Friday, 26 October 2012

BLACKMORE HISTORY NEWS: September / October 2012

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

Essex Society for Archaeology and History

One of the County’s oldest societies turns 160 this year.  Founded in 1852 in Colchester the Essex Archaeological Society, as it was originally known continues to this day arranging excursions / visits for its members and producing annually its Transactions, titled ‘Essex Archaeology and History’.  In April 2012 the 1st volume of the Fourth Series was published (cover illustrated).  Articles of very local interest include ‘Roman Billericay: excavations by the Billericay Archaeological and Historical Society, 1970-1977’ (by M Medlycot et al) and ‘Revd. John Howard Marsden: rector of Great Oakley and first Disney professor of archaeology at Cambridge University’ (by Michael Leach) – the Disney referred to here was John Disney of The Hyde, Ingatestone, during the mid-nineteenth century.  To buy a copy of the 384 page publication, go to .

For information about the Society itself and membership – we are always looking for new members – go to the website:

The Essex Society for Archaeology and History has a number of surplus books for sale, which are not required for accession to the Society’s Library hosted at Essex University or are duplicates of items already held.  As a member I am hosting on this sister website a book sale on

Why am I a member?  As an amateur enthusiast it is good to meet like-minded people who are professional or keen historians, archaeologists, researchers etc.  I have found membership very interesting indeed.  The Society’s objectives are:
-          To promote and encourage the study of the archaeology and history of the historic county of Essex.
-          In furtherance of the above, to publish the results of such studies in its journal and to disseminate information on matters relating to archaeology and history in Essex through appropriate media.
-          To organise conferences, lectures and visits for the benefit of members of the Society and interested members of the public; to educate the wider community in the archaeological heritage of Essex; to co-operate with other bodies on matters of common interest and concern
-          To provide library facilities for Society members and approved members of the public.

Blackmore Village Website

Blackmore Village Website (BVW) has had a major revamp and re-launch under a new author – under a new domain name.  The site ( ) went live on 28 August.  At the core is a copy of the old website but with a blog attached and a promise of Facebook and twitter links.  Of interest to local historians is the ‘History page’ ( ) which make reference to the sister website to this blog, Blackmore Area Local History ( ), referring to it as “an absolute must”.

Deal Tree Medical Centre

The former Doddinghurst Surgery closed its doors on 17 August, moving across the road that weekend to newly built premises at Deal Tree Corner on the Blackmore Road by Hook End.  The building lies just within Doddinghurst parish adjacent to the boundaries of Blackmore and Stondon Massey.

‘Demolished’ Victorian Letter Box

When I passed Ship Road in West Hanningfield on 1 September 2012 I noticed a pile of bricks surrounded by red and white tape.  Clearly some mishap had happened with the Victorian Letter Box.

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

Monday, 22 October 2012

Chelmsford: Annals of England

Annales of England – John Stow

The following are extracts from a book published in 1605, the year of John Stow’s death.  The book is introduced as “A BRIEFE DESCRIPTION OF ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, WALES AND CORNWALL”, set out in chronological order and running to 1437 pages, abruptly ending in July 1605.

Page 1169
John Paine executed at Chelmeford
John Paine priest, being indicted of high treason for words by him spoken to one Eliot, was attained and condemned at Chelmesford on the last of March, and was there executed on the second day of Aprill.”

Transcribed with acknowledgement to the Essex Society for Archaeology and History.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Blackmore: (More on the) Crickett family

Received 23 August 2012

Dear Andrew,

I read your blogspot with interest. I'm researching Crickitt family history. My great, great grandmother was Clara Mello Crickitt (1833-1866) who married Francis Goode Miller (1833-1869). I've traced the Crickitts back to circa 1704, and would be pleased to receive any further information.

Crickitt is variously spelled as 'Crickett', 'Crickete' and 'Kreket'. They were of Walloon descent, but I haven't yet made the Walloon connection, which may have been Sandwich, Kent or Colchester, Essex.

Charles Crickitt (circa b.1704) married Susannah Spriggs (b.1704) on 29th July 1729 (her parents were John & Dorcas) at St.Mary's Alverstoke, Hampshire.

Their two sons were: John Crickitt (my ancestor) b.1730, bapt. Holy Trinity, Gosport; married Sarah Lloyd 23rd Feb 1757 at St.Gregory by St. Paul (City of London). He was Marshall of the High Court of the Admiralty. Died 30th Aug1811 at Edmonton.

Charles Alexander Crickitt, b.1736, d.1803. M.P. for Ipswich.

Please post this information if it is of interest.

Yours sincerely
Pam Wheeler

Replied 1 October 2012

Many thanks for your e mail, and apologies for not responding sooner.

