Ann Mintram (nee Yeo)
Some childhood memories of Benfleet
Ann, now living in Wales, sends us her memories of the 1950s and 60s :
I was one year old when moving into the houseboat, so cannot remember its name, but I can remember it was cream in colour and in sections, with the kitchen area at the far end. The boat was quite a way down the towpath. We moved out to Tarpots when I was four years old , during that time my father worked operating the drawbridge over the creek to Canvey.
We used to visit the Clock House Cafe up the small hill towards Vicarage Hill. It was double fronted, with part of the seating area to the back. I seem to recall a pub opposite, but again cannot remember its name. I do remember a portable stall just the Benfleet side of the railway line selling shell fish, pies and liqours. On the opposite corner was another pub and across the road were a set of public toilets. My memory of them was that I got locked in the ladies and somebody had to rescue me.
Local doctors were just up from the Clock House in quite a new building. The doctor’s names were Smith, Pope and Holloway. I was under them ’til I was about 19, by which time I was living in Thundersley. I am 60 now. My mother’s name was Maureen Yeo and dad was George Yeo …both moved to Benfleet from Barking. I do remember the water tower at the top of Vicarage hill.