29/12/2008

A Tour Around Essex

Posted in Quiz at 6:37 pm by henrysgauntlet

Why not try this Quiz about Essex?   The following are cryptic clues, and all of them relate to places in the County of Essex.   See if you can work out what the 16 places are.

1.  A chilly old British motorcycle

2.  A genius on botany

3.  A coalmine in front of the ocean

4.  These fish-eating birds have their own entrance

5.  A large plant following the rubbish dump

6.  Some great fights before crossing place

7.  Would you give this herb to the Godfather?

8.  European country on water

9.  Could be a cube for flavouring a stew

10. Cleaning implement for the meadow

11. Must be the timber for the ship’s kitchen

12. You’d wear this with an identical pocket handkerchief

13. A finely tuned engine will do this

14. Take an old-named biro and add a measure of land

15. You could be doing this “on the river”

16. A fisherman’s friend to the last

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03/12/2008

St John Baptist, Mucking

Posted in Local History at 5:41 pm by henrysgauntlet

It must be just about fifty years since Mucking’s parish church, St John Baptist, Mucking Parish Church and School c1900ceased to be used for worship and was deconsecrated. The building itself dates back to the twelfth century but was rebuilt in the late-1840s and early-1850s.   It survives as a private dwelling as does the former village school, the Rectory and the former Crown Inn.   The Crown itself was the setting for bare-knuckled prize fights blamed by local people on “invaders from Horndon-on-the-Hill.”   All of these testify to Mucking’s past as a predominantly agricultural community and to its links with the Thames barges that used until 1914 to come right up to the village. the former Mucking Vicarage

I was intrigued and proud as a small boy and in my early teenage years to live in the parish of Mucking.   (No doubt the people of Messing in north east Essex feel the same now.)   I was taken by my father in the mid to late-1950s to worship in the parish church.   The last Vicar, Henry Watson, was about to retire and nothing, alas, that he said or taught remains in my mind.   I do, however, remember that the singing of hymns was almost drowned out by a former military man who sang in a loud, completely toneless fashion.   My father enjoyed these services (and the bicycle rides from Orchard House to Mucking and back home again) even if I did not. 

Sadly, these services and eight centuries of worship in the parish church were about to come to an end.   A community was dying. I was there to see its last rites.

Author  –  Christopher Thompson

New local history post follows shortly

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:18 pm by henrysgauntlet