Category Archives: Bygones and Essex Tales

It’s all down to the heart!

W.HarveyOn today’s Bygones feature, Margaret Mills looked back at the life of William Harvey who was the first known physician to detail how blood  was pumped to the brain and body by the heart.

Listen again here to what Margaret told me: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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The life and times of the Essex born designer, William Morris

 

Peacock and dragon textile design by William Morris; private collection, circa 1880. (Photo by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images)

On today’s feature, Margaret Mills looked back at the life and times of the Essex born designer, William Morris.

Listen again to what Margaret told me today by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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All about Constable country

John Constable

For today’s feature, Margaret Mills took us to Constable country to tell us all about the life and times of the famous Essex born artist, John Constable.

If you missed it, listen again here to what Margaret had to say on this subject: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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John Ray – Naturalist of Black Notley

It was good to welcome back Margaret Mills this afternoon.

Rushbury, Henry; John Ray of Black Notley, Father of Natural History (1627-1703); Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service: Colchester Collection; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/john-ray-of-black-notley-father-of-natural-history-16271703-2331

Her subject today was John Ray, who was born in a smithy in Black Notley but somehow rose to become one of the foremost naturalists of his time.

Listen again to what Margaret told me today: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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The notorious Coggeshall Gang

CoggeshallMargaret Mills returned this week to regale us with news of the dastardly deeds of the Coggeshall Gang, who terrorised the town’s inhabitants for more than a decade during the 1840’s.

If you missed what Margaret had to say on this subject you can listen to it all again by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next time,
Scott

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The Oxlip plant in Great Bardfield

Great BardfieldI was pleased to welcome back Margaret Mills who this week took us back to the village of Great Bardfield on the Essex-Suffolk border.

Not looking at artists this time, but the unusual flora unique to this area.

Listen again to what Margaret said on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you next time,
Scott

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The Kings of Essex and the St Osyth connection

St Osyth

 

For the next episode of his series on the Kings of Essex, JULIAN WHYBRA looked today at one of the Queens, who’s legacy still remains at St Osyth.

Listen again here to what Julian told me today: –

See you again next time,
Scott

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The Fry Arts Gallery

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This week Margaret Mills took us over to Saffron Walden to learn about the history of THE FRY ARTS GALLERY.

Listen again to what Margaret had to say about this establishment by clicking on the link below:

See you again next time,
Scott

 

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More about the Kings of Essex

Julian Whybra returned today with the next part of our feature on the KINGS OF ESSEX.

Erkenwin of Essex

Today’s instalment included the tale of a bloodthirsty murder of one of the kings who was done away with as he was thought to be too good to be true – so he had to go!

If you missed it you can listen again here: –

 

See you next time,
Scott

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How the Kings of Essex connect with St Peter’s Chapel in Bradwell

Bradwell-on-Sea DSC07557It was good to welcome back  Julian Whybra, who following on from Margaret Mills’ visit to St Peter’s Chapel in Bradwell, returned there this week to explain the connection this place has with the Kings of Essex.

Listen again to what Julian said on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next time,
Scott

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Christianity arrives in Essex

 

Early EssexJulian Whybra returned with the fifth part of his new feature on the Kings of Essex and today he looked at how Christianity first became established in our county.

To listen again to what Julian said just click on the link below:-

See you again next time,
Scott

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More Folklore Remedies

Folk remediesMargaret Mills returned for the first time in 2017 with some more folklore remedies which people of old used to swear by.

If you missed these just click on the link below to hear what Margaret told me: –

See you again next time,
Scott

 

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The first king of Essex

First king of EssexOn this, the fourth part of Julian Whybra’s new feature, he introduced us to the very first king of Essex – Ashwin and some of his family members.

Listen again to what Julian had to say on this by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next time,
Scott

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The Invasion of Essex

essex-place-names

Julian Whybra joined me this afternoon for the third part of his new feature involving the Kings of Essex.

This week Julian explained how many Essex towns got their names.

Click on the link below to hear what Julian told me:-

See you again next time,
Scott

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More about the early Kings of Essex

Following on from last time Julian Whybra looked at the early plans for the defence of the new realm.

6th-century-essex

Listen again here to what Julian told me: –

As we have two special shows lined up for the 27th December and 3rd January, the next Bygones feature will be on the 10th January.

Have a fabulous Christmas and I’ll see you again next week,
Scott

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Those folklore remedies are back again!

herbal-remediesMargaret Mills returned this week with some folklore remedies. You could try these out yourself but don’t blame us if you end up in an early grave yourself.

You can catch them again here: –

See you again next time,
Scott

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The Kingdom of Essex

essex-flag

I was joined today by Julian Whybra for the first of a new series of features on the Kings of Essex.

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Listen again here to what Julian had to say on this introductory day:-

Julian will be back in a fortnight and Margaret Mills will be here next week.

I’ll see you again next time,
Scott

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The Devil and the Bell

danbury-churchOn today’s Bygones feature, Margaret Mills related the strange tale of the Devil and the Bell at Danbury.

No it’s not a pub but there is a pub in Danbury called THE BELL, and there might be, just might be, a connection.

To hear more click on the link below:-

See you next week,
Scott

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The amazing painters of Great Bardfield

(c) Fry Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Fry Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

On today’s feature, Margaret Mills told us all about the amazing collection of artists who descended on the Essex village of Great Bardfield.

Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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The Great Bardfield Zeppelin crash

zeppelin-crashOn today’s Bygones feature, Margaret Mills turned the clock back 100 years to the time that one of the German Zeppelin airships was shot down at Great Bardfield.

Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

 

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A Right Royal Rumpus

It was wonderful to welcome back Margaret Mills today.

trial-of-queen-caroline

To celebrate her return, Margaret described the right royal rumpus that ensued following the return to the UK to claim her throne, of the estranged wife of George IV, Queen Caroline.

Click on the link below to hear what Margaret had to say on this subject: –

See you again next time,
Scott

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How did the Marian Persecutions of 1555-1558 affect the people of Billericay?

muster-rollUnfortunately Margaret Mills is rather poorly just now but hopefully she will be back with us before too long but JULIAN WHYBRA bravely stepped into the breach today to tell us all about The Muster Roll of 1539 and the horrors resulting from the Marian Persecutions between the years of 1555 and 1558 and how these two events impacted on the inhabitants of Billericay.

marianne-persecutions

You can listen again to what Julian told me by clicking on the link below:-

You can also read all about these two events in more detail in a book Julian has written called Billericay People Volume I THE  MUSTER ROLL 1539 AND THE MARIAN PERSECUTIONS 1555-58. 

It’s available from the Cater Museum in Billericay who will benefit from all the profits derived from sales and can be yours for just £9:75.

