Wivenhoe Heritage Blog
  • An unashamed second plug for John's blog.

    Actually I'm going to pin this for a short while.

    John is updating at a tremendous pace with some wonderful images of Wivenhoe history. The commentary offers up a great insight as well.

    Well worth dropping in to an RSS feed.
  • I'm tempted to start a Fave Pic of the Day, such is the depth of John's blogging output.

    The 1906 Liberals would probably feature for today.

    If you want to see a high res image from the blog, just click on each pic.


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  • Fave Pic of the Day (and not at all setting myself up to crib an image from John EVERY day - but I kinda like this...)

    "Wivenhoe Station, taken around the late '50s, early '60s. The sign on the Clacton platform reads Wivenhoe and Rowhedge, Junction for Brightlingsea."


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  • I love this blog!
  • Thanks Definatelyme, and Jason.

    It's hard work sometimes, but it's all worthwhile when somebody appreciates the Blog.

  • "An old photograph of the Station Hotel taken circa 1899-1903."


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  • "Wivenhoe High St, Early 1900's, the holly tree has long since gone. At the back of the picture can just be seen the old Boys School, now the library."


    Plus a strange Moon?

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  • I love the blog too. Fantastic. I like the one that reminds us we live in an earthquake zone. I wonder when the next one is due - has there been any research on this?
  • Sorry about the strange moon, i think it must have been a drawing pin when i copied it.. You had to copy them with a camera and close up lenses before they invented the scanner,
    Thanks for the feedback.
    John Photoman.
  • "The Wivenhoe Flier, built 1909 in a large white shed on the marshes near the Station at Wivenhoe, it was powered by a single JAP engine. Due to the design of the floats it failed to take off and fly any distance."


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  • "One of two CattleCarriers built at James W Cook Shipyard, Wivenhoe. The one below is the Buffalo Express, launched, 30-06-1983. for Vroom. BV."


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  • This is great idea. Loving the old photos. Recently drove by the Station Hotel and noticed it is now just called The Station. Anyone know when it changed?
  • "The old Co-op store, this photo was taken in the 1970's"
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  • Where was this?
  • Mottza the Co-op looking from across the road. The old building destroyed to build the current building
  • Jason, thanks for some great memories for a Saturday morning. 

    I remember these large vessels being built and launched, my parents chanced on the Zebu Express (Vroon B.V) in Fremantle Western Australia, while it was on its Australia – Far East run.

    Sadly the Zebu Express was broken up on Gadani Beach Pakistan 2006 and the Buffalo Express broken up Aliaga Turkey 2010.

    Seeing the Co-op as it was when I worked there is great too, John’s Blog is fascinating good to see some 1970’s photos too with their characteristic colours. 
  • Wow! That old co-op was such a beautiful building. Obviously they needed a bigger one - but what a shame to lose that lovely red brick.
  • This is very scarey I remember this. Later there was a freezer section underneath. You got to it from where the slope is now. I think you had to walk round to the road to get to it.
  • The Zebu Express was used in Australia to export their wild camels to Afganistan,
    The Afgans prefered them to there own wild Camels, so i was told. i will have a look to see if i can find some more 70's pics. for you . John , Wivenhoe memories .
  • I have put some 1950's school photo's on, but i am not telling anyone where i am on any of them ,John Stewart.
  • Do you have a rather fetching fringe on two of them? :-)


    Lovely photos - they all look so carefree.

  • No fringe, but the smallest lad in the back row
  • dazzer, you might have known my Sister she worked in the Co-op in the 60's her name was Carol Stewart.
  • Photoman, yes I do remember Carol from when I worked there it seems like yesterday. Thanks for the camel story. I understand that the Australia to Arabian Gulf run transported sheep too. 
  • @Elmfoot once told me that when the Wivenhoe Arts Club was looking for a new venue, the downstairs freezer room at the old Co-op was explored as a possible location.

    LOVE this story.

    Many thanks to @Photoman for having such an active and fascinating blog. A lot of work is clearly involved. I do put a link in to each photo published here ;)
  • I came across "Forrester" in Stanley harbour 1982. It was a harbour service vessel of about 1000-1500 tons, delivering stores, removing rubbish etc. She'd been built in Wivenhoe at Cook's yard I believe. The Argentinians had renamed her "Las Malvinas", but that was soon switched back
    Must have been an 'interesting' delivery job, all the way from the UK.
  • "Wivenhoe Port in the 1980's." 
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  • "Forrest" was built at James Cook and was launched on 6-09-1967. She was built for the Falkland islands , but later sold to a Chilean owner in 2001.
    Her yard no. was 1349.
    John Stewart Wivenhoe memories.
  •  Wivenhoe History group are holding an open meeting for all
    those interested in ‘The Wivenhoe childhood Memories of John Worsp and Ken
    Green’.  On display will be a model of Wivenhoe as it was in
    1950.  Meet in Scout & Guide Hut at 7.30pm for the talk and then a glass of
    wine & mince pie.  A donation of £3 please. All welcome.
    Please feel free to bring along any interesting Wivenhoe photos you have of the 1940's & 50's. To give us an idea of numbers please reply to me. Thanks. 
  • The meeting of the Wivenhoe History Group will be on the evening of Wednesday, 4th December, 2013.
  • I am trying to trace a theatrical group formed in Wivenhoe, sometime in the early 1900's, they were called the Lilly Whites. I have a picture on the Wivenhoe Heritage Bolgspot, but as yet i cannot put a date to the group.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    John Stewart, Wivenhoe Memories.
  • Reference the remark by Jason about the old Wivenhoe Arts Club considering re-establishing the Club in the basement of  Co-op.....quite true, Mike Heard and I had a number of discussions with the then chairman of the local Colchester branch about this.
    In the end it didn't happen as the Co-op could only offer it as a short-term solution.

