Volvo 1800S – Born of a Saint?

When I were a lad, Volvos were boring. And that stigma still survives today in my opinion. During the 80s at least, all Volvos seemed to just be huge squared-off ‘safe’ cars that a boring mate’s dad drove. With 21st Century spectacles on though, the 1800S looks anything but boring.

It seems that the Volvo 1800S was actually a revamped version of the Volvo P1800, which had been dogged with quality control issues, prompting the move of production from Jensen Motors who since January 1960 had been producing the vehicle, to Volvo’s own production facilities in Gothenburg.

The Volvo 1800S shot to fame in 1962, when as a result of Jaguar turning down the opportunity to showcase an E-Type in the TV series The Saint, Volvo instead provided the 1800S, which was used throughout the entire show.

ROM Garage & Service Co. Ltd.
ROM Garage & Service Co. Ltd.

The car clearly was cool. Though I am surprised about the advertising above. A cool car should surely not be advertised solely as being safe, reliable and tough? Maybe with the backdrop other similarly styled cars, it did look like a boring old Volvo?

Below is what I think was the old ROM Garage and Service Company. Gallows Corner is now a horrendous road junction with flyover. It probably won’t come as any surprise to hear that Gallows Corner is close to the site of the Royal Liberty of Havering gallows in the 18th century.

ROM Garage & Service Co. Ltd.
ROM Garage & Service Co. Ltd.
Share: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

R.A. Jones & Sons Ltd, High Street, Southend-on-Sea

This jeweller needs little introduction for many residents of Southend – though I guess newer inhabitants may not realise the significance of this store, its founder, and what he gave to the town. I have to admit, I’d not previously heard of it as the ‘county jewellers’. I just about remember the Jones store I think. At the very least, I’m pretty sure I can remember the display cabinets at the front of the store – I think you could walk right round the central one. And I have vivid memories of the clock sometimes, but mostly not working.

R.A. Jones & Sons, High Street, Southend-on-Sea
R.A. Jones & Sons, High Street, Southend-on-Sea

I won’t post too much on this page, as you can read much of it on the Wikipedia page concerning him, but suffice to say, he donated many of today’s wide open spaces, including:

  • Priory Park
  • Jones Memorial Ground
  • Victory Sports Ground

R.A. Jones died in 1925, but his sons succeeded him in running the business, and a local secondary school (Cecil Jones) is named after one of them.

After being Jones’ jewellers, the premises became Lavells and then Dixons. The most recent occupant of the site is ‘Yours’, with the store looking very much less elegant than it used to. The iconic clock, however, and the R.A. Jones lettering at the top of the building do still exist, in hint to the building’s past.

R.A. Jones & Sons, High Street, Southend-on-Sea
R.A. Jones & Sons, High Street, Southend-on-Sea

THE DAY YOU BUY A DIAMOND
You buy one of the most precious things in the world. A diamond is forever, its radiant beauty undiminished. The expert guidance of an experienced jeweller will help you to choose your treasure wisely.
The value and beauty of a diamond are enhanced by its clarity and cut. A diamond is considered flawless if no flaw is discernible by the trained eye when the diamond is magnified ten times. And only fine cutting can reveal its beauty. When light enters the polished diamond it is broken into the component colours of the spectrum an reflected in those enchanting rainbow flashes.
Our spacious modern showrooms display a wide selection of diamond rings and beautifully fashioned jewellery. As well as the many lovely things you would expect to see at the leading jewellers in the County.

Share: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Robsons – The Corset Shop, 279 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea

Corsets? In 1967? Really??

I suppose in all honesty, you can still buy corsets today – its just that I didn’t really imagine corsets to be such a commonplace garment by 1967. For me, the word ‘corset’ mainly conjures up images of 19th century women being laced up into corsets that they could hardly breathe in. Interestingly, unlike a lot of these old adverts/stores, I have found a request online from someone wanting memories and recollections of the place.

As readers of previous posts will know, I like to convert prices where shown into their equivalent prices today. Read on…

Robsons Corset Shop, Westcliff-on-Sea
Robsons Corset Shop, Westcliff-on-Sea
  • 5004: £13.79
  • 5004/4:  £17.32
  • 5073: £19.94
  • 5123: £37.32
  • 5192 (full cup): £44.57
  • 5192 (extra full cup): £53.81
  • Postage & Packing: £1.15

I imagine that in their day, Robsons were selling garments that would cause courting gents to get hot under the collar. Funnily enough, the location now hosts another type of business that can cause raising of temperatures – The Fireplace Trade Centre! The current colour scheme of the outside would, I am sure, suit many of today’s lingerie outlets!

Robsons - The Corset Shop, 279 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea
Robsons – The Corset Shop, 279 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea

 

Share: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Mrs. Ryan’s Bedroom Shop, London Road, Leigh-on-Sea

The next advert from 1967 has a somewhat odd company behind it. Well, oddly named at least… Mrs. Ryan’s Bedroom Shop. Maybe a lot of shops were named like that in those days?

Mrs Ryan's Bedroom Shop, London Road, Leigh-on-Sea
Mrs Ryan’s Bedroom Shop, London Road, Leigh-on-Sea

The first shop seems too small to be selling beds and the like, being just a single fronted premises. It is now a Coral Betting shop.

Mrs Ryan's Bedroom Shop, London Road, Leigh-on-Sea
Mrs Ryan’s Bedroom Shop, London Road, Leigh-on-Sea

The second store, at 846 London Road appears to now be occupied by Nova Car Sales – though this actually occupies 840-846 London Road. It’s difficult to say whether Mrs Ryan’s Bedroom Shop was in the corner property, as the next shop along (directly across the road) is number 850.

Mrs Ryan's Bedroom Shop, London Road, Leigh-on-Sea
Mrs Ryan’s Bedroom Shop, London Road, Leigh-on-Sea
Share: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Smerdons of Westcliff, Hamlet Court Road

I got a bit of a shock when hunting this one down, to see what state the property was in today. It turns out that Smerdons was in the premises that I knew as 7-eleven stores.

Smerdons of Westcliff, Hamlet Court Road
Smerdons of Westcliff, Hamlet Court Road

I knew that the building had been badly damaged by fire, but I admit I wasn’t expecting to see this building site:

Smerdons, 127-129 Hamlet Court Road
Smerdons, 127-129 Hamlet Court Road

That must have been some time ago, and I do not know exactly what the site looks like now.

Of the original advert, many shops really could do with taking note of the promise “A complete absence of high-pressure methods”. There are images of the old building (in Londis guise) on Flickr – just search for Smerdons Westcliff.

Share: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Bignells of Westcliff – Lighting & Attractive Shades

This advert from 1967 describes Bignells of Westcliff. I am not sure when that lighting store disappeared – but it does remind me of an intrepid bike ride that I made up the London Road in perhaps 1990, calling into several lighting shops on the way, trying to get hold of a glass lamp ‘shade’ for a candelabra thing my parents had, which had been broken during a party I’d held when they were on holiday. I actually did manage to get a very good replacement – but when I confessed to my sins some years later, my mum told me she hated the lamp anyway, and wouldn’t have cared if it hadn’t been replaced.

Bignells of Westcliff
Bignells of Westcliff

The shop itself is now (or at least was when Google’s Streetview car visited) First National Computers. The design of the building at the top is rather interesting. Another case of me never having noticed until having examined the photos, despite the amount of times that I’ve walked along that stretch of road.

256 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea
256 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea
Share: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather