Friday, 20 May 2011

Friday, 13 May 2011

Postcard Collection: Brentwood

The oak marked the site where William Hunter was martyred in 1555. W writes from Mountnessing on 7 August 1907, "Weather here is inclined to be stormy yesterday afternoon. I raced a storm home [by bike] from Brentwood and just got inside by the time the storm was at its height. This view shows the Martyr's Oak and behind it is the chapel of my old school [Brentwood Grammar School]. I forget what local views you have, but I don't think you have this".

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Stondon Massey: An Historian's Visit One Hundred Years Ago

Now preserved in the Essex Record Office for all to see, the Archdeacon of Essex and of Colchester records dating back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I were stored in a quite different way a century ago. Revd. Reeve, the rector of Stondon Massey and a keen local historian, made a visit on 8th May 1911 to Mr Gepp, the Registrar at Chelmsford. He wrote, “Matters had improved since my last visit [11 years ago]. The books had been brought downstairs from the loft, and had been lodged in shelves. This, however, without any regard at all to order or classification. I was treated by Mr Gepp & his Clerks with the kindest consideration and given free access to the library, with a candle in wire lantern to assist me in the dark corner to which it was relegated, and a duster with which to move away so much dust as should be necessary and to keep my fingers free for movement.” Reeve noted the work of Mr Hollingsworth-Browne who was in the process of transcribing the records: “but only some 15 have yet been examined, and I suppose there must be over 150 volumes”.

Source: ERO T/P 188/2 loose paper between f612-613.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Stondon Massey: William Byrd Festival: Haec Dies!

"This is the day". The first William Byrd Festival event is today. For information on the Festival go to our website:

Friday, 6 May 2011

Postcard Collection: Shenfield

A Fred Spalding postcard sent in 1909 showing Shenfield station, which was completely rebuilt in the 1970s. Unrecognisable.

Sunday, 1 May 2011


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

William Byrd Festival

The ‘William Byrd Festival’ will be held this month at St Peter & St Paul Church, Stondon Massey. For the latest information, visit

BBC Essex: Spreading the word about William Byrd

I was at the BBC Essex studios in Chelmsford this morning participating in a live interview on the Ian Wyatt’s Sunday morning ‘Faith and Fun’ programme, promoting the name of William Byrd and the Festival which commences at Stondon Massey next Saturday. Ian had confessed to not having heard of William Byrd. In suitable first of May mood the station played an extract from ‘This Sweet and Merry Month of May’, the madrigal composed by Byrd in 1590, and released 400 years ago this year.

The interview can be heard on the I Player for the next seven days. I appeared at 7.24am, between the travel bulletin and news summary. I should appear about 1 hour 22 minutes into the programme.

To listen to the programme go to

Chelmsford Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of St Mary, Chelmsford, has been accorded Grade I listing status. The former parish church of the county town was designated as the Church of England’s mother church of the new Diocese in 1914. The building dates back to the fifteenth century. (our photograph is of the Cathedral)

Toot Hill Phone Box

Stanford Rivers Parish Council has purchased a redundant red telephone box on the Essex Way, near the Green Man public house and has plans to convert it into a tourist information centre.


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