Modern Basildon has its roots in the railways and the decision of The Land Company in 1891 to buy up land from cash-strapped farmers and sell it on in plots; posters went up in Lndon advertising the benefits of country living, and must have sounded like heaven to many people living in the slums of the East End. In this book the children of these original plotlanders vividly recall their experiences: how they lived, went to school and played, along with more modern reminiscences of the schooldays, wartime and working life of the newcomers who arrived in the New Town from London and all parts of the country.
At the end of the war we children did not have a street party and were put to bed but the adults has one in the Railway Hotel Pitsea. People were dancing, singing in the street with their red, white and blue knickers on. We crept out of bed and pressed our noses up against the windows of our upstairs flat watching the grown-ups go mad.
Memories of Basildon offers the reader a fascinating view of the town's past and will appeal to all who know the area.
Jim Reeve is the chair of the Brentwood Writers' Circle, and has worked in the area as a housing officer for more than 20 years.