From Bill Pertwee (of Dad's Army)
I thought I ought to write personally about my residing in Westcliff. My mother and I stayed with a cousin in a top flat next to the Queen's Hotel in the early 1940's. I seem to remember we used to use an underground shelter in the Queen's during the air raids. We then left there, but came back to a flat in Valkyrie Road towards the end of the war. it was during my second time in the town that a few of us started a cricket club called Marine CC and we were able to lease a pitch at Belfairs of Leigh-on-Sea. In 1946 I managed to persuade Captain Mushtaq Ali in the Indian Test team to become our President after I met him when the Indians played Essex at Southchurch Park. This gave us great publicity and we gained a lot of members which made it possible to buy all our own cricket gear. Those were happy times for us all. By the way, captain was Mushtaq Ali's title as he was in the Indian Army. The captain of that test side was the Nawab of Pataudi seniors. Some of your older residents may remember! Anyway you now know a little more of my connections with Westcliff.
Yours sincerely Bill Pertwee