Anecdotes – Paul Ryder
We lived at No. 20. My father, Douglas and my mother Ruth Ryder, myself Paul and my brother John.
My parents bought the plot of land in Tyrells Close in 1949 approximately, and had their new house built on it. We moved in in about 1950. My parents then set about doing most of the decorating and gardening work themselves. It took them several years. My father died in 1994, and my mother died in 2004 and we sold the house then. My mother had lived there continuously for 54 years.
My father was particularly sociable and we knew most of the people in the road for many years. When my brother was five he played chess against Mietek over the road and beat him. As Mietek was chess champion of Chelmsford for three years running, this was quite a feat and something we always remember and laugh about. Every Monday night for many years my father invited people in for a game of billiards and snooker. Regular attenders were Doug Bowers (No. 3), Len Talbot (No. 19) and Bill Rowe (No. 24), all now deceased unfortunately. Unfortunately Mietek also died many years ago. My mother had regular painting evenings with her neighbour and good friend Cath Shearman (No. 18) who was an art teacher and taught my mother to paint. This then became her main hobby and she had great pleasure from this, finally running her own art group from U3A.
Anecdotes – Andy & Sharon Fletcher
We are the second owners of our house, after the Sollars.
There was no central heating when we moved in, just three gas fires: in the living room, in the open-plan kitchen diner and at the bottom of the stairs. The hall and landing woodwork was all painted in combed ‘woodgrain’ style, like chapel woodwork.
We bought the back of the garden later. In the undergrowth, we found a butler sink, an old water tank and an old garden roller, made by J Brittain Pash Ltd, an old Chelmsford Company.
When I dug a ‘Time Team’ style small trench with one of our sons we found bits of broken plates, bottles and pots. We think our garden was just ‘over the wall’ from the Big House gardens, and a place where small rubbish was dumped.
Later garden finds include a flint that may be an arrow/spear head; clay pipe stems, bits of rusty hinge, a pile of old mirror glass, presumably buried in a box, and a set of old weights for scales, found buried or dumped at the side of the Roadway to the pond.
Frank Fowler at Number 14 opposite, was in charge of Neighbourhood Watch, and ‘instructed’ us in security matters when we moved in.
Mrs Feesey at Number 2 showed me her garden and all of her wonderful plants and shrubs.
Doris and Bill Shaw, next door at Number 9, bred budgies and kept bees. They were generous with plants for our garden. We still enjoy rhubarb and redcurrants from the plants they gave us.
Number 8 was the Manse for Springfield Park Baptist Church for a while. Charles de Lacy told us of one morning, when he was tidying the front garden and a funeral party approached from the end of the close, Mr Pennack walking in front. Mr P saw him and said, ‘See you in a few minutes, Charles.’
In his role as Pastor, Charles had officiated at funerals arranged by Pennacks and had a moment of panic, when he thought he had missed this one from his diary, until he saw Mr Pennack smile: the funeral was being held at another church.
Anecdotes – Doug Bowers in conversation with Sue Ruskin around 2000
Doug and his wife Sylvia lived at Number 3 Tyrells Close from 1951 until 2001.
Licenses to build were needed as everything started again after the war.
The Bowers applied for a building license in about 1949, not knowing where their plot would be. They bought the plot of land for £400.
They bought Numbers 1 & 3 with a Marconi friend (they had reserved occupations during the War).
The houses were built by Rollings Builders, who had a stock of pre-war materials.
They moved in to Number 3 in 1951.
There was a shortage of telephones. You had to wait for ages to be connected. At first, they shared a line.
From Number 2 to Springfield Road was a spinney until the houses were built.
The plot of No 4 belonged to people in Oaklea Avenue and had trees in it. It was then sold to Miss Spalding.
The road was made up but there was no pavement.
The trees in the road were put in early on.
Mr Bowers thought that the street lighting was in place when they moved in.
Council people moved in, because it was ‘not what you know, but who you know’, as people applied for licenses to build.
At least six houses were owned by Council officers.
Number 10 –Ronald Briggs – Council
Number 15 –George Snape – Council
Mr Allan – Number 14 – was a County Surveyor
Other occupations included:
Number 8 –Ronald Potter – sold baby chicks to farmers
Number 22 – Mr Older – worked for Marconi Marine.
Number 7 – Charlie Bedwell – worked for Marconi.
Number 5 – William Eldridge – was a car salesman. His housekeeper was called Dorrie Stone.
Mr Holmes – Number 6 – was a bit eccentric
Mr Bowers can remember cows in the field at the end of the garden
Graces Walk, Danbury, used to run to Springfield and the last 40feet of the [odd side] gardens – with lots of bricks etc in it – was the end of Grace’s Walk.
Anecdotes – Mr and Mrs Rich in conversation with Sue Ruskin around 2000
Mr & Mrs Rich saw the sale details by chance, as they drove past. They bought their plot from Mr Rollings for £400 in 1951.
They chose Number 28, as Number 26 next door looked like a builder’s yard: it had been the Barrage Balloon living quarters, with a Nissen Hut. It had a winch, and was constantly manned. Lorries went up and down the road.
The whole field had been used as a timber yard during the war.
Their house, built by Brunnings was the last but one to be built. Their Architect, Stanley Bragg, designed it to look like a picture that Mrs Rich had found in a book.