See you next time,
Scott

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The Legend of Galleywood’s Deadman’s Lane

Deadman's LaneOn today’s Bygones feature Margaret Mills told us the all about the legend attaching to Deadman’s Lane in Galleywood.

If you missed it you can catch it all again by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next time,
Scott

 

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The Copford treasure

Copford Church

On our Bygones feature this week, Margaret Mills took us to Copford where at the time of Queen Mary a bishop, known locally as Bloody Bishop Bonner, is said to have stashed away all his worldly goods in a tunnel leading from the church.

In spite of many searches, nothing has so far been uncovered so presumably, if it ever existed, it is still waiting to be found.

Listen again to what Margaret told me by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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A witch’s burial in Finchingfield

Howe Street

Today  Margaret Mills told us about an alleged witch rejoicing in the somewhat unkind name of GOOFY MUMFORD from Howe Street near Finchingfield.

“Goofy” was the village schoolmistress, but also reputedly dabbled in witchcraft and so was blamed when the harvest failed, killed and then buried at a crossroads.

To hear more click on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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Sir John Griffin Griffin Whitwell – The man they named twice

Audley End

On today’s Bygones feature Margaret Mills looked back at the man they named twice – Sir John Griffin Griffin Whitwell.

He had to get named “GRIFFIN” twice in order to inherit Audley End.

If you missed what Margaret said you can listen again here: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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The history of Merrymeade House

Merrymeade House

 

After taking us to Hutton Poplars Hall last week, today Margaret Mills gave a fascinating insight into Brentwood’s Merrymeade House which is close to Sawyers Hall Road.

Listen again to what Margaret said by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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Another Folklore cure – well maybe!

Folklore cures

On this week’s BYGONES feature Margaret Mills kept to the subject she was covering last week – Essex Folklore Cures. This week she looked at headache cures. Listen to what Margaret told me by clicking on the link below: –

 

 

 

 

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Broomfield’s Dragon Foot Field

St Mary and St Leonard's ChurchOn today’s Bygones feature, Margaret Mills took us on a trip to the place known as Dragon’s Foot Field in Broomfield.

Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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The ghostly former prison, known as THE CAGE

The CageThis afternoon Margaret Mills took us on a  trip to the one time witches’ prison in St Osyth, near Clacton.

The property known as THE CAGE is now a private house.

Listen again to what Margaret told me by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week,
Scott

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Brunel and Essex

Brunel

Margaret Mills was very much on an educational bent today as she revealed the Essex connection with the famed Industrial and Mechanical engineer, IZAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL, notably with Tollesbury.

If you missed it you can listen again to what Margaret told me by clicking on the link below:-

See you again next week,
Scott

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Is there buried treasure lurking in Pleshey?

treasure-chest-620x350

On today’s feature, Margaret Mills held out the suggestion that there could be a treasure chest lurking in the depths close to the site of the former Pleshey Castle.

Pleshey

Listen again to what Margaret told me and then consider whether it’s worth setting off with your shovel in the dead of night.

See you again next week,
Scott

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The fascinating story of Greensted Church

Greensted Church 2

After spending a few weeks relating a selection of somewhat macabre stories, Margaret Mills took us today on a trip to the ancient and picturesque Greensted Church near Ongar.

If you missed it, click on the link below to hear what Margaret told me about the history of this lovely church:-

See you again next week,
Scott

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The Suicide Pond of Epping Forest

Haunted Forest

Keeping to her recent rather gruesome tales, Margaret Mills took us this week on a visit to Epping Forest – the alleged site of a Suicide Pond.

Listen again to what Margaret told me on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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Death by talcum powder!

19th century pharmacist

Margaret Mills took us back to the 1870’s today to look at the case of the Loughton based pharmacist who faced a murder charge after many of his customers became ill – in some cases fatally so – as a result of arsenic poisoning contracted from talcum powder.

Violet Powder

Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this by clicking on the link below:-

See you again next week,
Scott

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Murder Most Foul!

murder most foul

On this week’s BYGONES feature, Margaret Mills told us all about the Essex pathologist, Francis Camps, who’s evidence resulted in the conviction of the 1950’s serial killer John Christie.

If you missed what Margaret told me just click on the link below to listen again: –

See you next week,
Scott

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Beating the Bounds

Today’s BYGONES feature took us back to the days when local dignitaries, many of the inhabitants and especially the local lads used to be involved in the annual traditional ceremony of BEATING THE BOUNDS which confirmed the boundary limits of the individual parishes.Beating the bounds

Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below:-

See you again next week,
Scott

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Black Shuck

Black Shuck

Even though I wasn’t around today, Margaret Mills still took time out to come in to tell us all about the ghostly dog BLACK SHUCK said to roam the highways across East Anglia.

Reports suggest that the creature, which has not been seen since the 1950’s, usually portends an impending death, but not necessarily of the person witnessing the apparition. Indeed on occasions it is said that Black Shuck has actually helped people who had been lost.

If you missed it listen to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below:-

See you next week,
Scott

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Folk music and the link with Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan WilliamsIn this week’s programme, Margaret Mills popped by to explain how the celebrated composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, following a visit to Brentwood, was introduced to Essex folk music and set about securing it for posterity.

Listen again to what Margaret said by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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The Courtaulds of Gosfield Hall

Leaving all things ghostly behind, Margaret Mills took on a visit today to Gosfield Hall, the one time home of the textile magnate, Samuel Courtauld.

Samuel Courtauld

 

Samuel Courtauld was actually an American by birth but came to the UK where he built up the textile business around Braintree, Halstead and Bocking, here in Essex, which still bears his name today.

Listen to the fascinating history of the house and the business he founded by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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A potted history of Hadleigh Castle

hadleigh-castle

This afternoon Margaret Mills took us on a trip to Hadleigh Castle relating tales of smuggling as well as ghostly goings and the connections with Henry VIII.

Listen again to what Margaret said by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week for more ghostly tales, this time in Canewdon,
Scott

 

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Horham Hall and a marriage proposal

Horham HallToday’s feature from Margaret Mills was all about the Tudor manor house, Horham Hall, near Thaxted and the proposal of marriage presented to Elizabeth I whist she was staying there.

To hear more click on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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The ghost of Beeleigh Abbey

Starting the New Year in style, Margaret Mills took us on a ghostly tour of Beeleigb Abbey.Beeleigh Abbey

Beeleigh Abbey is located in Maldon. As the name suggests before the reign of Henry VIII, Beeleigh Abbey was a monastery. In later years it became a pub but it is now a private house.

