SLHS Silver Jubilee

Today is a very significant day in the history of the Stebbing Local History Society as it marks the 25th Anniversary of its inaugural meeting.

The first meeting was held on a snowy 5th December 1995 in the Scout Hut, just off the High Street. The snow resulted in the wife of Dr. Philip Hills, the speaker we had arranged, having a minor car accident and him having to pull out at the last moment. Ken Ellis, then on the committee, stepped up and delivered a wonderful talk. The evening was a great success and set the tone of support from Stebbingites that has continued through to this day.

Over the next year we plan to mark the Silver Jubilee of the society in a number of ways.

In mid-January and in every subsequent month in 2021 we will distribute to members a set of three images with accompanying text from our archive selected by a different person each month. At the same time they will also select a Journal of their choice from the 47 that we have published to date and also distribute that to members.

There will also be a special Silver Jubilee edition of the Journal later in the year. It will be much larger than usual and we are contacting various friends of the Society to contribute an article. If you wish to contribute something yourself then please do get in touch – we would love to hear from you.

Other ideas are also being discussed by the committee which we will firm up in the New Year.

The image below includes the Scout Hut, the building on the top left, and it was taken at about the same time the inaugural meeting was held.

The committee of the Stebbing Local History Society.

Autumn 2020 Journal Published

Despite not being able to hold meetings at the moment due to Covid-19 we are still able to publish our Journal as normal. The Autumn 2020 edition (number 47) has now been issued. It comes in at eighteen pages and includes a host of images. All members have been emailed a copy.

The contents this time around are as follows:

  1. Society News – especially about celebrating the forthcoming 25th anniversary of the Society.
  2. Graffiti in St.Mary’s church. We are delighted to be able to publish an article by Anthea Hawdon who curates the wonderful website http://www.rakinglight.co.uk. She gives us surprising insights into the breadth of old graffiti visible in Stebbing parish church.
  3. Invasion Procedures for Essex, 1914-1918. Derek Towler’s article uncovers official instructions about what communities should do if there was an enemy invasion during the First World War.
  4. A High View of The Downs, 1950’s. Derek describes what can be seen in two aerial photographs of The Downs, dating to the 1950’s.
  5. Feedback: There is wonderful follow-on piece by Karen Dennis about Henry Crouch, who appeared in the last edition of The Journal. There is also a piece by Graham Jolliffe about a postcard of the Imperial International Exhibition held in London and sent to Stebbing in 1909. He shows that a surprising amount of information can be gleaned from it.

Below is a photograph taken by Anthea Hawdon of a graffito in St.Mary’s, Stebbing, probably made by a mason, of one of his tools, a plumb square.

Graham Jolliffe (Journal Editor)

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