Friday, 31 August 2012


Memories of the Olympics: Tower Bridge (4 August 2012)

Welcome to this month’s round-up of local history and heritage in and around Blackmore, Essex.   … and welcome to our new look page layout thanks for the Blogger!

Willingale Bells

Six bells rang out for the first time on 27 May 2012, the day when the newly augmented peal was dedicated.  See

Successful History Event

Ingatestone United Reformed Church, in association with the local Historical Society, hosted a history event linked with its 200th anniversary on 14 & 15 July.  On display were a number of old village photographs and other memorabilia.  The event was the official launch of an e-book written by Chris Harvey to commemorate the anniversary.  A large number of people attended.

Ingatestone stone dislodged

One of the ancient ice-age stones on the corner of Fryerning Lane, which gives the village its name, was dislodged when a delivery lorry collided with it on 21 July 2012.  The stone awaits resetting. See

Olympic connection with Railway Museum

The East Anglian Railway Museum, at Chappel and Wakes Colne, can claim two links with the Olympic Games.  One of their steam engines, currently on loan to the Churnet Valley Railway, was built at the Temple Field works site in Stratford in 1924.  Temple Fields made way for the Olympic Park beside the Liverpool Street London railway line.  The other link is that Blur, the Indie Band, performed their first gig at the Museum back in 1989. Blur, now re-formed, was one of the artists involved in the Closing Ceremony of the Games on 12 August inasmuch that their song ‘Parklife’ was included as a quirky cover version. (They performed 'live' at the Mayor of London's gig at Hyde Park that evening.)

The museum itself tells the story of the railways in the local area.  Its collection includes the two Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) which were used on the Stour Valley Line until the 1980s.  signal boxes rescued from local lines are also preserved.  The Museum is the current resting place for a three-car electric train (Class 306 017) which was in service from London Liverpool Street to Shenfield and Chelmsford from 1949 to 1980 (see  There is a relatively new exhibition space.  Worth a visit.  See

Local news connection with the Olympic Games

The Red Arrows flew over the Olympic Park about 45 minutes before the opening ceremony on 27 July.  We heard the roar of them over the houses in Blackmore on their return journey.  They had long gone by the time we had raced into the garden.

Earlier that day a family went to Blackmore Church to ring the church bells, and participate in Martin Creed's project 'Work No. 1197'.  Across that country at 8.12am that day everyone was encouraged to ring bells as loud and fast as possible for three minutes.  Welcome to Britain everyone!

Followers of tennis may remember a young lad giving Andy Murray a congratulatory hug after winning a gold medal.  The 11 year old Henry Caplan comes from Blackmore. (see

The London 2012 Olympics was a triumph both in its organisation and the success of the athletes.  It was a hugely memorable Festival for those who were lucky enough to get tickets and enjoy the site afterwards.  Local people were among the 70000 Games Makers who made the whole event so pleasurable for spectators. 

Epping and Ongar Railway brings visitors to Ongar

Trade in Ongar and North Weald has increased thanks to an influx of tourists coming to the newly opened Epping and Ongar Railway. The attraction is running an old London bus (christened the 339 route) from Harlow to North Weald on event days. See

William Byrd

Stondon Massey Church has a copy of the original Will of William Byrd, composer, in which he expresses a wish to be buried in the churchyard of the Parish where he lived.  The congregation will be welcoming The Cardinall’s Musick to two concerts at the church on 2 September. The event is a sell-out.  Separately another website has published the Will:  For more information on William Byrd visit

Essex Record Office celebrates Heritage Weekend

The county’s archive resource is throwing open its doors for a special event on Saturday 8 September to mark Heritage Weekend.  Their keynote speaker is family history expert Nick Barratt, radio and ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ fame.  Any information I glean will be posted on the website.  For more, and to see Nick Barratt in aeries of videos, go to

Writtle Calling

To celebrate the 90th anniversary of 2MT, Britain’s first radio station, enthusiasts are mounting  recreation series of broadcasts starting 11 September.  For more go to

Essex Voices

A Great Dunmow based history website: Essex Voices, is a resource of note.  Here is an illustration of how Queen Mary was confused with Mary Queen of Scots, the Catholic, executed at Fotheringhay:  Go to the ‘home page’ to find the latest entries:

Brentwood & Shenfield history

 War Memorial unveiled at Ongar Medical Centre

A ceremony to unveil a War Memorial at the new Ongar Medical Centre was held on 10 May 2012.  It contains the names of those who died from the local area, predominantly during the First World War.  It replaces the War Memorial which existed in the former building, the War Memorial Hospital, which occupied this site.  A separate post will feature this event.

Doddinghurst War Memorial

A War Memorial tablet to those who died in the First World War at Doddinghurst is sited in All Saints Church.  (see

I have now completed the work to provide a tribute page online for all of those named.  New pages are available on ‘Blackmore Area Local History’ for:

Pages have already been set up for Herbert Miller, Gerald Wellesley Pigott, James Roast and Harry Riglin because their names also appear on the War Memorial at Blackmore.

Commonplace Book of Edward Reeve

The complete series of posts can be viewed by following this link:

Chelmsford City

The county town now has official City status, conferred by HM Queen Elizabeth II in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee.

Blackmore Church photos

Some interesting photographs of St Laurence Church Blackmore have appeared, taken by a visitor on a Teas In The Tower day:

In brief

Still for sale – The Bull, Blackmore:

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

Friday, 24 August 2012

Ingatestone: Book of Common Prayer

Book of Common Prayer Anniversary

Up and down the country, the Church of England still holds services using the Book of Common Prayer – sometimes referred to as ‘1662 service’.  In some quarters its words are regarded as central to the liturgy.  But it was an Act of Parliament which ordained its use, effective from St Bartholomew’s Day (24 August) 1662.

Samuel Pepys, a Londoner, wrote in his diary:

“August 17th. (Lord’s Day).  Up very early, this being the last Sunday that the Presbyterians are to preach, unless they read the Common Prayer and renounce the Covenant, and so I had mind to hear Dr Bates’s farewell sermon, and walked to St Dunstan’s, where, it not being seven o’clock yet, the doors were not open; and so I went and walked an hour in the Temple-garden … . At eight o’clock I went, and crowded in at the back door among others, the church being half-full almost before any doors were open publicly; which is the first time that I have done so these many years since I used to go with my father and mother; and so got into the gallery, beside the pulpit, and heard very well.”

This must have been the last Sunday when John Willis preached in Ingatestone.  Following ejection “he did not move any great distance, but established a conventicle at Brentwood, in conjunction with Thomas Gibson, who had been ejected from Little Baddow.  There they had a licence for a ‘Presbyterian meeting house’ in 1672, and Rector Willis probably remained there until his death in 1679” (EE Wilde, Ingatestone & The Essex Great Road (1913) p176). This was the formation of what became the Congregational Church (more recently Brentwood United Reformed Church).

D W Coller, wrote about the events of 1662 in his book ‘The People’s History of Essex’ (1861)

“Then came the Act of Uniformity, which banished all strange doctrine from the pulpit and restored the liturgy in its completeness; and 2,000 of the clergy, many of them in Essex, with a sincerity which astonished the kingdom, abandoned their snug vicarages and comfortable rectory-houses, and went forth, voluntarily embracing a life of hardship and poverty rather than accept the articles of subscription which were tendered to them as the condition of retaining their cures.  The following is a list of the ejected clergy in this county: it shows at once the extent of the suffering, and the parishes which had been under pastors whose teaching had been most hostile to the system of the Church:

Abbey Hatch: Mr Knightsly
Alphamstone: Mr Samuel Brinsley, St John’s Col. Camb
Arkesden: Richard Pepps. M.A., Eman. Col. Camb
Great Baddow: Mr Christopher Wragge
Little Baddow: Thomas Gilson, M.A., Eman. Col. Camb
Barking: Benjamin Way M.A., Oriel Col. Oxon
Barnston: John Beadle, M.A.
Belchamp (Walter): Mr Dearsley
Belchamp (Otten): Mr Thomas
Bentley: Mr Thomas Beard
Boreham: Mr John Oates
Boxted: Mr Lax, also Mr Carr
Braintree: Mr John Argor, Camb. Univ
Steeple Bumpstead: Mr Edmund Symmes
Birdbrook: Issac Grandorge, M.A., St John’s Col. Camb
Great Burstead: Mr Samuel Bridges
Chelmsford: Mr Mark Mott
Chickney: Mr Archer
Childerditch: Mr Harris
Chrishall (Little): Mr James Willet
Clavering: Mr John Moore, Peter-house, Camb
Coggeshall: Mr John Sams
Colchester, St Andrews: Owen Stockton, M.A., Christ’s Col. Camb
Colchester, St Peter’s: Mr Edward Warren
Colne Engaine: Mr John Clarke
Copford: Mr Robert Thompson
Cranham: Mr John Yardley
Danbury: Mr John Man
Dedham: Matt Newcomen, M.A., St John’s Col. Camb
High Easter: Mr Martin Holbitch
Eastwood: Mr Phillogers Sacheverel, Ox Univ
Felsted: Mr Nathaniel Ranew, Eman. Col. Camb
Feering: Mr Constable
Finchingfield: Mr Hugh Glover, Eman. Col. Camb
Fingringhoe: Mr Gregg
Fordham: John Bulkley, M.A.
Gestingthorp: Mr Davis
Hawkwell: Mr John Church
Halstead: Mr Wlliam Sparrow, Camb. Univ
Hamstead (West): Mr Green
Hanningfield S: Mr Cardinal
Hatfield Broad Oak: John Warren M.A., Ox. Univ
Hempstead: Mr Thomas Ellis
Henham: Mr Samuel Ely
Hedingham (Castle): Mr John Smith
Henny (Little): Mr Samuel Crossman
Hockley: Mr Farnworth
Hallingbury (Little): Mr Waters
Hornchurch: Mr Wells
Ingatestone: John Willis, M.A.
Inworth: Mr Robert Dodd, Ox Univ, also Mr Jenkins
Laver (Magdalen): Mr Harvey
Laver (High): Mr Samuel Borfet, King’s Col. Camb
Laver (Little): Edward Whiston, M.A., Trin. Col. Camb
Leighs (Little): Mr John Benson
Leyton (Low): Phllip Anderton, M.A., Eman. Col. Camb
Lindsell: Mr Clark
Maldon: Thomas Horrockes, M.A., St John’s Col. Camb
Moreton: Edmund Calamay, M.A., Sydney Col. Camb
Nazing: Mr John Brown, Eman. Col. Oxon
Nevendon: Mr Davis Fowles
Norton: Mr Hubbard
Notley: Mr Sparrowhawk
Oakley: Mr John Hubbard
Oakley (near Stansted): Mr Lucas
Ockendon (South): Mr Barnaby
Ongar (Chipping): Mr John Lorkin
Panfield: Mr George Purchas
Parndon (Great): Mr Bastwick
Pattiswick: Mr Ralph Hile
Pebmarsh: Me Blakeley
Pentlow: Mr Henry Esday
Prittlewell: Thomas Peck, M.A.
Radwinter: Mr George Moxon
Rayleigh: Abraham Caley, B.D.
Rettendon: William Clopton, M.A., Eman. Col. Camb
Ridgewell: Daniel Ray, M.A., St John’s Col. Camb
Rivenhall: Mr George Lisle
Roothing: Mr John Wood
Roothing (White): Mr Sandford
Sandon: Mr Samuel Smith
Shalford: Mr Giles Firman, Camb. Univ
Shelley: Mr Zackery Finch
Shenfield: Mr George Bound
Shoebury: Mr Watson
Southchurch: William Ruthband, M.A., Ox. Univ
Springfield: John Reeve, M.A.
Stambourne: Mr Henry Havers, Kath. Hall, Camb
Stanford Rivers: Mr Matthew Ellistone
Stansted: Mr Robert Abbott
Stapleford (Abbots): Mr Lewis Calandrine
Stapleford (Tawney): Mr Ward
Stebbing: Samuel Bantoft, B.D., Jesus Col. Camb
Stisted: Mr Thomas Clark
Stock: Mr Martin Sympson
Stow Mary’s: Mr James Maulden
Tey (Much or Great): Mr Green
Tey (Marks): Mr Richard Rand
Terling: John Stalham, M.A., Ox. Univ
Thaxted: Mr James Parker
Thoyden Mount: Mr Francis Chandler
Toppesfield: Mr John Overhead
Upminster: Mr Hawkes
Wakering: Mr Christopher Scott
Waltham (Little): John Harrison, M.A.
Wanstead: Leonard Hoar, M.D.
Warley (Little): Mr Powel
West Ham: Mr Walton
Wethersfield: John Cole, M.A., Jesus Col. Camb.
White Colne: Mr John Bigley
Wickham Bishops: Mr Robert Billio, Trin. Col. Camb
Witham: Mr Thomas Ludgutter
Weeley: Mr Dowel
Yeldham (Great): Mr Robert Chadsly.

“It appears to have been feared that these nonconformist exiles would in many instances carry their congregations from the parish altars, and leave the churches desolate.  An act was therefore passed prohibiting separate congregations, and forbidding any dissenting teacher to come within five miles of any place at which he had preached.  Dissent prevailed in the county, nevertheless, and to a great extent, - so hard is it to coerce the conscience by human law; and though these restrictions, with occasional modifications, were continued for a century afterwards, conventicles, as they were called, were set up in secure and secret places, precautions being taken to elude the watchful constable and the lurking informer.  An illustration of this existed up to about a year ago in the old chapel in Baddow-lane, Chelmsford.  A sliding panel was to be seen in the wall at the back of the pulpit.  The tradition is, that the original building was a solitary barn, and through this loop-hole, the minister and the people who dared to worship God in what the law called an illegal manner, had a ready means to escape to the wood, which then skirted the rear of the building, and extended to Galleywood Common to the river, while the soldiers employed to hunt the fugitives were thundering the bolted door.”