Click on the link below to listen again to what Margaret told me about this building and the reported ghostly activity: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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Book burning in the USA

William Pynchon 1

Book burning is not something that we readily associate with the USA but that’s exactly what happened to copies of a book on religion written by William Pynchon, a man who was born and bred in Writtle and became one of the Founding Fathers of an area in Massachusetts.

Book burning in USA

Unfortunately his book went down like the proverbial lead balloon with the Puritans and he was forced to return to Essex.

Listen again to what Margaret had to tell me on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

 

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John Johnson- The architict of Shire Hall

John JohnsonFor her eve of Christmas offering, Margaret Mills looked back at the life of an architect and builder, who although born and bred in Leicester, is credited for the design and building of many stately homes, and notably Shire Hall here in Essex.

If you missed today’s feature, just click on the link below to hear it again: –

Have an absolutely stupendous Christmas.

See you next week,
Scott

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The Essex connection with Edith Cavell

Edith CavellThis week Margaret Mills outlined the Essex connection with Nurse Edith Cavell, who it will be recalled was found guilty of treason by a German Court Marshall and shot by firing squad in 1915.

Listen again to what Margaret said by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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A spa town in Essex? Absolutely!

Hockley Spa 2Believe it or not but Hockley was once a spa town rivalling the attractions of Bath and Royal Tunbridge Wells and this afternoon Margaret Mills took us back to those heady days.

To listen again to what she had to say on this subject, just click on the link below:-

See you again next week,
Scott

 

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William Hunter – the Brentwood martyr

William Hunter memorialAfter examining the somewhat dubious activities of the Witchfinder General last week, this week Margaret Mills focused her attention on the Brentwood martyr, William Hunter and the appalling way in which he was executed in Brentwood, just for standing up for his beliefs.

Thank goodness we live in rather more enlightened times.

Listen again to what Margaret told me today by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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Matthew Hopkins – The Witchfinder General

Matthew Hopkins

This week Margaret Mills took us back to the time of the English Civil War when for 3 years between 1644 and 1647, MATTHEW HOPKINS, who proclaimed himself WITCHFINDER GENERAL, stalked areas of ESSEX, SUFFOLK and NORFOLK, and together with his associates was responsible for more hangings of people accused of witchcraft than in the previous 100 years.

Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week with the story of a much more saintly person.
Scott

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More unruly behaviour in Steeple Bumpstead

Football in Steeple BumpsteadA couple of weeks ago, Margaret Mills told us about some riotous behaviour in the STEEPLE BUMPSTEAD of the 1860’s and today Margaret provided us with a follow-up story. Listen again to what Margaret reported today by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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Riots in Steeple Bumpstead – over football, of course!

Football in Steeple BumpsteadThe subject of today’s contribution from Margaret Mills, concerned a riot back in 1861 by the lads of the village of Steeple Bumpstead – over football. What else?

Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

We’re not here next week so we’ll see you again in a fortnight on 17th November,
Scott

 

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Medical diagnosis by post – 17th century style

Dr Duke's letterOn this week’s BYGONES feature, Margaret Mills took us back to July 1615 when it seems a well heeled inhabitant of Hatfield Broadoak  – Lady Joan Barrington – obtained medical advice from her doctor – by post! How the doctor, based in Colchester, was able to diagnose her ailment without seeing his patient is astonishing but clearly the recommended cure did her no harm as she lived for another 26 years to the ripe old age of 83.

Listen again to what Margaret said by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week,
Scott

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The Essex Earthquake

Apr04Earthquake1After telling us last week about how Colchester coped with the Black death, Margaret returned to the town this week to tell us about the Essex earthquake of April 1884 which, in spite of lasting no more than 8 seconds wreaked extensive damage to the areas surrounding Colchester.

Listen again to what Margaret said on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week
Scott

 

 

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How the plague came to Colchester

Black DeathTaking a rather black view on things, Margaret Mills’ subject today was about how the arrival of the Black Death took its toll on the inhabitants of Colchester.

Listen again to what Margaret said by clicking on the link below: –

See you again for more next week,
Scott

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William Byrd – Tudor composer and musician extraordinaire!

William ByrdThe subject chosen today by Margaret Mills was a renowned composer and musician from Tudor times – William Byrd who lived in Stondon Massey and was great friend of the Petre family, notably John Petre son of the first Lord Petre. In spite of his Roman Catholicism, for many years, he also managed to maintain a good relationship with the royalty – notably Queen Elizabeth I. Click on the link below to hear more: –

See you again next week,
Scott

 

 

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The story of Plotlands

Plotlands shop

On today’s programme, Margaret Mills told us all about the area around Basildon that became known as PLOTLANDS. Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

 

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The Pilgrim Fathers and Billericay

PilgrimsThe subject of today’s contribution by Margaret Mills was the Pilgrim Fathers and their connections with Essex, and especially Billericay.

Listen again to what Margaret told me by clicking on the link below:-

See you again next week,
Scott

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A vow of silence

Spains HallMargaret Mills joined me today and related the story of William Kempe, a one-time owner of Spain’s Hall near Finchingfield, who it seems took a 7-year vow of silence in penance for chastising his wife – and I suspect, lived to regret his decision! Listen again to what Margaret said by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week,

Scott

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The new kid on the block

Rochford HallBeing a Tuesday Margaret Mills returned with some information about a man who was no stranger to the block – Henry VIII and his connections with ROCHFORD HALL. Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you next time,
Scott

 

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“Who was he really?” That is the question


Shakespeare
On today’s programme Margaret Mills presented some startling evidence to suggest that William Shakespeare might not after all have been the BardEdward De Vere from Stratford Upon Avon after all, but rather Edward DeVere from Hedingham Castle.

 

Listen to what Margaret told me and wonder:-

See you next week,
Scott

 

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Tales of Fiddler the Pirate and other piratical exploits

Inland-Valley-Pirates-Logo

Margaret Mills popped by today to relate tales of the pirates of old who used to ply their trade along the many remote creeks and back waters which make up the Essex coast. Listen again to what Margaret told me by clicking on the link below: –

See you for more next week,
Scott

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Did Jack the Ripper come from Thorpe le Soken?

jacktheripperDoctor William Gull, who came from Thorpe le Soken, rose to become physician to many royals, including Queen Victoria herself. However well after his death, around the time of the First World War, evidence emerged connecting him with the Jack the Ripper murders. Listen again to what Margaret Mills told me today on this subject and make up your own mind: –

See you next week,
Scott

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The Bigamist of Thorpe le Soken

Kitty CanhamThe subject chosen today by Margaret Mills was that of Catherine (or Kitty) Canham, who was known as the bigamist of  Thorpe le Soken. Catherine lived between 1720 and 1752 and was married to the local vicar, Henry Gough. Unfortunately she found life as a parson’s wife a bit dull and took herself off to London where she met and married Lord Dalmeny with whom she enjoyed the high life travelling widely. When Catherine became ill she knew she was going to die, confessed all to her new “husband” and expressed a wish to be buried back in Thorpe le Soken.

