Basildon Borough History

Basildon Borough History

Basildon Borough History

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Basildon, Essex, England

Est. 2015

Wickford is an old market town based to the north-east of the borough. The town used to host a cattle market as well as a cinema before the new town was built.  The building work was held responsible for the River Crouch, which runs through the town, bursting its banks in the late 1950's and flooding the town.  The works done to stop the river flooding is still very visible today.

Wicfort is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the Barstable Hundred.  Wikipedia states that the area has been inhabited since the prehistoric times as the Britonic tribe known as the Trinovantes left evidence of their existance in the area.


The history of the town has been recorded in recent years by the Wickford Community Archive.  Many people (including me - James) have contributed stories and photos of the town and people of Wickford.

​James George Carter, born in Wickford around 1790, joined the Royal Navy as a 12 year old and was serving on HMS Sceptre as Midshipman during the Napoleonic wars.

The Essex Standard reported on 17 May 1884 that Wickford was part of the Rayleigh Polling District.


The village of Shotgate is to the east of Wickford and the west of Rawreth.


In the late 1800's what is now Shotgate was not much more than farmland.  Shot Farm and Shotage Farm still exist today, both have listed structures on their land.

The village sign is made up of a number of images, perhaps the most interesting is a Hawker Hurricane.  


In May 1940 a RAF Hawker Hurricane, flown by New Zealander William Hodgson was hit and caught fire whilst fighting enemy aircraft.


Pilot Officer Hodgson attempted to make his way back to RAF Debden, near Saffron Walden.  It became apparent that the aircraft would not manage the journey so William crash landed in fields near Shotgate rather than bail out and risk the Hurricane crashing in to a populated area.

​William Hodgson was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions and has since had the Hodgsons Way Industrial Estate named after him.


These photos show how Southend Road looked in the early 1900's and how it looks today.  


These photos show Frank Carter and builders on Wickford Broadway around 1910 and how the shops look in 2015.

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