Friday, 25 September 2009

Book Review: Lost Railways of Essex

Railways hold a massive social legacy in this county as elsewhere. Robin Jones has produced a book which charts the demise and fate of some lines which fell even before the Beeching Axe in the 1960s as well as afterwards. The first Chapter shows how the railway has changed in the Docklands area of old Essex (London) and how some lines have recently become mothballed to facilitate regeneration in the early twenty-first century. A whole Chapter is then devoted to the Epping to Ongar branch of the Central Line (formerly Great Eastern Railway) which closed on 30 September 1994, but has since become the ground of the fledgling Epping to Ongar Railway Preservation Society. Many of the lines which were extant in the north of the County have now gone: the line from Bishops Stortford to Witham was severed at Braintree and is now the Flitch Way, and routes to Maldon from Witham and Woodham Ferrers long defunct, though the station architecture of Maldon East remains on the town’s industrial estate. It is a good book, liberally illustrated with archive and well as modern photos of buildings and rolling stock. ‘The Lost Railways of Essex’ (Countryside Books, 2008) by Robin Jones is available, price £10.99.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Railways (20): Mangapps Railway Museum

Mangapps Farm Railway Museum at Burnham-on-Crouch (on the Dengie peninsula) celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year. The collection is that of farmer and enthusiast, Mr Jolly. It tells of the story of railways predominantly in Essex and East Anglia and occupies the site where steam or diesel never ran but now has a single track of ¾ mile linking Mangapps station with Old Heath (previously Horham and Laxfield stations respectively on the long-time closed Mid Suffolk Railway). This was my second visit to the museum, my first being soon after it opened. I was quite surprised to see how much had been acquired, how well it was laid out, and how well the story was told. It was a pleasant afternoon out.

Mangapps Station

Old Heath Station

The museum’s website ( says that it has one of the largest signalling collections in the country. There are acquisitions of station furniture which were replaced, I suppose, in the 1980s.

Two Class 302 carriages are in preservation, acquired from the London Tilbury and Fenchurch Street line in the late 1990s. These, I believe, are the only survivals, alas kitted out in the horrid refurbished look of the 1980s. There was a romance of individual compartments, though nicknamed ‘cattle trucks’. A ride on one pulled by a Class 47 diesel engine was a trip into nostalgia. Part of a diesel multiple unit which operated the line from Wickford to Southminster, post steam and pre electrification, is also in Mr Jolly’s collection.

A Northern Line Underground train of ancient days which ceased service in the late 1990s tells the story of the expansion of the London Underground network beyond the city into the country.

The museum has a substantial collection of rolling stock on view plus posters and other material telling of the social history of the railway in Essex and beyond.

… and also refreshments. A great afternoon out.
For more about local railways, click on the label, left.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Area: "High Country History Group" Journal No 33

The Quarterly Journal of the High Country History Group has recently been issued to members. It contains a number of items about and beyond the local area including:

- The Rectors and Patrons of Stapleford Tawney & Theydon Mount
- The East End Maternity Hospital at Theydon Mount – Part 1
- The Suckling Papers – Greensted (previously published on this blog)
- Life as an Essex Agricultural Labourer: 1840 – 1920. Part 2 (the whole work is available in booklet form from the Priory Church of St Laurence, Blackmore, price £1.50)
- Greensted – The Truth (previously published on this blog)
- A Centurian
- Book Review: Essex and its Race For The Skies
- A Forced Marriage
- Daring Burglary and Attempt to Murder
- White’s Directory of Navestock
- The Essex Way

For membership and further information go to

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Railways (19): Train Operating Companies

Railway companies which operated the route from London Liverpool Street to Colchester (through Brentwood and Ingatestone) and Southend Victoria (from Shenfield) are listed below with links to Wikipedia.

1839. Eastern Counties Railway:
1862. Great Eastern Railway:
1923. London and North Eastern Railway:
1948. Eastern Region of British Railways:
(Network South-East was a passenger section created by British Rail, launched in 1986:
1997. First Great Eastern:
2004. National Express East Anglia:

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Railways (18): LNER Days

Extracts from ‘Modern Locomotives of the L.N.E.R.’ published in 1938

There is but little doubt the steam locomotive cab still claim first place in meeting the varying conditions which arise in ordinary railway working, and is almost unassailable against the challenge of its competitors, electric power and internal combustion engines, and entitled to priority in the alluring influence which railways have over so many of us.

