Great Dunmow, part 2

24 Ongar Road

The family moved to 24 Ongar Road in mid 1957. Rood End was a good start, but the family was about to get larger and a bungalow on the edge of town on the comparatively quiet Ongar Road seemed ideal. There was a big garden to play in, grading from lawns, through a vegetable patch and a small orchard to end at industrial premises occupied by a boat yard. Apparently one of my unofficial foods were snails (little boys…) found in the garden.

Kay Stock and myself on Dad’s boat trailer
Kay and myself on the trike
Kay Stock and myself in the sandpit, playing “soolage” – my way of saying sewage. Normal boys and girls build sand-castles – we built sewage works – note the buckets and to the right: Friday

My pretty inseparable best friend then was Kay Stock from next door – as far as can figure out, we spent a great deal of time playing together. , sadly, have no idea what happened to her. It would be fun to find out, but in these days of privacy on Google I am not sure how I would do that.

Our dog in those days was a big black cross between a Labrador and a greyhound. His name was Friday, because he joined the family on a Friday when we were in Redruth. When I say joined, he just followed Mum and myself (in a pram) home rom the town and despite advertising, his previous owner could not be found. Mum thinks that he might have been dumped. Friday was obviously fairly attached to me, and I was to him. A large proportion of the pictures of me from that era have Friday in them. He was obviously a bit of a lad – from Rood End he apparently used to commute to the pub by the brewery on an evening and was given a drink of beer. From Rood End this was about 500m away. This continued from 24 Ongar Road (3km) and from Old House (of which more shortly (4km)). He was also very attracted by female dogs on heat, and Dad had to go and collect him on several occasions from some distance away. One night he never came back and I remember being very sad that my friend had gone.

Friday and myself in 24 Ongar Road garden. Note the nappies on the washing line!

My brother Guy (1957) and sister Jo (1959) were both born in 24 Ongar Road (an advantage of having both parents as doctors I guess!).

Guy and myself, 1958
From left: myself, Jo, Guy, front lawn of Ongar Road, 1960

I paid a visit to 24 Ongar Road yesterday. It is now lived in by Lorraine and Stuart and their family who were very kind and invited me in and gave me a cup of tea or two after yesterday’s long ride, and to show me around. The fine bungalow has gone, as has the long garden, and the Stock’s house at number 22. As with much of Dunmow, “gone, replaced by houses” seems to be the mantra.

24 Ongar Road now
Lorraine and Stuart in their garden at 24 Ongar Road
The garden at 24 Ongar Road – and where the garden used to be
The houses on the other side of Ongar Road have not changed, and neither have many in either direction. I guess the lure of a large garden to build on was too much for a developer

Elsewhere in Dunmow, the “gone, replaced by houses” is very obvious: the brewery and associated pub have been swept away to be replaced by the Maltings housing development. The bakery by the Doctor’s pond (named after Dr Lukin, the inventor of the unsinkable lifeboat) has become houses, as has the primary school that Guy, Jo and myself attended.

A brewery stood here once, along with a pub and stables for the drayman’s horses.
Here stood a bakery (I did a school project at said bakery,. and have loved bakeries ever since!
Several of the town’s shops have stayed in the same place with the same name. I went in to GW Blower’s watchmakers, watchmenders and jewellers to enquire if any Blower’s were still associated with the business. Sadly they are not. One of my friends at primary school was Richard Blower; my strongest memory was of his father taking some of us to Brands Hatch motor racing circuit to watch the 1965 British Grand Prix. The race was won by Scottish farmer, Jim Clark, followed by Graham Hill (father of Damon) with Jim Surtees (also a motorbike racer) third. We were allowed to stand right by the track! I still have the hand-filled race card for the day.
I wish this had myself in the picture: it shows the graduates of one year’s cycling proficiency test outside Dunmow Primary School – now houses. My brother Guy is standing centre front and apart from our head-master, Vic Fathing at the right, I am not sure who anyone else is. It would be fun to find out!

By 1960, it was time to move again though…..another episode!

6 thoughts on “Great Dunmow, part 2

  1. Hi Mark, I think the dark haired girl in the middle is Joscelyn Aldous and the boy, 3rd from the left, could be Steve Philpott!


    1. Hi Kathy, greetings from a pub on the road from Peterborough to Lincoln -refuelling and sheltering from some wet and windy conditions. I certainly think that is Stephen Philpott but I cannot remember Jocelyn. Hope all good with you. Cheers Mark


  2. Hi Mark, I fondly remember you & all your family- brother Guy was my 1st boyfriend when we were 6, ( tho’ he might not want to be reminded!). We spent a lot of time together as families as our parents were great friends. My mum died nearly 20 years ago, but dad is still going strong at 91, living in dunmow still as I do with my growing family. In the cycle photo, I too recognise Josclyn Aldous & Steve Philpot, but also Steve Todd & I think one of the Players boys in the front. Can’t see my brother Richard there, ( unless I don’t recognise him!!). Give my fond regards to Guy for me, and Bill, sorry to hear about mum and send best wishes to Joanna, hope she recovers as well as she can. Lovely to read all about your cycle journey.
    Jane Hammond nee Byford


    1. Dear Jane
      I should read my emails in the order sent…. Thanks for this, and I do remember you of course. Glad to hear that you are thriving and still in Dunmow – though Dunmow is probably growing faster than your family! I will certainly pass on your wishes to Guy, Jo and Bill. Jo is pretty determined to recover the best she can – and having trained and practised as an occupational therapist, she knows what is needed. Just on an off chance, our neighbour on Ongar Road was Kay Stock – I guess my first girlfriend (aged 2 onwards!) – do you have any idea what happened to her? If you want to reply on my email rather than here, then will reach me.
      All good wishes


  3. Having studied the photo harder, I think the 2nd boy on r at back is Rick Philpott, 2nd girl on r holding bike possibly might be Rosemary Owers, & I think it my possibly be my brother Richard standing behind Guy!!
    Jane Hammond nee Byford


    1. Jane
      Thanks for that. You have confirmed two other identifications and added one. I’ll maybe republish that picture at some point with all the identifications filled in.


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