Saturday, 24 November 2018

Victoria County History Appeal

Victoria County History of Essex Trust 
President The Lord Petre KCVO JP MA Chaim/air, Geoffrey Hare OBE 

Please reply to the Chairman: Geoffrey Hare OBE 15 Colvin Close, Lexden Colchester, Essex CO3 4BS email: geoffrey.hare28   @  gmall.com 

Dear Supporter 

15 November 2018 

I am writing to update you on the progress of our publication programme and, more particularly, concerning the deteriorating state of our financial position. This is, therefore, both a letter of information and a plea for help to ensure the future of the VCH in Essex. In regard to the programme, Part 1 of Volume XII (St Osyth to the Naze. North-East Essex Coastal Parishes) is with the printer for publication during 2019; Part 2 (the Sokens: Kirby-le-Soken, Thorpe-le-Soken and Walton-le-Soken) is completed and ready to join the queue for publication of many 'Red Books' in train from other counties. The completed and reviewed 'Short', Nineteenth-Century Harwich, Dovercourt and Parkeston is also in the press. From the perspective of VCH Essex, the years since the 2011 Appeal which launched this sequence of publications have been extremely productive. To have produced the highly-praised Volume XI on the North-East Essex Seaside Resorts of Clacton, Walton and Frinton, the two parts of Volume XII, the Shorts for Newport and Harwich, plus substantial progress on a Southend Short, is remarkable. That this has been achieved within the reduced time allowed to our Editors, is a tribute to their dedication and to that of the volunteers. 

The next Red Book, Volume XIII, will be a complete history of the internationally important Essex town, port and resort of Harwich and Dovercourt, from Prehistory, through the Middle Ages, to the 20th century. Most of the work on the 19th century has been completed and the Editors are currently researching the Medieval and Tudor periods. It is, therefore, very appropriate that we should once again invite you to join us at Harwich. For your diary, please note that the Annual General Meeting of the VCH Essex Trust will be held on Saturday, 27th April 2019 at the 1912 Centre, Cow Dune, Harwich, commencing at 2pm, and we hope that many of you will be able to join us there. Full details will be sent to you in March.  But! We are approaching a major crisis in that we now have only a few months of funding remaining. Subscriptions from our loyal supporters have diminished and we must now seek more substantial resources by launching a new Appeal at. the forthcoming AGM. 

Grant applications and a proposal to the Heritage Lottery Fund are already being prepared to support elements of Volume XIII on Harwich. This is truly a make-or-break time for VCH Essex and we ask our supporters not only for personal help but to assist in more widely publicising the cause of VCH Essex and its unique, irreplaceable programme for the study of the history of our county. 

Geoffrey Hare

Registered Charity No. 1038801 

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.