Sunday, 1 August 2010


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

A Folk Song A Day

Jon Boden’s website is a musical journey into our past. Since Midsummer Day a new song has been posted every day. Highlights include:
A Blacksmith Courted Me -; Danny Deever - ; and, Tyne of Harrow - - all of which I have added a comment. For more about the project read the article which appeared in The Guardian:

Henry Moore

‘Harlow Family Group’ is a well-known sculpture in the New Town by Henry Moore. At the Gibberd Gallery in the Civic Centre (Harlow, Essex) an exhibition of the artist’s work has commenced and will continue until 30 October 2010. (Admission Free. Open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm, Saturday 9.00am to noon. Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays). Having recently visited the major exhibition at Tate Britain in London (which closes 8 August) and visited Moore’s home, grounds and studio at Perry Green in Hertfordshire, this local exhibition, entitled ‘Sheep’, is not to be missed.

Henry Moore is probably Britain’s greatest twentieth century sculptor. He is best known for his large scale human forms, sometimes with distorted torsos, wrong sized and shaped heads and limbs. His ability to form body shapes is said to be based on his memories of rubbing his infirm mother’s shoulders and back as a child. At the Tate Britain exhibition it was suggested that his work was dark and sensual but in my view it omitted the fact that he began studying sculpture at Leeds – he was the only student – following service in the First World War at Cambrai. The pitiful sight of dismembered bodies on the battlefield must have had a lasting influence on his work. If was after his London studio was bombed in The Blitz of the Second World War that he came to Hoglands, at Perry Green, where he remained until the close of his life. Anyway, I know little about modern art but find it interesting and, unlike a Constable masterpiece such as ‘The Haywain’, something which always engenders discussion among viewers.

Edward Henry Lisle Reeve

Readers of this site will know that I am very interested in the life and times of Revd. Reeve (photograph above) who was Rector of Stondon Massey from 1893 to 1935. I have decided to write a biography of this man but wonder whether any of his descendents survive – hence this appeal. He and his sisters died unmarried but we know of a Wheatley family who was related to him through the previous marriage of his mother.

Issac Taylor of Stanford Rivers

Pages from the ‘Dictionary of National Biography’ ( , and ) give a biography of Issac Taylor, an artist, author and inventor who was born in Lavenham, Suffolk in 1787 – remembered in the Lavenham Guildhall owned by the National Trust - and died at Stanford Rivers in 1865. “A portrait of Isaac Taylor of Stanford Rivers is the property of Henry Taylor of Tunbridge Wells, and a crayon portrait by his nephew, Josiah Gilbert, is in the National Portrait Gallery.”

Family History

Samuel Wilson, born 1801, Writtle:

New Photos

Fryerning Church font:
Mountnessing Windmill:


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

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