Jotmans Lane

Howard's Farm

Jotmans Lane viewed from the High Road
Date Unknown

Remembering Jotmans Lane

I have some very nice memories of Howard’s Farm in Jotmans Lane, I went out with a very nice girl from there, Kathy, her father ran the farm at the time, long before it became something else. There was, I recall a very fine bull on the farm and he was massive but seemingly well tempered and certainly seemed to enjoy being petted.

Her father had a great interest in his garden and large amounts of vegetables were grown on it, no doubt to help feed the family.

The elder daughter married and had a child but I often met her husband prior to their marriage. Stan at that time drove a Sunbeam Alpine, was it the Tiger? Whatever its name it had the V8 engine and was considered a superb motor at the time, drop head into the bargain, made my Austin A90 seem a bit tame in comparison.

At the time I was in the Merchant Navy and would be away for three or four months at a time and regrettably it proved too much for us and it just sort of drifted apart to my regret but I can still remember how I would look out from the train from Tilbury to Benfleet on my return, and then of course the last view as I re-joined my ship and would be away again for some time.

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  • Moved to Uplands Rd, off Jotmans Lane, around 1963/64 – I would have been 11 then. We knew it as Jotmans Farm back then and it was a wonderful playground, often walking all the way through to Bowers Gifford Church. I do remember there was a stock bull called “Jock” that was kept in a stable at the front to the left of the farm house.
    There was a rumour that the farm belonged to the film star Richard Greene of Robin Hood fame ( who was termed a “Gentleman Farmer”).

    I do remember that Uplands Rd had a lot of large old family homes with huge gardens and orchards – which all seemed to be abandoned and my brothers and I would venture inside these houses and play in the gardens that always seemed to have lovely old roses and fruit trees, and go butterfly hunting. Soon after the developers moved in and demolished the lot and built all the houses that are there now. We lived 2 houses away from the care home that was built on the land of one of those lovely old houses. Very happy times growing up there.

    Went to Benfleet Junior for a year then to the brand new Appleton Secondary Modern School in Croft Rd in 1965 – first intake. The school was still a building site as it wasn’t quite finished- lovely times having the whole school to ourselves for the first year.

    By Glen Cameron (17/06/2023)
  • In 1957 when I was 13yrs old, I had a morning paper round which included the entire length of Jotmans Lane which was  unmade at the far end. At 6.30 every morning I’m not sure what terrified me more – the worry that the above mentioned large bull had broken out of its shed (it usually had its head looking out over the barn door) or the pitch blackness.

    By Miriam Petheram nee COLLIER (04/11/2014)
  • Hi Colin, I remember you well I was very young, hope you are well.

    By Kathy Jacobs (04/03/2013)
  • Hi Kathy, how nice to hear from you after so many years, Sisters and Brother all well. Do you still live in the Benfleet area? I’m in Hampshire now though only just, right on the borders of Surrey and Berkshire.

    By Colinmac (04/03/2013)

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