Friday, 1 August 2008


Welcome to this month’s round-up of local history and heritage in and around Blackmore.

Who Do You Think You Are?

The BBC magazine of the same name (Issue 12) tells me that ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ series 5 begins on Wednesday 13 August, 9pm, BBC One. Celebrities featured are Patsy Kensit (13 August), Boris Johnson (20 August), Jerry Springer (27 August), Esther Rantzen (3 September), David Suchet (10 September), Ainsley Harriott (17 September), Jodie Kidd (24 September) and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (1 October).

There are always a number of interesting articles in the magazine. This time there is a look at old post boxes. Coming soon to this blog – after our commemoration of the First World War – I will be on the look-out for Victorian pillar boxes (and lamp boxes) in the Blackmore Local Area. Incidentally, in 1512, Henry VIII appointed Sir Brian Tuke as Master of the Posts. Tuke has a local link in that he acquired land around the Blackmore (Essex) district around the time of the Dissolution.

Family History – Blackmore

Blackmore Area Local History is here to encourage folks to look further into local, family and social history so I was interested to learn from the Daily Mail how Roy Blackmore has traced his family back to medieval England and the time of William The Conqueror. He began researching his family tree in 1975, long before the days of Internet. Like some of my relatives, genealogy then was poring over old records and footslogging around churchyards.

“Once Roy had assembled what family historians call the 'bones' of the tree - names and dates of births, deaths and marriages - he set about giving them flesh. He tracked the Blackmore surname to a village in Essex of the same name.

'In the tenth century, monks spoke of the Blackmores as being yeoman farmers. They were Saxons, fair-skinned people from northern Germany, who came over in the fifth century after the Romans had left. The original spelling was Blachmer.'”

Ingatestone United Reformed Church bi-centenary

The history of an Independent Chapel in Ingatestone, which later became part of the Congregational Union and more recently Ingatestone United Reformed Church, is being researched by an amateur local historian. Chris Harvey, a former resident in the village, aims to publish a book two hundred years after the Church’s founding in 2012. Chris writes on Great Baddow online (link below): “I am particularly interested in people with memories and/or photographs of the 1970s or earlier, for example uniformed organisations such as Boys Brigade or Girls Brigade. I am already in touch with local church members and have access to church records, and also those in the Essex Records Office dating back to the 19th century, but any other information from anyone with knowledge of that church in the last century would be appreciated.”

Folklore In Essex

I have just finished reading a book entitled ‘Folklore in Essex’ by Sylvia Kent. It is a broad sweep of life and tradition in Essex and has much coverage of the local area, including the Wheat Whoppers Ball at Blackmore, our village’s link with Henry VIII and William Byrd of Stondon Massey to name but three. There is also a chapter on Essex’s musical tradition: Ralph Vaughan Williams’ visits to Ingrave, Brentwood and other places in Essex in the pursuit of folk song collecting. You can read more about RVW this month on this blog. Coincidentally the day I finished reading this interesting book, Sylvia Kent announced on her blog a reprint of the work. Sylvia Kent is a local photographer and freelance writer.

Ingatestone Hall is Wicked

A history of Ingatestone Hall, home of the Petre family for over 500 years, has appeared on Wikipedia. Follow this link:

Brentwood and District Historical Society visit Blackmore & Stondon churches

On 12 June 2008, as part of their summer programme, a local history group visited two of our local churches. Follow this link to see The Society’s web entry:

Blackmore Area Local History

Blackmore Area Local History will be launching a website very shortly – Pages on the site will include an index of Blackmore people, a transcript of the 1910 Electoral Register for Blackmore (Essex) and a copy of the booklet I wrote in 2005 entitled ‘Hatched, Matched and Despatched’, which is a brief survey of Blackmore’s Baptism, Marriage and Burial registers. This blog will not be closed and will continue alongside the main website. As mentioned, over the next three months the blog will be dedicated to local events surrounding the First World War (the Great War as it was then known), it being 90 years since the end of hostilities in 1918.

No comments: