Wedding day

This photo is of Rita and Dennis Copeman on our wedding day. We got married in the Church in Little Thurrock on 26th August 1950.

I was born in Hamden Road in Grays on 1st Of the 1st 1932. Jan 1st.  I lived there until I got my first home 1956 at No 1 Perth House at the top overlooking the shops. My first job was in the Tilbury Cinema the Tilbury Palace nick name the Bug Hutch. I was nearly 14 when I started on the grand sum of £1.00 per week, of which I got 19 pounds and 8 old pence because 4 old pence was my stamp money. I worked there until they changed  into Bingo Hall for about 5-6 years.  I had 2 friends who worked with me, Joycie Gert who is still alive and now lives Basildon. The other girl was Joycie Fredricks. who has passed away now. In this time I met my husband Dennis at 14 years old when I used to go dancing in the Railway club. He was a seaman and came from Little Thurrock. I hated the sight of him!! When came over to ask me to dance I use hide in the toilets!! One night there was a tango night and the band was Mr. Lyons who live in Melbourne road. The man I usually danced the tango with was away and Dennis asked me to tango and I didn’t want but had a go with him. He wanted to walk me home and I said yes………..the rest is history!!

When the cinema closed I started work with Mr. Reynolds in a double shop in Calcutta road. I sold records, the first Beatles, Rolling Stones records, as well as radio grams, electrical wire, light bulbs but mainly records. It was very busy and I was on my own. We loads of records because there was not many televisions. I can remember people mainly boys who would quuere around the corner to  get the latest releases. Especially the Beatles – She Loves You, Please, Please me.  I worked there for 12 years and I loved it. The I stayed in the town and went to the flower shop Violets the Florist in Calcutta Road. I learnt to make flower arrangement, funerals, weddings etc. You had to use wire frames with moss not oasis for the arrangements. My boss was Johnny and Ivy Lee. Ivy Lee is still alive and lives at the top of Chadwell Hill. I stayed with the Lees for about 12 years until John became ill and died. Ivy sold the shop to a man in Chadwell called Rick Thompson but I din’t stay long with him. 

After that I didn’t work at all  and just stayed at home with Dennis. We lived in Perth house together for 20 years before moving to Newton Road. Dennis passed away in Nov 2010.

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  • I was a regular in Reynolds Shop and still to this day have got a number of LPs that have the £, shilling and pence price stickers on the covers. On the inside of the covers “Reynolds” and a number has been written by hand – probably as a stock check. No doubt you must have served me. My parents always bought their TVs and radiogrammes from Mr Harry Reynolds and I remember him and then one of his sons coming to do the installation. I also remember the shop as Digby’s. Happy Days.

    By Barry Banks (23/04/2013)
  • Hi Rita , i remember going into Reynolds to buy my record’s there ,before Reynolds it was called Digby’s they would sell bikes also , Elaine Holmes nee [Templemen ]

    By ELAINE HOLMES (22/04/2013)
  • hi rita,I Dont know if you remember me,but i remember you when you worked in Reynolds

    By Chris Garner (16/11/2012)
  • Reynolds Records was still going in the 1980s. I used to go and buy records there after finishing at Martin’s on a Saturday.

    By Lea Cornthwaite (03/10/2012)
  • I have got a old photo of dock road and you can see the bug. I also remember going to Reynolds to get my singles (records). It was a lovely shop. I may still have the paper bag that we used to get with the records. ll have to hunt for it one day.

    By Susan McCrory nee malthouse (01/10/2012)
  • I remember buying records in Reynolds Calcutta Road in the early sixties, and remember Rita, happy days.

    By andy reynolds (13/09/2012)

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