onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for History and Culture

Planning Problems In Xanadu

As a diversion from the grim reality of road congestion and flooding in our district, those with a knowledge of English poetry might enjoy this parody – an imaginary planning officer’s response to a planning application for Samuel Coleridge Taylor’s Xanadu… It begins :

Dear Mr. Khan:

Further to your application for planning consent (ref X/COL/1797), Xanadu City Council cannot at this time approve the plans for your proposed development. Full documentation detailing our reasons for turning down the application are attached, but in summary our objections are as follows:

  • Our officers were greatly concerned with the description of your development as a ‘pleasure-dome’…..

Find the rest of the officers response here

Well Done Liberal England

 

central park arrest

Congrats to Jonathan Calder – his “Liberal England”  has won the  Lib Dem Blog of  the Year  award.

This weekend he has written about the late Lynsey de Paul,  the Queen Mother in Market Harborough in 1927, and a walrus in St Pancras.

Another worthy blog belongs to Mark Pack. He shows a remarkable bit of  wartime “town planning” here.

 

“This Mythical Place , Somewhere In the Middle Of Essex, That Played Decent Music”

This month the Pink Toothbrush in Rayleigh celebrates 30 years as “the UK’s most famous alternative venue”.

Find out more at Schpunk magazine here . For example:

Over the years have seen live shows from the likes of Blur, Ice-T, Supergrass, Edwin Starr, Lee Scratch Perry and not forgetting Radiohead who were paid £50 and a few beers to support The Sultans of Ping FC.

And if the Brush is a complete mystery to you, try watching this new documentary. But we don’t condone excessive drinking….

Rayleigh Railway Anniversary

From Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass:

 

3rd October 2014 - Rayleigh Railway Station 125th Anniversary

At 1.30pm on Friday 3rd October we will be involved in a short ceremony  to mark the 125th anniversary of the railway coming to Rayleigh. There will also be a small photographic exhibition on the history of the railway.

A New Comedy Club For Rayleigh

The Echo reports today:

COMEDIAN and TV presenter Jason Manford is opening a comedy club in Rayleigh

The star, who presented BBC 1’s the One Show and regularly appears on shows 8 like Out of 10 Cats, will open a Manford’s Comedy Club, at the Rayleigh Mill Arts Centre, on Friday, October 3.

The full report – plus Jason’s own description of Rayleigh as a “Sleepy Essex Town” – is here.  Let’s hope it is a success.

A New Arts And Crafts Centre In Rayleigh?

New planning application, just submitted:

arts and crafts centre

The Rochford Art Trail

art trail

The Rochford Art Trail kicks off tomorrow and you can find out more on the District Council website:

Rochford’s award-winning Art Trail returns for a fifth year and Trail visitors can download the 2014 Guide and Trail Map by scrolling down to the Related Documents section.

Visit the town of Rochford to discover a ten day showcase of arts and creativity that connects local artists with local businesses…..

This year’s Trail includes temporary art exhibitions in shop windows, retail premises and public spaces; guided walks; an arts, craft and design market at the WI Hall and a community launch that everyone is invited to.

Dates and details for events and locations can be found in the 2014 Guide, which can be downloaded in the Related Documents section below. Also in the Related Documents section is a list of special offers and discounts arranged by local businesses.

Down Hall Road in the 1940s….

More local stuff from the Rochford District Community Archive. This is a brief extract:

…..At the end of Mr Thompson’s garden was the remains of a sandbagged emplacement, which I was told was a checkpoint and that anyone proceeding past had to show their identity card to the soldiers who manned it before going on to Rayleigh.

Today the pavement is very wide here where Down Hall Road joins the London Road, but at one time there was an area of grass in the middle with a couple of small trees in metal cages and I was told that when the Government appealed for aluminium saucepans to help the War Effort, this was the place where they had to be left for later collection.

Another memory I have, probably from 1946 or 1947, is sitting on my grandparents’ garden wall in Down Hall Road and saying “Hello” to the German POWs who were allowed out from Rawreth Camp (now Rawreth Industrial Estate). They wore dark brown uniforms with battledress type jackets which I think had either pink or light green diamonds or circles sewn on the back, and dark brown German style ski caps. Obviously they must have been considered harmless by that time or I wouldn’t have been allowed to sit out there on my own!….

When Houses Were Affordable….

auction 2

auction

This Month Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass looks at financial matters… including house prices…

Taking You Back

There’s going to be special events, and people in period costume, at Rayleigh Windmill next weekend. The District Council website says:

Rayleigh Windmill will be joining attractions up and down the country in celebrating England’s fantastic architecture and culture, during Heritage Open Days on the weekend of September 13-14.

During the weekend, buildings across the UK of every age, style and function will throw open their doors, giving visitors a chance to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.

———–

At Rayleigh Windmill, its award-winning volunteers will be dressing up in traditional period costume and offering guided tours, reminding us why they deserved to win the Museums + Heritage 2014 Award for Customer Service Excellence. There will also be an opportunity for children to dress up too, and take part in workshops.

On Saturday why not bring your children along to take part in the storytelling and drama workshop. All ages are welcome. Come along, get dressed up in traditional period costume and join in the fun. Or how about the Arts & Crafts workshop for children on Sunday, all ages welcome. Why not come along and try your hand at making Chinese Dragons!

We’re not quite sure exactly which century the period costume will be for – though it probably won’t be taking you back this far:

When The Rockets Fell….

 

v2flight

The Rochford Community History Archive has a new article listing all the known cases of V2 Rockets hitting our district in World War 2.

Canewdon, Foulness and Rawreth received five hits each, which may seem surprising, but these are three of the largest parishes in area and the rockets were more or less falling at random

Looking Up……

Two WW2 Lancaster aircraft, flown over from Canada , were at Southend Airport today with a Spitfire and a Hurricane. If you were lucky, you might have seen them there, or watched them fly over Rayleigh and Rawreth this afternoon.

Incidentally Southend Airport was an RAF base in WW2. According to Wikipedia:

..in 1939, the Air Ministry requisitioned the airfield and it was known as RAF Rochford during World War II. It became a satellite base. During World War II, it became a base for fighter squadrons comprising Supermarine Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes as well as Bristol Blenheims. Many of the 50 pillboxes that were designed to protect the airport from paratroop landings still survive, as does the underground defence control room, which is near to Southend Flying Club. A further 20 or so pillboxes also remain in the surrounding countryside.

We are grateful to Hayley Bloomfield for these photos (click on them to enlarge)

lancaster 4

planes  3

planes 2

planes 1

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500 HOUSES BETWEEN LONDON ROAD AND RAWRETH LANE

There's lots of information on the District Council website about the planning application "North of London Road ". To see it , just click here.

The Core Strategy

This is the official master document for planning policy in our district! To download it, click here click here. (2.5mb)

Planning Applications…

If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.

If you want to know what new planning applications have been submitted this week, click here.

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“Rayleigh was the birthplace of Britain’s first surviving quintuplets, but that’s just one of its many claims to fame”

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