Southey Walk Coronation Street Party

This is a picture of the Southey Walk Coronation Party held, I believe, at the Railway Club.
There is also a street diagram with house numbers and names of the families who lived in the street at that time. Please add any names that I have not been able to recall.

Thanks to John Baldry, I have now inserted an updated street diagram.

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  • I have tried, without success, to find a photograph of a Southey Walk street party that happened several years before the one described here. Therefore I have decided to tell you about it, (or remind you of it) within Barry’s posting. I hope he doesn’t mind!!

    In the Spring of 1945 it was clear to the Government that the Allied forces in Europe would soon bring hostilities there to a successful conclusion. After almost six years of war the Government knew that the Nation would want to celebrate, so it set out guide lines of acceptable activities. Fireworks, Bonfires, Street Parties, were all listed.

    Several of the men from Southey Walk, including my Dad, were in the Armed Forces, but many were not, because they were in ‘reserved occupations’. It was these men who, as the war ending drew near, built the biggest bonfire, a nine year old could imagine, in the ‘odds square’ of Southey Walk.
    I remember that the bonfire was lit in the early hours of, what I assume was, the 8th May, 1945, following a radio broadcast, late the previous day, to the British people, that the war in Europe had ended. Many of us kids were woken up and allowed out. The little road, between the ‘two lines’ and the bonfire quickly filled with joyous people, from the other square and from neighbouring streets. It seemed like all of the front doors, from 9 round to 29 were open, as people celebrated.

    It was a day or two before the fire embers were cool enough to be cleared away, but the road surface stayed warm for several more days. (Thankfully it was a concrete surface, not tarmac).

    For a good many years now, when I remember back to that ‘party’, I have come to realise what a Bitter/Sweet time those celebrations must have been for some people. Sweet, knowing that they and their children were no longer in danger from air raids; but Bitter, because they still had a loved one fighting in the Far East, or perhaps they had already received a MIA or KIA, notification!!

    So, kind reader, if you have a photograph of the Southey Walk VE Day street celebration of 75 years ago, please post it here.

    [Note from the editor: I have also made this a separate posting here to mark the 75 anniversary of VE Day.]

    By John Baldry (07/05/2020)
  • I remember the Stanley family, I was a friend of David’s (the middle son) when we were both at Manorway school and remember visiting their Southey Walk home on several occasions. I also remember the rabbits and have a hazy recollection that they were Belgian or Flemish giant blues or something similar.

    I remember Keith the eldest son and Veronica and the youngest son who we nicknamed Scud. It would be great to hear from David if he’s still around.


    By Percy Dalton (12/10/2015)
  • I worked in Tilbury and stayed with the Bloss family at number 28 They were wonderful people. Peter was my mate and took me to his home and I made many friends in Tilbury and surrounding area over the years and would love to hear from anyone who remembers me.

    By Gus MacDonald (10/10/2015)
  • Thanks for naming somemore of the faces Jill, and for confirming that I had picked-out correctly the two ‘little girls’ from next door!!

    By John Baldry (03/05/2014)
  • I can put a few more names to faces.  First one on the left front row is John Ralph, next to him the lady in the white blouse is Mrs. Ralph, next to her holding the baby is Grace Veitch ,  in front of her I think is Rosemary Hutchinson.  The main ones are Barry Banks and Carol Riches.   I’m not sure if it is Peter Bloss next to Carol.  To the right of the picture I can see Mrs. Riches holding Clive.  I am in front of my sister and I believe it is Mickey Eaton next to me.

    The celebrations also continued with games and races held in Southey Walk – we had great fun – parents also took part and everyone received a prize.  I still have the coronation souvenirs the family won. 

    By Jill Heggie (nee Briggs) (30/04/2014)
  • Hi Barry,

    Yes, there are some good memories from then. I wish I had some photos to put on here, but, I haven’t got any but It’s been a pleasure looking at yours.

    By Keith Stanley (30/04/2014)
  • Keith,

    Lovely surprise to hear from you.

    I have many, many memories of my childhood days in Southey Walk. As I recall we used look forward to Christmas when we dined on Chicken (Christmas Day) and Rabbit (Boxing Day) as supplied by your Dad. Great days !

    By Barry Banks (28/04/2014)
  • Hi Barry, this photo brings back lots of memories. I see my sister Veronica, Peter, and Raymond Hutchinson, and lots of other faces that I cannot put names to.

    By Keith Stanley (27/04/2014)
  • This is a great photo, with so many happy faces, surely a reader or two can add some names!!! For example I think I see:- Mrs. Hudson; Mavis & Jill Briggs; Sally Beeho. (see the Street Diagram for where they lived back then).

    By John Baldry (03/02/2014)
  • Thanks for that John. I will update the diagram.

    By Barry Banks (31/01/2014)
  • Suggested name changes on the Nos. diagram: 9 is Ryan: 11 is Baldry; 13 is Briggs; 15 is Brown.


    By John Baldry (30/01/2014)

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