Margaret BLAKE & Briarholm Nursery, London Road, Hadleigh, Essex

In July 2022 I helped the owner of a newly acquired black and white photograph to pinpoint exactly where it was taken on London Road, Hadleigh, Essex. The photo captured Miss Margaret Blake standing outside her gardening business “Briarholm Nursery” in the late 1920s or 1930s. Always eager to learn more, I went on to research Margaret’s family tree and discovered her mother’s side had a fascinating history including quack doctors, printers, artists and house builders.

Compulsory Purchase Order 1931, London Road, Hadleigh, Essex

On the 6th Jan 1931 Essex County Council made a Compulsory Purchase Order for the strips of land on either side of London Road, Hadleigh, Essex in order to widen and improve the old road heading into Leigh-On-Sea. A full list of all affected properties was published in the Chelmsford Chronicle on 6th Feb, complete with the names of the owners and occupiers, how much land was to be purchased and its current use.

Castle Hadleigh & The Wrong Post | Hadleigh, Essex

In Jan 1913, outspoken local Councillor Edgar Arthur Mundy and current Chairman of the Hadleigh Ratepayers’ Association, began a debate regarding the post being wrongly delivered to Hadleigh, Suffolk rather than Hadleigh, Essex. Mundy’s solution was to change the name of the village to “Castle Hadleigh”, to reflect both its castle ruins and historical past and to clearly define it from Hadleigh in Suffolk. The debate lasted for nearly nine months (ending in rejection), but was never completely dropped by Mundy until WWI began.

GINN – Alfred Ginn (1872-1915)

Alfred GINN was born Jan 1872 in St. Neots, Huntingdonshire. He enlisted on 5th Sep 1889 into the 3rd Hussars and fought in the Boer War with the 6th and 2nd Dragoons. He was discharged after 21 years service in 1910 and re-enlisted 25th May 1915 as a 2nd Warrant Officer for the Military Mounted Police Corps. Alfred was killed in action just under 4 months later on 1st Oct 1915 age 43, leaving a wife and three young children.

The Medal In The Garden | George William BRERETON (1874-1940)

An interesting bit of detective work presented itself to me at the end of August on a local Facebook page for Hadleigh, Essex. A local chap named Ron had been digging a large hole in his garden in order to insert a sunken trampoline for his grandchildren, when two feet down he unearthed a silver medal. Closer inspection revealed it to be a King George V naval Long Service and Good Conduct medal for a G W BRERETON. Ron wondered if any members of the Brererton family were still living in the area in the hopes of being able to pass it on back to them, and I decided to help.

Southend Waterworks Company Houses in Thundersley, Essex

There were three residential properties built in the early 1900’s by Southend Waterworks Company in Thundersley, Essex, which were associated with the reservoir and two pumping stations: Reservoir Cottage, Pumping Station House and Pumping Station Cottage.