Listen to all that subsequently occurred by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week,
Scott

 

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Robert Fitzwalter of Dunmow

Robert FitzwalterThis being the year we are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta, Margaret Mills discussed some of the activities of one of
the Norman Barons closely involved in the negotiations with King John which resulted in the establishment of  the Charter, Robert Fitzwalter of Dunmow.

Listen again here to what Margret told me: –

See you next week,
Scott

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The Spider Man of Stock

The Bear + StockOn today’s programme Margaret Mills told us all about the man known as THE SPIDER MAN of STOCK. He was actually a chap called Charlie who worked as an ostler at the Bear Public House in Stock. His house trick was to disappear up a chimney in one of the pub rooms and then re-appear down a chimney in another room. All went well until on one occasion he never re-appeared and he was never seen again. You can listen again to what Margaret said by clicking on the link below:

See you again next week,
Scott

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Phantoms of theatreland

civic-1

Palace Theatre - Westcliff

 

On today’s programme, Margaret Mills revealed some startling information about ghosts said to haunt the Civic Theatre in Chelmsford and the Palace Theatre in Westcliff.

Listen again to Margaret’s revelations by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week,
Scott

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Toothache? Just be glad you are living in 2015!

Pulling a toothToday Margaret Mills related some folklore cures for toothache which you really would not want to even consider. In some cases I think the toothache would be preferable.

If you missed what Margaret said and your stomach is strong enough, click on the link below to reveal all: –

See you again next week,
Scott

 

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Wanstead House – the most opulent house in England!

Wanstead HouseAfter spending the last few weeks at Hylands House in Chelmsford, this week Margaret Mills took us over to Wanstead, which whilst now a part of London, used to be in Essex.

Until creditors forced its destruction Wanstead House used to be, what was probably the most opulent house in England. Listen to what Margaret had to tell us about Wanstead House by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week,
Scott

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The Last owner of Hylands House

Hylands HouseAfter last week’s excitement of aviators landing at Hylands House for a wedding, Margaret Mills returned there this week to tell us all about the last private owner of the estate, Mrs Christine Hanbury.

Listen again to what Margaret said by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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Sir Daniel Gooch of Hylands House

Hylands HouseNo ghostly tales this week from Margaret Mills, but rather the interesting story of Sir Daniel Gooch, a one-time owner of Hylands House in Chelmsford. A colourful character who even took part in an expedition to the Antarctic.

Listen again to what Margaret had to say by clicking on the link below: –

I’ll see you again next week,
Scott

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Even more ghosts on the prowl!

IMG_0466After taking us on a to Prittlewell Priory last week, Margaret Mills continued with her ghostly theme and revealed details of the ghostly goings on at both Chelmsford Prison and Coalhouse Fort in Tilbury.

If you missed what she said, or would like to hear it again, just click on the link below: –

See you next week,
Scott

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Did your forebears serve in the military?

militarypolicemainBeing a Tuesday it was good to welcome back MARGARET MILLS, who after last week’s foray into the workhouse moved on to the military this week, with tips as to go about tracing your ancestors who may have served in any of the branches of the military.

Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below:-

Right I’ll see you again next week. In the meantime enjoy the sunshine,
Scott

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Ancestry and the Workhouse

Workhouse children

It was good to welcome back MARGARET MILLS to the studio today when she explained how to trace any ancestors you might have, who may have been unfortunate enough to have landed in the horror that was the workhouse.

Listen again to what Margaret said on this subject by clicking on the link below:-

See you again next week,
Scott

 

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More folklore remedies

folkloreAfter her efforts on this subject last year, Margaret Mills returned to some folklore remedies of old on today’s programme. Listen again to what Margaret had to say by clicking on the link below. I would just add a word of caution, if you try any of these, you do so at your own risk!

See you next week,
Scott

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The many ghosts of Walton On The Naze

The ghosts of WaltonOn today’s programme, Margaret Mills regaled us with a variety of reports of ghostly goings on  in Walton On The Naze. Maybe worth a visit to try and catch sight or sound of a ghost.

Meanwhile listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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Low down goings on at Hylands

Hylands House of old

Margaret Mills dropped by today with the story of JOHN ATTWOOD, a 19th century would-be MP from Hylands House in Chelmsford, and the underhand tricks he got up to in order to try to win the seat for Harwich.

There were dodgy dealings at the hustings even then!

Listen again to what Margaret had to say by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week
Scott

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The murder at Moat Farm

Moat FarmI was pleased to welcome back Margaret Mills to the studio today, even though she did return with a grisly tale of murder. The murder took place at Moat Farm (pictured), near Clavering, in 1898, but the murderer, Samuel Dougal was not apprehended for around 5 years, until 1903. However in those days justice was swift and the miscreant was hanged at Chelmsford prison less than 3 months later.

Listen to the tale again here: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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Return to the Family tree

IMG_0017Margaret Mills returned today with her final tips on tracing your family history. Today’s tips were especially relevant if your family originated overseas, or indeed any family members subsequently moved abroad.

If you missed anything Margaret said listen again by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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The Bronte Connection

(c) Bront렐arsonage Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationFollowing her Christmas and New Year break, today saw the return of Margaret Mills to the show. Her tale today concerned the Essex
connection with the Bronte sisters. Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

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A tale of “Riches to Rags”, maybe

Countess of WARWICKOn today’s feature, Margaret Mills outlined the amazing story of the Countess of Warwick, who in spite of her title, actually lived in Dunmow. At the tender age of just 3, and much to the chagrin of male members of the family, she became a multi-millionaire inheriting a huge sum of money from her grandfather. The money had actually been left to his son, her father, but he had died before he was able to inherit. Unfortunately for her decedents, the Countess managed to go through the lot after becoming wedded to the socialist movement.

