Minster Norman Goodchild, they toured the village finishing with a united service in All Saints
In 1928 Canon Cyril Shepherd, as he then was after having been raised to that rank in 1918, was replaced by Father Augustine Davidson. In 1938 Father Davidson was succeeded by Father Francis Dobson.
Also in 1938 a fund was started for the restoration of All Saints church tower.
At some time during the interwar period allotments were established off Back Lane, where Dakyn Drive now is.
One thing that was slightly worrying to the villagers in those days, was when the London County Council decided to build a mental hospital at Margaretting. One entrance to this would have come out on the Stock to ingatestone Road. Some work was actually done including the construction of the internal roads, which still exist.
The bus timetable for the summer of 1939 gives an interesting flavour of life then. The first bus from Chelmsford arrived at The Bear at 7.11 a.m. and only went to Wickford. There was a bus scheduled at 6.8 a.m. but that was at The Ship, 1'/z miles away and didn't come anywhere near the actual village. The first bus to Tilbury was 7.56 a.m., the first bus to Pitsea was at 8.26 a.m. and the first to Southend at 10.41 a.m. The last bus from Chelmsford arrived at 9.11 p.m. on a weekday, but 11.11 p.m. on a Saturday. This started from Baddow Road Corner in Chelmsford and not the bus station and could be, according to the timetable up to 15 minutes late, awaiting the films at the Ritz and Regent cinemas. The last bus from the bus station on a Saturday was due in Stock 10 11 p.m. On Sundays the first bus from Chelmsford was at 10.41 a.m. and the last at 10.41 p.m. In the other direction, the first to Chelmsford was 7.32 a.m. from Wickford, 8.24 a.m from Pitsea, 9.44 a.m. from Tilbury and 1.27 p.m. from Southend. and the last on a weekday to Chelmsford at 10.44 p.m. On Saturdays the last bus to Chelmsford was at 11.44 p.m. On Sundays the first bus was at 9.59 p.m. and the last 10.44 p.m. A ticket from Chelmsford to Stock cost 8d single or 1/- return. On those days buses had a crew of two men: a driver and a conductor. Tickets would have been issued from a rack of tickets kept by the conductor and punched by him on a ticket punch. The route from Chelmsford to Wickford and Pitsea was slightly more frequent, with the route from Clacton or Harwich to Tilbury next. Although with the exception of one bus in the morning from Harwich, most buses came from Clacton, although there were a couple of trips to and from Chelmsford and one fromColchester. The route to Southend had only three buses a day and between Billericay and Southend was in competition with both the railway and the City Coach Company, whose buses were every 15 minutes.
During the 1930s there was a polo ground in the village and from it some very small aircraft called ‘Flying Fleas’ were flown. Just before the second world war either a Spitfire or a Hurricane came down near Fristling Hall.
By 1939 preparations for war were being made: air raid shelters were dug, a start was made on distributing gas masks, evacuation plans for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children were being planned and conscription started in April.
The children coming from London were not country children. One story was of a boy seeing a woman milking a cow and telling her that he thought milk came from bottles. One lot was in a convent school run by Marist nuns, others were from St Bede's school.
There was the blackout.. .The air raid wardens... "Put that light out!" Mr Ellis let the wardens use a bedroom in Ellis Cottages in the High Street as a wardens' post. The bus route from Chelmsford to Southend via Billericay was withdrawn on 14th December, never to return. The Rectory Hall became the village First Aid post. Everyone had to carry gas masks. Identity cards were issued to everyone. Troops were billeted in the village at Hill Farm. Originally delinquent children (young offenders) evacuated from London had been billeted there. They were later billeted with families in the village Oh calamity! In 1940 rationing started. During the war the village had its own fire engine, which was manned by volunteers from the village and was kept in a shed at the Bear. Plans were drawn up for evacuation of civilians in the event of an invasion happening and the enemy not being repelled. The Local Defence Volunteers, later Home Guard, was formed. One source says that Stock's platoon's Captain was a Dutchman, Mr Petersen, who farmed Ramsey Tyrells for a time: the Sergeant was George Porter. Drill took place in Ingatestone. Another source says Stock Home Guard met in the village hall. Drilled at Brentwood once a month. Stock Home Guard was part of Ingatestone Home Guard. Officers were Major Pelly of Ingatestone and in Stock, Major More. The conclusion I have come to is that both sources were right, but the first was right for one period (possibly the early days) and the second was right for another period (possibly the later days). Horace also said that there were no pill-boxes in the village during the war, nor did he recall a leaflet about what to do if the Germans came or details of evacuation routes should the worst have happened. The