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