Friday, 30 September 2011

Area: "High Country History Group" Journal No. 40

Journal No 40, quite a milestone for a rural historical society, was issued in June 2011.  Topics covered included:
-          Thomas Luther and Stapleford Tawney School
-          Kellys Directory of Essex 1933 – Stapleford Tawney
-          Successful Stondon Byrd Festival Gains International Reputation (see
-          The Rat and Sparrow Club
-          Snippets from the Press (Greensted)
-          West Essex Association for the Preservation of Game
-          A table of Customary Dues and Fees
-          William Frith Horner
-          Ongar Union
-          Memories of the Forties and Fifties Around Ongar.
-          Chipping Ongar

Friday, 23 September 2011

Ingatestone & Fryerning: Postcards

Ingatestone Station - at the beginning of the twentieth century

A series of postcards from the early twentieth century of Ingatestone and Fryerning has just been published on the accompanying website. It is possible for the reader to take a figure of eight walk from the railway station to see all the views.  Go to:

Friday, 16 September 2011

Ongar: The Rebels

I am currently advising Derek Berwin on the names of the fallen in the Blackmore area.  Derek is working on a project to recreate the names of those who gave their lives in the Ongar and district area for commemoration in the new Ongar Health Centre, currently under construction in Shelley on the site of the former Ongar War Memorial Hospital.

Received 31 August 2011

Dear Andrew.

Have you ever come across the ONGAR REBELS?   

It has come up during my year-long research into all the fallen of the Ongar District, of a group called " THE ONGAR REBELS". I had a call from a gentleman in Yorkshire, who found a loving cup inscribed with ONGAR REBELS 1914-  followed by 6 names. I have the names. They are not on the Commonwealth War Graves site of the fallen of that period (WW1)


Sent 31 August 2011

Dear Derek

I have never heard of Ongar Rebels.  If it is helpful I will edit this e mail for publication on the blog.


Received 31 August 2011


Last Sunday a man called Errol Mooney phoned from Yorkshire. He had purchased an antique loving cup inscribed "THE ONGAR REBELS 1914- " It had no end date. Followed by six names.

He searched the web and came up with me and my research into the fallen of Ongar and District and wondered if I could help him. (He is a Royal British Legion member in Yorkshire) I tried the local historians in ONGAR STREET in Shropshire  and ONGAR HILL in Herefordshire, neither had heard of the Ongar Rebels.

A search of the 1911 census has brought up some of the names but there appears to be no connection with their home towns which are scattered and Ongar.

I wonder if through your blog you could cast the net?

Thanks Derek Berwin

Friday, 9 September 2011

Highwood: Remembering ... Ernest Skingley

Received   8 June 2010

Dear Andrew

I was quite thrilled to see Ernest’s name on the war memorial In Highwood where he is named along with two other Skingley’s.

Ernest Skingley was my grandfather and was killed in WW1 whilst serving on HMS Brisk which was sunk by a German U-boat.

I had some trouble locating Ernest Skingley as the information on the Commonwealth War Graves shows his father as Walter Skingley.  This information is incorrect. I have today contacted the Commonwealth War Graves to see what they need from me to correct this error.  The other information however, is correct. Ernest was married to Edith Maud Knight and on their marriage certificate, his father is shown as  James Skingley, Coachman.  Ernest lied about his age on the marriage certificate so I was unable to track him down for a while.  I have now obtained the birth certificate for Ernest and this also shows his father as James Skingley.

My mother was one year old when her father Ernest was killed, and she is still alive today.

After Ernest Skingley died on the 2-10-1917, Edith Maud married Herbert Arthur Pledger in 1919.

I remember my mother telling me  that Edith Maud was contacted by the Commonwealth War Graves regarding Ernest when they were trying to rebuild their records.  Perhaps Ernest lived with his Uncle Walter at some stage in his life and Edith was  under the impression that Walter was his father.

I am living in Australia and on my next trip to the UK, I will be visiting the War Memorial in Highwood.  Do you know if the three Skingley’s shown are related in any way.  Their parents are all different, but they may be distant cousins.

Are you able to put me in touch with other Skingley or Knight families in the Blackmore area?  I note from the website that Rosalind Lloyd has been contacted with regard to Ernest Knight.  I too have been in touch with her and gave her some information on the siblings of Edith Maud Knight.

Would you like me to let you have more information on Ernest Skingley such as his service record, actual birth and marriage dates, etc.

Unfortunately, I do not have any photographs of Ernest Skingley.

I look forward to hearing from you.



Replied  15 June 2010

Dear Pauline

Thank you for your interesting E mail.  Highwood is the neighbouring parish to Blackmore so I am sorry I do not know anything about the Skingley’s.  It is a name I have not encountered in the Blackmore records.  Rosalind Lloyd was very helpful in helping us identify an Ernest Knight. Again, I do not know of any Knight’s living in Blackmore today.  On a positive note I will, if you are happy, publish our correspondence on the blog ( and see if we receive a response.  I will also pass details on to a local historian who has researched the War Memorial at Highwood.  He might be able to advise.

I would be happy to receive any information you have on your grandfather and would be happy to create a page commemorating him.  [This has now been done - ]

With kind regards

Andrew Smith

Received  22 June 2010

Dear Andrew

Many thanks for your reply.  I am happy for you to publish our correspondence on the blog and for my details to be passed on to a local historian.  On the memorial, there are two other Skingley's listed, William Stephen Skingley and Herbert Skingley.  I have been informed that William Stephen and Ernest are related from 5 generations back. I cannot find a family connection between Herbert and Ernest but perhaps a note on the blog might prove helpful in this regard.

I would be delighted to see a page commemorating Ernest Skingley and to this end, I attach an individual record for Ernest.


Received  10 July 2011

I have emailed you before regarding Ernest Skingley who is shown on the WW1 war memorial along with two other Skingleys.

You informed me last year that you would be happy to create a page commemorating Ernest Skingley, but on looking at the website, I cannot see that you have done this.

Is the information I sent to you forming part of the War Memorial Research Project?   Is it near completion and will it be shown on the website?


Replied 16 July 2011

Dear Pauline

I have your tribute page to Ernest Skingley and will publish it as soon as I am able.  This needs to go back on my ‘things to do’ list!

The information does not form part of the War Memorial Research Project because investigation was limited to Blackmore.  Ernest Skingley does not have any connection with the parish, as far as I am aware, but is from Highwood.


Friday, 2 September 2011

Ingatestone: The Hyde

G Brodie follows up previous correspondence relating to The Hyde, Ingatestone (see ) and the page dedicated to the former school (see ) with this note.

Received  11 August 2011

I was a boarder at Gate House School from 1942 until 1951.  Mrs Smith was Miss Joan Clarke when she joined the school as sports teacher and would take us for football which was played in a field beyond the village cricket pitch and immediately over the railway bridge.  We later played opposite the school in Mythesdale Meadow (?spelling) next door to the house of a Major Peake.

Miss Bond was my teacher in the infants’ class and I remember her with great affection.  She introduced me to boxing by allowing us to sit up in  her study  and listen to the radio broadcasts of "the big fight" e.g.  from Haringay Arena - Bruce Woodcock v Freddie Mills,  commentary by Stuart McPherson with inter-round summaries from W. Barrington-Dalby.  I listened enraptured and follow boxing to this day.

Miss Heard took over the sports in Miss Clarke's absence and I recall her joy when our cricket team, of which I was captain, firstly beat the village team, then Sandon House, Chelmsford and then King Edward VI Grammar School.

Mr Askwith, the Boss, was an admirable Head Master. I Iooked up to him as I would have to a father. Miss Shorney, Matron, who stood no nonsense from the boys,  Mr Cook the music teacher lately returned from service in the Royal Navy during the war, Mrs Pretty the cook and Buzz the gardener, Jenny the much loved donkey (the Boss would let us ride her) and Mr Goose the station master who owned an orchard whose apples I scrumped!!

Church alternated fortnightly between Fryerning Church.  Mr Fuller was the vicar, and Ingatestone Church, Mr. Fuller the Rector.  I recall Michael Waldon and his brother coming to the school from Pernambuco and Recife, Brazil.  Swimming at the Chase Hotel set me off on cold water swimming which I now do in the Serpentine, Hyde Park, London.  I last met Chips Harrison and Brian Cristall in 1957 at The Hyde, after I had completed my National Service in the Life Guards. 

Replied 21 August 2011

Thank you for your contribution, which I will post on

Thursday, 1 September 2011


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

Wedding at Shenfield
Congratulations to Richard and Nicola who are getting married at St Mary's Church, Shenfield this month.  They looked for an image to use on the front of their order of service and stumbled upon a postcard image of the church on this blog ( I was delighted to send a copy of the original.

Gift Day at Stondon Massey
A display of books, letters and manuscripts of the Reeve family will be available to view for the first time in Stondon Massey on Saturday 15th October.   The congregation of St Peter and St Paul Church, Stondon Massey have their Gift Day with the building open to visitors between 10.00am and 3.00pm.  Refreshments will be available.  Revd. Edward Henry Lisle Reeve died 75 years ago this year and was Rector of Stondon Massey from 1893 to 1935, succeeding his father, Edward James, who was Rector for 44 years from 1849.  The material was a generous gift of a distant descendent.  Among them are 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.  A trilogy of booklets will be available to coincide with the exhibition, entitled ‘After Dinner Anecdotes’, ‘Relatively Speaking’ and ‘Captain’s Reflections’, each priced £2.00 each and sold in aid of church funds.

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