There was no significant delay in building – no real shortages. Because of Government restrictions, there were limits on space.
The houses with balconies were built to look a certain size; the balcony was not included in the floor area according to regulations.
There was a limit on the prices of houses. This was a National Policy. There were standard restrictions within Chelmsford.
The gardens were rough to start with. They had a red brick path and a tennis court, which had both belonged to the TA House.
The pavements went in after about 2 years and street lights after five.
Mr Futter at Number 16 and Mr Rich bought trees. They took advice from the Council and paid £1 per tree.
Everyone planted their own tree and the grass verges.
Mr Allen, Mr Rowe, Mr Richards all worked for the Council, Mr Talbot for Treasurers’ Department.
Wilfred Rich and Doug Bowers worked for Marconi.
Mr Feesey was an Architect.
Mr Holmes worked for the Council – ‘a square and stocky man’
Number 12 [RF Wynn] was the Chief Sanitory Inspector.
One of the Ridley Brewers lived in Springfield Tyrells – they were there during the [First World ] War.
Anecdotes – Mrs Allen in conversation with Sue Ruskin around 2000
Mr & Mrs Allen moved into Number 14 in 1956. The previous people had been there for just a year
Number 14 was one of the last houses to be built. It was used as a builders’ yard. The Allens were ‘still digging up bricks etc in the garden’ at the time of her interview with Sue Ruskin, in about 2000.
[As a consequence of its being the last house to be built, Number 14 has no boundary responsibilities: the fences / hedges either side are the responsibility of Numbers 12 and 16.]
Tyrells Close people
Mr Allen was the Borough Engineer
The man at No.12 – R F Wynn – was a Health Inspector
Herbert Collis at No. 16 was County Treasurer.
Mr Talbot at No 19 (Mrs Talbot was still living there at the time of the interview) was a County Treasurer.
Mr Rowe at No 24 was also a County Treasurer
Mr Older at No 22 worked for Marconi.
A family called Smith lived with the Olders after the War.
No 11. [Mr & Mrs Sollars] were chauffeur and housekeeper to the ‘House’.
Miss Spalding lived at Number 4 – the very last house to be built. Mrs Spalding lived at Number 13.
Mr Feesey at No.2 was an architect and worked at the Technical College.
The Luckin-Smiths lived in the house which became Snows Oaklands Hotel [on the corner of Oaklea Avenue, now flats]. All of the land behind was their garden.
Mrs Chalk was the daughter of the Luckin-Smiths.
Anecdotes – Ruth Ryder in conversation with Sue Ruskin around 2000
In 1947 or 48, an Architect suggested that Mr & Mrs Ryder looked at Tyrells. At the time they were living in a flat in Chelmsford.
They bought a plot from the plan at the cost of £400. Plot frontages were all 40 feet.
Mr Rollings, a Writtle builder had purchased the land. Just before the 1939-1945 War he had put in a concrete road and had sold one plot, No. 22, on which a house had been erected. This was the only house on the road until after the war, when building licenses were issued again. When the Ryders’ house was built, their Architect designed to their wishes and they chose a different builder, from Galleywood,
Mrs Ryder thought that all the semi-detached houses were built by the original Writtle builder, and sold off by him.
During the war a great portion of the land was used to store huge tree trunks, the property of Messrs. Browns timber merchants of Navigation Road (now Travis Perkins).
The tree trunks had compacted the ground so much that the Ryders had to get a tractor in to plough it up in order to make their garden.
All during the war there was an anti-aircraft balloon, with a crew of 9 men, living in a hut on this site of Number 24.
The crew of the balloon befriended the ‘Older’ children, who lived in the road from before the war.
During the war a German plane came down. It hit the big house, causing damage, and the pilot parachuted down and was captured.
The trees in the road were paid for by the residents. Everyone paid for the one outside their own house.
Original residents included 8 or 9 Council officials and the same number of Marconi people.
Mrs Ryder said, “I have no knowledge of special provisions for Council members, but it is quite true that when we first lived here there was a preponderance of these, and Marconi personnel, my husband and I were the odd ones out being shopkeepers.”
The Ryders ran a toy and pram shop in Chelmsford.
Anecdotes – Mary-Ann Dunn in Feburary 2015
You may be interested in some memories of Tyrells Close. My parents Philip and Babs Collett bought number 5 in – I think – 1956 after Mr. Eldridge had died. Our neighbours were Douglas and Sylvia Bowers at number 3 and the Bedwells at number 7. Len and Polly Talbot from number 19 were great friends of my parents.
Sometime in the early 60s (I think) my father and Doug. Ryder from number 20 made a trip to Moscow, which was pretty unusual for that time. There were others with them though I can’t recall whether or not they were Tyrells residents too. No wives went!
The two Miss Spalding at number 4 were the sisters of Fred Spalding the well-known Chelmsford photographer, and they gave my father several photographs of old Chelmsford, which I still have. Mrs. Feasey at number 2 made beautiful flower pictures, many of the flowers from her Tyrells Garden as well as from their Welsh cottage garden, and I still have five of those pictures.
My father died in 1979 but my mother stayed at number 5 until 1989 when the garden became too much; they were both very keen gardeners and completely transformed the back garden at number 5. My mother died in 2002.
I always loved Tyrells Close, number 5 and the garden, as did my children, and it is a great pleasure to visit the road again these days, as my son and his family now live in the road!