Peter and Olive Nunn

Memories of Benfleet

Peter and Olive Nunn
Phil Coley
G.R.Nunn's butcher shop which is where Benfruit is now. This is where Peter grew up as a child.
R.F. Postcards collection
The original of people walking up the High Street Benfleet. Olive recognised two of the people.
R.F. Postcards collection
A blowup of the High Street photo. The two ladies on the right-hand side, who are talking together, are Olive's mother - Violet Margaret Smith - and her grandmother Mrs Cripps.
R.F. Postcards collection
The lead taxi driver is likely to be Peter's uncle Bill Nunn.
R.F. Postcards collection
The Hopes Green Parades.
R.F. Postcards collection
Olive believes this photo show her grandfather as one of the ferrymen to Canvey Island
Jackie Barnes collection
Peter and Olive Nunn Benfleet Shops part 1
G.R.Nunn the butchers - Peter's father - opened in 1924 (says 1928 on recording), descriptions of other local shops and their location in relation to G.R.Nunn, Bill Nunn - Peter's uncle - as the taxi driver, Olive's grand dad - Cripps - as the ferry man, shops in the village including identifying Olive's mum - Violet Margaret Smith (nee Cripps) and her grand mother, the Crown where Peter's uncle lived though he drank in the Anchor, Marie Nunn the barber, Nurse Valentine the mid-wife. (9 mins 57 secs)
Peter and Olive Nunn Benfleet Shops part 2
The builder of Hopes Green shops funeral, a description of the Hopes Green Shops in the 1940s, Olive's grand dad - Jesse Cripps as the ferryman, Glanfields the military uniform manufacturer, going across the creek to Canvey, the powder magazines. (8 mins 56 secs)
Peter and Olive Nunn Benfleet Shops part 3
Shops at Green Road, the four butchers in Benfleet, Maldon Iron Works next to the Hoy and Helmet where Peter's grand father worked, Chappel estates, Suggs the grover, the banks (5 mins 40 secs)
Peter and Olive Nunn - War Memories
The V2 bomb on Boyce Hill golf club, crater up at Fairmead road, a doodlebug story, Boyce Hill Golf Course was a training ground for tanks, the Bird's estate army camp. (2 mins 37 secs)
Peter and Olive Nunn - Canvey Flood
How they found out about the flood. Olive having all of February off from school due to King Johns School being part of the rescue. (1 min 8 secs)
Peter Nunn's job as a tanker driver
Driving petrol tankers through Benfleet, winter time problems in getting up the hill. (1 min 28 secs)

Peter and Olive Nunn came into the Library on Saturday 5th November 2011 and started talking about Benfleet. As we were running that month’s Library session for the Benfleet Archive we asked them if they minded if we recorded the conversation. They agreed and the recordings on this page are edited from that forty minute conversation.

Peter┬áNunn was born in 1935 and Olive in 1940 and they have lived in Benfleet their entire lives. They willingly shared their recollections on various topics especially shops. Peter’s father was George Nunn who was one of the four butchers in Benfleet. However Peter did not have a picture of his father’s shop which we were happy to supply him with.

Our thanks to both of them for their co-operation in recording these memories.


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  • Talking about the Champions if Richmond Ave Benfleet, Geoffrey Champion was in my class at school knew him really well. After I married and moved away from Benfleet I was very surprised that my mum had taken Geoff in as a lodger he was my brothers friend and at the time had nowhere to live. When I left with my husband and two children to go to Australia where I have been living for 52 yrs Geoff came down to Benfleet station to see us off. I heard in later years he went to New Zealand, he was a nice young man.

    Going back to Mr Nunn our butcher every Saturday had to get the Sunday roast meat from him was friends with his grandson Ian Barclay. Peter Nunns wife Olive Smith was in my class at Benfleet Primary School remember she has curly hair.

    By Stella Sutherland nee Bouchereau (15/11/2022)
  • Lovely listening to Pete and Olive talking about the area where I was born. Sadly my mother died in 1964 and all the memories were lost of our childhood and the family broke up.

    By Dulecia King (29/01/2021)
  • David Hope was my father Don Thompson. Nice to hear he was your friend many moons ago.

    By Jane Bailey (21/09/2014)
  • I lived in Hope Road with my grandma. I remember you, Peter Nunn, quite well. I believe you lived nearly opposite David Hope, who was a friend of mine until my family moved to Hadleigh in 1945.

    By Don Thompson (13/07/2013)
  • My mum remembers the Nunn’s, brought back loads of memories, her name is Cynthia Relph (maiden name Neale). Mum and dad took us to Benfleet, Thundersley and Canvey Island a lot when we were children, lovely area. Anne Burgess (Relph) 

    By Anne Burgess (28/06/2012)
  • I remember having my hair cut at Marie’s (always pronounced as Mar-ree), in the early 1950’s. Her ‘salon’, if you could call it that, was a wooden building roughly in front of what is now the Conservative Club. I am told that it was originally the old Customs House. I absolutely hated having my hair cut there. Marie was quite rough with me. I was told that she lived on a house-boat in Benfleet Creek and that she was a bargee. Whether that was true or not I don’t know. 

    My Aunt, who lived in Hall Farm Road, used to take me there and afterwards we would return there for stewed eels and liquor. Come to think of it I didn’t like eels either and have never voluntarily eaten one since!

    By Robert Scott (27/04/2012)
  • Was Marie Nunn’s maiden name Welsh?  If so my mother, Doris Burnside, remembers her.

    By Norma Wilson (26/03/2012)
  • Correction to my last comment, my mother’s relatives, the Champions, lived in Richmond Ave, Benfleet. My mother lived near the top of Chesterfield Ave, just below St Peters Church with her brother Gerald and her mum and dad Fred and Doll Champion and Babara all went to Benfleet school most likely in the late 1920s.

    By Pete Robbins (07/12/2011)
  • If of interest, my mother is now 90 and her maiden name was Babara Champion. She has lived in Thundersley since she was a little girl, and her relatives, the Champions lived in Jotmans Avenue, Benfleet.

    By Peter Robbins (04/12/2011)
  • Peter brought back many memories of Benfleet during the 40/50s.  We called his shop grs bangers, after the name on the shop front which was G R Nunn sausages.  Incidentally, Peter & I were in the same class at Benfleet School.

    By Gordon Carpenter (22/11/2011)

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