Throughout 2019 we will be sharing a selection of our residents' Basildon at 70 memories, both here and on our social media channels. We invite you to share your memories and photographs of life in Basildon over the past seven decades.

Brand Logo - Basildon at 70 celebrations - shows lettering 'Basildon at 70 , 1949-2019, Where the future begins'It's the residents that make Basildon shine and your memories are central to the town's story. We believe Lewis Silkin's vision of a town where 'friendliness, neighbourliness, comradeship, and the spirit of helpfulness could thrive' is reflected across Basildon by its residents. For our latest updates follow our hashtag, #basildon70.

You can play a part in the birthday celebrations by sharing your memories and photographs of life in Basildon over the past seven decades on our social media pages or by contacting us by email.


 Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Jacques BottjerJacques Bottjer, Basildon poet and spoken word artist

"The art scene in Basildon has improved an awful lot. We've got the Foundation for Essex Arts doing amazing work and we run our own poetry nights at the Towngate. The Edge bar have Hippie Joe doing his music open nights, so there is stuff ticking over and coming along."
 

 

 

 


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Lauren MartinLauren Martin, Creative Director of Things Made Public

"With all the changes going on in the town centre, it's nice to have a signpost to that. The area is going to be so vibrant, and it would be a real shame not to capitalise on that."
 

 

 

 

 


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Patricia WebbPatricia Webb, who moved to Bowers Gifford in 1989

"I used to love Pitsea Market, it had a great atmosphere. My father was a proper east-ender so it reminded me of my roots.

"I remember The Gun Pub when it was called Aunt Fanny's, and the Railway was such a beautiful old building."

 

 

 


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Jon SellJohn Sell, who was born on Marsh Farm, Vange, in 1949

"There was no A13 to cross, we used to walk down Brickfield Road to get to Vange School. There was still an army camp there in the early 1950s. The guns would be going off but the cows would still need milking, so I used to go out in a tin hat!"

 

 

 

 


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Terry DoubledayTerry Doubleday, who grew up in Dry Street and is a member of Basildon Operatic Society

"The Arts Centre became a real focal point of the community when it opened in 1968. There were rooms for people who wanted to paint, a folk club, wine evenings and themed events."

 

 

 


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Christopher HarrisChristopher Harris, who moved to Basildon New Town in 1960

"Me and my school friends used to go to Wimpy when it first opened for a hot dog and a cup of coffee."
 

 

 

 


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Rosalind PowleyRosalind Powley, a former teaching assistant at St Anne Line School, moved to Laindon in 1976

"We're so lucky to have the Towngate Theatre, we don't ever want to lose that. Some of the plays I've been to see have been brilliant.

"I can still remember when it first opened. Everyone was talking about it at the time, it was a big deal. It has become even more popular since Simon Fielding has been putting on his panto, which has been lovely to see."
 

 


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Tracy GoddenTracy Godden

"I absolutely love what I do, and seeing how much an impact Forget Me Not has makes it all worthwhile."
 

 

 

 

 


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Steve Saunders

"The building of the Eastgate Centre sticks out in my mind. It was a massive thing for the town. I've been working on the market for 35 years and one of my best memories is those early days with the hustle and bustle. It was such a meeting point."

 

 

 

 


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Chris SmithChris Smith, Director of New Town Utopia

"There a lot of people who have always loved Basildon and still do. People who moved from London as teenagers or to bring up their family remember what they came from and how much their living conditions improved..."

 

 

 

Visit the New Town Utopia website.


Basildon at 70 photo of Pitsea Market circa 1960 from Monday Memory contributor - Kathy FooterKathy Footer, moved to Basildon in 1956 aged seven

"The open spaces and country lanes were wonders to behold. There was so much exploring to and fun to be had, from getting stuck in mud to negotiating rough tracks that would one day become roads. Everything was new and exciting!

"Going to the old Pitsea Market with mum was a fun morning out, you could always grab a bargain.

"I loved growing up in Basildon."
 

 


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Darren ChaplinDarren Chaplin, Basildon postman and Team GB duathlete

"I'm proud to have lived here for the past 20 years. I use the green spaces and Basildon Sporting Village to train for European and World Championships, and to keep fit and active."

 

 

 


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Iris HansonIris Hanson, who moved to Lee Chapel North 55 years ago

"In London we were living in rooms, so coming to Basildon massively improved our lives.

We came here so my husband George could work in the tractor plant, and we moved into a brand new house which remains our home to this very day."
 

 

 


Basildon at 70 photo of Towngate Theatre auditorium from Monday Memory contributor - Simon BristoeSimon Bristoe, a member of the Basildon Operatic Society

"The Towngate Theatre is where I started out performing. It's such a gorgeous venue and it's important that it doesn't go to waste, which is why the public should support their local theatre groups.

We're very lucky to have a theatre like the Towngate here in Basildon."

Visit Towngate Theatre, Basildon website.

Visit Basildon Operatic Society website.


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Nick ChaundryNick Chaundy, arrived in the borough as a key worker in 1982, tasked with launching special needs education at the former Basildon College

"There used to be a club above the old Towngate Theatre which was very welcoming and full of revolutionaries. Before I moved to Basildon people told me it was Moscow on the Thames!

"I remember going to the library when it was in a portacabin and there were buckets out to collect the rain. Everyone knew we were going to get something more permanent so there was no point paying for repairs!"


Photo of Basildon at 70 - Monday Memory Contributor - Janis HumphriesJanis Humphries, moved to Basildon from North-West London at the age of seven

"Everything around us was a building site when we first arrived. I remember my brother used to go around talking to all the builders and playing games with them. They were so friendly.

"We used to have fabulous picnics on the Woodlands Estate when it was just trees. I had a great time growing up in Basildon."