There is only one county beginning with E and that is ESSEX. Before I get to the cut I will tell you one viatl piece of information - I am an Essex girl! For a lot of you, that doesn't mean much, but for those living in Britain ... well, shall I just say, Essex girls have a certain reputation!
Let me start by telling you of an Essex girl.
She had a good job at a factory and got bored, so decided to skip work for the day and "go up to town" ... she and her friend had a great time looking around the shops of Oxford Street. After lunch they walked through St. James Park and spotted 2 Coldstream Guards walking towards them. The lady commented to her friends that she really fancied the slightly shorter guy and they stopped them. The 2 guards were late back on duty .... but the shroter of the 2 admitted they were delayed by 2 girls, so he didn't get in too much trouble.
This is a true story - and is how, in 1921 my grandparents met!
Essex girls have a reputation with the soldiers - and of wearing white stillettos, which meant a vast selection of essex girl jokes have been around (in a similar form to Blonde jokes)
Anyway, enough of that - under the cut you will find some lesser known facts about the county of Essex -
This is the town that I grew up in. It is famous for being at the eastern end of the District line on the London Underground.
However there is also a post windmill, that has been preserved in working condition.
The school I attended was The Coopers Company and Coborn School , which is made of 2 halves - one being from The Cooper's Livery Company. Just before I moved here, my youngest brother and I attended the 450th anniversary of the school.
There has been a settlement here since Roman times and since 1218 it has been the County town. In 1898 Marconi opened the first Radio Factory here :-
The first broadcasts were from here, which became the fore-runner of the BBC.
Bradwell is described as the place where the sea meets the sky. In Roman times it was seen as being at the end of the world. Essex is very flat and marshy in places, so you can see where these descriptions come from.
In 654AD St Cedd landed here on his way to Lindisfarne and St Peter's Chapel was built on the spot. In Saxon times it would have been one of the biggest buildings in the land as it is 50 ft (15.2 m) long, 22 ft (6.7 m) wide and 25 ft (7.6 m) high. It was used for worship for the next 600 years, but passed into dis-use due to it's remote position. It is, however, the Oldest Church in England.
A lot of Essex have houses like this, although Thaxted does have more than it's fair share!
However the reason to share this with you is due to one of the residents of the middle of these houses ... Dick Turpin. He was born in Saffron Waldon in 1706, moved to Thaxted and later to caves in Epping Forest;, before being hanged in 1739 in York.
This gate keep stands at over 100 ft (30.5 m) high and is the best preserved keep in England, of this kind. The roof of the great hall on the second floor is held up by the largest Norman arch in the world, with a span of 28ft.
St. Botolph's Church in Hadstock has the oldest door in England. It is probable that this church was the Minster that King Canute built in 1016. It is the only Saxon door in England still in use.
I knew people who lived in this village near Ongar and until I read this book I didn't realise the secret of this bungalow. It was the government's top secret underground bunker, during the Cold war. Tunnels stretch 75 ft (23m) underground.
This village has a tradition, started in 1244, making it the oldest recorded competetion in England. Every year couples are asked to compete at the Dunmow Flitch ... to prove that they have not had a single argument or regret in the previous year and a day.
This church is hidden away near Chipping Ongar and is made of the oldest wooden walls in England. It is also the oldest wooden building in Europe and the oldest wooden Church in the world. King Edmunds body rested here on its way to it's burial in London, and it is still an active Church.
The name itself is a bit wrong as technically the town is on the edge of The River Thames. However it's fame is world-wide as having the longest pier in the world, at 1 1/3 miles (2.1km). It was started in 1889 and extended to its present lengthin 1929. It has been damaged by ships and fires, but re-built. As kids we used to love to walk along its length and then get the train back to the town.
Reputed to be the burial place of King Harold. The grand Norman nave remains second only to Durham Cathedral.
In 1696 a new minister arrived and built a new Chapel where he would preach to more than 400 people. His semans were long and impassioned, his name was Joseph Billio. Such was his enthusiam his name is part of our language when we "do something like billio."
There is much of the county I have missed, as I have with the previous counties. But hope you enjoyed your glimpse into Essex life.