Summer 2020 Journal Published

The Summer 2020 edition (number 46) of the Journal of the Stebbing Local History Society has been published. It comes in at sixteen pages and includes thirteen images. Due to the current situation we find ourselves in all members of the society in 2019 and / or 2020 have been emailed a copy (assuming we have your (correct) email address).

The contents this time around are as follows:

  1. Society News – 2019 Review and forthcoming 25th anniversary of the Society.
  2. Henry Arthur Crouch (1874-1952) & Walter George Crouch (1910-1941). This piece by Derek Towler is about the Stebbing father and son who fought in two separate wars.
  3. Three Green Lanes and Two Lost Houses. This piece by Graham Jolliffe is about Green Lanes off Lubberhedges Lane and two houses that are no longer standing.
  4. A review of a self-published book by two of our American members, Karen Rasmussen and Paula Paradise, about the life of their Stebbing ancestor Thomas Swallow (1797-1866).
  5. Feedback: Stebbing petrol stations; yet more on Helen and Arthur Smith; The backs of Stebbing postcards; and a 2001 letter to the Society.

Below is a photograph taken of the Crouch family to the side of Livery Cottage in the High Street in the 1950’s. The White Hart, in Dunmow Brewery livery, is in the rear.

Graham Jolliffe (Journal Editor)

Autumn 2019 Journal Published

The Autumn 2019 edition (number 45) of the Journal of the Stebbing Local History Society has been published. It comes in at sixteen pages and includes fifteen images. If you are a paid-up member of the society and we have your email address it will have been emailed to you.

The contents this time around are as follows:

  1. Loss of Important Stebbing Document. A manorial rental dating to c.1795 that included maps. The SLHS in a consortium with The Friends of Historic Essex and the Essex Record Office were outbid at an auction in their attempt to secure it for public access.
  2. The publication of a new occasional paper about the Life Of Richard Linsell who died in 1858 aged 98.
  3. Stebbing: Overcrowding and disease 1912 – 1921. Resulting from the “discovery” of sanitary inspection reports that resulted in property repairs and eventually the building of new housing.
  4. Where is / are The Downs? Trying to locate the extent and history of an intriguing part of Stebbing.
  5. Newell’s Garage and Shop, Warehouse Road. A short history of a lost business.
  6. Gaza and the 5th Essex. The history of the battles in Gaza during WW1 and the involvement of Stebbing men in it.
  7. Stebbing News including feedback on previously published articles.

We hope that you will enjoy it! Do of course continue to let any of the committee know of articles that you would like to see researched and published the future. All feedback is very welcome.

Below is a photograph of “Homes for Heroes” on The Downs taken in the 1930’s. This photograph relates to both the Overcrowding and Disease article as well as the article about The Downs.

Graham Jolliffe (Journal Editor)

Spring 2019 Journal Published

The Spring 2019 edition (number 44) of the Journal of the Stebbing Local History Society has been published. It comes in at sixteen pages and includes thirteen images. If you are a paid-up member of the society and we have your email address it will have been emailed to you.

The contents this time around are as follows:

  1. Society News including an update on the progress of the photographic archive.
  2. Margaret Bent-Marshall’s Memories of Stebbing.
  3. The Thomas Hatley Tragedy. The tragic story of a Stebbing World War II soldier involved in murder and suicide.
  4. More on the Rev. Bree. An update on the the Rev. Bree who was curate of Stebbing in the early 19th Century but was later declared insolvent and imprisoned in the Fleet Prison, London.
  5. Deodands. The story of a 1605 court case involving Stebbing people and how a horse and cart could be held responsible for a death, known as a deodand.

We hope that you will enjoy it! Do of course continue to let any of the committee know of articles that you would like to see researched and published the future. All feedback is very welcome.