Listen again to the story as related by Margaret by clicking on the link below: –

 

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A not so secret “secret”

Lady Audley's SecretOn today’s show Margaret Mills presented the story of a well known 19th century authoress who, back in 1852 published a book – “LADY AUDLEY”S SECRET” which was set in Essex and featured a number of ostensibly fictitious characters based on real people. Being the “J K ROWLING” of her day, her novels were always best sellers but some of the Essex locals who read the book recognised themselves and were less than flattered by how they had been described! Listen again to what Margaret had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week.
Scott

 

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The last woman to be hanged for “attempted murder”

Sarah CheshamToday we heard from Margaret Mills about a woman who lived near Saffron Walden, believed to have poisoned her children and husband by lacing their rice puddings with arsenic. Although never convicted of murder, Sarah Chesham became the last woman to be hanged for attempted murder. You can listen again to the grizzly details by clicking on the link below: –

 

Right I’ll see you again next week,
Scott

 

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More Folklore Remedies

Mouse cureBeing a Tuesday Margaret Mills returned with some more folklore remedies suggested by one, Samuel Wegg. In previous weeks the remedies have involved vipers and gunpowder and although I could live with two of the remedies described today involving potatoes and French brandy I do draw the line at swallowing a live mouse to cure chest, lung or breathing complaints. Mercifully perhaps we are leaving folklore remedies behind us and moving to something completely different next week. Meanwhile click on the link below to listen again to these amazing remedies: –

See you next week,
Scott

 

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A cure that’s a real “Blast from the Past”

No vipers this week but it was gunpowder instead that featured in today’s folklore feature from Margaret Mills. Not that this was MaFolklorergaret’s suggestion, but the cure for stomach complaints and indigestion, proposed by one Samuel Wegg back in the mid 18th century in his CURES AND REMEDIES BOOK. Since his cures were recommended for both humans and animals, I think I’d prefer to first test this cure on an animal. But then how would you know if it was suffering from indigestion? Listen again to what Margaret had to say on the subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again next week,
Scott

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Is the cure worse than the affliction?

viperHaving tried to scare us all half to death with all her recent stories of ghosts said to haunt various parts of Essex, Margaret Mills turned her attention to some folklore remedies for various ills that used to afflict communities. I have to say that in at least one case I rather feel that it might have been better to suffer the affliction rather than trying to effect the cure. See what you think by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week,
Scott

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The two ghosts of Hatfield Peverel

ghost dogOn today’s tale of HAUNTED ESSEX, Margaret Mills took us to Hatfield Peverel, reportedly the scene of a lot of ghostly activity. On today’s programme Margaret regaled the story of two ghosts – one of which is a dog. You can listen to what Margaret told me here: –

 

I’m away next week but Margaret and I return in two weeks when Margaret will be turning her attention to some ancient folklore remedies for various ailments. Try some of these at your peril!

See you again soon,
Scott

 

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Polly Miles – the ghost of Castle Hedingham

ghostToday’s ghost story from Margaret Mills featured Polly Miles from Castle Hedingham. In spite of her youth, Polly’s contemporaries
thought she was a witch. Poor Polly died in mysterious circumstances and her spirit is still said to haunt Castle Hedingham to this day. To hear the tale again just click on the link below: –

Right I’ll see you next week
Scott

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Another ghost near Saffron Walden

Mountfitchet-GhostFor this week’s ghostly tale, MARGARET MILLS, returned to Saffron Walden – or more accurately the site of a one time Second World War airfield close to the B1052. The field is said to be haunted by the ghost of an American airman, who was presumably the victim of a crash there in 1943.

Listen again to this week’s story by clicking on the link below: –

More ghostly tales next week when Margaret will be heading over to Castle Hedingham.

See you next week
Scott

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The Ghost of Saffron Walden

The Ghost of Saffron WaldenOn today’s programme, Margaret Mills related the story of the Ghost of Saffron Walden. If you missed it, or would just like to hear it again, click on the link below:-

 

See you again next week for another ghostly tale involving a World War 2 American Airman.
Scott

 

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The Centurion of Mersea Island

Roman GhostsThis week’s trip into Haunted Essex with Margaret Mills, was to Mersea Island where the Causeway is said to be haunted by a Roman Centurion, especially during Autumn evenings. Listen again to today’s tale by clicking on the link below: –

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Barking and Dagenham in pictures

I was delighted to welcome back our good friend SYLVIA KENT today.Sylvia Kent

As you know Sylvia is one of the most prolific writers in our area, who not only produces books but also contributes to magazines and newspapers, both nationaldownload and regional. And now Sylvia has just completed her 10th book, a pictorial history of Barking & Dagenham. The book, titled “BARKING & DAGENHAM FROM OLD PHOTOGRAPHS” should be available from the end of October and is priced at £14.99. Should be a great Christmas present for anyone interested in our heritage and history.

Listen to what Sylvia had to say on this subject by clicking on the link below: –

See you again tomorrow
Scott

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The Ghosts of Ingatestone Hall

IMG_0466I was joined today by Margaret Mills for the first of a new series of tales of hauntings and folklore in Essex.

You can listen again here to the story of the two ghosts said to be haunting Ingatestone Hall: –

See you next week for more of the same,
Scott

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Maid Marion in Essex?

It was rather a sad day today as, at least for the time being, we had the final ESSEX TALE from Carl Merry. For his final offering we Maid Marion
heard all about Matilda Fitzwalter – probably better known as Maid Marion of Robin Hood fame. Now I guess most people would associate her with Sherwood Forest and Nottingham, rather than Essex but to learn more about her Essex connections listen again to the story by clicking on the link below: –

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The Spider and The Bear

Bear PubThis week’s ESSEX TALE  concerned a flea infested man, Charlie Marshall, Bear Pub also known as “The Spider” on account of his trick of disappearing up a chimney in the tap bar of the Bear Public House in Stock and then reappear, covered in soot, from down the chimney in the bar parlour.

 

 

 

On one occasion, however he never returned so presumably his skeleton is still somewhere up in the bacon loft, but there is no record of it ever having been found. There have, however, been reports of some ghostly appearances! Listen again to this week’s tale by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week
Scott

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The Home Front during the Great war

Women on the home frontNormally on a Tuesday, CARL MERRY presents his ESSEX TALES, but this week as we continue our tribute to, and recollections of, the First World War, Frances Clamp made a welcome return to PHOENIX FM with reflections on some of the effects the outbreak of hostilities had on the local population in Essex. If you missed this item, or would just like to hear it again, click on the link below: –

See you again next week,

Scott

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The Essex Earthquake

Bell-1884Today’s ESSEX TALE by CARL MERRY concerned the Essex Earthquake which occurred around 9 o’clock on the morning of Tuesday the 22nd April 1884. The ‘quake centred on Wivenhoe resulted in damage and/or destruction of some 1250 buildings in and around Colchester.

Listen to the story again by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week,
Scott

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A witching tale from Leigh-on-sea

 

bell_wharf_old_leigh

Carl Merry popped in with his third tale in a row, based in Leigh-on-Sea. The previous stories involved highwaymen and smugglers but today’s story was all about witchcraft. If you missed it, or would like to hear it again, click on the link below: –

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Smugglers ahoy!

