Basildon: The Way We Were


50 mins.

The fate of Basildon and the surrounding communities was sealed on the 4th of January 1949, when the Minister of Town and Country Planning designated it a ‘New Town’. But not everyone was happy with the changes. One critic commented: ‘In the reckless rush to build a New Town, it destroyed its own soul by destroying nearly all its historic buildings and landmarks which is a crying pity for future generations’. A closer look through, reveals that enough of the past has survived to provide some intriguing glimpses of life in Pitsea, Vange, Lanidon, Langdon Hills and Fobbing in times gone by.

This new DVD presents an entertaining look back at Basildon and the surrounding villages before the New Town. It takes us back to the days when Vange and Fobbing had thriving wharves; when smugglers unloaded contraband in the misty marshes; when Pitsea was an island; and when malaria was the scourge of Laindon. It also recalls the impact of two World Wars on the district, and in a special feature on the Plotlands, it explains the reasons for their development and provides a fascinating insight into life in the Plotland communities.

This engaging journey through time is produced exclusively for the Basildon Echo and is narrated by award winning actor, Howard Ellison.

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