Newsflashes

Here you will find an edited compendium of all the Newsflashes that appeared on the Home Page since the site was started in April 2011.


Remembrance Day: There will be another display with Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass on Nov 2nd at Holy Trinity church in Rayleigh.

 Heritage Weekend: The event on Saturday 13th September went very well - Viv Irvine writes, "We were very busy. We may even have a couple of new members, hopefully some more contributions. Brian Meldon from Canewdon called in - he has a few ideas for articles. Rochford DC chairman June Lumley and Rayleigh Town chairman Eddie Dray plus 4 more councillors from Rayleigh visited. We even had very brief visit from MP Mark Francois. We made £16 in sales and donations. My thanks to Brian Pettitt and Sheena Booth for their help". 


Heritage Weekend: There will be a display at the WI Hall, Bellingham Lane, Rayleigh on Saturday 13th September from 10am till 4pm in conjunction the with Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass.

Paglesham Show: There were over 500 visitors from all over the District at the show on 23rd August. We developed numerous new contacts and we are very hopeful of getting more articles on the site.


Visit us at the Paglesham Show this Saturday afternoon, 23rd August, in the marquee. Come and talk to us about the past and find out how your memories and old photographs can become part of the archive.

We've had lots of new contributions over the last few weeks - have a look below or use the links in the top and right side bars. The latest Scrolling Banner image features those who returned to Rayleigh after WW1 (click on any of the above banner images to enter the banner gallery and find further information). (editor, posted early August 2014).


A WW1 display by Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass starts on 26th July in the Rayleigh Windmill and runs until 10th August.

It'll be open Saturday & Sundays 1pm till 4pm, apart from 2nd & 9th August, and Wednesdays 10am till 1pm. As a bonus it'll also be open on Monday 4th Aug & Tues 5th August from 10 till 1 - to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the war.

We would love to see anyone turn up with any memorabilia, photos etc.

Canewdon Tower Tour this coming Sunday (29th June 2014)

We are starting to add full length audio material to a dedicated YouTube account. So far there are two items:

1. A description of Rochford Past and Present by Peter Whittingham

2. My Life in Stambridge by Donny Stranks

1. New Steve Oakley site about St Mary Magdalene, Shopland and also Brian Meldon's RDCA article about what happened to the bits after the demolition.

2. Can anyone help further with this query ? 

We hope to be at Rayleigh Library on every 3rd Saturday of the month from 10:00 to 12:00.

Please bring along to these "surgery" events any material you think might be of interest or just come along for a chat. We particularly want to get in touch with anyone who has photos, memorabalia etc for a family member who took part in WW1 - army, navy , RAF, nurses etc etc. 

We now have a regular monthly article in Roundabout Rochford.

We will be at:

  • Great Wakering Library on Saturday 29th March, from 10:00 to 12:00 

We hope to be at Rayleigh Library on every 3rd Saturday of the month from 10:00 to 12:00.

Please bring along to these "surgery" events any material you think might be of interest or just come along for a chat. We particularly want to get in touch with anyone who has photos, memorabalia etc for a family member who took part in WW1 - army, navy , RAF, nurses etc etc. 

We now have a regular monthly article in Roundabout Rochford.

We were warmly welcomed at Hullbridge library on 26th February 2014. We met several interesting people who discussed their memories and showed us old local newspapers and some early 20th century proposed building plans.

We were at at Rayleigh Library on Saturday 15th Feb (2014) from 10 to 12.

Our Next Events:  We will be at Rayleigh Library next Saturday 18th January from 10 till about 12. Thereafter we will try to do the 3rd Saturday of every month. Please bring along any material to our surgeries you think might be of interest or just come along for a chat. We particularly want to get in touch with anyone who has photos, memorabalia etc for a family member who took part in WW1 - army, navy , RAF, nurses etc etc.

Surgeries

We have held surgeries in the latter part of 2013 at:

Hockley Library on Thu 24th October;

Great Wakering on 15th November; and

Rochford Library on 7th December.

In the New Year we hope to be able to hold regular surgeries at Rayleigh Library.

Please bring along any material to our surgeries you think might be of interest or just come along for a chat.

Roundabout Rochford

We now have a regular monthly slot in this local publication: last month we dealt with the WI clock; this month we feature the Lesney brothers factory at Ashingdon.

Lesney Matchbox at Rochford

Did you work there or know anyone who did ? If so please have a look at this article.

Rayleigh Arts Festival - 12th to 15th September

We will be there. Have a look here for a programme of events.

Hockley "Together on Sunday"

Unfortunately we had to cancel a presentation planned for 7th July. We will reschedule for the Autumn - the date has yet to be agreed.