Old LeighCARL MERRY’S ESSEX TALE this week concerned one ELIZABETH LITTLE, who ran an ostensibly reputable drapers shop in the Leigh-on-Sea of the 1840’s.Trouble was that Elizabeth was a smuggler and most of her wares consisted of contraband.

Listen to the tale again here: –

See you again next week.
Scott

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The 13th Reaper

Devils Drink Bowl on Mersea IsOn today’s ESSEX TALE, Carl Merry related the story of the 13th Reaper who once worked a field on Mersea Island. The evidence of that time is still there for all to see at the pond, known to this day as THE DEVIL’s DRINK BOWL.

You can listen to the story again by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week,
Scott

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The Tale of Betty Potter’s Dip

Once again CARL MERRY presented another tale of witchcraft, dating back to the 1640’s.

Betty Potter's Dip

Today’s story concerned the Disappearing Witch, Betty Potter, who’s ghost is still reputed to haunt the area known as Betty Potter’s Dip, near Boxted every year at midnight on the 21st Of October.

You can re-live the tale here: –

See you next week for another ghostly tale.
Scott

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A cat named Satan

cats and witchcraftCARL MERRY returned to a favourite theme – witchcraft – for today’s ESSEX TALE which concerned a white cat named SATAN who used to roam areas around Hatfield Peverel (and worryingly, may still do so today).

If you missed it, or would just like to hear the story again, listen again by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week.
Scott

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The sad tale of Edith Swan Neck

Edith Swan NeckLast week Carl looked at the Battle of Maldon, and sticking (albeit loosely) to the battle theme, this week’s tale from Carl revolved around Edith Swan Neck, the mistress of last Anglo-Saxon King of England, Harold who, as all school children will know, fell at the Battle of Hastings.

 If you missed it, you can listen again to the tale by clicking on this link: –

See you next week,
Scott

 

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The Battle of Maldon

Battle of MaldonFor today’s ESSEX TALE, CARL MERRY took us back to the year 991 for the Battle of Maldon – a battle that the men of Essex, even though heavily outnumbered, could easily have won had it not been for the good old Anglo Saxon spirit of fair play which allowed the Vikings to cross the causeway before fighting commenced.

Listen again to today’s tale by clicking on the link below: –

See you next week with another battle related story.

Scott

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All about a “crocadilly”

Wormingford DragonToday’s story from CARL MERRY revolved around a pet given to RICHARD THE LIONHEART, which grew into a huge creature. After finally escaping into the wild, the animal set itself up in the North Essex town of Wormingford.

Listen again to today’s tale by clicking on this link: –

See you next week,

Scott

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The sad story of Wrynecked Sal and The White Lady

Hadleigh CastleIt was back to witchcraft on today’s ESSEX TALE.

Today’s story by CARL MERRY concerned the results of an encounter between a young girl and THE WHITE LADY, close to Hadleigh Castle. Listen again to the tale by clicking on the link below: –  Essex Tales 25th March

See you next week for a story concerning yet another White Lady.

Scott

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Don’t mess with the Devil!

 

devil's wood

Today’s ESSEX TALE by Carl Merry was a truly Devilish story relating the consequences of throwing caution to the wind and building a house on land known as the Devil’s Wood. It seems that Old Nick took great exception to this development  – a supernatural NIMBY case perhaps!

Listen to the tale again here: – Essex Tales 18th March

See you next week,

Scott

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The poacher and the morkin

scarecrowToday’s tale concerned a poacher of old by the name of Samuel Peacock who seems to have had a bit of a run in with a local wise woman. Listen again to today’s offering from Carl by clicking on the link below: – Essex Tales 11th March

Now I don’t know about you but I’m guessing that this story may have enjoyed a bit of embellishment over the years!

See you next week,

Scott

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Serpent or dragon? You decide!

lg_dragonCarl Merry presented another very strange tale today. This one involved Sir James Tyrrell of Heron Hall who it has been claimed slew the Barbary Serpent which seemingly terrorised the populace of West Horndon in about 1502.

Listen again to this strange story right here: –  Essex Tales 21st January

See you again next week,

Scott

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Old Father Time Keeps Marching On

janus

Old Father Time

 

 

 

 

 

I was once delighted to be joined by FRANCES CLAMP for a New Year’s Eve BYGONES special. Frances talked about some of the legends surrounding the changing of the year. Listen again here to what Frances had to say on the subject: – Bygones 31st December

It just remains for me to wish you a very happy and healthy 2014.

Scott

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A Christmas trip to the Holy Land

Holy LandIt was good to welcome Frances Clamp back for a Christmas Eve special BYGONES feature. For this special programme Frances took us on a trip to The Holy Land. You can listen again here to what Frances had to say on this subject:- Bygones 24th December

Frances will be returning next week for another “special” to celebrate the coming New Year.

For now let me wish you a very Merry Christmas. Take care til I see you again next week.

Scott

 

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The Man whose waistcoat could hold 700 men!

edwardbrightofmaldeninessex-villanovau-mcgarritycollectionToday we heard all about EDWARD BRIGHT, a grocer who lived in Maldon from 1721 to 1750. By the time of his death he was reputed to be the fattest man in England, topping the scales at some 47 and a half stone (302 kilos).

His waistcoat was so huge that it became the subject of a wager that it could accommodate no less than 700 men simultaneously. To hear who won the bet, listen again here: – Essex Tales 17th December

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John Rann – Sixteen String Jack

jack rannCarl Merry regaled the story of JOHN RANN, nicknamed SIXTEEN STRING JACK, a colourful highwayman who had managed to evade being convicted for many a year, until he made one fatal error. In spite of this it may be that his last night on earth may not have been without some recompense.

Listen here to learn more: – Essex Tales 10th December

See you next week,

Scott

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A tale of two husbands

churchyard thorpe

Katy Cannon

 

 

 

 

 

For today’s ESSEX TALE, Carl Merry related the story of the man who, in order to honour the wishes of his deceased wife, brought her body home, only to discover that her earlier marriage to the rector of Thorpe Le Soken had never been annulled. Listen again to his tale right here: – Essex Tales 19th November

See you again next week.

Scott

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Phillip John Sainty – Wivenhoe based smuggler and shipbuilder

 

PearlIn today’s edition of ESSEX TALES  CARL MERRY  related the story of Wivenhoe based shipbuilder and smuggler, Phillip John Sainty.

If you missed it, you can listen again to Carl’s story here: – Essex Tales 12th November

 

 

 

Right. That’s it for me. See you again next week.

Scott

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A sad tale of love found and then lost for ever

Carl Merry

lobster Pot

 

 

 

 

 

THIS AFTERNOON we welcomed CARL MERRY, the TALESPINNER from Wickford who joined us for the first of a new series of ESSEX TALES. The first story was a rather sad poignant love story set on Canvey Island. The story and the central character, Lucy, may have been the basis of  MISS HAVERSHAM from Dickens’ 1861 novel, GREAT EXPECTATIONS.

