Subscribe to the new Stebbing history book

The Stebbing Local History Society will, in the autumn, be publishing ‘Celebrating Historic Stebbing‘, a book of specially commissioned essays. It will be in hardback (A4 size) and consist of about 110 pages containing approximately 100 old photographs, maps and other images. Fourteen authors have submitted material covering a wide range of subjects spanning Saxon times to the present day. Potential purchasers are strongly encouraged to subscribe for a copy prior to publication. As well as paying for the book itself, subscribers can have their name(s) listed in a special ‘Subscribers’ section of the book. The cost of pre-orders is £10 plus postage and packing if they can’t be hand delivered. Postage to both UK and overseas can be arranged. Multiple copies can of course be purchased and as a subscriber entry can be made for each copy bought the book would make an ideal present for anyone with a Stebbing connection. The deadline for subscriptions is 31st July – simply email our Treasurer, Ray Chalklen, at who will send further details on how to subscribe.

The contents list is as follows:

  • The Foundation of the Stebbing Local History Society (Derek Towler & Graham Jolliffe)
  • The Stebbing Local History Society Document Archive (Derek Towler)
  • The Stebbing Local History Society Image and Voice Archives (John Cant)
  • Stebbing Local History Society Publications (Graham Jolliffe & Derek Towler)
  • From the Essex Record Office (Martin Astell)
  • The Stebbing Tithe Map and Apportionment (Graham Jolliffe)
  • Miss Meadows and the Golden Fleece (Milissa Ellison Dewey)
  • Stebbing on the Map (L.R. Poos)
  • The Generation that left Stebbing – William Harvey and his Siblings (Karen J.Dennis)
  • Plague and Apostasy in Seventh-Century Essex (Phillip Bone)
  • From Vestry to Parish Council (Derek Towler)
  • Farming at Stebbing Park Farm – a Century or so ago (John Evans)
  • The Joys of Genealogical Research (Chris Grant)
  • From the Essex Society for Archaeology & History (ESAH) – an 1884 Stebbing Discovery (Nick Wickenden & Howard Brooks)
  • Town Mill Revisted (Andrew Martin)
  • Stebbing – a Visitor’s View (Gill Firmin)
  • The 1939 Register (Graham Jolliffe)
  • Stebbing Local History Society – Past and present Committee Members

June Meeting Details

The next meeting of the Stebbing Local History Society is on Monday the 13th June, starting at 8 p.m. As per usual it will be held at the Stebbing Village Hall in Mill Lane.

We are delighted to welcome back Tim Turner as our speaker this month and he will be delivering a talk entitled “The History of Clocks“.

Accurate measurement of time is is an intrinsic part of everyday modern life, however, this hasn’t always been the case so discovering how time was measured at various points in history should be fascinating. This should be a relevant and very interesting talk indeed. Everyone is welcome and the fee for non-members is £2. We hope to see you there.

There will, as per usual, be a display of material from our archives and Tim will be bringing clock examples with him.

As a “go with”, the image below of the Stebbing cricket team probably dates to around 1910 and seems to have a large clock as a trophy. Unfortunately we don’t know what it was for or where it is today.

April Meeting Details

The next meeting of the Stebbing Local History Society is on Monday the 11th April, starting at 8 p.m. As per usual it will be held at the Stebbing Village Hall in Mill Lane.

We are delighted to welcome Peter Walker as our speaker this month and he will be delivering a talk entitled “The County Maps of Essex from 1576 to the first Ordnance Survey Map of 1805“.

The County Maps are very important to the history of Stebbing. Before the first O.S. map these form the primary mapping sources available to us. Peter has published a wonderful book on the subject called “Printed Maps of Essex from 1576“. This should be a relevant and very interesting talk indeed. Everyone welcome and the fee for non-members is £2. We hope to see you there.

There will, as per usual, be a display of material from our archives and Peter has items for display too.

As a “go with”, the map below shows the area revelent to Stebbing from the Chapman and Andre map of Essex dating to 1777.

February meeting details

The next meeting of the Stebbing Local History Society is on Monday the 14th February, starting at 8 p.m. As per usual it will be held at the Stebbing Village Hall in Mill Lane, Stebbing.