Whilst the union of the British Railways into four large groups under the Railway Act of 1921 has necessarily reduced by standardisation the number of different types of locomotives, as well as their numerical strength, it has also led to the introduction of many new and interesting designs and has imparted a gratifying stimulus to locomotive building and performance.

As the second largest of the four British Railway systems, the London & North Eastern, with a total route mileage of 6590, serves the whole of the east of Great Britain from the Thames to the Moray Firth, in addition to the extensive areas in the centre and west of both England and Scotland. It covers the amalgamation of the following companies: Great Central, Great Eastern, Great Northern, Hull & Barnsley, North Eastern, Great North of Scotland and North British, as well as many small railways. Over 60 per cent of the towns with a population of over 50,000 are directly served by the L.N.E.R., or by other lines in which it has a share. The L.N.E.R. owns 2500 stations and goods depots. Last year (1937) the number of passengers carried exclusive of season ticket holders totalled 165,537,972, also 135,831,123 tons of goods and 3,880,816 head of live stock.

The locomotive policy of the chief engineer, Sir Nigel Gresley, C.B.E., D.Sc., may be briefly summed up – that the engines are to be as far as possible well ahead of requirements in power, efficiency and ease of maintenance; to have as few types as possible to operate the various services, and to be considered as standard locomotives in the construction of which many of the details are interchangeable, wherever possible.

The “Sandringham” Class of 4-6-0 Express Engines – “B17” Class.

To cope with the increased traffic requirements of East Anglia, in 1928, Sir Nigel Gresley introduced a special design of three-cylinder 4-6-0 engine (“B17” class). It is a compact looking machine, and powerful for its size and weight, and well suited for the heavy gradients on the main lines of the Great Eastern section. Later more engines of this class have been built and allocated to the main line trains of the former Great Central Railway. The first engine of the series bears the name of “Sandringham”, by special permission of His late Majesty King George V, this being followed by a long list of names from famous country seats on the L.N.E.R.; three are named after East Anglian regiments, while the latest series are named after famous football clubs, such as the “Tottenham Hotspur”.

There are now 73 engines in the class.

The “Sandringham” class engine and tender in working order weigh 116 tons, and are 58 ft. 4 in. long over buffers, but the later “Football Club” class weigh 129 tons 15 cwt., and are 62 ft. 2 in. long.

Two engines of the “Sandringham” class have been streamlined for working the high-speed “East Anglian” train between Norwich and London, Liverpool Street, and have been named “East Anglian” (No. 2859) [see photograph], and “City of London” (No. 2870). They are painted the standard L.N.E.R. green.

4-6-0 Express Engine, Great Eastern Section.

Known as the “B12” class this represents a modernisation of the old Great Eastern “1500” class engine, originally built in 1911, and is fitted with a larger boiler, carrying a working pressure of 180 lb. per sq. inch. The result of this re-building is that these engines are now capable of working any passenger train on the Great Eastern section.
The weight of the engine and tender in working order is 108 tons 16 cwt., and the tender capacity is 3,670 gallons of water and 4 tons of coal.

4-4-0 Type Passenger Engines – Great Eastern Section.

For many years the Great Eastern main line services were worked by the generally useful engines of the “1900” class, the first of which, named “Claud Hamilton”, in honour of the Chairman of the Great Eastern Railway, was exhibited at the Paris Exhibition of 1900. They are of the 4-4-0 type, with 7 ft. diameter coupled wheels, and cylinders 19in. by 26in.; they have always done excellent work, often of a very exacting nature. During recent years they have been supplied with the new L.N.E.R. standard boilers. In their rebuilt form these engines continue to render good service on other than the heaviest duties. They are known as the “D16” class.

The “East Anglian” Train

In September 1937 a fast service was introduced between Norwich and London (Liverpool Street) and an entirely new six-coach train was built for this purpose at the York works. The train, which has been named the “East Anglian,” runs daily from Monday to Friday in each direction, leaving Norwich at 11.55a.m., and Liverpool Street at 6.40p.m., completing the journey between the two cities in 2 hours and 10 minutes, including a four minute stop at Ipswich; the distance is 114 miles 77 chains. Owing to the difficult nature of the route between London and Norwich, it has not been possible for the train to be timed to such high speeds as to justify streamlining the whole train, the locomotives only are so arranged. The train weighs 219 tons, and accommodates 54 first and 144 third class passengers. As the journey time is comparatively short and it is essential meals should be taken as rapidly as possible, no separate restaurant car accommodation is provided, the passengers taking meals at the seat which is allotted for the journey.

For more information go to the following:
B12 class:
B17 class:
D16 class:
East Anglian:

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Railways (17): Durrant's Handbook for Essex

The following is taken from ‘Durrant’s Handbook For Essex’ written by Miller Christy (Durrant & Co., Chelmsford, 1887).

The principal line running through the county is that of the Great Eastern Railway Company, which was formed in 1862 by the amalgamation of the Eastern Counties, the Eastern Union, the East Anglian, and other subsidiary lines. This company now has in Essex 179 miles of line and 82 stations. Its termini in London are Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street stations. From these, one main line runs through Stratford, Romford, Brentwood, Ingatestone, Chelmsford, Witham, Kelvedon, Marks Tey, and Colchester, to Manningtree (59½ miles), where it enters Suffolk. Another main line runs (partly in Hertfordshire) through Harlow, Bishop’s Stortford (Herts), Stanstead, Elsenham, Newport, and Audley End, to Great Chesterford (45¾ miles) where it enters Cambridgeshire. Between these lines a branch, largely patronised by London business men, also runs from Liverpool Street, through Stratford, Leyton, Woodford, Buckhurst Hill, Loughton, and Epping, to Ongar (22¾ miles). Third-class Excursion return tickets for Epping Forest (available to any station as far as Loughton and back) are issued daily over this line for the very low price of 1/-, and are largely patronised during summer. There are also cross branch lines between Bishop’s Stortford and Witham (24¼ miles), through Dunmow and Braintree; between Witham and Maldon (5¾ miles); between Audley End and Bartlow (7¼ miles), through Saffron Walden; between Bartlow and Marks Tey (34¼ miles), through Haverhill, Stoke, Long Melford, Sudbury (all in Suffolk), and Chappel; between Manningtree and Harwich (11¼ miles), through Mistley; between Colchester and Walton (19¾ miles), through Wivenhoe and Thorpe; between Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea (5 miles); and between Thorpe and Clacton-on-Sea (4½ miles). Another line, which will be completed about 1888, is now under construction, to run from Hutton (2 m. N. from Brentwood), through Billericay, Wickford, Rayleigh, and Rochford, to Southend; through Woodham Ferris to Maldon; and through Althon and Burnham to Southminster (46 miles). The Great Eastern Company was once justly famed fro uncomfortable carriages, slow speed, frequent accidents, and high fares. This character, however, no longer belongs to it. Its Board of Directors are notably enterprising and liberal; its trains, in point of speed, comfort, safety, and cheapness, will compete with those of almost any other railway; while few lines offer greater facilities to the excursionist. In addition to the excursion rickets to Epping Forest (already mentioned), other return tickets for the Forest are issued daily from Fenchurch St. to Chingford for 1/- (3rd class), and correspondingly low fares for all other classes. First-class return tickets, available for 3 days (including day of issue and return), are issued daily from any station on the G.E.R. to Harwich and back, including apartments and board at the Harwich Hotel and conveyance of luggage between the station and the Hotel, at an inclusive charge of 30/- each person. Twenty-four hours’ notice of an application for these tickets must be given at all stations except Liverpool St. Cheap Friday or Saturday or Tuesday, or fortnightly tickets, available by all trains from or to London, are issued to the following seaside watering-places on the G.E.R. [Walton-on-the-Naze, Clacton-on-Sea, Harwich or Dovercourt]. During the summer there are also frequent special excursions to Harwich, Dovercourt, Walton, Clacton, &c.