Listen to Carl’s story again here: – Essex Tales 5th November

See you again next week,

Scott

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A nostalgic journey of the last 3 years

 

IMG_0207

It was rather a sad day today as I was joined for the last time by Frances Clamp. Frances has been with me on this show for the last 3 years but is now in the midst of writing a new book about Southend-on-Sea during the First World war, which unsurprisingly is taking up rather a lot of her time.

For the final show today Frances took a nostalgic look at some of the topics she has covered during the past around 150 episodes. So for the final time take a listen to what Frances recalled from this period: – Bygones 29th October

It goes without saying that I am going to miss Frances and her weekly contributions and all of us at Phoenix wish her well with her new project.

All the best,

Scott

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Another Pub Crawl in Billericay!

White Hart

309AT

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Crown, Billericay

 

A few weeks ago Frances Clamp took us to a number of pubs, as they were in the 1960’s and this week Frances has completed the tour by taking us to The White Horse, Railway and Crown, again in the 1960’s.

Listen again to what Frances had to say on this subject – not a slur in her voice at all so you know that whatever I may have imbibed Frances kept to non alcoholic beverages: – Bygones 22nd October

See you again next week.

Scott

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Second to None

120 high streetOn today’s programme, FRANCES CLAMP who took me on a trip down to buildings which once stood at 118-120 High Street in Billericay. Number 118 was once badly damaged by fire and subsequently demolished in 1958. Number 120 was something of an oddity for Billericay, being neither very old nor post 1960. It actually dates back to the First World War and once was home to a a shop called “SECOND TO NONE” which sold all manner of cheap goods from linens to crockery. Frances also took me to a pub in a nearby village.

Listen again to what Frances had to say on this subject here:- Bygones 8th October

Right I’m off to another pub right now and look forward to being with you again next week.

Cheers,

Scott

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The Pubs and Inns of Billericay live on!

Red Lion

The Chequers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frances Clamp and even more delighted when she took me to visit two pubs in the Billericay of the 1960’s.

The pubs in question were THE CHEQUERS and THE RED LION. Listen again to what Frances had to tell me: –  Bygones 24th September

With all that talk of pubs I feel a thirst coming on so I’m off for a pint right now!

See you again next week.

Scott

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Henry VIII and Blackmore

stlawrencechurch

On today’s Bygones feature we learnt about some of he rumours of what Henry VIII might have got up to during his visits to Blackmore.

He’s “Gone to Jericho”, nudge nudge wink wink, was said by the royal court about King Henry VIII (1509-1547). This is a Phrase which early historians claimed to have been said for when the King visited Blackmore to be with his mistress Elizabeth Blount, but it is doubtful whether this actually occurred. Anyway listen again to what Frances had to say on this subject right here: – Bygones 27th August

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Not a storm in a teacup!

Flood_pictures_0009On today’s programme Frances recalled the huge thunderstorm which hit Billericay and Wickford 55 years ago. It was on the evening of the 5th September 1958, that following a hot and humid day, the storm hit. The rain was so intense that not even buses and trains could get through the resultant floods. Wickford was under 5 foot of water, double decker buses were half submerged.
Listen again to what Frances had to say on the subject here: – Bygones 20th August

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A Priory with a real history

Blackmore PrioryNo Frances Clamp today but mercifully Frances did leave me some comprehensive notes on her chosen subject today: – BLACKMORE PRIORY.

Over the years the house had several names: -Manor of the Priory of Blackmore, Jericho Priory, Jericho and Blackmore House. It seems that various Kings have happily transferred ownership from one lot of people to others. Henry II transferred the property from the de Sanford family to an Augustine Priory and by the time that withy the dissolution of the monastries instigated by Henry VIII, the Priory was handed over to Thomas Wolsey and later to a John Smyth who set about pulling it down to build his own mansion, much to the chagrin of the local villagers.

Listen again here to my efforts based on the notes provided by Frances: – Bygones13th August

Well that’s it for another week. See you next Tuesday.

Scott

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Yet another monster in Billericay

Monster Miller

A few weeks ago we learnt about a monster fish lurking in a Billericay pond and keeping to the theme of monsters, the subject chosen by Frances Clamp this week was Thomas Wood, who bore the nickname of The Monster Miller of Billericay. He lived  between 1719 and 1783 and it appears was known all over the world. He was especially renowned for a living on an abstemious diet of a home made bread pudding and giving up all forms of alcohol which resulted in an amazing improvement in his health.

You can listen again to what Frances told me right here:- Bygones 6th August

Right that’s it from me. See you next week,

Scott

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Brentwood’s mysterious Priory House

Now Frances Clamp has set me a real poser this week as her subject this week was the Priory which was located on Brentwood High Street from 1852 to around 1936.

The PrioryUnfortunately this was not the Priory House about which I had found some information. That property dated from the 16th century and is pictured here but of the house which was the subject of Frances’ piece today, I have been unable to find any trace.

Listen to what Frances told me here:- Bygones 30th July

 

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A children’s home with a difference

FoxcroftOn today’s programme, Frances returned to BILLERICAY and in particular to THE FOXCROFT CHILDRENS’ HOME – which was housed in a building on Billericay High Street dating back to 1740 and which now houses a solicitors office. The building was purchased by the Essex County Council in 1932 and ran the children’s home on the site until the early 1970’s. Unlike similar establishments that had been adjuncts to the old workhouse, this was indeed a very happy place and children who stayed there recall the times with much affection.

Listen again here to what France told me: – Bygones 23rd July

Right that’s it for another week. See you next time.

Scott

 

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The Chaplain’s House revisited

Chapel-ruins-in-high-street1-150x150Back in March Frances Clamp looked at the establishment and financing of the old Chaplain’s house in Brentwood, which dates back to the time of HENRY III.

This time round Frances  looked in a little more detail at the building itself, the chapel and the surrounding land.

 

 

Listen again to what Frances had to say here: – Bygones 16th July

Right that’s it for another week. See you next time,

Scott

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A nostalgic trip down the High Street of yesteryear

Billericay High StreetOn today’s programme Frances Clamp took a walk down Billericay High Street as it was in the 1950’s. Of course the decade opened in a period of true austerity.

