Wednesday, 1 June 2011


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

Richard Holmes (1946 – 2011)

I want to write a small tribute about Richard Holmes, the military historian, who died on 30 April. Richard Holmes visited High Ongar Church back in spring 2005 to give a talk on ‘Tommy’, the ordinary conscript of the First World War and subject of what was then his latest book. The Professor gave his time in support of the Friends of All Saints Church, Norton Mandeville. He spoke to a packed church and I recall people who did not have tickets had to be reluctantly turned away. What was compelling about his talk was that it was drawn from his own experience as a Brigadier. He knew what it was like in the theatre of war and could relate to the thoughts and feelings of those men of the First World War. He was well-known for his BBC TV series of ‘War Walks’ and ‘In the Footsteps of Churchill’. On television as well as in person he was both knowledgeable and engaging.

William Byrd Festival

Stondon Massey’s great composer was prominently featured in a Festival over two weekends at St Peter & St Paul Church. Such was the success, both in audience interest and financially, it has been decided to keep the Festival website open. For the information about the Renaissance musician, the Festival itself and future Byrd-related events visit


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

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