Sunday, 1 February 2009


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

End of an era for local pub?

The Cuckoo, formerly The Thatcher’s Arms, Radley Green, closed last month, perhaps forever. Greene King, who took over the Ridleys chain of public houses in 2005 – and closed the Hartford End Brewery - is selling the place which in all probability will become a private house. It’s a shame that another lovely proper country pub has closed but a reflection of changing times. As someone who has never probably stepped inside a pub once said, “the sustainability of the public house is diminishing”. For a history of licensees at The Cuckoo follow to this link …
... and memories of darts matches held there and in the local area.

The Campaign for Real Ale is doing their bit to support the local. In the Epping Guardian it cited three pubs in need of support: The Forresters Arms, High Ongar; the Sixteen String Jack over at Theydon Bois; and The Moletrap, Tawney Common, Stapleford Tawney. The latter is a good, honest, old-fashioned pub in the country serving excellent home-made food. It is really worth searching out, but be warned the landlord takes cash only (no cheques or credit cards). Follow link for more information on the CAMRA article:

Perhaps a future item for the blog will be to cover some favourite locals, a photograph and a pint – all in the name of research of course!!

1911 Census

Local and family historians have no doubt been subscribing to hosted by ‘Find My Past’. The Essex census is available to view, as indeed are all counties in England to the south of Yorkshire. The census was taken on Sunday 2 April 1911. I have found new information about my family. Have you?

There is also a blog for the site giving information on the rollout of material, bugs in the system, and other information about the project. Go to:

The BBC News item on the census release can be found here:

Music by William Byrd

A recording of music by William Byrd, written when he lived at Stondon Massey. Follow link:

Folklore Relaunch

Sylvia Kent is a local writer. Her book ‘Folklore in Essex’ has been reprinted. For more information go to:

Caught on Camera

Mountnessing Windmill:

Walks – with a bit of history mentioned

A circular walk from High Ongar via Willingale (“Matt’s walks”):

Overview of Essex

Hutchybee makes a rather self-deprecating comment at the end of an essay in which he extols ‘The Joys of Es-sex’. It provides an overview to the county which some will find interesting. Follow the link to this discussion board:

Afternoon Teas In The Summer

Blackmore, High Beech and Stanford Rivers churches all feature on entry encouraging cyclists to come and savour tea and cake in the summer. Follow link:

Victorian Farm

Don’t miss this series going out on BBC Two. Very interesting.


For an extensive list of links to other sites go to: or look at the news entry for 1 January 2009.

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