Rationing was the order of the day. No supermarkets then. Butchers had rabbits, and at Christmas, turkeys hanging on hooks outside their premises. Greengrocers stocked only the fruit and vegetables in season. Private cars were few in number. The sights, sounds and smells were all different back then, but listen again to what Frances had to say on this subject right here: – Bygones 9th July

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One of the few

It’s Tuesday again so I was delighted to welcome the smiling face of Frances Clamp. Today’s BYGONES feature harked back to the dark days of the second world war, and specifically to the Battle of Britain and specifically to of one of “the few” – Squadron Leader Desmond Fopp, who was actually Australian by birth although his mother was English whilst his father was a first-generation Australian of Prussian extraction.

Squadron Leader Fopp had joined up shortly after the outbreak of war and had been involved in providing air support for the evacuation of the BEF at Dunkirk and was subsequently heavily involved in the Battle of Britain. On the 3rd September 1940 his section of 4 Hurricanes was scrambled to intercept a force of 200 enemy aircraft approaching East London. He led his pilots into a head-on attack to disperse the bombers and after his ammunition was exhausted, he was attacked by three of the escorting German fighters and his aircraft was set on fire. He was badly burned during his attempts to bale out, landing in a field near Brentwood, spending several months in hospital recovering from his injuries.

In spite of his injuries Sq Ldr Fopp returned to operational flying within a year. Listen again here to what Frances told me: – [audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Bygones-2nd-July1.mp3|titles=Bygones 2nd July]

Right I’ll see you again soon. Meantime have a good week.

Scott

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A Fishy tale from Billericay

Frances Clamp returned from her holidays with the tale of a fish (well the story rather than a tail) connected with Billericay. If you missed it or to learn what that was all about, you can hear what Frances had to tell me right here: – [audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Bygones-25th-June1.mp3|titles=Bygones 25th June]

Right that’s me done for another week. See you next week.

Scott

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Corners and Columns

Frances Clamp has done another “runner” this week but had once more, mercifully supplied me with some detailed notes about a Grade II listed building, currently occupied by Bennetts, the funeral directors at the corner of Kings Road and the High Street in Brentwood.

Listen again to my efforts to convey details of what Frances left and be thankful that Frances will be back next week: – [audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Bygones-18th-June1.mp3|titles=Bygones 18th June]

See you next week,

Scott

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Just when we thought it was safe, it’s back to the workhouse

Well here we are again! Another Tuesday but I’ve been abandoned by Frances Clamp – well not completely as Frances provided me with some in depth notes on poverty in Brentwood and Billericay.

You may recall that we looked at the workhouses in our area about a month ago but today we took another trip to that dark era and  you can listen again to my efforts in presenting the information she provided right here: – [audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Bygones-11th-June.mp3|titles=Bygones 11th June]

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All the fun of the fair

Frances Clamp joined me today with news of fairs and markets in Brentwood dating back to 1227. A very precise date but as Frances explained, a charter granted to Brentwood, dating
back to 1227 has just been re-discovered.

The charter grants the town the right to a weekly market day as well as an annual fair which can be held close to Wilsons Corner. So why might this be the source of controversy?


Well it seems that Havering council has suggested that they might challenge any plans by Brentwood to expand their market in the light of the old charter being recovered. It seems that Henry III granted a similar charter to Havering in 1245 which states that the minimum distance between markets can be no less than 6 and two thirds of a mile, an ancient law based on how far a sheep could be walked in a day!  Havering council used this charter to block other markets in the area, notably against Barking 20 years ago. However Havering could find Brentwood to be a more formidable opponent based on the fact that’s its charter pre-dates Havering’s by almost 20 years!

Watch this space but meantime you can listen again to what Frances had to say on this subject right here: – [audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Bygones-4th-June1.mp3|titles=Bygones 4th June]

OK. Get out there and enjoy the sunshine. See you again next week!

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Gadzooks – bring me my hair powder

I was delighted to welcome Frances Clamp today, even though her chosen subject of Hair Powder connected with Billericay had left me floundering to discover what Frances may have been talking about. Anyway it turns out that one of the minor taxes imposed on the rather more well heeled members of society in the 18th Century, was the hair powder tax and knowing who paid this tax and where they lived provides a insight into the relative importance of certain areas.

It seems that in 1795 there were 35 people – 18 women and 17 men – in Billericay who held certificates to show they paid the tax and could therefore wear hair powder. This compares with only one person in places like North Benfleet, Nevendon, Ramsden Bellhouse and Ramsden Heath. A few people were recorded in one or two places but as no one is listed at all in places like Vange, Pitsea, Laindon and Mountnessing, it has to be assumed that in such areas there was either no one rich enough, or vain enough to apply for a licence!

Listen again to what Frances had to say here: – [audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Bygones-28th-May1.mp3|titles=Bygones 28th May]

Right that’s it for me. See you next week.

All the best

Scott

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A “SELO” of approval

Today Frances Clamp was looking at the history of a company which was a stalwart of Brentwood’s economy in the 1920’s and 1930’s – SELO LTD, which was a subsidiary of Ilford Films. The company was founded in 1926 but ceased trading under the SELO name in 1946 although the name was maintained in Brentwood as the Selo Factory.

Even now the name lives on as THE BRENTWOOD-SELO SUB AQUA CLUB, which was founded 50 years ago by a group of swimming enthusiasts employed by ILFORD FILMS LTD, meets right here at THE BRENTWOOD CENTRE every  Friday evening at 8:30.

Listen again to what Frances told me right here: – [audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Bygones-21st-May1.mp3|titles=Bygones 21st May]

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A warm welcome awaits you in the workhouse!

During our BRENTWOOD & BILLERICAY Bygones feature, Frances Clamp examined what life was like in the workhouses of the 18th and 19th century. Judging by some recent reports, some of today’s care homes are little better! Listen again to what Frances had to say right here:- [audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Bygones-14th-May1.mp3|titles=Bygones 14th May]

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Billericay Town Football Club

 Frances Clamp was not with me today but had left me some notes on her chosen subject – history of Billericay Town Football Club.

You can listen again to my less than perfect efforts in presenting this feature based on what Frances supplied, right here: –  [audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Billericay-Town-FC1.mp3|titles=Billericay Town FC]

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Countess Helen Tasker – An Update

Frances Clamp who popped by with an update on the story of Countess Helen Tasker that we first aired in March 2011. We are indebted indeed to have received some more information from interested listeners which has enabled us to fill in some blank spaces and add to the information to the records from which our original episode was based.

Listen again to what Frances was able to say on this subject right here: – [audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Bygones-23rd-April.mp3|titles=Bygones 23rd April]

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Billericay versus Billerica

Frances Clamp’s subject for this week’s BYGONES feature concerned the historical links between Billericay and its American twin town, Billerica. If you missed it, you can listen again here to what Frances had to say on this subject: – [audio:http://www.phoenixfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Bygones-16th-April1.mp3|titles=Bygones 16th April]

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