Below is a photograph of an Airey house at Bran End. Airey houses were pre-fabricated dwellings named after Sir Edwin Airey of the Ministry of Works as part of the emergency post-WWII housing programme. Outside it, on the rear of the motor-bike, is Margaret Bent-Marshall’s sister Daphne. The Hayes family, Margaret and Daphne’s maiden name, lived in the house, which has since been replaced with Pulford Place.

Graham Jolliffe (Journal Editor)

New Copy of the Journal Published

The Autumn 2018 edition (number 43) of the Journal of the Stebbing Local History Society has been published. If you are a paid-up member of the society and we have your email address it will have been emailed to you.

The contents this time around are as follows:

  1. The Armistice – 100 years on. This piece was written by our Treasurer Derek Towler to mark 100 years since the cessation of fighting in the First World War
  2. SLHS Summer Outing. A record of our very interesting guided tour around Saffron Walden by Malcolm White from the Saffron Walden Historical Society
  3. Bent-Marshall (Stebbing) Ltd. Michael Bent-Marshall records the history of the business that had an impact on the live’s of people in Stebbing.
  4. A Memoir of Stebbing. Peter Inson reflects on his memories of life in Stebbing in the 1960’s.
  5. Horses in WWI. A piece by Derek Towler on the significance of horses in the First World War.
  6. The Age of the Bicycle. John Cant gives us his views on the historical significance of bicycles (with some interesting bicycle themed photographs).
  7. Feedback

I am especially grateful to the contributors which extended this time around to five article writers plus a number of people who provided feedback on the previous edition of the Journal.

Below is a the photograph that appears on the front page of this edition. It shows Derek Towler, our Secretary, laying a wreath on behalf of the Society and the village. The Society was honoured to be asked to do it on this very significant anniversary.

Graham Jolliffe (Journal Editor)

Spring 2018 Journal Published

The Spring 2018 edition (number 42) of the Journal of the Stebbing Local History Society has just been published. If you are a paid-up member of the society and we have your email address it will have been emailed to you.

The new edition comes in at a bumper sixteen pages, and is packed with photos and goodies.

The contents this time around are as follows:

  1. Society News
    1. Review of 2017
    2. Programme for 2018
    3. GDPR and membership
    4. Summer Outing 2018
    5. Request for Information on Farming in Stebbing ahead of specific research in this area
  2. Reg Frost Obituary – Reg lived all of his life in Stebbing.
  3. The Stebbing Parish Quarterly Paper – extracts taken from 1901 to 1906 – the paper was founded in 1901 by the vicar the Rev. Ernest Clapton.
  4. Brookfields – a 1970’s Estate with classic 1970’s features
  5. Adolf Heimann – a member of the German Luftwaffe whose plane crashed in Stebbing – he was the only survivor.
  6. Then and Now: at Brook House looking towards The Downs

Below is a farming photograph to go with our request for any farming memories, photographs, documents, history etc. We know exactly when this particular photograph was taken – 1948. Despite it being post-war working horses were still in existence in Stebbing at this date. This image was taken on Burnt House Farm on Stebbing Green.

GJ

 

New Occasional paper: Stebbing Hearth Tax 1670

First of all the committee of the Stebbing Local History Society would like to wish all of our members a Happy & Healthy New Year for 2018. The programme of 2018 meetings has been updated in the “meetings” tab so that you can see what we have lined up.

The Society has published another in the series of Occasional Research Papers entitled “The Stebbing Hearth Tax 1670.”   Researched by the Secretary Derek Towler, it is based on the ‘Essex Hearth Tax 1670,’  published by the British Record Society (BRS).

In the late 17th century the British Government was short of money (sound familiar?) and looking for a new and profitable tax that could not be easily escaped it hit upon the idea of taxing the number of hearths in the home. It was a progressive tax i.e. it assumed the rich would have many hearths and therefore pay more than the poor.  Unfortunately it proved to be very unpopular not least because the tax collectors had to enter homes to verify the number of hearths.  But because it recorded all the names of those who paid and many of those exempted (but not all) for the historian it is a very informative source.  It provides clues to the population, wealth or poverty of the parish and in some cases indicates where certain people may have lived and their occupation.

