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Showing posts from March, 2017

The Roach Ramble

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If you're a local in the Rochford district, its entirely possible that you come across one of the branches of the river Roach on a daily basis without even knowing about it. Whilst the coastal part of the river only starts around Stambridge, the streams that form a part of it go on for many miles inland. There are two branches of the river that split off at Rochford - one goes west through the Cherry Orchard nature reserve, and ends in a residential area in Rayleigh. The other branch starts two or three hundred metres east of Bullwood Hall in Hockley Woods.

The walk that I devised here does its best to follow both of these streams and the river itself along the most picturesque route possible (but given the council's obsession with overcrowding in the area, you're not exactly spoilt for choice with routes!) I hope to add more routes like this in the future, so any feedback of the format here or presentation would be really helpful.

1. Start Point - Bull Lane, Rayleigh The …

The Great War Above Southend

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This post follows on from my previous post which talked about the pre-WWI aviation history in the Southend area, and is part of a series about the area's aviation heritage.

The War Office had included the field at Rochford (now the site of Southend airport) in a list of potential airfields as early as 1914.(2*) They had good reasons for considering the site; the fields were flat and well drained, the railway line came within close proximity for bringing in supplies, and it was situated on the estuary and therefore in an ideal location for the defence of London. The area also had an operational telephone network, a feature which would become invaluable in the face of multiple night-time air raids throughout the first world war.

At the start of the war the British military hadn't yet created an air force as an independent organisation. Instead the use of aircraft was split between the two divisions of the armed forces with the Royal Flying Corp being the Army's aviators, whi…