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Memories of Rochford -
I remember Rochford Market Square for the market days held there when I was a child, if my memory serves me correctly it was held every Thursday. I used to love going to see the animals in their pens, calves and pigs mainly, the bigger beasts were auctioned in the afternoons. There was a place for smaller animals in the stables in Back Lane, which I used to love too. Opposite the market square was a tearoom called Delph House, and they sold the best doughnuts I've ever tasted, mainly because my mother and I would share one of these during the school holidays while my Dad was at work, he didn't approve of his money being wasted on 'junk food'.
I lived in Hawkwell inthe 60’s. I loved going shopping in Rochford, you could almost feel the history in the old buildings. Sadly the days of the cattle market were long gone but many of the old shops remained.
One of the oldest was Hartley’s ironmongers. The tiny shop was crammed full of everything to do with ironmongery, the smell of paraffin, grain and carbolic soap. Old Mr. Hartley usually sat outside the shop on a rickety old chair, greeting everyone who passed. His son was usually available to do any odd jobs around the house.
There was great consternation when Mr Hartley decided to leave the shop. Planning permission to demolish it was refused but on one terrible Sunday, early in the morning when no one was about, the demolition took place, much to the horror of everyone who used the Square.
The library had been in Ship Lane, and later in Ashingdon Road, but a new one was built in the site of the demolished shops. This has now been replaced by a smart new building.
There are many contributions made about people’s memories from their childhood or younger days in Rochford and the area. Rather than duplicate their experiences, we have provided a link to their writing so that you can read them at your leisure and not have to scroll down a long page -
Have a listen as Jean tries to express her feelings about Rochford, where she has spent most of her life. Chelmsford is a town to the northwest of Rochford and Prittlewell an area of Southend-
The recording was made on 2nd August, 1999 -
Due to some of the archives being in image format and not easily readable when reduced to fit on this page, there is more to read about and see on the desktop website version.