stores and the armaments arsenal were the shed and buildings under the clock house at Greenwoods, which Mr Ellis let them use. Greenwoods featured in anti-invasion defence: some bricks were dislodged from the wall facing the main road in the direction of Chelmsford, the idea being that in the event of an invasion for the Home Guard to be able to shoot unseen at any approaching German troops. The cricket pavilion on the Common was used for barrels of tar: if the invasion took place this would be poured over the road to stop the approaching troops. Stock was just to the west of what was known as the GHQ Defence Line. Near West Hanningfield the Stock side of the A130 there still exists a pillbox from those days. As a further anti invasion measure sign posts were removed and the name of Stock (and of Buttsbury) from the Post Office, the notice boards of the churches and the war memorial obliterated.. On the latter the names were simply covered by a board. I was told that in Norsey Woods a. den belonging the so called Auxiliary Units equipped with arms for resistance should the Germans have invaded in 1940 has been found. Whilst one must not use hindsight one is tempted to ask whether such resistance would have been successful. One has to remember that one of reasons resistance on the continent had a success was precisely because Britain was not occupied. If Britain had been occupied things would have been different. Fortunately, very fortunately the invasion never happen, although some say it was tried. I once asked my late mother Margaret Phillips if she worried about the invasion and she told me she didn’t. I would hasten to add in her memory that she was not a German sympathiser. Because of the direction it was fought, i.e. towards the Thames and London, Stock tended to get RAF aeroplanes crashing in the vicinity, rather than Luftwaffe aircraft. Saturday 7th September 1940 was a beautiful late summer afternoon. At 5 p.m.there was a cricket match in progress on the Common between Stock and the Mildmay Ironworks. A boundary had just been hit when overhead there was a roar and as the players and spectators flung themselves to the ground as a badly damaged aircraft managed to just clear the treetops and land in a fatal crash in the meadow behind the Catholic Church. The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Reginald Eric Lovett of 73 Squadron flying a Hurricane from Debden, died saving the lives of the villagers. He was 36 at the time and was the son of Reginald and Lily Lovett of Golders Green. He is commorated by a plaque inside the porch of the Catholic Church.
One night a badly damaged Lancaster came down near Fristling Hall. All the crew but the rear gunner had got out safely. Father Dobson went to the crashed aircraft and gave the last rites to the dead man. Some time later he had to go to a meeting with some other priests, where he met a priest from Lancashire in whose parish was the fiancee of the young man who had died in bomber. It is also worth recording a Blenheim bomber which crashed at Ramsey Tyrells on 16th November 1940.Sadly, its three crew members, Sergeants Leonard Winter, Andrew Romanis and Alec John Theasby all died. (also see)
Strangely war has its comic moments. One airman who parachuted out of his crashing aeroplane and landed in a tree in Stock Lodge was first mistaken for an enemy airman. Part of Lilystone Hall was given over by Lord Perry to the Marist nuns, who used it as a school. For a time during the invasion scare some of the children and some of the nuns went down to Camborne in Cornwall, but had returned by the spring of 1943.
The war spared nowhere. Buttsbury church was damaged by a bomb. In Stock, there was only one building completely destroyed - the miller's house. On 13th December a German high explosive bomb fell in part of the old churchyard of All Saints. The building was considerably damaged; windows destroyed and damaged; tiles blown off the nave. Fortunately the belfry and the porch received only slight damage. Both the Congregational and the Catholic churches suffered some damage to their windows and the shop, now the antique shop, but then a butcher's, lost its plate glass windows. Fortunately no one was killed in the village and the church was repairable. For the first Sundays services were held in the Rectory and Greenwoods, but were then at Lord Perry's invitation transferred to Lilystone. During the weekend the War Cabinet met at Lord Perry's home and joined the congregation of All Saints for worship. If my interpretation is correct, both Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill and Clement Attlee visited Stock in 1941. By 12th October 1941 the church had been repaired and was re-opened.
A decoy to protect Chelmsford was constructed near Fristling Hall. This was a structure constructed of glass and apparently could be lit up to confuse the enemy bomber into bombing the surrounding countryside and not the town. It was guarded by an armed sentry. Apparently it was tried one night. Reputedly the night became as bright as day. Locals thought it was device to stop aircraft engines. Had such a device been constructed presumably the RAF and the Americans would not have flown that night!
