THE legacy of one of Essex’s most famous actresses is set to Carry On – thanks to a mum and daughter.
The former home of Joan Sims, at Laindon station, has been transformed into a florist and barber shop by mum and daughter Renee and Ella Saunders.
Sims was a star of the famous British Carry On comedy series of films and the building has a plaque in her honour.
Renee, 50, is naming the barber’s shop Renee Todd, in homage to the demon barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd. Her daughter, Ella, 28, will be in charge of the florist, called Eden.
Renee, from Stratford, East London, said she was over the moon to be working at the house of the film star. She said: “I’ve always loved the Carry On films, and I love the Joan Sims connection with the building.
“It’s been great fun doing up the building to create the two shops. To me, it feels like the house has been asleep for a long time and now it’s in the process of awakening.
“We are not trying to exploit Joan’s memory. We want people to enjoy it as much as we do. We are trying to organise hosting an afternoon tea for fans through the official Carry On fan club.”
The property, known as the Station House, stood empty for many years until it was brought back into use in 2001 by estate agent Quirk Deakin.
Since then it housed the Second Steps Out of School Club, which has now moved to Durham Road.
It was then taken over by Renee and Ella, who hope fans will pop in not only to get their hair cut and buy some blooms, but also look at the collection of old photographs and Carry On memorabilia on display in the hallway.
Renee is also hoping some of Joan’s relatives may pay a visit to the newly refurbished shop as it is thought some still live in the Southend area.