News: The Society's new website, has been launched. Changes will be made to this blog over the coming weeks to improve user experience.

Sunday, 11 November 2018


Laurence Binyon, war poet, has a local connection in that he grew up in Chelmsford before the War.  He was the son of Frederick Binyon, curate of St Mary’s Church Chelmsford.  We end this talk with these words:

“They went with songs to the battle, they were young
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow,
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted
They fell with their faces to the foe.

“They shall not grow old, as we are left to grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

One Hundred Years On. The Eleventh Hour, of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Blackmore. Poppy Trail and Display. Floral Tributes etc

The congregation of the Priory Church of St Laurence, Blackmore, has mounted a poppy trail and display in its churchyard attracting several visitors to reflect and remember the end of the First World War a century ago.  A Poppy Trail leads the visitor to the graves of five people: four associated with the First World War, and one associated with the Second World War. There is War Poetry and a 'Here but Not Here' figure where visitors are asked to consider what life was like when one in five men who went to war never returned. The Poppy Trail and Display can be seen and experienced in daylight hours until 21 November 2018.

From Thursday 8 November to Tuesday 13 November, the church interior will host a number of floral tributes on First World War themes.  Donations are in aid of the Royal British Legion.  At each hour the church is open from Thursday to Saturday, the bells will be rung / tolled and on Sunday the congregation will participate in 'Battles Over' by chiming the bells at 12.30pm and 7pm.

Below are some photographs.  Do come and see.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Harlow New Town commemorates 127 men who died in First World War.

Pleased to take a short time out from the office to read a tribute to Alfred Edgar Seymour who was killed in 1917 and remembered on the Old Harlow War Memorial. He was one of 127 in the now Harlow New Town area to be commemorated in film. I will voice-over the place where his parents lived: Bury Road. One man will be remembered daily commencing 11 November.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Essex Industrial Archaeology Group AGM & Study Day. Saturday 10 November 2018

A Sub-Group of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History          
Email address:

Saturday 10th November 2018
from: 11 am to 3.30pm
at: Colne Valley Railway, Yeldham Road,
Castle Hedingham CO9 3DZ
Programme for the day
10.30 to 10.50am: Arrival and booking in.
11 am: Welcome by Tony Crosby, Chairman of Essex                                                     Industrial Archaeology Group followed by Annual Meeting
11.30am: A talk about the historical context of the former Colne Valley and Halstead Railway by Paul Lemon
11.50am: A talk about the various industries along the route of the former Colne Valley and Halstead Railway during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by Adrian Corder-Birch
12.10pm: The history of the preserved Colne Valley Railway by Nick Ellis
12.30pm: The vision for the future of the Colne Valley Railway Preservation site and museum by Paul Lemon and Nick Ellis
1 to 2pm: Lunch – Light refreshments are available on site including tea, coffee, soft drinks and biscuits, but otherwise members are invited to bring picnics.
2 to 3.15pm: Tour of the site to be led by Nick Ellis with train ride on Diesel Multiple Unit by Paul Lemon
3.30pm: Members are requested to leave the site by 3.30pm please

The Essex Industrial Archaeology Group (EIAG) is a sub-group of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History (ESAH) and was established to provide a way forward for industrial archaeology in Essex, which previously lacked a society dedicated to Essex Industrial Heritage.  The aims of the group are to research and record industries in Essex and their sites; publish reports on the work of the Group; Initiate and support the preservation of important industrial sites, buildings, artefacts and records; organise talks and visits to the many archaeology and heritage sites in Essex, and to work in partnership with Essex County Council, Chelmsford City Council, Unitary, Borough and District Councils, amenity groups and others with an interest in Essex’s industrial past.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

'We Will Remember'. Toot Hill Village Hall. Thursday 22 November 2018 8pm

The High Country History Group commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War with a talk to be given by Martyn Lockwood, its Chairman, entitled 'We Will Remember' at Toot Hill Village Hall at 8pm on Thursday 22 November 2018.  Admission £3 (Members £2) includes wine and mince pies. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Great Waltham War Memorial Website Launched

Please visit the new website about the men from Great Waltham and surrounding areas who died in World War One and are remembered on the War Memorial. This is an ongoing project and anyone with further information are welcome to comment on the website.

Taken from Facebook.

Monday, 22 October 2018

'Remembrance 100' Community Commemoration. Priory Church of St Laurence, Blackmore. 1-21 November 2018

Remembrance 100 – Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green

In August of 2017 parishioner Jenny Dodd suggested that we mark 100 Years since the Armistice by covering the porch of St Laurence Church, Blackmore, with knitted poppies made by members of the community in Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green. She was hopeful that people would knit a few each and if we were lucky we would get around 1500 or maybe even 2000!