And then of course there were the Yanks. The opinion of Margaret Phillips was she didn’t think much to them. Out of interest there was a proposal for an American airbase near Ingatestone, which came to nothing..
In 1944 there was still the menace of the flying bombs and the rockets to come. Some Stock Home Guardsmen on duty on either Ingatestone church tower or Fryerning church are reputed to have seen the first flying bomb come over.
In October 1944 the parish council had received permission from Chelmsford Rural District Council to remove the board from War Memorial covering up the name: there would have to be more names to be added to it.
In January 1945 the County Education Officer had written to parish council expressing a desire for a public library to be established in the village. There was some discussion over this. Some people thought that it would make Stock too towney. Fortunately for the village it was resolved in April when Mr Ellis offered the old British School, now the Royal British Legion Hall, as a country centre for a county library. It was another six months before the library could be opened. Sadly, October 1945, was the month that Mr Ellis died at the ripe old age of 95.
On 8th May 1945 the war in Europe came to an end. From colour photographic evidence taken elsewhere in southern and eastern England it was a warm sunny day. That day and the following day were public holidays. There were flags out in the village. There was a bonfire on the common and people marched round the common. In the evening there was dancing in the square. Music being supplied from the wireless shop in the right hand corner of the square at the junction with Mill Road. People were relieved the war in Europe was over and were looking forward to once eating such things as Mars Bars and oranges.
Meanwhile in August 1945 the Marist nuns had left Stock and had returned to their convent in Hythe in Kent. The Catholic Church some time later had an excursion to Hythe. Immediately after the Second World War a number of German prisoners of war were employed on farms in the area. I was told by my late mother that they were somewhat more gentlemanly than the Americans. Also in 1945, the Rev Austen decided to retire. Thirty-nine priests came to look at the battered parish church and rejected it. The fortieth was the Rev Joseph J T `Christopher' Tatham who came and decided to take it. Christopher Tatham was 57 and he came from London with some friends, who had survived the bombing, but had lost their homes. The locals were initially suspicious of the newcomers, but they gradually assimilated into the village whilst maintaining the close knit community within the Rectory Grounds.
In 1946, after 51 years as the Clerk of the Parish Council, A C Cottee resigned. He died in 1953.
In the 1944 plan for post-war south east England there was a proposal for a new town at Margaretting; had this been built it would have affected Stock significantly, but because it would have taken up valuable agricultural land it fell through and instead the area of uncontrolled plotland development around the Langdon Hills and Pitsea was chosen.
The hard cold winter of 1946/7 was the worst of the century. Snow started to fall in December and continued until March. It was so cold that if you touched metal with your bare hands they stuck to it. In 1947 the village was a rather dark place at night, but in that year the parish council proposed a revolutionary thing: street lighting! Mind you, they didn't want to overdo it with somewhere between six and twelve street lights.
Following the death of Mr Ellis, Greenwoods had been put on market by Admiral Sir Vernon Harry and Lady Dorothy Haggard. Negotiations started with the County Fire Service who wanted it for their headquarters. At this time the West Ham Baptist Mission had a centre for assistance and recuperation for distressed individuals and families at Shenfield. With the impending electrification of the railway from London to Shenfield (completed 1949) they were looking for a quieter location and so a deal was done with the County Fire Service to exchange properties. The West Ham Baptist Mission took over Greenwoods in 1948. The centre was formally opened on 5th August by Queen Elizabeth.
Meanwhile in 1947 the bus company decided to do something crazy. Route 4 from Chelmsford to Pitsea would be timed at the War Memorial, whereas route 51 from Harwich to Tilbury and route 53 from Clacton to Tilbury would be timed at the Bear. However, as the time table for route 4 also showed services for routes 51 and 53 between Chelmsford and Billericay in that timetable the stopping place was shown as the War Memorial, whereas in their own timetable their stopping place was shown as the Bear. Route 4 would have used double deck buses in the main, whereas routes 51 and 53 used single deckers. This situation lasted until 1952 when all routes were timed to stop at the War Memorial.
In 1947 Workhouse Lane was renamed Common Lane. According to Donald Jarvis, this was because someone living there objected to the name and felt that it was `a rather common name'. I can see someone in the Rural District Council having a rather nice sense of humour. In 1950 an over 60s club was formed.
Meanwhile, whilst the Leather Bottle on the Downham Road was no longer an inn, the name lived on in the name of the hamlet. The inn had become the Old Ale House The hamlet at this time was in West Hanningfield, but the residents petitioned the authorities for it to be transferred to Stock. West Hanningfield were reluctant to do this, but eventually gave in.