The London, Tilbury and Southend Railway Company has in Essex 21 stations and 54 miles of line. Its main line runs from Fenchurch Street, through Plaistow, Barking, Rainham, Purfleet, Grays Thurrock, Tilbury, Pitsea, Leigh, and Southend, to Shoeburyness. A branch, which will be completed about the end of the present year (1887), runs from Barking, through Dagenham and Hornchurch, to Upminster, whence it will continue to Pitsea, forming a shorter route to Southend and Shoeburyness. There are frequent special excursions to Southend during summer.

The Colne Valley and Halstead Railway has 9 stations and about 20 miles of line in this county. It runs from Haverhill to Chappel through the Yeldhams, the Hedinghams, Halstead, and the Colnes. The line traverses the valley of the Colne which is unusually pleasant and picturesque.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Railways (16)

The other route operating within our area was that from Epping to Ongar, previously part of LNER but became part of London Transport’s central Line. The following is a review of the stations serving the branch.

North Weald
Blake Hall

Finally, Epping and Ongar Railway now own the route. For information on this preservation society visit

Photographed here in October 2005 is North Weald Station.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Railways (15)

The Beeching axe closed all goods yards at railway stations. In the 1970s Porter and Hughes, coal merchants, used the goods yard at Ingatestone Station and KP Nuts used the goods shed near the station entrance to Station Lane. The photograph was taken in October 1988 just before its demolition.

More information about local railway stations can be found in Wikipedia. Visit as follows:


Great Eastern main line

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Railways (14)

Class 312 – four car slam door - replaced class 306, c1975/76, with the extension of the off peak service to Colchester North from Ingatestone. The photograph, at Ingatestone Station, was taken in October 1985.

For more information about Class 312 see

Friday, 11 September 2009

Blackmore: Mullucks Family

5 August 2009

I am researching my family history and recently came across my 3x Great Grandfather Henry Mullucks was a publican at the Royal Oak in Fryerning 1851-1862? (all my Mullucks family are born in this area: Blackmore etc). Would you or anyone else know where the Royal Oak may have been or where I could find out any more information on this and my Mullucks family.

Many Thanks.
Terry Hamlyn.

7 August 2009

“Fryerning”, says Kelly’s Directory 1890, “is a parish, forming three-fourths of the town of Ingatestone” … was amalgamated in 1889 to form one civil parish of Ingatestone and Fryerning.

“The civil parish was formed in 1889 by merging the ancient parishes of Ingatestone and Fryerning. The two parishes were oddly shaped, with the parish of Fryerning running from the north-west to the south-east of Ingatestone, bisecting the other parish.

“Unusually, most of the village of Ingatestone was in the parish of Fryerning, and therefore not in the parish of Ingatestone.

“In 1950 some land around Handley Green was moved to the parish of Margaretting, and at the same time an area to the south-west of Margaretting Hall was added to Ingatestone and Fryerning.” (source:

So Census records between 1841 and 1881 show the majority of The Street, Ingatestone, within Fryerning.

I have received a number of queries trying to locate family ancestors in Fryerning who actually lived in Ingatestone High Street.

I will post more on this topic on the Fryerning page of ‘Blackmore Area Local History’ in due course (

The Royal Oak was actually on the west side of Ingatestone High Street where Budgens (built c1975) is now. For a picture of Budgens, as seen from the top of the church tower go to I do not remember the public house but the large gap and high fence near to George Staines, ironmongers, in the early 1970s. From the High Street you could see through to Haslers Mill (the newer one of the two) which was itself demolished in the late 1970s to make way for Haslers Court. I suspect that the Royal Oak and neighbouring cottages were demolished in the late 1960s. Ian Yearsley, in his book, ‘Ingatestone and Fryerning – a history’ (Ian Henry Publications, 1997) writes, “The Royal Oak lost its licence before the Great War, but its demolition was delayed somewhat longer than its compatriots and survived long enough to see service as housing until its eventual demolition in the 1970s” (p104).

The cover of the book ‘Ingatestone and District in old picture postcards’, compiled by the late Kenneth Langford in 1985, shows a postcard dated 1894 which includes the ‘Royal Oak’ slightly to the distance.