    So the boozing members (all of us) transferred our attentions to the Cricket Club. One of our members, Billie Gillespie, was instrumental in integrating the divergent interests of the Arts Club and Cricket Club members, both through sheer force of personality and an untiring enthusiasm for developing the social side.

    When we first joined forces with the cricketers social side, the Clubhouse was little more than a 'shack'. After a year or two, so much money had been amassed by the Club, a new Clubhouse was able to be funded.
    There were one or two Arts Exhibitions, but that side of things never really got going again.

  • Jason, not Wivenhoe Port but known as the wood yard, was originally owned by Palgraves, then Gliksteins, then Merediths, my Dad was the foreman there!!
  • Hi Sally. My fault, i didn't look to see if there was a grab on the crane.The Port came after Meredith's.
    I put that one on my Wivenhoe Heritage blog, well spotted ,i wondered if anyone would spot the mistake.
    John Wivenhoe memories.
  • A Rather battered photo of the bridge over the river Colne between Rowhedge and Wivenhoe. It was situated in front of the Albion pub, down river from the ferry hard. It was used by troops at Cherry tree camp Blackheath on the Mersea Road, for quick access to the railway at Wivenhoe. Built for the first world war. The centre section worked on a cantilever system to allow barge traffic through to the Hythe."
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  • What a wonderful idea - a new bridge. Perhaps this should be part of the Neighbourhood Plan?
  • It would need to be a foot bridge. If it carried cars, imagine what the traffic conditions would be like, particularly near the library.
    Unless it was built at the West of Wivenhoe.
  • A nice big dual carriageway would be good? ;)

  • In fact, discussions have taken place between Essex County Council and Colchester Borough Council on constructing a Southern by-pass for Colchester which would cross the river Colne just to the west of the Lower Lodge open space and proceed across the agricultural land to link up with the main road. That was ten years ago and I suspect such proposals remain in their files.
  • I have a postcard from someone who was building the bridge. He wrote that he didn't know why.
  • Hi greenback, as far as i can understand it was quicker to march a large number of troops on foot via weir lane and then to Rowhedge then over the bridge to Wivenhoe station ,than to march them through Colchester town and up to North Station, bearing in mind they were camped at Cherry tree camp, Blackheath ,Mersea road.

    John Stewart.
  • “I think this is V.E. day party in Alma St. as Dean's Antiques is not yet in the building at the head of Alma St.” 
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  • "Wivenhoe Water Tower, opened in 1902, this picture was taken around 1910 as there appears to have only a track leading to it. This photo was probably taken from the back of the Horse and Groom pub.”


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  • Amazing picture. It looks like it could have been taken from upstairs in one of the houses at the Cross rather than the Horse & Groom. 
  • If anybody is interested, I have a copy of the auction particulars from 1927 when the Wivenhoe Hall estate was divided up into building plots. Would be of particular interest to anyone living on the west side of the High Street from Harvey Road down to Station Road, all the way back to the Railway Line. Some 96 acres and 36 Lots.
  • Can anyone help out John with this intriguing query?

    "Does anyone know what these niches were used for? In this cellar there are four along one wall and one each end. This house is only a few yards from the Church. 

    Another house has two in the cellar and another house opposite the Church in the High St. also has two. Were they religious as the houses are all 17th Century. If you can help my email is johnskateman at aol dot com. I can then add any information you send and I will credit you on the blog."


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  • Wonder if they were for placing candles to illuminate area. The pointy bit would aid dispersing the rising fumes. You'd have to stand your candlestick somewhere.

  • Still think they look like some kind of niche for an altar like in a small monastery - maybe they put icons, candles or things related to a particular Saint in to pray to? Either that or they contained medieval trouser presses.
  • Yeah, but why are they so close to the church.  If any one else has these niches in there cellars away from the church area, please let us  know.  It will help with the history of Wivenhoe, don't worry we don't have to see it.

    John Stewart,. Wivenhoe heritage.
  • Spion Cop, ie Ernest Road, Manor Road and Stanley Road. Named after the Lord of the Manor, Ernest Stanley Beard, who bought the Corsellis estate in 1899."


