Janet Lane (nee Osborne) has written to tell us of her memories of Fred and Kate Conyard who lived at Hawthorns, Windermere Road, Thundersley. They were a couple, known to her father who worked with Dick Osborne at Benfleet Council in the 1950’s and Janet used to visit them in the late 1960’s.
She remembers Kate quite well as a small, stooped lady, a smoker who always wore a beret. Kate obviously loved animals as she had a Pekinese dog, a scruffy lurcher type dog called Mokey (Smokey ?), a parrot and a Mynah bird, both kept in cages in the kitchen, and an aviary in the back garden housing budgerigars.
Janet used to sit in the kitchen with them where hot water was supplied by an Ascot heater over the sink and hot beverages had sterilised milk added as it kept fresher, (no fridges in those days)
The Mynah bird, being an excellent mimic, had a striking 8-note song, and it copied Fred’s smokers cough, a real deep, laboured, wheezy, hacking cough. The parrot seemed to spend most of its time climbing round the cage, possibly out of boredom.
The story goes that a tradesman calling one day, receiving no reply, asked a neighbour if Mrs Conyard was alright as she was continually shouting ‘GO AWAY’. Needless to say it was the Mynah bird.
If anyone can add further information about this couple please let us know.