Ingatestone High Street, situated on the main London to Colchester road, was once a major route for coach and horses. Before the coming of the railways there were numerous pubs and inns serving travellers. The town was about one days’ journey from London. Ian Yearsley says there were once 27 pubs in Ingatestone and Fryerning. Now there are only seven: Stocks (formerly The Anchor), Star, Bell (an ancient coaching inn) and Crown, all in Ingatestone High Street and, Woolpack (a restaurant near Fryerning Church), Cricketers (at Mill Green) and Viper (a little further along the road towards Highwood).

Henry Mullocks was a schoolmaster in Blackmore in 1841. (See cross reference to He was 30 years old. His wife was Miriam (aged 25). They had three children: Augusta (9), Sarah (7) and Henrietta (7 months).

Henry Mullocks was a letter carrier in 1851 and publican in 1861. To confirm whether he was the landlord of The Royal Oak, “Fryerning”, I suggest you consult Kelly’s Directory for the target period. In 1890 the publican and tailor was Henry King.

Moving forward to 1881 the only name of someone either residing in Blackmore or born in Blackmore was a Mary Ann Mullucks (born c1832 in High Ongar). This may be a relation.

Elsewhere I discovered the following by means of a ‘Google Alert’. This helped me to build the picture. (Source:

Civil parish: Blackmore
County/Island: Essex
Country: England
Registration district: Ongar
Sub-registration district: Bobbingworth
HO107; Piece: 1771; Folio: 216; Page: 39

Address: Church St

Henry Mullucks, Head, Mar, 39, Letter carrier, Norton Mandeville? Essex
Miriam Mullucks, Wife, Mar, 39, Letter carriers wife, Blackmore, Essex
Augustin? Mullucks, Son, U, 19, Blackmore, Essex
Sarah Mullucks, Daur, U, 17, High Lower, Essex
Henrietta Mullucks, Daur, U, 9, Schoilar, Blackmore, Essex
William Mullucks, Son, U, 5, Scholar, Blackmore, Essex
Louisa Mullucks, Daur, U, 3, Blackmore, Essex
Julia Mullucks, Daur, U, 5mo, Blackmore, Essex


Henry Mullucks 48
Mirian Mullucks 46
Sarah Mullucks 25
Luesia Mullucks 13
Julia Mullucks 10
Fredrick Mullucks 6
Sarah Wood 42 Visitor
George Ardly 18 Lodger
Thomas Ardly 14 "
George Clark 18 "

Class: RG9; Piece: 1078; Folio: 168; Page: 9;

Henry is a publican at the Royal Oak.

8 August 2009

Hi Andrew,

Thanks so much for the information and the time you must have put in to find all this! I found confirmation of Henry being publican in the post office directory for 1855. I will now be able to take a drive out to Ingatestone to have a look at the old site. I live in Benfleet, Essex so not too far away. I also found out that Henry's son Frederick on early census records and Percy on later records was also a publican/butcher in Castle Hedingham at the Butchers Arms. I guess a lot of the family must have been buried around the Ingatestone area so will also get out to check church records.

Thanks again Andrew.
Terry Hamlyn.

9 August 2009

Hello Terry
For a list of church registers held at the Essex Record Office consult


Thursday, 10 September 2009

Railways (13)

Class 47 photographed at Peak Rail, Derbyshire in May 2009. This Class of Diesel engine was regularly seen on the main line from London to Norwich.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Railways (12)

Class 31 photographed at Peak Rail, Derbyshire in May 2009. This Class of Diesel engine was regularly seen on the main line from London to Norwich.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Railways (11)

Long haul trains to Norwich were pulled by Diesel power until the mid 1980s: Class 31 (photographed head on at Southend Victoria), Class 37 and Class 47 (left)

Monday, 7 September 2009

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Railways (9)

Class 321 trains – still in service today – were introduced in about 1989. These operated as far as Ipswich and Harwich as well as Colchester, Clacton and Southend. Here in Network South East livery is a London (Liverpool Street) bound train at Hockley, taken on (Bank Holiday Monday) 28th August 1989. For more information go to:

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Friday, 4 September 2009

Railways (7)