Remembrance Sunday still seems to resonate with the majority of people and the project has evolved. It has captured the imagination, not only of local people and groups, but also people from Spain, Canada and New Zealand who have been knitting poppies for this significant event.

From the 1st of November until the 21st over 6250 knitted poppies along with a further 1000 poppies made from plastic bottle bottoms will be displayed on the church and in the churchyard. A ‘Poppy Trail’, around areas of the churchyard, will evoke emotion as people journey around a moving and informative experience. Along the trail there will be information points with facts and background material relating to the First World War, the British Legion and the significance of the poppy along with moving poems both old and new. The trail will visit the graves of local people who died in, or as a result of, the war. The final two stops on the trail will allow people to reflect on the scale and enormity of the sacrifice made by millions of service people worldwide and those of the local community.

From the 8th November until the 13th, floral tributes sponsored by local people, groups and businesses will be on display inside the church. Created by local people, these will pay tribute to individuals, and depict scenes and aspects of the war.

On the 9th of November at 7.30 in the evening a talk ‘For King & Country: Blackmore during the First World War’ will be given in St Laurence church.

There will also be an act of remembrance at Our sister church, St. Peter & St. Paul’s Stondon Massey on Saturday 10th November at 5:30pm which will be a chance to reflect on the 100 years since the armistice with music, poetry and art.
All events are free but any donations will be given to the Royal British Legion.

Our key aims for this Remembrance 100 event are to remember those who have given their lives in the first world war and all subsequent wars, to highlight the works of the British Legion and raise money for their continued work and to help everyone to understand the enormity of the sacrifices made and continue to be made to preserve our way of life today.

The scale of the cost of human life in the First World War is astounding. Coupled with those who suffered life changing injuries and the suffering of the families, friends and indeed sometimes whole communities this is something that we should all remember and reflect upon. Wars have not ceased and these sufferings continue. Our service men and women risk their lives on a daily basis often in peace keeping roles in other countries. We owe them and all who have served before them a great debt for our freedom and the way of life we enjoy in our country.

There is no cost to remember. The price has already been paid. At the going down of sun and in the morning we will remember them.

Friday, 19 October 2018

ESAH Objection to Colchester Borough Council re. Planning Application 182120 Land at Queen Street, Colchester

The Essex Society for Archaeology & History 

Mr. Alistair Day, Planning Department, Colchester Borough Council, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester, CO3 3WG 

19th October 2018 

Dear Mr Day, 

PLANNING APPLICATION 182120: Land at Queen Street, Colchester 

I write as immediate past President of the Essex Society for Archaeology & History (ESAH), which is the County's longest established heritage organisation (founded in 1852). 

The ESAH Council has seen a copy of the objections to this application written on behalf of Colchester Archaeological Group (CAG) by Mr Davies (on the CBC Planning website, 26th September 2018). 

The application site is in a place of the highest archaeological sensitivity, within the Roman town and so close to the Roman rampart and wall. 

While we acknowledge that there are policies and procedures which can minimise the threat to the buried and standing heritage caused by development, we nevertheless feel that the proposed scheme carries a real threat to the buried archaeological heritage of Colchester. 

In summary, ESAH fully supports the CAG objections to this application, in which the issues are clearly and succinctly expressed. 

Yours sincerely, 
Adrian Corder-Birch 
Past President Essex Society for Archaeology and History 

Essex Society for Family History. Open Day. Galleywood Heritage Centre. 20 October 2018

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History will be at the ESFH Open Day at Galleywood tomorrow.  Information here:

Saturday, 13 October 2018

History Talk in All Saints' Church, Doddinghurst, on Remembrance Sunday

As I am sure you are all aware, Sunday, November 11th, 2018, will be 100 years to the day since the end of the First World War.

At 10.15 there will a Service of Remembrance in the church, followed by two minutes silence round the War Memorial at 11 o’clock and in the afternoon there will be a talk about how the war affected the people in and around Doddinghurst. Of course, the village was a much smaller place then, even though the parish included what is now Fox Hatch. Between 1911 and 2011 the population increased from 371 to 2,832. For those 371 men, women and children there was much hardship between 1914 and 1918 and I have unearthed stories about individuals which are truly heart breaking. There are 10 names inscribed on the War Memorial, some of which are also inscribed on the Blackmore War Memorial, as they lived on the parish border or their families were involved in both villages.  Many more returned from the front. How had their lives changed? And what about the families who were left behind? What was life like for them?

