Friday, 26 August 2011

Blackmore: Harris Family

Received 16 August 2011

I am researching the Harris family who moved to Blackmore in 1930.I am particularly interested in Sidney Frank Harris who was a Sergeant and later Warrant Officer in the Home Guard.He was also an active member of the RAOB River Jordan Lodge which used to meet at the Bull public house in Church Street. Any information that you could give me regarding this family would be most appreciated.

Replied 21 August 2011

Dear Richard,
Thank you for your enquiry.  I do not have any records of Sydney Frank Harris other than the entry in the Burial Register for St Laurence, Blackmore.  He died aged 71 and was buried 25th October 1957.  I will post the entry on and see whether any reader cab supply more information.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Ingatestone: The Hyde

Chris Berry follows up previous correspondence relating to The Hyde, Ingatestone (see ) and thepage dedicated to the former school (see ) with this note.

Received  10 July 2011

Hello again

I was pleased to read the account by Mrs Joan Smith who was in a better position to recall and cleared up the facts about the end of the The Hyde. The hazy recollections of other contributors can be excused by the fact that they were much younger than Mrs Smith at the time. I was only there for a few years from about 8 or 9 to 11 when I left for Grammar School. I left in 1959 - 6 years before the fire.

I would have been in Mrs Smith's class for a short while as I progressed quite quickly from Miss Heard's class to David Askwith's class.

I originally found this website when searching for details about the last days of The Hyde and sent the previous postcards of The Hyde and I am now sending some more photos including some of the fire-damaged shell which I hope you will find interesting. I found these and saved them after a search on the internet several years ago but they can no longer be found there. One of the pictures shows the Disney family crest in one of the walls around the building.

Kind regards

Chris Berry

Replied  16 July 2011

Thank you, Chris, for your E mail.  I will publish the photos online as soon as possible.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Stondon Massey: Garnham family

Relatives of the late George Garnham made a trip across the pond this summer to visit family and find out more about this elusive man – see .

Received 3 July 2011

Dear Andrew,

I was so excited to meet you. Thank you so much for putting us on the track of Rev Reeve's archives [at the Essex Record Office: ERO 188/1 -3 etc]. It was amazing to read the actual letters that family members wrote so long ago. His works were so informative for us.

We still do not know who George Garnham really is, but have found out a little more about him.

 Harriet Garnham, George's wife had two daughters by her second husband James Garnham:  Alice Harriet Garnham and Rosa Emily Garnham.  Rosa had a child out of wedlock who she named Kate Garnham. Kate lived with her grandparents George and Harriet at least until 1911, going by the census, she was 14 years of age then.  I am going to look for her to see what other information, if any, that will give me about her and George and Harriet, maybe something was going on with them at that time. Was it for health reasons? I want to know why Kate was put into an asylum if this truely happened.

Kate's mum, Rosa Emily, married a George Shuttleworth of Blackmore. They had several children and all lived their lives around the area.  Rosa and George are buried in Blackmore churchyard. We found their grave there this last trip. I often wonder, did Rosa Emily know about George Garnham and did she look after her mum when she was sick with cancer. On Rosa's baptism, her father was listed as James Garnham, but on her marriage it was George Garnham.  She married in Stondon Massey. There are so many questions but no answers, but we cannot give up, just a few more stones to turn over.

I am also trying to find out more of (Bugler) Arthur Bolt to see where that might lead us. Arthur Bolt lived with Harriet and George Garnham, was listed as a boarder in the 1909 census at the Soaphouse Farm.

I tell my children that before I die, I want to find out who this George is.

What a delight your church stewards were.  We were shown around the church, given all its history.  After that we were off to see the Horsnell's: there are family ties to Horsnell's in our tree. We meet them and spoke to them for about an hour.  We made a call to the Soaphouse Farm.

What a Blessing.

Your Friend Maureen

Replied 16 July 2011

Dear Maureen

Thanks for your E mail, which I will post on the website.

Keep searching!


Monday, 8 August 2011

Ongar: Roll of Honour in new Health Centre (2)

Received  11 July 2011

Hi! Again Andrew.

On the final approach now to the last of the names for the new Ongar and District roll.

One of the links on your site took me to Fryerning Church. See the following link that may explain more.