Rayleigh Library - Wed 19th June

We were at Rayleigh Library on 19th June. It was a fairly quiet morning but we had lots of interest from people who came into the library.

Hockley U3A 5th June

A very successful Powerpoint presentation was given by Helen, our Chair, to the local history group of the Hockley Branch of the University of the Third Age. This has led to further useful contacts.

"Rayleigh Through Time"

This recently published book is now available at a 10% discount if purchased via the Amberley Books website.  This link  will take you directly to the book order page on the site.

RDCA @ Rochford and Rayleigh Libraries

We were at Rochford and Rayleigh Libraries during 14th and 15th May meeting the public and local councillors and displaying some of the material in our archive.

Rayleigh Through Time

A fellow community archive group has recently had published a collection of Rayleigh images, most of which have never been published before. Have a look at some of them here.

Can anyone help Sheryl?

I am a descendent of one of the owners of Gusted Hall, John Peck; 1814-1900. I was wondering if anyone call help me locate his gravesite? I have a photo of the headstone, but do not know it's location. I live in Australia, so getting around to looking for the site is a near impossibility.! ... If anyone can help please add a new comment at the end of this collection of comments or drop us an email to mail@rdca.org.uk.

I am a descendent of one of the owners of Gusted Hall, John Peck; 1814-1900. I was wondering if anyone call help me locate his gravesite? I have a photo of the headstone, but do not know it's location. I live in Australia, so getting around to looking for the site is a near impossibility.! ... If anyone can help Sheryl Sutherland please add a new comment at the end of this collection of comments or drop us an email to mail@rdca.org.uk.

Foulness Heritage Centre -  Sunday 7th April

The interesting Foulness Heritage Centre at Churchend will open its doors for the first time in 2013 on Sunday 7th April. Thereafter it'll be open each first Sunday of the month until October. Have a look here for more information. These are among the few occasions in the year when the public are allowed to visit Foulness Island.

Tudor Queen Productions - does anyone remember this?

Mary Holding (nee Hackshaw) writes ...

Tudor Queen Productions was an amateur dramatic group active in Rochford in the 1960s and onwards. Leader of the pack was Eric Gooch and we used to meet for rehearsal at the old site of Rochford Secondary School under his direction. All the plays etc were performed in the hall at the school. I remember Eric's wife Pam and also Mary Kyd. We covered some of the classics and also had fun with a panto "Dick Whittington".

Each year we would enter a float in the annual parade with donated trailer and tractor. I wish I could remember the names of the rest of the actors. Please help me out if you can by sending further information or photos to mail@rdca.org.uk.

New website and email addresses

Some of us were getting fed up with stumbling over the keyboard with the complicated website "history" address. The site name is now shortened to www.rdca.org.uk and we have the snappier email address mail@rdca.org.uk. The old versions are, however, still valid.

Plough and Sail

A very successful evening took place at the Plough and Sail, Paglesham, on Monday 18th February 2013. Peter Thorogood was there with his large photo collection. There was an animated exchange of memories and considerable interest expressed in adding more material to the site.

Of note:

Peter Thorogood has very kindly lent us a large amount of material on the district which will appear on the site in early 2013. Here are some examples: Farming the Land and the WaterLife on the Land and Save Our Trees. We have also recently added some short audio clips to the articles by Len Bickford. More articles will appear during the coming months.

Rochford Arts Trail

Our archive had a stall at Rochford Library on 3rd November 2012, as part of the last day of Rochford's Art Trail for 2012. A very good turn-out, many thanks to all who dropped by.

Rayleigh Arts Festival

On Saturday 22nd September, RDCA took part in the Rayleigh Arts Festival at Rayleigh Mill Arts and Events Centre. A busy day, many people met. Lots of interest in the new photos of Paglesham, and we introduced ourselves to the Chairman of the Rochford District Council. 

Discovery Day at ERO

On 8th September, the Essex Records Office hosted a Discovery Day at the ERO, Chelmsford, which provided an introduction to the Record Office and showcased the local history archives.

Articles and volunteers - July 2012

Nine new articles have been published on the site in the last month. We are also extremely pleased that three new volunteers have joined the Group. More volunteers, more articles and more comments are always welcome.

Scrolling Banner change - June 2012

Send us YOUR old images and we will make them into a scrolling banner. Details here.

Rayleigh Windmill - 2012 Exhibitions

Sails in the Wind: 12 May - 27 June

Diamond Jubilee and Olympics: 30 June - 12 August

And from 15 August - 30 September, an installation by Max Dolding showing how the mill may have looked in 1907, the last time it operated as a working mill driven by wind power.