It is important that we remember and recognise the great sacrifices made by our forebears. I do hope you will be able to come to ‘Bombs and Brothers, Raids and Rationing’. There will be a slide show to illustrate and enhance the talk.  It takes place in the church at 2.30 and tea and homemade cake will be served afterwards in Priest House, right next to the War Memorial. The cost is £4, payable at the door, and all proceeds will go towards the upkeep of our ancient village church.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Talk: The Ancient Newness of Broomfield Church by Neil Wiffen. Saturday 27 October 2018. 2pm

Neil Wiffen writes: "To help raise money towards the £100,000 cost of re-shingling Broomfield Church, I've been asked to give my paper from the autumn 2017 ERO conference about the development of the church to c.1870."

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Blackmore Area Local History: Blackmore: Armistice Centenary Commemoration

Blackmore Area Local History: Blackmore: Armistice Centenary Commemoration: Members of the congregation at St Laurence, Blackmore began work today putting the many knitted poppies onto wire frames.  The Church will be open to view the Remembrance Displays from Thursday 8 November to Tuesday 13 November. Times daily 10.30am – 4pm except Sunday, 12.30 - 4.00pm, and Tuesday 10.30am – 12.30pm.

Monday, 24 September 2018

ESAH Annual Symposium: Programme of Speakers and Topics

Essex Society for Archaeology & History
Archaeology and Local History Symposium
Time Table for the Day

Saturday 3rd November 2018 10am – 4.30pm
Christ Church URC New London Road Chelmsford

10am – Registration

10.15am Chairman’s opening remarks
10.20am – Stephen Norris – Chelmsford Poor Law Union

11am – Refreshments

11.30am – Rachel Clarke – Beautiful Place! Investigating the Landscape of Henry Vlll’s Palace at Beaulieu in Chelmsford.

12.10pm – Adam Wightman – Fenwick Treasure

 12.50pm – Lunch

2.00pm –Jane Pearson- Doctors and Coroners in 19th Century Colchester

2.40pm – Neil Wiffen – The Home Guard in Essex revisited

 3.20pm – Refreshments

3.50pm – Andrew Smith – More Essex Churches then & now

4.30pm – Chairman’s closing remarks

ESAH Symposium to be held Saturday 3 November 2018: Booking Form



Please notify the bookings secretary, Dr Graham Gould, of your intention to attend an event at least 10 days before its date. Enquiries about availability of places may be made by telephone (020 8556 1423) or email (DrGEGould  at Leave message on answerphone/voicemail if no answer.
To save costs (both members’ and the Society’s) it is no longer necessary to send stamped addressed envelopes for a response, UNLESS YOU REQUIRE DIRECTIONS TO AN EVENT. In this case please send s.a.e.s with your payment if you do not wish to receive these by email.

If booking by post please attach your payments to this page and send to Dr Graham Gould, 16 Osborne Road, Leyton, London, E10 5QW, with the number of places required clearly indicated. Keep a copy for your own records.

Name(s)                       ______________________________

Address                       _______________________________________________________

Telephone                    _____________________

Email                           _____________________

ESAH Archaeology and History Symposium Saturday 3rd November 2018 10am-4.30pm

Cost £10.00 pp, including lunch and refreshments

No of attendees: - ____              

The Society can accept no liability for loss or injury sustained by anyone attending any Symposiums and are asked to take care when visiting old buildings or sites and to alert others to any obvious risks.  Please respect the privacy of those who invite us into their homes.

ESAH Annual Symposium: Saturday 3 November 2018

Essex Society for Archaeology & History

History & Archaeology Symposium

Saturday 3rd November 2018
10am to 4.30pm
Christ Church URC  New London Road Chelmsford essex
The Essex Society for Archaeology and History welcomes you to the 2018 History and Archaeology Symposium.

The day will be split with the morning session devoted to three talks with an Industrial/Archaeology theme, and the afternoon session devoted to three talks with a History theme. The cost is £10.00 per person, which includes mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments as well as a buffet lunch. Book your place now to avoid disappointment.  (Form to follow on blog)
 Stephen Norris – Chelmsford Poor Law Union
Rachel Clarke – Investigating the Landscape of Henry Vlll’s Palace at Beaulieu
Adam Wightman – Fenwick Treasure
Jane Pearson- Doctors and Coroners in 19th C Colchester
Neil Wiffen – The Home Guard in Essex Revisited.
Andrew Smith – More Essex Churches then & now

To book contact Dr Graham Gould at drgegould  [AT} 02085561423