Lemonade and ‘Coolies’

“I was born in 1926 and lived in Westminster Gardens. Creekmouth was like Southend to us; a nice place for a day out! Mum used to make rock cakes for us to take and we would have big bottles of lemonade powder, with stoppers in.

I don’t remember ever seeing any men at Creekmouth, just women. I suppose they were all out at work. The ladies wore long, black dresses, white pinafores and little bonnets. They would sit by their front doors knitting or crocheting and were always friendly towards us children. They would give us water, from a standpipe, to fill our lemonade bottles.

Sedge, Fanny

Fanny Sedge



We used to swing from old ship’s ropes, near the jetty. Sometimes Blue Star liners would go past. Their flag had a blue star on it. The crew were Chinese and they used to line up and wave to us. They all had long pigtails; I think they were called ‘Coolies’.

decayed jetty

A now derelict jetty along the River Roding

On the way to and from Creekmouth we went through meadows and fields, full of grazing cows. We used to dig up horseradish in the fields to take home to Mum. They had great big roots. Mum would wash and scrub it and then grate it. It was so strong it made your eyes water. She then put it in jam jars filled with vinegar, to make horseradish sauce”.