I lived with my father, mother and grandparents in St Mary’s Drive in late forties until 1951. My father had the house built with a large garden (as I remember it!). There were a few houses behind but mostly woodland where you could find newts, slow worms and snakes. One of my friends was bitten by an adder. We all panicked but had the sense to take him home; we were around eight years old. Opposite our house were several tall trees which were full of rooks’ nests every year. They were extremely noisy but fascinated me.
I went to the local primary school and usually walked all the way and alone. I found reading difficult (now days I would be diagnosed as dyslexic) and still can’t spell. However, I passed the eleven plus and went to Westcliff High School but only for one term as the family then moved to Norfolk.