The picture below, probably taken in the first quarter of the 20th century, shows Priors Hall revealed in the Hearth Tax documents to be the home in 1670 of a John Sorrell, Gentleman.

DT

Autumn 2017 Journal Published

The Autumn 2017 edition (number 41) of the Journal of the Stebbing Local History Society has just been published. If you are a member of the society and we have your email address it will have been emailed to you.

The Editor for over 21 years, Derek Towler, has handed over the reins to myself, Graham Jolliffe from this number onwards. Over the 21 years in Derek’s capable hands we are sure that you will agree with me that the Journal has gone from strength to strength and has produced a body of work that the Society, all contributors and Derek himself can be rightly proud of. Derek will still remain as the SLHS Secretary and expects to be able to perform more original research as a result of vacating this position.

The new edition comes in at a bumper fifteen pages long with contributions from five different people, seven if you included the feedback received, and is packed with photos and goodies. The contents this time around are as follows:

  1. Society news
  2. A Stebbing Worthy (about William Linsell’s memories originally published in 1931)
  3. The Stebbing Dorcas Society
  4. World War II Graves in St.Mary’s Churchyard
  5. The Chapman Family of Stebbing (part 2)
  6. Then and Now: Technology and Change (about the changes over the last 100 years at Stebbing Ford).

 

The Society News section includes an appeal for more “modern history”. This request was sparked by coming across some classic 1970’s features on an estate of that period in the village, something that we expect to publish in the next edition of the Journal. It is too easy to think of history as something that happened a long time ago, however, we would love to add to our knowledge of life in Stebbing in the last 60 years. If you have any recollections or photographs of anything relating to Stebbing on any subject over any period  up to the present day then please do get in touch. To get those thoughts going the image below is of the inside of the current village shop in 1965. Many of the brands are still in existence today even if the packaging has become more plasticy! There are one or two names that have disappeared though or been re-branded. I still call Snickers Marathon’s – I must be showing my age.

GJ

Spring 2017 Journal Published

The Spring 2017 edition (number 40) of the Journal of the Stebbing Local History Society has just been published. If you are a member of the society and we have your email address it will have been emailed to you.

This edition comes in at twelve pages long, is packed with photos and goodies and the contents this time around are as follows:

  1. Society news
  2. New Images for the Archive
  3. The Surname Stebbing
  4. The Chapman Family
  5. More on Frederick Harvey
  6. Discovery of a Jetton at Stebbing

It was particularly pleasing that following the publication of the bitter-sweet story of the life of the important Stebbing gardener Frederick Harvey both in summary on this blog and in full in the last Journal that Frederick’s grand-daughter got in touch and supplied us with additional information.

The story of Stebbing as a surname is told and since the publication we have been told of a 14th century priest in Essex with that name so there will no doubt be a follow-up piece in the next Journal.

Ther is also the first part of a piece on the history of the Chapman family in Stebbing which is particularly interesting due to their early connection with the Quakers and the troubles they had as a result.

The article on the jetton is an interesting piece of social history as it concerns the finding of a late 15th / early 16th century counting piece that at first inspection looks like a coin. Surprisingly it was recently picked up by an eagle-eyed lad in a field near the centre of Stebbing.

Finally, the item on new images for the archive reflects the finding of a significant batch of very interesting photographs and watercolour paintings of Stebbing at the Essex Record Office. The watercolours (17 of them) were painted between 1945 and 1947 by J.W. Little. Unfortunately, we know very little about him other than he lived at Appledore in Bran End. If you know anything about him we would love to hear from you. Below is an image of the rear of the White Hart as painted by J.W. Little (by courtesy of the Essex Record Office).

GJ

New Journal Published

The Autumn 2016 edition (number 39) of the Journal of the Stebbing Local History Society has just been published. If you are a member of the society and I have your email address it will have been emailed to you.