For more on the Crickett family follow this link:

Monday, 15 October 2012

Ingatestone: Annals of England

Annales of England – John Stow

The following are extracts from a book published in 1605, the year of John Stow’s death.  The book is introduced as “A BRIEFE DESCRIPTION OF ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, WALES AND CORNWALL”, set out in chronological order and running to 1437 pages, abruptly ending in July 1605.

Page 1135
Sir William Peter deceased.
The thirteenth of January deceased William Peter knight, who for his judgement and pregnant wit, had bene Secretary and of privy counsell to foure kings and queenes of this realme, and seven times lord ambassador abroad in foraine lands: he augmented Exeter colledge in Oxford with lands to the paine of an hundred pound by yeare: and also builded ten almes houses in the parish of Ingerstone for twenty poore people, ten within the house, and ten without the house, having every one two pence the day, a winter gowne, and two loade of wood, and among them feeding for six kine winter and sommer, and a chaplaine to say them service daily.”

Page 1166
Mice devour the grasse at Danesey.
About Hallowtide last past, in the marshes of the Danesey Hundred in a place called Southminster in the countie of Essex, a strange thing hapned: there sodainlie appeared an infinite multitude of mice, which overwhelmed the whole earth in the said marshes, did sheare and gnaw the grasse by the rootes, spoyling and tainting the same with their verimous teeth, in such sort, that the cattell which grazed thereon were smitten with a murerine, and died thereof, which vermine by policie of man could not be destroyed, till, at the last it came to passe that there flocked together all about the same marshes, such a number of owles as all the shire was not able to yield: whereby the marsh-holders were shortly delivered from the veration of the said mice.” 

Transcribed with acknowledgement to the Essex Society for Archaeology and History.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Blackmore: Crickitt and Disney family link

Received 22 August 2012


I left a comment re Crickitt family just now on you blog? I hope it was yours anyway.

When I checked my family tree I saw that one of Charles Crickitt's daughters from whom I am descended, Susanna Alexander, married William Lamont in 1802 Blackmore church. . They had several children one of whom, Matilda Georgiana married an Irish Kilkenney Fusilier Captain O'Fflahertie at the British embassy in Paris and they had a daughter Flora Giorgiana who married a Lambert Brouckner Disney b 1838 who gives his birthplace as The Hyde, Essex and father Edgar.

I have banns and wedding cert I could send but not on this iPad - if you are interested let me know and I will send, I think they moved to America.

I hope you will get back to me!
Anne Walker (Mousehold)

Replied 22 August 2012

Dear Anne
Thank you for your blog entry regarding the Crickitt family and your e > mail which links the Crickitt's with the Disney family.  Edgar Disney (1810-1881) has a memorial in Blackmore Church and was also a benefactor to  the church's restoration in 1877. The Disney's tomb is in the adjacent  parish of Fryerning.

I would be interested to see a copy of the banns and wedding certificate. It all adds to the story of the village.


Monday, 8 October 2012

Chelmsford: Annals of England

Annales of England – John Stow

The following are extracts from a book published in 1605, the year of John Stow’s death.  The book is introduced as “A BRIEFE DESCRIPTION OF ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, WALES AND CORNWALL”, set out in chronological order and running to 1437 pages, abruptly ending in July 1605.

Page 1115
Tempest at Chelmsford
The 16 of July, about nine of the clocke at night began a tempest of lightning and thunder, with showers of haile, which continued till three of the clock the next morning so terrible that at Chelmsford in Essex 500 acres of corne were destroyed, the glass windows on the east side of the tower, and the west & south sides of the church were beaten downe, with also the tiles of their houses, beside diverse barnes, chimneies, and the battlements of the church which were overthrown.  The like harme was done in many other places, as at Leedes, Cranelnooke, Dover & c.”

Transcribed with acknowledgement to the Essex Society for Archaeology and History.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Blackmore: Wayside Tea Rooms (4)

Received 15 July 2012

Hi Andrew,
My name was Valerie Brown and I was being fostered by a Pat O'Farrell when we lived in Blackmore. She had me from my birth until she died when I was 17 so she was my 'mum'. I do not remember any names of neighbours though I did have neighbours children who I played with. A 'cousin' worked on the telephone switchboard which I think was located at the village post office and I was mesmerised by it all when I went to watch her at work. We come back often just for the nostalgia, and we were back last year.

We intend making another visit to Blackmore and I would love it if I could go to see the memorial plaque in the field where the American bomber came down. Please can you tell me where that might be, a grid ref would be wonderful.

I look forward to your reply, I hope my information has helped a bit.

Regards Val

Replied 16 July 2012
Dear Val

Brentwood Road, showing old cottages, and Wayside Tea Room (left)
Please find enclosed another postcard.  This one looks up the road towards the School (not in view).  If your bedroom window was the four-light one above the door then you would have had an uninterrupted view of the school.

