This trip is a mini tour of South East Essex. It visits two villages, a New Town and an old town.
I recommend the 10.42 train from Fenchurch Street which arrives at West Horndon at 11.09 am. West Horndon is a village that grew from a station. In the original Ordnance Survey map there is only a station. There is a theory that trains had to stop for water or fuel. There is an industrial estate which achieved some notoriety during the Wapping dispute. There is also a village which consists of not much more than a street but does contain an excellent pub. Come out of the station and on your right is the pub.
The times in brackets are the approximate times of leaving the pubs.
1. RAILWAY - 13 Station Road (11.55)
Beers: Tetley, Taylor Walker
Very convivial pub, extremely handy for the station. Spacious and comfortable with plenty of seats and tables. Piano available for Mr Norman to tinkle on. Dartboard and fruit machines. Cross the road to catch the bus (No 265) to Herongate at 11.58. Don't miss the bus as the next one is not for another two hours.
Herongate is a small pretty village with an attractive village sign and 3 excellent pubs. A very typical Essex village.
When you get off the bus, cross the road and turn left down Billericay Road.
2. BOARS HEAD TAVERN - Billericay Road (13.00)
Beers : Websters Yorkshire Bitter
16th century wood-beamed establishment. Aromatic woodfire (burning the 16th century beams.') Lake with domestic ducks in the garden; children are restricted to the lake area luckily. Pood is available at a price. It's probably worthwhile hanging on to pub no.3 if anything other than a snack is required.
Turn right out of the pub and walk along Billericay Road to the next pub.
3. OLD DOG INN - Billericay Road (14.00)
Beers : Greene King Abbott and IPA, Ridleys Best, Ruddles County, Adnams Southwold
Popular country pub, 15 minutes walk from no. 2. Should be a few seats available. Another old style 'Essex' pub which is weather boarded. Good range of beers and good selection of food which is reasonably priced.
Walk back along Billericay Road past pub no.2 and turn right to next pub.
4. GREEN MAN - Cricketers Lane (15.00)
More modern than the previous establishments. Large one bar pub with many tables and several alcoves. There is a garden area as well. Food available until 2pm but deserts and coffee still available after that time. Shuts at 3pm on Satudays. Boasts a real fire and has stained glass windows.
Catch the bus (no 1 51) at the corner of Billericay Road at 1 5.05 to Basildon. Get off at the Roundacre. Walk straight on from the bus stop under the subway to the other side of the roundabout. Walk through the subway the other side, turn left, up the slope and across the road is the Towngate Theatre.
5. PROMPT CORNER, TOWNGATE THEATRE - Pagel Mead (17.00)
Beers : Greene King Abbott, Ipa? Payments BBA, Newquay Steam Beer
Modern surroundings. Very popular in the town as it is open all day on Saturdays. It shuts from 4pm to 5pm but customers are not thrown out. There may not be enough seats initially but after 4pm more chairs become available. ' There is a quiz machine. Bar snacks and sandwiches are available even between 4 and 5pm.
Basildon is a new town with an excellent shopping centre which some people may wish to visit before going on to Leigh. Otherwise turn right out of the Thescre, cross the road and the station is straight on and ahead.
There is a train to Leigh at 17.17 and 17.31. The 17.17 will get you to Leigh in time to sample the shellfish which is the speciality of the town. at one of the cafes or stalls near the first pub or the 17.31 will get you to Leigh for opening time of the first pub. (18.00)
Turn right out of the station, cross the bridge, go down the steps at the other side. Follow the road past pubs no.8 and 9 to the next pub.
6. SMACK INN - High Street (Old Town) (19.00)
Beers : Crouch Vale SAS, Websters Yorkshire Bitter, Ruddles County and Best Bitter
Large single bar pub with bare floor boards, wooden beches and tables. Children's room for J.C. Has a quiz machine and a jukebox. Beware the multiple choice gents loos and the emblazoned prospect on one of the beams of Antipodean Lagers!
Right out of the pub and cross the railway bridge to pub no.7.
7. THE SHIP - Leigh Hill (20.00)
Beers : Ruddles County, Best; Websters Yorkshire Bitter
Pleasant pub overlooking the railway line and ultimately the estuary. Popular with the locals (aren't all pubs in Leigh?) Sufficiently capacious to accommodate all the HASSRALE attenders. Rolls usually available.
Cross back over the bridge, pass the Smack and on the left is
8. PETER BOAT TAVERN - 27 High Street (21.00)
Beers : Ruddles County, Best; Websters Yorkshire Bitter
Pleasant large one bar pub hard by the estuary. Table area outside by the river wall. Spacious seating area inside with comfortable benches etc. Food is available for those who can still manage some. This will be a very popular haunt on a summer Saturday evening. Hopefully the outside area will dilute the number of people inside.
Across the road to the next pub.
9. CROOKED BILLET - 52 High Street (22. 00)
Beers : Ind Coope Bitter, Tetleys Bitter, Youngs Bitter
Very convivial two bar pub. The lounge has a good view across the outdoor drinking area (Which, although across the road, belongs to the pub) Pleasant, albeit busy, watering hole. Quite a few seats and there is a reasonable level of accommodation.
The last train to Fenchurch Street is at 23.17
Survey Team : Barbara Waby, Edmund Featherstone, Iris Hodgson, John Wright, Reg Wright.
Survey Date : 11 February 1989