For security reasons, I was limited on the pictures I could take.
BRAINTREE YESTERDAY & TODAY
CLICK ON PICTURE TO VIEW
BANK STREET TO HIGH STREET
THE BELL PUB
THE 60'S-2003 NO LONGER THERE
SANDPIT LANE, THE ROAD TO THE EMBER CLUB AND THE COFFEE HOUSE IS NOW A WALK WAY
1969-2003, THE CORNER ON PANFIELD LANE IS NOW A ROUNDABOUT
THE OLD BUS PARK
THE WHITE HART HOTEL
THE 60'S- 2003
It has been 35 years since my last visit to Braintree Essex England. What I have tried to do, with this site, is show you what it look like 35 years ago, and the way it is today. A lot has changed. Gone are the 100's of bike riders on the streets, the Austin mini's, Young boys going to school with shirt and ties and short pants. Double Decker buses.
Some of the streets have been turned into walk ways. Sandpit Lane, where the EMBER CLUB and COFFEE HOUSE were, is now a walk way to a shopping center. A large 3 story parking lot. is close to the center of town. I could go on and on, but let the pictures tell the story.
I hope you enjoy what I put together.
This site is for the Airmen who were with the United States Air Force stationed at RAF Wethersfield, England in the 60's
THE OLD BUS PARK TODAY
HIGH STREET LOOKING EAST
THE BOARS HEAD TODAY
NEW BUS PARK
EMBASSY THEATER IS NOW A RESTAURANT
AND PUBLIC HOUSE
WHITE HART HOTEL AND PUBLIC HOUSE
THIS IS WHAT HAPPEN TO SAND PIT LANE AND PARKING LOT
While I was in England, I meet up with Bill Lease, and Bob Blackmer, 2 Americans who married English gals and decided to still there. Bill was stationed with me at High Garrett, and Bob is the son-inlaw of a close friend of my wife. Bob has the distinction of being the last U.S Air Force troop on Wethersfield.
With the help of Bob's mother-in-law, the 3 of us were able to go on base. The picture of the main gate tells it all. Bill and I were there in the early 60's, and what we could remember, The Snack Bar, Airmen's Club, Our old headquarters for the 2163rd AFCS, hospital, were gone. The new barracks (60's) were still there. Some of the Base housing was being used, and some of the housing was condemned, the houses were sinking.
One of the buildings we went into was the All Ranks club. Bob remembered what it was like, Nothing but a shell now.
RAF Wethersfield today, remind's me of the old saying," YOU CAN'T GO BACK", but it is hard to forget that part of my life,
I remember the Embassy Theater, the market area, bus station, The Continental Coffee house, Sandpit Lane with the small parking area, the Boar's Head and fountain across the street with Joslyns & Sons, a Walls ice cream parlor (I'll have a cornet) and a men's shoe store on the corner of Bank and High street, also a cafe on High Street (roughly across from the Bell)
MORE MEMORIES FROM THE EARLY 60'S:
Embassy Theater-- used to high tail it out there just before 'God Save The Queen'.
Boar's Head-- I remember 2 sides (rooms) to it... the public bar, and the saloon bar. We always went into the saloon bar which was empty. I loved the way the bar was boxed in with beams, ect. Wonder why they changed it.
Fountain (across from the Boar's Head)
Market Area- Used to go there on Market Day especially to buy those large 'English' mushrooms. Great Flavor
Continental Coffee House-- Great coffee (espresso) with steamed milk , and usually very crowded.
Cafe on High Street-- It sold tea and English sandwiches that were unremarkable for their stale dry bread and miniscule dot of cheese or cucumber inside, but any port in a storm and they did have a juke box. A song remembered from it "He's a rebel" (The Crystals?).
Fish & Chips-- I always got Plaice and a six of Chips. Loved that plaice but not crazy about the chips, but gobbled them up as I always was hungry. I would walk down the street eating it out of the newspaper. Wonderful smells.
English Cars-- Cool as most of them had a crank, needed for an airman who never could afford a fresh battery. The electro magnetic flip out turn signals on the door jamb were super cool (they went 'thwupp'). Also loved those sidedraft carbs with the little air piston. My old 1936 Morris 8 didn't even have a water pump... it had a oversize radiator and depended on natural convection to circulated the water.
TELLY-(TV) Some of the shows--- Dixon of the Docks Green, Z-Car, Compact, Carnation Street, Top of the Pops, Dr Who, BBC World News (great)
Radio Luxembourg,Radio Caroline, Road Tax badge, TV/radio license, crisps with the little bag of salt, red phone booths (put 4 coppers in and push mechanical button to talk), football pools, home milk and bread delivery (bread unwrapped), parking lights or side lights you hung in the side window, yellow sodium street lights, cat's eyes, one lane roads with high hedgerows, 3 wheeled cars (taxed less) Christmas Crackers and funny paper hats, the Sunday joint with Bisto gravy, suet pud's with treacle gammon bacon, beans on toast, a pennys, tanners, shillings, thru'pennys bits, toilet tanks up near the ceiling with their chain pull, outdoor plumbing ( had to shinny up the drain pipe with hot kettle so bath water would empty), and on and on with the memories, mostly good.
Larry was a with the United States Air Force stationed at RAF Wethersfield during the early 60's.