The American bomber came down in the field opposite Fingrith Hall Cottages near to OS ref 604033. There is no memorial plaque in the field.


Received 17 July 2012

Hi Andrew,
I still feel in my heart, that I always stood and looked into the playground from a landing where the dormer window is, and not the one you have suggested, and I still got a good view of children in playground. I don’t want to get swayed from my gut feeling just to make things 'fit'. Maybe the man from NZ (whose grandparents lived in the tearooms) may remember the layout of the building. It’s certainly stirred my curiosity to see if my memory is right. I can recognise the front door which we always used, and I can see the small garden to the west of the house where I played, it’s all very familiar.

I had already guessed at the crash location and was almost spot on!

Do you know if there are school records anywhere?

Another vague memory is of a big black heater in the classroom! 

So Andrew, have I helped you prove once and for all, the true location of the wayside tearooms? I shall be chuffed to bits if I have.


Replied 18 July 2012
Hello Val

If you had looked to the left out of the dormer window you would have certainly seen the School.  The playground may have been where the former Library annexe was built in the 1960s.  Hypothesis.

I would be interested to know more of your memories of Blackmore.


Received 18 July 2012

Hi Andrew,

Yes, definitely the dormer window, I only had to look very slightly to the left to see the playground, there is absolutely no doubt about that, its imprinted in indelible ink on my memory!. Your suggestion that the playground may have been bigger makes so much sense because it could be that the tearooms were just a few feet further to the west as well. (I wasn’t aware the library was a later building and not in my time there, I hadn’t given its presence any thought at all, but as I said in an earlier email, I don’t remember seeing any buildings opposite just an empty space and then cottages slightly to right). Your hypothesis that the playground was once a lot bigger is very real to me, it 'fits' better. To put it another way - if, on my landing, I'm standing due north, then the playground was SSE and the cottages opposite were WSW and no other buildings in between. Oh dear this has got a bit technical!!

This has given me such excitement to finally see those photos. I have been through the 1911 census for Blackmore but can’t find the tearooms on it.  I did find 10 Blackmore Road but haven’t got a clue where that was in relation to the tearooms. The family name Wray rang a bell but really can’t be sure about that.

I have tried to locate the 'Ruth' who contacted you in 2008, and who remembers the tearooms as her mother was born in the village.

My husband and I wandered round the village last year and I was so pleased to see the school still there. As always I stood on the site where I used to live, thinking back to my time there. All I would like to do now is to find someone who might have been inside the tearooms and may remember the inside layout. Maybe someone occupied them when we left in 1946. I will try to think of memories but I left and moved to Ongar when I was 6.

Many thanks for your real interest in my humble beginnings. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Blackmore: Wayside Tea Rooms (3)

Received 14 July 2012
Hi Andrew,

Thank you for all the information on Blackmore, very interesting!! 

You have now opened real confusion within me, I will explain.  From baby days until I was about 6 (1942-1947) I lived in a white painted dwelling which was of the same wooden design structure as the Wayside tea rooms in your photo, and it was definitely opposite the school. The room used as the 'tearoom' was derelict and I had a swing slung from the ceiling in there, I remember birds would often fly into that room which was situated on the eastern aspect of the building. I can remember that the walls in the living room were painted with blue distemper and sponge dabbed with pink, whether we did that or it was already there I have no idea. I think the door we used as a front door was straight out onto the road, simply because I cannot remember any other door. What I also remember very vividly, was that I could stand on a landing, and from a window I could see the children in the playground. In your photo there are trees opposite 'Wayside' hence my confusion. Could 'Wayside' have stood near the corner of the road so that the southern aspect faced the school and the eastern aspect faced trees? If only I had a photo!!  We had neighbours to the west of us (same side of road) but none to the right, and a row of cottages to the south-west on the opposite side of the road. I can remember the layout quite well. If I was clever enough I could draw a plan as I remember it, to make it more clear to you, and I may try after I have sent this off.

I was not quite 3 and a half when I heard that awful aeroplane crash, still shudder at the memory! Is it possible for you give me a grid reference of the exact spot where it came down please?  I feel it was just to the north of us.

I really appreciate your response to my initial enquiry.  It’s a mystery that has bugged me for many years.  I just wish that there were old archives on the school. So now the real mystery, were the tearooms opposite the school or was I living in an ordinary house and not the tearooms???

We also had evacuees with the names Ivy and Maisy.

Again, many thanks.
Val Stevens

Replied 15 July 2012
Hello Val

This is very interesting and something which I think can be answered, if I collect together what is known about the immediate vicinity. 

A couple of questions: what was your surname at the time; and, do you remember of names of your neighbours (eg Blackwells)?


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Blackmore: Wayside Tea Rooms (2)

A Mystery Solved: the location of Wayside Tea Rooms -
from a postcard c1920

Local History
Wayside Tea Rooms - A Mystery Solved

Last December (2004), The Herald included a letter from Malcolm Baird, from New Zealand, and an appeal for more information about the Wayside Tea Rooms, once situated in Brentwood Road (now Blackmore Road).