Class 302 at Wickford Station on 28th August 1989. For more information on the branch line to Southend visit

Other electric trains serving the route until the 1980s were Class 307 and Class 308

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Railways (6)

Class 302 – ex London Tilbury Southend railway - sometimes worked the route to Colchester and Southend. Class 302 No 200 in green livery – now scrapped I believe – is seen here at Southminster Station at the Southend Centenary celebrations in 1989. See entry on Wikipedia:

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Railways (5): The Development Of The Railway In Essex

1825: Palmer’s railway plan for Essex
1834: Grand Eastern Counties railway plan a route between London and Norwich via Ipswich
1836 (4 July): Act of Parliament approved – on same day as route from London to Cambridge
1837: Construction begins out of London
1839: Route opened between Mile End and Romford
1840: Route extended, now open between Shoreditch and Brentwood
1841: Colchester became proposed new terminus owing to lack of capital
1843: Route opened through to Colchester. Enabled transport of livestock to London: better quality and prices for farmers.
1844: Gauge width changed throughout from five feet to standard gauge, over two months.
1846: Route extended to Ipswich, achieved for people chaired by Cobbold family
1846: Route extended to Bury St Edmunds
1847: North Woolwich branch opened. Also extension to Hythe, Colchester. Maldon and Braintree branches opened improving agricultural trade in mid Essex. Maldon East station grandly constructed owing to General Election that year. Votes for David Waddington from railway navvies.
1849: Route extended to Stowmarket and Norwich
1854: Route extended to Harwich
1856: London, Tilbury Southend railway open a route to Southend and Tilbury (via Ilford) and Fenchurch Street station.
1862: Eastern Counties Railway amalgamated into Great Eastern Railway. Buildings constructed in a three modular design. For example, Blake Hall, North Weald and Ongar plus Epping with two waiting rooms.
1865: Railway extended from Loughton to Ongar
1889: New Essex Lines opened between Shenfield and Southend, Wickford and Southminster
1896: Light Railways Act enabled the creation of a line between Kelvedon and Tiptree (fruit growing and jam making district) to Tollesbury. Witham and Kelvedon become renowned for seed growing.
Early 20th century: Metropolitan London lines
1920s: Great Eastern Railway creates four tracks between Liverpool Street (London) and Shenfield. London, Tilbury, Southend railway creates four tracks between Fenchurch Street and Upminster.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


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

Railway Heritage

A celebration of Essex railways and rolling stock continues throughout this month on ‘Blackmore Area Local History’. This month’s picture is of a local L.N.E.R. steam engine at the East Anglian Railway Museum at Chappel and Wakes Colne in the early 1990s. To view the complete series (to date) go to

Heritage Weekend

For the latest information about what is opening during the 2009 Heritage Weekend (which is on Saturday 12 September and Sunday 13 September) visit:

Ingatestone Hall

‘Early Modern History’ is the prolific work (which is an understatement!) of one blogger and academic historian, Christopher Thomson. Included recently were:
- pictures of the exterior of Ingatestone Hall:
- the portrait of Sir William Petre:
To see the latest posts click here:


The Mountnessing Parish Council website has created a link to but in return I draw your attention to their page ‘Tales of Old Mountnessing’ ( which contains an edited version of my great uncle’s (W. W. Reed) speech entitled ‘Retrospect’, given in 1950. There is also a page of village photos worth a look:

North Weald Airfield History

This is the title of an extensive website about the North Weald aerodrome, established in 1916 which became RAF North Weald and a major fighter base in both World Wars. The site is produced by W H Aitken and contains information about the airfield’s history, its museum and ‘Debt of Honour’. This blog covered the museum as part of its commemoration of the Great War ( The site has a link to ‘Blackmore Area Local History’ on its own links page:


A subject of enormous debate in Britain is the weather and whether or not it has been a good summer. The ‘Independent on Sunday’ has tried to settle the matter by issuing two essays (‘The IoS weather lists’) charting extremes in the UK climate over the last 200 years. Writtle is mentioned twice. Read on … and

Rough Justice Victorian Style

Essex was one of three counties topping the league table of hangings. For more read the link to the BBC:


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