Whilst not strictly related to Stock it is worth mention that readers of J R R Tolkein's Lord of the Rings which came out in 1953-1954 will notice that the name Stock occurs. While Tolkein did not visit Stock, it is interesting to note that there is a house called Hobbits in the village.
Waiting for buses in the wet wasn't nice, particularly in the exposed position near the War Memorial in the direction of Billericay. There was a bit more shelter in the direction of Chelmsford. The bus company were asked to provide a bus shelter but refused. In stepped Mr F C Johnson, who agreed to provide a shelter to commemorate his term as Chairman of the Council. It was erected in 1951, Festival of Britain year.
Meanwhile also in 1951 in order to enable Catholics in isolated parishes to receive mass on Sunday at least once every two months, the Diocese of Brentwood established a travelling mission, run by Father Francis Dobson of Stock. From then until the mid-1960s Stock would be served from Ingatestone, although Father Dobson still lived in the Presbytery in Stock. The priest from Ingatestone was Father Hugh Verity.
To celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 a pageant - `Ancient and Modern' - was held, whilst on the Village Green bulbs were planted. That year also saw a memorial to King George VI erected in All Saints churchyard: the only such memorial in an Essex village.
In about 1954 the village bakery owned by the Cottee family closed
That year Orchard House under the care of Greenwoods was established as a residential home, where 20 boys in need of guidance between the ages of 13 and 16 could be cared.
The end of the year saw the arrival in the village of Father Leo Corbett of the Society of St Edmund, whom the Bishop of Brentwood (and later Archbishop of Liverpool), Bishop Beck, had invited to assist with the travelling mission. Father Corbett, like most members of the Society, was an American. In July 1955 Father Dobson moved out and was given charge of Warley parish.
In 1956 Lord Perry died. As he had no children, the title became extinct, however, his adopted daughter Molly was the president of the Perry Foundation for several years until her death in 1984.
In the 1950s the village had two butchers, one (Baker) where the Victorian Posy is now and the other where Nine Maternity is (Wright). The fish shop was where the Indian take away is now (Baker).
There was a greengrocers (owned by Baker) where the hairdressers (Maurice) now is. The Four Vinters was then a grocers (Westons) and between that and butchers in Mill Road was a cobblers (Bozko). Just across from Westons was the ironmongers (Upson). Where the post office and general store now is was then just a grocers (Harveys). The bistro was then a newsagents was then owned by Simpsons, whilst the post office (Barker) was then in what is now the house next to the house with the concrete frontage. It had a post box in the wall. Others were situated at the top of the hill opposite the Church and in Mill Road near the old village hall. The old house came nearly up to the street frontage and had iron railings. It was pulled down in the early 1960s. There were a couple of sweet shops in the village, one in the small house just across from what is now the Cock car park (Owers), and one in a house opposite the antique shops (Eves). There was also a grocers up Mill Road near to where Unwin Place now is and the village hall previous to the current one stood. There were two builders - Elliot's whose yard was where the entrance to the private road and telephone exchange is Mill Road now is and Cable's next to the then village hall. The police station was in Mill Road, as was the doctors. There was a garage in Mill Road on the Catholic Church side of the road. Telephone boxes were opposite the garage and at the top of Swan Lane: these were of the good old fashioned sort, where you had to lift the receiver, get the operator, either dial and put in the money or vice versa and push button A when you got through, but button B if you didn't. What is now the library was then the telephone exchange. In Stock in those days was the original village hall. The Mill was a bit dilapidated. The school was the old school at the bottom of School Lane. The rectory hall was used by the school for teaching infants. The pubs were all there, but the Cock had quite a bit of ground. Where the car park and the school now are was a field, where the occasional fun fair was held. There was a blacksmiths in the Square opposite the Bear. The three churches were there, but the Catholic Church had a high brick wall and still betrayed vestiges of its school days: lit had no bell. Big houses were Stock Lodge and Little Court then owned by Admiral Sir Harry Vernon and Lady Haggard. Both houses had rather more ground than they have now, the latter particularly so. The Hunt used to meet outside the Bear. Where Cygnet Wood now is was field, where scouts sometimes camped. On the Village Green every Christmas and into the late 1960s a Christmas tree lit by electric lights was erected. By this period Swan Wood was now open to the public.