Malcolm wrote, “Carolyn and I visited Blackmore Church on the occasion of the Flower Festival. We mentioned then that my grandparents in my childhood days had Tearooms in Blackmore. It is our pleasure to enclose them and ask that if you can possibly find any further details regarding the Tearooms and / or my grandparents’ time in Blackmore, this would be greatly appreciated.

“Mary Coller’s book, ‘Blackmore, My 1920s Wonderland’ makes no mention of the Tearooms although they certainly operated at that time. The facts that I know are these.

“My grandparents were James and Minnie Baird. James had been a Marine Engineer and was retired by the War Department in 1934. He was then residing in ‘Wayside Tearooms, Brentwood Road, Blackmore’ and left there in about 1940. The Tearooms were a popular stopping place for cycling clubs as shown in the photos [see part 1]. These were presumably taken about 1937/38. I am the youngest child shown standing next to my Grandfather, with my two brothers and visiting cyclists. I gauge the date by my apparent age. I was born in 1934 and at that time would have lived in London. Presumably the Tearooms were not far down Brentwood Road because I can remember walking to the Church, the village pump and village green.

”Our visit was certainly a wonderful trip down ‘Memory Lane’ for me. It was amazing how close to accurate such childhood memories could be after nearly 70 years. The Village is still so much how I pictured it all this time. Carolyn can now appreciate why I have such fond memories of my visits to grandparents.”

As is often the case, conflicting information about the location of the Wayside Tea Room was received. One person thought that it was at Walnut Cottage, others elsewhere in the road.

I had established that, according to Kelly’s Directory, in 1937 Minnie Baird was its owner. It was quite by chance, on a visit to Matching Flower Festival, that I found the Wayside Tea Rooms on copies of old postcards for sale as Greeting Cards.

The premises were opposite 3 & 4 Blackmore Road. A mystery solved.

Andrew Smith

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Blackmore: Wayside Tea Rooms (1)

Wayside Tea Room

Received  7 July 2012

Hi there, I was living in Blackmore during the 2nd world war, in the Wayside tearooms (which were opposite the school). I can remember a plane crashing nearby and wondered if anyone could tell me more about this happening?  I was a toddler at the time, but the memory is so vivid that even now I hate to hear planes at night!  Also does anyone have a photo or a memory of the Wayside Tea rooms, I would be very interested to hear. Thank you.

Replied  14 July 2012
Hello Val

Thank you for writing to me about the American bomber crash at Blackmore, which happened on 24 September 1944. Some correspondence on this is on the blog (follow link to ) but I would be very interested to hear of your memories of this event as well as any other stories relating to the Americans who came over to Essex during the Second World War. I was told that many of them used to come into the (old) Leather Bottle pub, reputedly putting their money on the bar and buying drinks for everyone. Of course the missions they flew were very dangerous and some did not make it back to the base at Willingale.

Regarding the Wayside Tea Rooms, back in 2004 I had the privilege of talking to Malcolm Baird who had come to visit from New Zealand.  He sent over some photographs but I had difficulty locating the site of the premises until, by chance, I came across an old postcard which located the building opposite numbers 3 & 4 Blackmore Road (then Brentwood Road).  I attach the photographs and an item I wrote for the Parish Council's magazine 'The Herald' (see part 2).

I will publish this information on the blog very soon, but if you have memories of Blackmore during the Second World War I would be interested to receive them. You might be interested in viewing which includes some notes of two brothers Johnson who were evacuated to Blackmore to the Jopson family during the early part of the Second World War.

With kind regards


Wayside Tea Room, Blackmore, when the Bairds lived ran the business.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Blackmore: Annals of England

Annales of England – John Stow

The following are extracts from a book published in 1605, the year of John Stow’s death.  The book is introduced as “A BRIEFE DESCRIPTION OF ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, WALES AND CORNWALL”, set out in chronological order and running to 1437 pages, abruptly ending in July 1605.

Page 966
Henry, Duke of Richmond
The 22 of July, Henry Duke of Richmond and Somerset, earle of Nottingham, a bastard son of K. Henry, borne at Blakamore in Essex, of the lady Tailboise, that time called Elizabeth Blunt, died at St James, and was buried at Thetford in Norfolke.”

Page 1112
Tempest at London.
The 8 of July, in the morning, hapned a great tempest of lightning & thunder, wherethrough a woman and three kine were slaine in the Covent garden neere to Charing crosse.  At the same time in Essex a man was torne to peeces as he was carrying hay, his barne being borne downe, and his hay brent: both stones and trees were rent in many places.”

Transcribed with acknowledgement to the Essex Society for Archaeology and History.