This edition comes in at twelve pages long, is packed with photos and goodies and the contents this time around are as follows:

  1. Society news
  2. Frederick Harvey, an important Stebbing Gardener
  3. Roman Stebbing
  4. Migration from Stebbing
  5. Butlers Cottage
  6. and more….

The item on Migration from Stebbing is a two-part piece that deals with the reasons why whole families migrated from Stebbing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries resulting in a big fall in the population of the parish. This part includes the story of the Sach family who migrated from Stebbing to Australia via Buckhurst Hill. The background was provided by Lyn King, the daughter of Percy Sach who departed England in May 1912.

By contrast, the article on Roman Stebbing brings together various sources to shed light on what we know about the local area in that very interesting period of time.

The article on Frederick Harvey is at the same time a heart-warming story of upward mobility in the Edwardian period but one that ultimately has a sad ending. The discovery of the story is in itself the result of a fascinating set of coincidences – you will need to read the article to find out why. The pictures below which are not included in the article show the houses where Frederick was born and where he was living in 1911. The first image, taken in about 1910, is a very unusual view of St.Mary’s church at stebbing (notice the pollarded trees on the left-hand side, a a rural practice which was already starting to die out at this time, but that’s another story).

If you look closely, just to the right of the pollarded trees, it is possble to see the roof of a house. That is the only view we have of the house that William Harvey was probably born in. Twenty years later it was demolished and the land on which it stood was incorporated into the churchyard.

536

The second image shows the house in Como Street, Romford where he was living at the time of the 1911 census, as it looks today.

harvey-romford

GJ

Summer Outing to Horham Hall

Nineteen members of the Stebbing Local History Society visited nearby Horham Hall on a glorious English August summer afternoon. Horham Hall is somewhere that keeps it’s glories somewhat under wraps mostly because it isn’t open to the general public and can only be booked for group visits. It is, however, an important building that hosted two long, and therefore, very expensive visits from Queen Elizabeth the First. The present building was mostly built by Sir John Cutte, Under Treasurer to Henry VIII who purchased the estate in 1502 and in fact although what you see today is still very impressive it was once much larger with two wings of the building having been subsequently demolished.
SLHS Horham Hall

Quite oddly, the house was built straddling the parishes of Thaxted and Broxted with the boundary disecting the entrance porch and Great Hall. The Great Hall is one of the glories of the building. It measures 48ft x 24ft and rises the full height of the building. It is laid out in the classic Medieval / Tudor fashion for halls with an original screen at the west end still surviving where the main entrance to the building is situated. This end also has all the original doors to the service end of the building. At the opposite end is the raised dias wher the principal members of the family would have sat. Some of these features can be seen in the grander Stebbing buildings of the period albeit in somewhat reduced grandeur. The hall also has a very impressive full height oriel window complete with some original 16th century glass. The hall was almost certainly originally heated by an open hearth, as the central louvre, where the smoke would have escaped through the roof still exists and can be seen on the accompanying photograph.

To me, the thing that made this visit seem especially enjoyable was the trust of the current owner. Evelyn Ward-Thomas gave us pretty much free reign to explore the house at our leisure and as well as being able to wander around viewing the impressive 16th century architecture she and her family has built up an enjoyable and impressive collection of antique funiture, paintings and other treasures.

Finally, some of you will know Evelyn Ward-Thomas better as Evelyn Anthony. Under her pen name she has published over 45 books, translated into 19 languages, firstly historical novels and then latterly spy novels and thrillers. The Tamarind Seed  which she wrote in 1971 was adapted as a film in 1974 starring Julie Andrews as Judith Farrow, a British Home Office functionary and Omar Sharif as Feodor, a Soviet air attaché – lovers involved in Cold War intrigue. In addition Evelyn had the honour of being appointed the first female High Sheriff of Essex in 1994.

All in all this was a very enjoyable afternoon and if you get the chance to visit Horham Hall, then do!