The Ghost of the Arterial Road

A wee bit creepy

By Sid Barker

During the late 50's and early 60's, the time when the "Ton up boys" were the speed kings of the Arterial Road (A127) a story was circulating about "The Ghost of the Arterial Road", and referred to solo motorcyclists travelling down the Rayleigh Cutting at night, towards the Blinking Owl Café, which was then a renowned bikers café, when they stopped to give a lift to a young girl who was thumbing a lift at the side of the road. She would give an address in Basildon, get on the pillion and off they would go. (Crash hats weren't compulsory in those days). A few minutes later the motorcyclist would look round only to find his passenger was no longer there! Proceeding straight to the Basildon address given, he would be told that the daughter of the house had been killed some weeks previously in a motor cycle accident in the cutting.

I always think of this story whenever I travel along this part of the A127.


This page was added by Sid Barker on 02/03/2015.
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It wasn't just motorcyclists who stopped and gave a lift to this woman. I remember my Dad telling me about a time when he was driving along that stretch and saw a woman thumbing a lift. He had an old Ford Van that he had just had remould tyres put on. As he was driving and talking, she told him not to go so fast as the tyres wouldn't work safely. As he turned to look at her, the van started to shudder and he lost control, ending up on the verge. He was checking his tyres and found that one had come apart and disintegrated. He went to the passenger door to say 'Thank you' and to make sure she was ok. When he opened the door, she was gone, nowhere to be seen. He later heard the story about the ghostly woman and was convinced it had been her that warned him. He always told me that ever since and every time he drove along there, he always slowed down and remembered what she had told him.

By Len Bickford
On 28/03/2015
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