Life at 2 Station Cottages in 1930's - 1940's

The Life of a Signalman's Son

1 and 2 Station Cottages (formerly known as 119 High Street) Benfleet.

My father was a relief signalman on the Fenchurch Street railway line.  He and his family, a wife and five children, lived in a two up two down cottage beside the crossing at Benfleet station.  This cottage was rented from the railway company.

Dennis describes the cramped living conditions.  The cottage was so close to the train tracks that from an upstairs window he remembers being almost able to touch the engines when they went past.  The cottage was at the entrance to what is now the station car park, just past the station underpass.  It was unoccupied for many years before it was pulled down some time in the 1980’s.

Read the last letter home from Dennis’s older brother, fighting in Belgium during the II World War, and a young boys reaction when his brother was killed in action.

1 and 2 Station Cottages (formerly known as 119 High Street) Benfleet, Dennis lived in the house on the right side close to the railway tracks, shortly before it was demolished some time in the 1980's
Dennis Layzell
Railway cottage by the level crossing 1959
From the collection of the late Kath Fisher with the permission of Paddy Marrisson
The Leigh signal box between Benfleet and Leigh Station
John Turner
Benfleet Signal Box. 1 and 2 Station Cottages were just to the left of this picture, in fact the corner of the roof can just be seen.
Gilbert Wines
Life at 2 Railway Cottages Benfleet 1930's and 40's
Description of house and the cramped living conditions of a signalman's family
A snapshot of a signalman's working day.
How dinner would be delivered to the signalman.
A School Boy's War Time Memories
Air raids at school, German plane shooting up a train at Benfleet station, the whole school was withdrawn from 11 plus exam, Shipwrights School used as a hospital, the bombs that were dropped on Essex Way.

Description of the goods yard close to the house and the allotments by the railway line at Benfleet.  How, as a young boy, Dennis would deliver his father’s dinner to him, at Pitsea  signalbox, by train.

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  • Nice to see the photo of the Leigh signal box, memories of crossing the line here to spend the day at the old Hadleigh Jetty in the 1920-30’s

    By Ian Hawks (01/11/2011)
  • If you have any memories or pictures you would like share, please contact The Benfleet Community Archive by e mail, details on web site.

    By Margaret March (01/11/2011)

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