These are the residences that carry on after Peacocks and the alleyway as if they were on the same street. From the onset there is a slope that continues until the junction that appears straight after Tucker Brothers. You’ll see.
The alleyway in between Peacocks and Patterson Hawthorne i.e. High Street and Station Lane.
- No, 2, flat.
- No, 4, Richard House – a charity shop for a children’s hospice.
- No, 6, Subway – smelly. The fast-food place, not the underground ones.
- No, 8, Cancer Research – eight doors away from Smokers Paradise.
- No, 10, Nationwide Building Society.
- No, 12, Bestsellers – whether they actually ARE the best sellers in Hornchurch let alone the world is very much up to debate.
- No, 14-16, Sutton Arms – changed its name from Hogshead to this in 2013. Hardly anything has changed inside. Looks like an empty church hall inside apart from the bar, tables, chairs, higher platforms, pool tables fruit machines, quiz machines and customers looking and sounding like they’re auditioning for TOWIE.
- No, 18a, Ray’s City Centre – formerly a Costcutter’s.
- No, 18b, Le Moulin – French café with a very friendly and talkative French woman working there. If you’re in your 20s or 30s (or at least LOOK like you are) she may very well ask you if you are single in order to set up/embarrass her friend.
I’m in Le Moulin (where everything’s rufous coloured) on the day of the Grand National. Before going to the local library I go in and ask whether I can eat my brown breaded ham, lettuce and tomato ‘credit crunch’ sandwich in there having unwrapped the silver foil around it. The English man – in his 20s with brown surfer-like hair, brown stubble wearing all-black – behind the counter is fine with this proposition. This is after I order a coffee so I suppose he ‘has’ to be.
I salivate at all the scones, croissants and chocolate cakes with luscious thick looking icing on top. Lights in their container shine on them to make them look even more alluring. I wish I would live a little, just this once, and discard my own crushed lunch in favour of the delights that are in and around the counter. I COULD get something, but then that wouldn’t be in the spirit of the ‘credit crunch’ would it, smart arse? So I discard the sweets and French sticks by sticking by the sandwiches and Mars Bar – the latter of which I brought along for the ride to have with my coffee for afters.
As I settle down with my food and drink at a table by the window looking out at the roundabout with Wildwood etc…on it, a white woman wearing glasses and a sky blue vest with tied back brown hair comes out from the room behind the counter. There’s a blond middle-aged couple (man and woman) still wearing their dark blue puffer jackets two tables away sitting opposite a young dark haired girl in her late 20s/early 30s.
 No apostrophe after the ‘s’! Despicable.
Twatty Orange Wankers In Essex.
I simply said ‘‘sandwiches’’ to the man behind the counter, but that is what was inside them.
 ‘Surfer’ as in surfing the sea as opposed to an internet surfer – the latter would be extreme curly hair, obviously.
 Not IN the counter – that would be mental.
”HELLAWWW,’’ an unmistakably French accent greets them as she walks round the counter in order to touch their shoulders.
They exchange the usual ‘‘how-are-you?’’ pleasantries and start talking about the Grand National, which finished an hour or so before. None of their bets paid off, but they know people that got lucky. They discuss this and the younger woman’s love life.
I assume they’re close family members, but I always think that when people talk about personal things in public. That’s just the kind of guy I am.
‘They must be on more than ‘‘that’s-three-pound-please (insert your own monetary value)’’ terms SURELY!’
I sit listening while trying to read ‘The Flâneur’ and eat at the same time. It’s no use. I end up knowing the names of all their cronies and pocket sizes by the time I’ve finished. Cosy though. I walk out in the bright evening sunshine feeling strange. Oh look, Saint Francis Hospice.
- No, 20, Saint Francis Hospice – a charity shop that has what I thought were good old music magazines with features on bands other than what they have available in vinyl. The upstairs is devoted entirely to bridal wear.
- No, 22, The Sweet Store – in a shocking twist they sell or SOLD confectionary. I added the past tense version because the shutters are down every time I walk past.
- No, 24, Ifymax – chain of hair cosmetics.
- No, 26, Coral – bookmakers. What else?
- No, 28-32 Tucker Brothers – deal in electronics. And as a sideline, whatever it’s called, manufacturing, whatever.
- No, 30, Tirmizey da Costa Accountants – accoun…
- No, 34, flat.
- No, 36-38, Peking Garden – a Chinese restaurant that doesn’t have a garden.
- No, 40-44, Chimichanga – Mexican restaurant. It’s always fun to say you’re going here…I imagine. At the time of typing (05/04/2014) I never have gone.
- No, 46, Save the Children – charity shop.
 I fell asleep at this point.
- No, 48-50, Simply Blues 2 – American diner.
- No, 52, Mark Ellis & Co. – solicitors. There seems to be a lot of people claiming for compensation in Hornchurch. With its town centre being a building site for a few months each year – due to numerous pavement and road works going on – it’s probably not a surprise that people injure themselves deliberately or otherwise. Not sure they would come to THESE solicitors, but…
- No, 54, Swan House – recruitment agency. Never would have known this existed if it wasn’t for me walking around like a madman documenting the town.
- No, 56, Noor – Indian restaurant.
- No, 58, John Stanley’s Care Agency – home care.
- No, 60, Jayne Doe – tattoos, piercings and all that malarkey.
- No, 62, John Wyndham Haircare – John Paul the barber is upstairs I believe. There are a number of reasons why I don’t think it’s one of the former Popes. He’s ‘upstairs’ in a different way…if you believe in all that.
- No, 64, Iphe: Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating – I wonder if anyone other than those who work for them actually know that these places exist.
- No, 66-68, flats – I er, think.
- No, 70, Dental Surgery – Yogeshroy D Patel’s I am informed.
- No, 72, The Village Bar & Grill – it’s like being on holiday when people are sitting outside. An Abba tribute band seem to be playing there nearly every night going by the banner that is always outside.
- No, 74, Hornchurch Police Station – are they ever open? Perfect for reporting petty crime. You turn up here, see they’re closed, think about what’s happened to you then realise it’s not worth pursuing. It saves a lot of paper work, which is ideal for them.
- No, 76, The Wendy House – children’s nursery.
- No, 78-82, flats, houses an’ all that.
- No, 84, The Cranleigh – Restaurant and banqueting. Been there just the once. Looks like a members’ club, but it isn’t.
I am only going up to this point at this stage because the rest of the road does not serve my purpose as it mainly consists of houses and flats. Further up on this side of the road, there is also a café, The Railway pub and a cab office with Hornchurch train station right next to it. I will carry on with the other side of Station Lane up to this point also. The next part starts immediately after Moss & Coleman Solicitors from the previous section, so it is going away from the residences that came after it.
 One is because they’re all dead.
Opposite side of the roundabout from the previous picture. Can you see the slope I mentioned earlier? The sign for Baskin’ Robbins is on the far right-hand side.