[Gordon Daubeney Gresley Elton. Captain. Royal Irish Fusiliers. Died: 5 November 1917]

Did he have any connection with any villages on the old roll?

Regards Derek.

Replied  16 July 2011

Hello Derek.

Gordon Daubeney Gresley Elton is not anywhere on my list.  Fryerning Church contains many memorials so it might be worth a visit?

Friday, 5 August 2011

Ongar: Roll of Honour in new Health Centre (1)

Derek Berwin is undertaking research to produce a complete roll of names for the new Ongar Health Centre, currently under construction in Shelley Road, which is a replacement for the former Ongar War Memorial Hospital.  His research includes local parishes.  (see previous correspondence regarding Navestock, for example ).

Derek has contacted Blackmore Area Local History regarding outstanding queries.

Received 5 July 2011
Hi! again Andrew.

Both I and the CWGC have reached an impasse with tracing the details on W Broomfield. Bobbingworth. Can you assist?
Regards Derek.

Replied 5 July 2011

No, sorry Derek, Bobbingworth is not a parish I have researched.


Received 5 July 2011

Thanks Andrew for the response. Think I am at the end now of the district’s roll: 601 names.

I have made my research based on any connections, first birth, then resided in.  I have checked your own VERY comprehensive research as a basis [which covers Blackmore, Stondon Massey and Doddinghurst].

I should have the first example of the proposed layout  by a top calligrapher. It is likely to be around 60 inches wide.

Have 2k so far, which will  pay for the roll and hope to get some more from various Parish Councils to help pay for the book and web site maintenance.

Regards Derek.

Replied 16 July 2011

Dear Derek

Thanks for you r E mails, which I will publish on the blog.  Publication online has clear benefits, as demonstrated by the Blackmore Area Local History blog and main site.  The blog is free to set up and maintain.  The website requires hosting which is about £50 a year from – but costs keep rising.  I suggest you shop around.

I would really encourage you to consider a blog and to publish, even in a basic form, what you have.  Relatives will contact you!

The areas of our research covers Blackmore, Stondon Massey and, to a lesser extent, Doddinghurst.  I received a lot of information on Doddinghurst from a gentleman who has moved away.  It lies unpublished.  As always there is never enough time!   If you are able to send over information I am happy to compare it with what I have.


Monday, 1 August 2011


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

Books for Sale
‘William Byrd: Some Notes’ is just one of many titles now available from Megarry’s Antique and Tea Shop on The Green at Blackmore (open Wednesdays through to Sundays).  Judy, the owner, has given some space over to the sale of books in aid of church funds, which are £2.00 each.  Megarry’s is a traditional antique shop which has tea and cake available for those who wish to stay a while.  The owner has been awarded the top (five star) rating for food preparation and hygiene from the local authority.  Books available also include, in an ever changing selection:  ‘A Short History of Blackmore’, ‘The Bell Tower at Blackmore’ and the Church Guide Book.  ‘Hatched, Matched and Despatched’, which tells the story of Blackmore’s parish registers (BMD) is out of print but the text is available online.  A completely new edition will be written in due course.  For more information on Megarry’s follow this link:

Reeve trilogy
Fascinating material has been received of the life and times of family during the early nineteenth century.  Two commonplace books, one by Edward Reeve (1785 – 1867) written towards the end of his life at Ongar, and the other ‘Jottings’ (dating from 1881) by his grandson Edward Henry Lisle Reeve – Rector of Stondon Massey between 1893 and 1935 – are being edited and transcribed into three booklets which will go on sale this autumn.  The project is well under way.

Blackmore Area Local History
The site continues to grow thanks to correspondence with people interested in local history and family heritage.  Keeping up with postings is always a challenge given other commitment but hopefully many answers can be found by visitors.
Primarily the website ( ) covers the parishes of Blackmore, Stondon Massey, Ingatestone and Fryerning but with coverage of neighbouring parishes too: Highwood and Writtle, Norton Mandeville, Willingale, High Ongar, Doddinghurst, Shenfield and Mountnessing.
The blog covers a wider area but is more focussed on those villages listed above.  Follow these links to see what is available parish by parish:
Norton Mandeville (which includes Norton Heath)
Willingale (which includes the ancient parishes of Willingale Doe and Willingale Spain)

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