Drama In Watery Lane !

There has been some activity in Watery Lane at last. BUT WATERY LANE IS STILL CLOSED – DON’T DRIVE DOWN THERE YET! (3 drivers had to be rescued today !)

Quite a lot has happened in the last few days.

  • A resident said that he intended to arrange works himself to start sorting out the problem tomorrow. This seems to have stirred things up.
  • There was a high-level visit by the County Council yesterday. Councillors Michael and Diane Hoy from Hullbridge were also able to attend.
  • Chris was unable to go due to work commitments  and asked if Alistir Matthews from Rawreth Parish Council could go in his place. This was denied!
  • You can see more about the meeting on “A Green Read” here.
  • There was a photoshoot for councillors today (not sure why it was needed – we weren’t invited , but then again we’re not really into that)
  •  Some lorries have turned up this afternoon , hired by the County Council to pump the water into their tanks and remove it from the lane .
  • These lorries were apparently going to work for 24 hours but have stopped for the night.
  • We are also hearing an odd rumour about the regular monthly closure of the road for litter picking – if we find out some more we will let you know.

“The Best Half-Hour I Have Spent On You-Tube”

There are some BIG misunderstandings about student loans. You only actually pay this loan back if you are earning enough money…. graduates only pay money back when they earning over £21,000 per year. And then they pay back 9% of whatever they earn above £21,000 per year. And this £21,000 level will be adjusted for inflation in future years.

After 30 years, even if you haven’t paid back a penny, the debt is wiped.

This video explains things and is described as the “best half-hour I have spent on you-tube”:





Meanwhile thanks to Mark Lydford for pointing out this version of Nick Clegg’s apology!


Proceeds are going to charity:

“Canvey at that time was a bit like the Wild West.”

The musician Wilko Johnson has written a very evocative article about growing up on Canvey Island, and about his life in general. It’s well worth reading here , but here’s a few extracts:

Never climb inside a haystack
I was born in 1947 on Canvey Island. Canvey at that time was a bit like the Wild West. People lived in bungalows and railway carriages. A lot of the roads weren’t made, they were just tracks. I remember there was also this huge haystack opposite my school, the size of a building. When they built these haystacks, they had to leave ventilation through it or it would catch fire from the heat inside. There were tunnels going inside, and the kids could climb right inside this thing, there was almost a room in there. When I think about it now… I mean, we used to play there… That ……huge haystack burnt down. It might have happened in the night but man, that could have happened when it was full of kids. This is not the fault of Canvey Island, but I grew up with the feeling that it was fairly shameful to come from there.

One of my earliest memories of Canvey was the flood in 1953
It was a terrible night, the sea wall collapsed and about 50 people died. All I remember was my mum gathering us together, and I looked out of the back window at the fields, but there were no fields, it was the sea, there were waves, waves coming in. They were evacuating the island and we got taken off the island up the hill to the King John’s school where about 20 years later I would be a teacher. We went from there up to Sheffield to be humiliated. Actually the people there were very nice, lovely people. When we got back there were RAF lorries with blow-heaters, trying to dry these cardboard houses out. Our house was a write-off.



My father never recovered from the flood
Everyone had been evacuated but certain people, including my dad who was a gas-fitter, had to remain behind. My dad spent a fair amount of time wading chest-deep in freezing water. He went down with a terrible case of pneumonia, it did destroy his health. Canvey was still very open and in the autumn you’d get these mists and fogs, some of them are incredible, like stage-sets. My dad gradually got worse and worse each winter when it was foggy. He couldn’t do his gas-fittings, he used to ride around on a bike. They gave him a job in the stores and I remember in my teens they used to drive him home from work in a van. We’d normally hear the van, the door slam and then you knew he’d be coming in. One evening we heard the van, and time went on. We’re thinking, ‘He’s not there…’ We ran out into the fog and he’s collapsed, lying in the road. We dragged him indoors, he couldn’t breathe. I was freaking…. …

I have a special feeling about the Thames Estuary, and it ain’t to do with Julius Caesar
I love to be at the Lobster Smack pub on Canvey and go up to the western end of the Island where there are all the creeks, or to stand and look across to the Shell Haven refinery and you see all the ships and buoys. There’s just something about it. Up by the Lobster Smack, I feel just like Wordsworth felt about Windermere. Obviously that’s all wrapped up in memories and whatever, but it’s one of the most expressive landscapes I know and I get a kind of spiritual uplift from it, always. You get magnificent skies, huge sky, and the river is so broad, which leads to all sorts of effects of sunlight, and you’re getting this kind of spectacular natural beauty just from that, but the whole thing… it stirs something in me….

Weapons Of Sound And The March Night Of The Proms

Here’s a couple of very contrasting musical offerings from Rochford and Castle Point councils.

From the District Council website:

Something for young people during the half term break!
Weapons of Sound are leading free music workshops (using recycled materials) for 13-19 year olds.
The Rochford workshop is at St Marks Hall on Friday 25th February, 10am -4pm.
For more information, contact:
01702 551897
Email: andy.smith@essex.gov.uk

weapons of sound

If that’s not for you, you might fancy what’s offered on the Castle Point Borough website:

Castle Point Mayor, Councillor David Cross is holding his charity concert, Last Night of the Proms at the Salvation Army Hadleigh Temple on Saturday 5 March.
The event features The Hadleigh Temple Salvation Army Band playing all your Prom favourites and the spirit of the night will be maintained by everyone waving flags, wearing patriotic hats and making lots of noise with hooters!!!

The concert starts at 7pm with doors open 6.30pm. Tickets are £8 each and are available from Kellie Jeffery in the Mayor’s Office on 01268 882334

The Sutton With Shopland Music Festival

Dates: 3rd, 4th, 5th July

Location :
Sutton Hall, Shopland Rd, Rochford, Essex, SS4 1LH

Supported charities: Haven’s Hospices. Essex Air Ambulance. Prostate Cancer Appeal. Southend YMCA, Southend Hospital. MERGE.

Full details are on the festival website here.

What’s the Sutton With Shopland Music Festival?

Well, it was described on the website safeconcerts.com last year as follows:

“Sutton With Shopland festival is small, intimate, independent and committed to the community, it’s organised and staffed by a team of amazing and totally dedicated volunteers. We say amazing because although this is a small festival there was no lack of standards at this one – in fact the standards and vibe of the place was far higher than you’ll find at many well established events.
These guys were committed to festival safety, high standards and great entertainment – and do you know what – the excelled at what they did.

We haven’t had such a relaxed and friendly time at a festival for ages – the vibe was truly great at Sutton with Shopland – and that’s down to all those amazing people that were there – those who arranged it and those who supported it.”

And here’s a sample of the music from last year:

Trouble At T’ Mill

We had the following email yesterday

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing on behalf of a vast amount of people on the hearing that the council has a wish to close down the friday night ‘Baker Events’ at the Mill.

This was extremely distressing news to me, as I and many others look forward to this throughout the week and a lot of bands enjoy playing at the mill. If it is indeed correct that the event is to be closed due to danger then should you not check upon this belief for it is an unfair accusation to make for I myself do not see how the mill is a danger to people.

In my opinion the mill is in fact a rather safe place to be in the fact that bags are all searched the moment people walk into the door, the venue is never over full, there are always police to hand on busy nights, there are lots of ‘bouncers’ to throw out any trouble makers, why may i ask are other places for the more ‘chavvy’ people allowed to stay open but music venues are not. I would appreciate it greatly if you would get into contact with me on this matter, as i am very intrigued to know whether this decision is to go ahead or not.

Well, we have been in contact with this lady, and we’ve asked the council for more information…