Southwell Road

1950s to 2011

The changing landscape

These pictures of Southwell Road show the changing landscape over a period of around 50 years.

The fourth photo on this page was probably taken in the early 70s and you can clearly see there was very little housing in the area at that time.

In the mid 1970s much of the land was sold and new houses were built. Today, Southwell Road is lined by houses from its junction with Hill Road, along the whole length until the junction with Mount Road.

Since publication of this page we have been contacted by a reader of the site, Martin Pachy, with the following comments.

I was looking at the Southwell Road page (I used to live in one of the houses in the photos) and noticed that two of the photos marked as being from different eras were in fact taken on the same day in either 1971 or 1972. I have stitched them together to make a composite.

I remember as a kid, the view from our house consisted of a hillside covered in thorn trees and thick bush that went all the way up to Hill Road (our house is the bungalow on the left of your father’s picture). The only houses we could see were the Rowlands (my friend Mark Goldhawk’s house), Foxbar (our neighbours the Elliotts in the dip of Southwell) and the big house next door to Jean Kates’ house in Hill Road (we could just see the top of Jean’s house too).

I spent much of my childhood in the woods, usually in the Glen. I used to go hunting with my dad (times were hard then!). We’d often have duck or pigeon for dinner. We’d go fishing too, at the pond – in the days when there were fish in it!

I didn’t know many people from the “top” part of Mount Road. With the Glen in between, the top and bottom dwellers tended to live apart. We knew the badger man of course and often walked past the house on the right as you go up where there seemed to be two dozen kids!

As a kid, the Devil Steps were always a bit of a mystery, but the woods in that area were full of wildlife if you were quiet enough.

I have talked about the website to my sister and we are going to dig out some photos to add to the archive.

Congratulations on the website and I look forward to participating more in the future.

In August 2016 Martin sent us another two photos along with his comments below.

Here’s a couple of pics from the same era, 1971 – 1972.

The first (a bit hazy) picture is taken from our front room at 41 Mount Road, looking south over Southwell Road towards the golf course and the Thames Estuary. It was taken in about 1971 just as the work was beginning to build the 6 houses that would occupy the bungalow plot on the corner of Southwell and Mount Road.  The first building supplies have been delivered to the garden next door. The houses you can see on the south side of Southwell still exist as far as I know.

The second is looking west from 41 Mount Road (the bungalow on the left of Harry Emery’s top photo) across to Hill Road. Again, work is starting to build the estate that covered the Hill. The houses on the crest are in Hill Road, the path to the Devil Steps can be seen going off to the right about 1/4 of the way up the hill. The bit of roof you can see bottom left is “Foxbar” in Southwell Road.

It’s interesting that (if I remember correctly) the hillside was first cleared in the 60s and then left to grow back. The clearance work going on in the photo was prior to the construction of the houses on the hill.

Looking south from 41 Mount Road
Martin Pachy
Looking west from 41 Mount Road
Martin Pachy
Two of Harry Emery's photos stitched together
Martin Pachy
Southwell Road from Hill Road, early 70s
Harry Emery
Southwell Road from Hill Road early 1970s
Harry Emery
Southwell Road from Hill Road, probably early 1960s
Harry Emery
Southwell Road from Hill Road, probably 1970s
Harry Emery
Southwell Road from Hill Road taken 2011
Eileen Gamble

Comments about this page

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  • I lived in Southwell from approx. 1972 until approx 1986. Our house is shown in view from Hill Rd probably 1970s. It’s the chalet with the darker roof on the left. It was called “Windswept”. I was just 2 or so when we moved in. My Grandfather’s company built it. Great memories of growing up there, the woods, the Glen (especially in the snow!). Basically my whole childhood!

    By Samantha (09/01/2021)
  • This is well kool, been staring into these pics for a while now, this whole area was my back garden, I grew up in the house to the right of the 2nd pic (with the washing line) from 1964 onwards, I wonder if any of the old Rowlands gang ever check this site, great daze!

    By Jock P (13/01/2018)
  • Just a tiny correction for the first photo: the date is probably late 60s, early 70s, just before Southwell was made up and the bungalow on the right demolished.

    By Martin P (06/02/2016)
  • The bungalow in the first picture is in fact “Montmartre” and was at 41 Mount Road. It was built in 1952 (IIRC) by Martins of Leigh-on-Sea for Claude (Paul) and Doreen (Trixie) Pachy, Trixie living in the same house until around 2010. The bungalow was demolished after she moved and a two-storey house built on the land.

    The bungalow to its right (I forget the name now) was owned by June and John Guild and occupied the corner of Mount Road and Southwell. It was a ‘Swiss chalet’ design (or at least that’s the way it seemed to me at the time) and both the bungalow and its garden were magnificent. Unfortunately, they sold up and moved to Hadleigh and six houses were built on their plot! Despite protests, the building was allowed, but it was the first step in a complete change in Mount Road’s make-up.

    However, the people who moved in were great and we came to accept the new staus quo.

    At the bottom of our garden, our Southwell Road neighbours were the Elliotts, their house called Foxbar. Very kind people once again.

    I also remember a young bloke, Peter something, who lived in the dip of Southwell in a big bungalow in the trees. His uncle had the house next door and used to charge up Southwell like a maniac in his red and white Austin Cambridge at a time when the road was unmade. To be fair, it was sometimes the only way you could get up.

    By Martin P (04/02/2016)
  • Sorry Jan it isn’t. The Dale is further over as you can see if you pan out of the map a bit. And his bungalow had about 6 acres and was only close to one other bungalow. There was another further down owned by Fuller the fish monger.

    By Patricia Parkinson (13/01/2014)
  • I believe the bungalow in the first picture is at the far end of the private road called The Dale in 1960’s and belonged to my uncle who is still alive and lives in Australia.  My cousin Gayle kept a horse on their 3 acres.  

    By Janice Gale (12/01/2014)

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