As is traditional at the February meeting the speakers will be from the committee who will be talking about Stebbing related topics. Derek Towler’s talk is entitled “It was different then” and is about how Stebbing has changed in the last 100 years or so. By contrast, Graham Jolliffe will be talking about various aspects of Stebbing’s early history. John Cant will also give a brief update on the image archive.

It is also the society’s A.G.M. although as per usual we expect that this part of the evening won’t take long.

It is also time to pay the 2022 subscriptions, which have once again been held at the very low rates of £5 per individual or £8 per household. This includes free access to all meetings and to our publications. Guests are always very welcome for the small fee of £2 per meeting.

The traditional meeting format will be adopted at this meeting with a tea break half-way through. Of course we all recognise that COVID-19 is still out there so we do ask that attendees take personal responsibility for their own safety and be considerate of others.

The image below is from a pre WWI postcode of the blacksmith’s forge and off-licence at Duck End, both of which closed in the late 1960’s. The row of houses on the left-hand side no longer exist

November Meeting Details

We are delighted to confirm that the next meeting of the Stebbing Local History Society will go ahead as planned on Monday 8th November 2021 at the Village Hall in Mill Lane, Stebbing. It will commence at 8 p.m.

We are delighted to welcome Tony Crosby as our guest speaker. He is the Chairman of the Essex Industrial Archeology Group and with Dave Buckley revised and updated the very interesting Chelmsford Industrial Trail originally produced by Stanley Wood in 1987. His talk is entitled “Chelmsford’s Industrial Past”. Chelmsford played a very important part in key industries, some companies of which Stebbing people worked in. It should be a fascinating talk.

The exhibition of items from our archives will be back for this meeting, however, there will be no mid-talk break and no refreshments. Do feel free to bring your own drinks though if you wish.

As a parish that has had agriculture at its heart there hasn’t been too much recent industry in Stebbing, however, the image below shows the Congregational church in Mill Lane after it had been converted to industrial use. The photograph was taken in about 1985 and it was at this time occupied by Essex X-ray. It was later occupied by BNOS Electronics. It has since been converted to dwellings. The copyright of this image is held by Essex County Council and is used here with permission.

SLHS at 2021 Stebbing Fair

The Stebbing Local History Society are delighted to be hosting its own stall, as per usual, at the Stebbing Fair. It starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday the 12th September and is being held on the Rec in Mill Lane. If you are going to be there do pop along and say hello. We will have items from the archive on display.

As a “go with”, the following is a newspaper extract from March 1893 when the original Stebbing Fair was legally abolished by Herbert Asquith, the future Liberal Prime Minister, in his capacity as Secretary of State for the Home Department. The right to hold a fair in Stebbing had originally been granted by Edward III on the 12th March 1338.

SLHS May 2021 Update

Who knew at the time of the February 2020 A.G.M. what the future held for us all. No public meetings have been held since then which is of course a great shame especially as this is our Silver Jubilee year, however, we have continued to meet virtually as a committee and as a minimum kept the society ticking over. In addition, we still managed to publish both editions of the Journal in 2020.

So what has happened so far in our Silver Jubilee year? We held the 2021 A.G.M. in February, remotely of course. A number of members attended and a good deal more voted on the resolutions in absentia. As promised in the last post we have published the first five (of twelve) monthly sheets of photographs and sent them out to all members together with a selected edition of the Journal. Each month has been curated by a separate individual.

As previously indicated we are pulling together a Silver Jubilee edition of the Journal. We have had articles submitted for inclusion from no less than fourteen people. They cover a very broad set of topics and this will be a landmark, and special, publication for us. Given the size of this Journal there is a lot of editing work to be done as well as decisions to be made on the publication options. As a consequence the release date is yet to be finalised but we will of course let you know as soon as more progress has been made.

With regards public meetings we are preparing for a possible re-start in September, however, as you will appreciate, a lot can happen between now and then and various aspects of such meetings are of course out of our hands.

Most importantly, stay safe everyone.


Below is a suitably uplifting photograph from our archives. It shows a float from the Coronation Day celebrations of June 1953.

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 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)