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
Also in 1901 Richard Adam Ellis
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
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
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
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,
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
(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
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
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
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 Railways timetable along with other bus
timetables. The earliest one I have found for Galleywood is in the same
companys 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
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
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
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 lets 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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 whod 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 kings 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
In 1937 Sir (later Lord) Percival Perry,
the chief representative of the Ford Motor Company in Great Britain, acquired
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
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 didnt. 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
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
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
And then of course there were the Yanks.
The opinion of Margaret Phillips was she didnt 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
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
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
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
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
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
In the 1950s the village had two
butchers, one (Baker) where the Victorian
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
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
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
In 1963 Father Verity suffered a stroke
and from then was assisted by Father James Allis. Father Verity died in
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
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
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.