Wednesday, 1 July 2009


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

High Country History Group

Blackmore Area Local History is pleased to promote the High Country History Group by launching a mini site devoted to the four small parishes of Greensted, Stanford Rivers, Stapleford Tawney and Theydon Mount to the west of Ongar, Essex. As with the main site, which launched pages covering ten neighbouring parishes to Blackmore in March this year, the site is set up to enable it to grow as more information and pictures are added. The Group, which publishes a Journal every quarter meets five times a year at Toot Hill Village Hall. The Winter Programme for 2009/10 will be announced soon. To see the new mini site go to:

Church Website Makeover

The Priory Church of St Laurence, Blackmore with St Peter & St Paul, Stondon Massey, has had a website for a few years but it is now undergoing a major update ahead of the formal search for a new Vicar / Rector for the parishes. The site includes a Gallery of pictures which may be of interest to our readers. A picture of the interior of Stondon Massey Church is shown above. Take a look:

Bariff’s Farm Mystery

Last month I mentioned Heather Tomkins’ enquiry about the location of Bariff's Farm, supposedly in Mountnessing. From further information received from Heather, stating that the farm was near Gooseberry Green and Mountnessing Grange, I suggested that the farm was, in fact in Billericay. Further conversations have established that Mountnessing parish stretched as far as Gooseberry Green, covering Little Cowbridge Farm, and Great Cowbridge Farm, the other side of the Shenfield to Southend railway line, certainly as late as 1912. Does anyone out there have any further information?

Essex Radio

Sorry to be nostalgic, but ‘Essex FM’ passed into radio history on 22 June. Its previous station name, ‘Essex Radio’ began broadcasting in 1981. Apart from local programmes at breakfast time and ‘drivetime’, all the output from the new sounding radio station, Heart, is being broadcast from London.

‘Longpier’ refers to the demise of Essex FM: “Of course the decision to rebrand is an effort to save money, and boost advertising revenue using a well known brand [Heart]. It'll probably work, but for those who really like their radio to be local, well I'm afraid you've just attended the funeral and buried the dead. RIP Essex FM.” See

For more on Essex Radio and Essex FM visit: and, for sound extracts,

Charles Potiphar centenary

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ visit to Ingrave in 1903 is remembered this year with the death of Charles Potiphar, the labourer from Ingrave, who sang to the composer folk songs. On the internet I found a potted family tree for this man but wonder whether the descendents know of his fame and contribution to English music of the twentieth century. When I visited the site on 21 June, the date of his death (21.6.1909) was missing.

The Essex Record Office has reference to Charles Potipher (or Potiphar) under the following reference:

The Ralph Vaughan Williams Society has reference to a book specifically on the composer’s time in Essex:

Revd. Nathaniel Ward of Stondon Massey

‘A memoir of the Rev. Nathaniel Ward, A.M.’ by John Ward Dean has appeared on Google Books. For more, follow this link:

Classic Ingatestone Publication on Google Books

‘Ingatestone and the Great Essex Road with Fryerning’ by E E Wilde, dated 1913, is available to view on the Internet:

High Ongar War Memorial

‘Harlowirish’ has posted the following entry on ‘Flicker’. Go to:

RAF 46 Squadron

Those interested in the heroic deeds of airmen of Essex during the First World War and Second World War may be interested to read the potted history of No 46 Squadron RAF:

Shellow Bowells

On the list:

Flicker Pictures

St John’s Green, Writtle: and


For an extensive list of links to other sites go to:

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