In 1956 Chelmsford Rural District published an Official Guide, in which Stock gets a mention. The church, the mill, the almhouses, White Tyrells. Two photographs. (The Green and the Church). Five advertisements (F A Baker, Butcher, Fishmonger and Poulterer; Cable Bros, Builders and Contractors; Mill Road Garage, Garden Fields; what I take to be a tea shop; and Barcley Corsetry Service). The village is also recorded as having a Catholic church and a bowling club.
A rather interesting thing happened at the time of the Suez Crisis in 1956. Stock Conservatives opposed the Suez operation and sent a telegram to the Prime Minister of the day, Anthony Eden, who resigned the next day – not sadly as a result of the telegram.
One thing that did affect the village during the mid 1950s was the electrification of the Liverpool Street to Southend railway line, providing a faster service than the old steam trains and people who worked in London slowly started to come in to the village.
About 1957 a Government Animal Research Establishment was established on the piece of land between the main road, the Ingatestone Road and Honeypot Lane, just south of Lilystone Hall. It was opened by the Duke of Norfolk.
In 1959 the bus route to Pitsea was split with half the buses going to Pitsea and half going to Basildon.
That year saw the extension of the cricket pavilion by the addition of two changing rooms, a toilet, a scorebox and a kitchen. No longer would teas be provided in the Baker's Arms. In the 1960s a bar was added.
1960 saw the death of Admiral Sir Harry Vernon Haggard. His coffin was drawn to the church on a gun carriage escorted by 50 naval officers and men. Over his grave three volleys were fired and the Royal Marines sounded the Last Post and the Reveille.
Also in that year the Congregational Church celebrated its 150th anniversary and to mark the occasion, the Vicar of Galleywood was invited to preach - the first time that a Church of England vicar had preached in the building. In the same year the Rev Tatham was invited to preach in the Catholic church. The1960s were a relatively uneventful decade in some ways for the village.
For a few days in early December 1962 there was a great fog, or rather the last great pea souper or smog if you like. As I went to school in Chelmsford on one day this stopped me going to school. This was followed by the cold winter of 1962/63. The bad weather lasted for several months. It was alright if you were a child. The snow. Great fun! Not if you were an adult trying to get to work. Nor was it much fun if your water pipes burst.
In 1963 Father Verity suffered a stroke and from then was assisted by Father James Allis. Father Verity died in 1965.
1964 saw an alteration to the buses in the spring, when the Tilbury to Harwich and Chelmsford to Pitsea routes were taken off, the Chelmsford to Basildon via Wickford route became a couple of work and school journeys, the Tilbury to Clacton route was diverted via Basildon (except for one journey from Chelmsford to Laindon and return) and a new route was opened from Wivenhoe to Tilbury.
The year also saw the separation of Stock and Ramsden Bellhouse Church of England parishes.
In 1965 Stock got a parish priest back. The diocese of Brentwood decided to let the Society of St Edmund run the parish. The new parish priest was the American Father Paul Isadore Plouffe, inducted in July 1965 by the Bishop's delegate, Canon Wilson of Chelmsford. This had some interesting effects. The prayer books seem to have been those issued to the United States Airforce and there was an excursion to RAF Wethersfield, an American air base. For a short time the church had a youth club and young people came from outside the village. Because of the gradual provision of new churches and chapels in remote areas, it was decided by the diocese to end the travelling mission. Meanwhile Christian unity was growing and slowly ecumenical events occurred.
On 4th July 1969 Father Plouffe left the village and Father Thomas McMahon was appointed parish priest in August. It was also about this time that the bell was put up. Sometime earlier that walls to the grounds had been lowered. .
At All Saints 1968 Father Tatham had retired and had been succeeded by Father Jeremy Bunting. In the same year the old fashioned village fete was replaced by a Flower Festival.
In the mid to late 1960s Eastern National put on some limited stop bus services. These enabled a faster journey from the village to Clacton and were extended to Walton-on-the-Naze. These started at either Grays or Basildon and were summer only. On average bus services were better at this time than they are now. The same period also the construction of the first bus shelter on the Chelmsford side of the road: about 1990, following its accidental demolition by a lorry, it was rebuilt. In 1969 Greenwoods celebrated its 21st Aniversary and was visited by the Duchess of Kent
The latter part of the 1960s had seen the building of a new school, originally for the younger children, but in 1971 it was expanded and the old school on the hill closed. The period of the early 1970s also saw the building of new village hall on the site of the old one.
September 1970 saw the end of the bus routes from Tilbury to Wivenhoe and Clacton and their replacement by a Chelmsford to Grays route. The period saw the building of more houses both private and council.
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