Glimpse history through old images of South Ockenden, Essex, England.
Cost of Living Campaigner 1958
Back in 1958, the cost of living crisis was worrying many families, struggling to put food on the table.
A 26-year-old mother of two, Mrs Joyce Lewis, was a houswive living in a council owned flat in South Ockenden. She decided something needed to be done about impact of rising inflation on ordinary households.
Rejecting strikes and the ‘I’m alright, Jack’ contingent, she asked her neighbours to buy from shops where the prices were reasonable, and avoid shopping at those with higher prices. They would create a small group noting retailer’s prices, so the community would know which category each store belonged too.
They also wanted a local market to be set up, in expectation the stalls would undercut the prices in the shops.
Only one retailer attended the group’s first meeting.
This newsreel includes scenes inside her flat, the square outside, many neighbours, the G.W.Beasley store, a vegetable shop window (you can just about see the reflection of the flats over the road in the window), a local fishmonger, and many local shoppers.
Housewives’ Revolt (1958) – British Pathé on YouTube
Extract from: More about Stifford and Its Neighbourhood, Past and Present …, by William Palin
Published in 1872
South Ockendon .
Okingdon , as it was sometimes written , seems to have been the general
name originally of one district or lordship , broken , as its forest land was
gradually cleared and increased in value and population , into two lordships ,
now constituting and known as parishes , distinguished as North and South .
It is of Anglo – Saxon origin , supposed to mean Oak – pasture – hill ( called a
hill , from being bounded on the south – east and cast by the valley of the
Mardyke , and on the north by the valley of Great Warley and Cranham ) .
The same process of disintegration going on as at Thurrock and Tilbury ,
and commonly elsewhere in the ancient manors of our neighbourhood ( from
the same cause , and with a view to marriage settlements , etc. ) , it was
further divided , in 1471 , into the two manors of Bruyns and Groves , going
to the coheiresses of Sir Thos . Bruyn , viz . , Bruyns , or what we now know as
South Ockendon Hall , to Elizabeth , wife of Thos . Tyrell , son of Sir Thomas
Tyrell , of Heron ; and Groves to Alice , widow of Robert Harlestone , Esq .
BRUYNS . The manor – house , now known as South Ockendon Hall , is the
residence of Mr. Charles Sturgeon . Morant describes the original mansion
as partly surviving when he wrote , a little over a century ago : ” The
capital seat was a stately one , not far from the church . Little of it remains
now but the front , which is of stone , in the Gothick style . It was encom
passed by a moat , very wide , and full of fine clear water . ”
The moat re
mains , the delusion and snare of many a sanguine disciple of Isaac Walton ,
who comes from Babylon prepared ( with Mr. Sturgeon’s humorous permis
sion ) to capture a goodly store of the mighty carp which abound in it
( themselves Bruyns in their generation , some of them it may be contempo
raries ) , but finds the coveted fish named rightly water – fox , and goes away
empty , a wiser if a sadder man .
Of the original mansion the only part
now remaining is a part of the ancient gateway and draw – bridge . Before
this may now be seen , not indeed the after – dinner * hawking parties of lords…
Without adopting our friend’s arithmetic , enough remains to suggest an
excuse for the old practice of burying without coffins at South Ockendon .
In Notes and Queries , xii . 380 , mention is made of two persons of rank
buried , by their own directions , without coffins . At p . 365 it is stated , ” At
Naples there is a place called Campo Santo , which contains 365 deep pits ;
into one of which the bodies of all the poor , who may die on that particular
day , are thrown every day of the year . The pit used that day is then closed
up , quick lime having been thrown upon the bodies , till the corresponding
day of next year . ” To those who show they have little soul , by having no
reverence for the body , this may be a useful hint .
” 1744 , March 25. A new surplice bought , – ells , making and washing
June 14. The western side of the tower fell , about four o’clock in the
morning , without any violence of wind or storm .
Oct. 21. The wall of tower , which was just repaired , fell down , occa
sioned by the great rain . ”
S. Ockendon gave up the unequal contest .
The stunted tower was left for Mr. Benyon to restore over a century after
A quantity of old coins were lately dug up here , and are in the
hands of ” ye milar ” already familiar to the reader . The rose on them
resembles that on the coinage of Henry VII . and Henry VIII .
NATIONAL SCHOOLS for boys and girls , with house for master and mistress ,
were erected by Mr. Benyon , Lord of the Manor , in 1864. Besides these ,
there is a British School .
HOUSES . – S . Ockendon Hall has been already noticed . Bell House Farm ,
the property of Sir T. B. Lennard , and occupied by Mr. Joseph Manning ,
adjoining Belhus Park , is of great age , and claims to have been a night’s
halting – place of Queen Elizabeth , exhibiting of course her ” room , ” as
Belhus also does . Myth as this may be ( see West Tilbury ) , it has the only
specimen of flat oak panelling in the neighbourhood , it is said , except
Great Sunnings , Upminster . The Rectory , though old , some parts of it
at least three centuries , is less old , but the moat surrounding it carries the
mind back to what was there before it .
CHRISTIAN ONENESS is represented in the parish by separate places of
worship for Wesleyans and Independents , antagonistic to each other , and
only agreeing in antagonism to the Church by the political dissenters among