Further details can be found here:

Rayleigh Library - Wednesday 9th May 2012

We were at Rayleigh library on 9th May with a display of local photos and memories. Many thanks to all the people who stopped  to look at the display and speak to us.

Hullbridge Library - Thursday 19th April 2012

RDCA had a display of Hullbridge past and present at Hullbridge Library on Thursday 19th April. Many local people came in to share their memories and experiences with us. A very enjoyable afternoon.

Hockley Library - Thursday 22nd March 2012

RDCA representatives were at Hockley Library to demonstrate the site and talk to the local people about their memories. Lesley Vingoe, who has written a book on the history of Hockley, came along to support us and chat with visitors.  Our materials were supplemented by those brought along by Chris Radley, who has collected a number of documents of local interest including the plot layouts which were sold to form the Plumberow and Harrodate estates as well as the will of a former publican of the Bull Inn, a Mr Osband.  Perhaps most interesting was the plan of the proposed Wadham Park Estate which was planned at the beginning of the 20th Century but was never built.  Chris kindly provided us with a scan of part of the plan and this along with an associated article will be added to the site shortly.  We now look forward to our next event at Hullbridge Library at 1pm on 19th April.

Ashingdon Art Group - Tuesday 6th March 2012 

Representatives of RDCA visited the Ashingdon Art Group on 6th March at the Ashingdon Community Hall. Many thanks go to Janet Smart for arranging this. A fascinating morning ensued, with a number of people sharing their memories about life in Ashingdon and elsewhere in the Rochford district.

John Chambers was a mine of local information and has also taken many cine-films which we can hopefully publish on the site. Farming life in Rochford, the Queen's coronation, Silver and Golden Jubilees and Rhubarb Kilworth (chimney sweep, local character and father of author of "Witch Water Country", Garry) all featured in a lively discussion, which showed how much local and social history there is to discover in our district.

Great Wakering meeting - Saturday 18th February 2012

“The RDCA team were out in force at Great Wakering Library on Saturday 18th February to meet with the locals and hear about their recollections of life in the village and surrounding area.  The event was set up by Sue Greengrass who works at the library and also has a close interest in the village’s history and community and she had done a great job in getting people along who had lots to tell.

"Gordon Wiseman came to tell us about the barges that worked the surrounding waterways and Gordon Butler told us about the brick makers craft and life in the village in the 2nd half of the 20th Century.  With a promise of more to come from these chaps and others this was a hugely successful event and thanks go to all involved”

Brian Pettit, Chairman RDCA

24/02/12

Site rework

The site is in the midst of an extensive restructure which started on 10/02/12 and will finish mid May. This involves a radical reorganisation of the materal, better searching and a better graphical interface. Thereafter a little more will need to be done but at a slower pace. We hope you will now find the site easier to use and navigate. If you want to participate by adding material yourself then please click here - note that the help file is greatly improved to cater for beginners to the more expert. Of course we are always available if anyone finds adding material to the site too difficult or time consuming - in that case why not think about contacting us here or come along to one of our periodic meeetings at local libraries.

Domesday relaunched

The BBC opened it's Domesday Relaunched site this month, May 2011:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/domesday

The BBC site is a partial loading of all the data in the 1986 Domesday project which gathered words and pictures from across the UK to be put on Videodisc.

School children were heavily involved at the time and there will be many who vividly remember making contributions. Their stories about the project would be worth retelling in this archive.

Unfortunately, the Domesday project was far ahead of it's time and the hardware proved to be too expensive. So only several thousand discs and players were ever produced.

Also the way he data was stored was novel and the discs were only readable on special Philips players. So obsolescence had almost overtaken the data by the millenium as players were becoming scarce and the Videodiscs themselves were deteriorating.

Fortunately, the BBC have now recovered much of the data and have put it on the web. Towards the end of the year they will hand the material to the National Archive. But in the meantime they would be interested in receiving corrections and missing material and updated photographs.

So, to see what is there for your area just put in a post code on the site and then have a look at the nearest data block.

The images and text are not as spectacular as you might expect as all this work was done in 1986 as part of a national project but nevertheless it's very interesting and relevant to what we are doing in the archive.

RDCA is now official

The RDCA archive is now fully operational and had its official launch on 2nd April 2011 at the Essex Records Office, Chelmsford, in front of VIPs and Library representatives from across South East Essex.

The launch went very well and there was a great deal of enthusiasm from the 6 archives represented and from those supporting the venture financially.

Press realeases have been issued and the Benfleet archive have  uploaded videos of the 5 speeches:

http://www.benfleethistory.org.uk/page_id__198.aspx

Thank you, Benfleet.

This page was added by Bob Stephen on 24/02/2012.
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