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  • And a fascinating short documentary from Mark Lawrenson on the origins of the name Spion Cop is here:

    And a reference in the Wivenhoe Encyclopedia to it:
    "I think, in, like Ernest Road , what they used to call the Spion Kop, that part of Wivenhoe. It was called the Spion Kop, and it was just open, what would be waste ground,
    and there was a chap actually, he just fenced it off and claimed it, you
    know, nobody owned it. That’s where all of Ernest Road and from the old houses of Manor Road, downwards, all the bungalows there, they were all built on there - my father and grandfather worked on building some of them" - William Sparrow

    According to an entry in Wikipedia - "The higher part of Wivenhoe village, Essex, England, is known as Spion Kop, possibly because veterans of the Boer war once lived on Manor road."


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1 May, Folk Club, Roger Davies, The Flag, 8pm
9 May, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, talk in the Library - Edible Gardening, Wildlife in Gardens, Gardening for Wildlife
Wivenhoe Diary
Many thanks to Wivenhoe News for helping to source these dates
1 - 30 April, James Dodds exhibiting at Over the Sofa Gallery, Wivenhoe Bookshop
11 April - 10 May, Jarman's Dungeness, an exhibition by Andy Brooke celebrating Jarman's vision 20 years on, Wivenhoe Library
23 April, Italian Literature, start of a five week course with Giovanni Colacicchi, Wivenhoe Bookshop, 2:30 - 4:30pm
23 April, Wivenhoe Film Club, Bicycle Thieves, The Nottage, 7:30pm
24 April, poetrywivenhoe, Allison McVety, The Legion, 8pm
24 April, Funny Farm Comedy Club, Andrew O'Neill, Cricket Club, 8pm
25 April - start of Wild About Wivenhoe month. Various events centred around the Wildlife Garden. Full details to be published... when known!
25 April, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, open-air bicycle-powered cinema, bar, evening food, all at the Wildlife Garden
26 April, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife Dawn Chorus Walk, meet at 5am in the train station car park
26 April, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, Art and Photography Exhibition themed around the Wildlife Garden, William Loveless Hall
26 April, Bird Walk with Richard Allen, Sailing Club, 10am
29 April, Moving Image, All is Lost, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
1 - 31 May, Terry Curling, Over the Sofa Gallery, Wivenhoe Bookshop
1 May, Wivenhoe in Bloom working parties, meet at Optician's garden, 10am
2nd May, Wivenhoe Society Talk, Richard Moulson, CBC Ranger: 'History and Management of Colne Nature Reserve, Wivenhoe Woods and Ferry Marsh, The Nottage, 7:30pm
3, 4 and 5 May, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, Nature Trails in the Wildlife Garden, starting and finishing in the Library
3 May, WTFC Vs Diss, Broad Lane, 3pm
4 May, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, Art Workshop in the Library
5 May (and every Monday...) The Monday Club, Scout and Guide Hall, 1:30pm
6 May, W.I. Hedgehog Haven, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
7 May, Wooly Thoughts, knitting and discussion, Bookshop Shed, 10 - 11:30am
7 May, Bookshop Reading Group, Sara Maitland's Gossip from the Forest, The Bakehouse, 7pm
9 May, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, presentations about wildlife in gardens, and gardening for wildlife in Wivenhoe Library, presented by John Rowland, Glyn Evans & Chris Gibson
10 May, Friends of St Mary's AGM and Lunch, St Mary's, 11am
10 May, SingWiv! Natural Voice Singing Workshop with Chris Rowbury, Scout and Guide Hall, 2 - 4:30pm
10 May, Concert: the Voigt String Quartet - Mozart Mendelssohn, St Mary's Church, 7:30pm
11 May, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, Birds of Prey, King George V Playing Field
12 May, Life Writing, ten week course with Petra McQueen, Wivenhoe Bookshop, 11am - 12:30pm
13 May, Moving Image, Nebraska, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
14 May, Wivenhoe Town Council Annual Meeting, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm, all welcome.
16 May, Shipyard Studios, Inside Out, Keel House, 5 Walter Radcliffe Road, 3pm - 8pm www.shipyardstudios.co.uk
17 May, Farmer's Market, Congregational Hall, 9:30am - 12:30pm
17 and 18 May, Wivenhoe Open Gardens, various locations around the town
17 and 18 May, Transition Town Wivenhoe Spring Event, Wildlife Garden - activities for children including pond dipping, poster competition, moth and bat evening (Saturday)
17 - 26 May, Shipyard Studios, Inside Out, Keel House, 5 Walter Radcliffe Road, 10am - 5pm www.shipyardstudios.co.uk
17 May, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, Moth Trapping and Bat Watching, Wildlife Garden
18 May, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, Moth Trapping - the reveal!
20 May, Moving Image, Saving Mr Banks, William Loveless Hall, 7:30pm
28 May, Italian Literature - part 2. Five week course with Giovanni Colacicchi, Wivenhoe Bookshop, 2:30 - 4:30pm
29 May, Wivenhoe Funny Farm Comedy Club, Paul T. Eyres and support, Cricket Club, 8pm
15 June, Watching Wivenhoe Wildlife, Wildflower Walk in the gravel pits behind the cricket club, 11am
29 June, Jazz on the Quay, 1pm