onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for History and Culture

Museum Planning Application

We’ve already written about the idea of a Rayleigh Museum, however the Echo has a useful update:

Local historian, founder of Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass and chairman of the Rayleigh Town Museum Working Party, Mike Davies, has found a suitable building for his project.

Mr Davies, Rayleigh citizen of the year, has been searching for years to find a suitable home for his archives of Rayleigh artefacts and now hopes to have found the perfect spot.
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He has submitted a planning application to Rochford District Council for the first floor of 91-93 Rayleigh High Street above Yours clothing shop and now awaits the planning officers’ decision.
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Mr Davies said: “This is the oldest secular building in Rayleigh High Street and is a Grade II listed building within the conservation area.
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“The location and building is ideal for a Town Museum, and the owner has agreed to install a fully accessible passenger lift, before we take possession of the building on a long lease. We have a long way to go, with planning permission required, as well as a need for a Heritage Lottery Grant that we are in the process of applying for, but all the signs are good.”

As usual, Ron and Chris must stay neutral in advance of any planning meeting. The application also includes turning the ground floor into a restaurant or cafe, and you can find it here.

Rayleigh In World War I

windmill

20th July 2014 to 10th August 2014 – Rayleigh in WW1 Exhibition

Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass are holding an exhibition on the 2nd floor of Rayleigh Windmill from 20th July to 10th August 2014 on the subject of Rayleigh in WW1. Windmill opening times are Wednesdays 10am to 1pm and Saturdays & Sundays 1pm to 4pm (closed Saturday 2nd August & Saturday 9th August for weddings). There will be 2 additional opening days during this period and they are Monday 4th & Tuesday 5th August – both 10am to 1pm.

Attack Of The Giant Leeches

Regal Cinema Being Demolished

Regal Cinema Being Demolished

Back in February, we mentioned that Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass had a feature on the Regal Cinema.

One of our readers, Stephen Pickard, has just left a comment that’s worth repeating as an item in itself:


I have very fond memories of the Regal Cinema. When I was 11, our family moved to Eastwood in January,1959. Sometime in ’60’61, when I was able to travel on my own, I started taking the bus to Rayleigh high street on Saturday mornings to the Regal cinema and recall being transfixed by the ‘Batman’ serial they showed at the time.
On Sundays they used to show double bills of ‘X’ films of ’50′s horror and science fiction which I was eager to see but at the time there was a restriction to everyone under the age of 16 being admitted, whether or not you were with an adult.
_
It seemed that it was a big challenge to kids like me, that were only 13/14 was to challenge the law to try to see an ‘X’ film under age.
So, I sacrificed the ‘Saturday morning pictures’ and decided from now on I would be an adult! I approached the pay-desk, (my heart was beating twice as fast!) I recall very clearly the lady selling the tickets, she was either Scottish or an accent from further north. When I asked for a ticket, she would reply in very concerned voice “Are you sixteen?”. On saying yes, up popped the ticket of which I grabbed and quickly ventured into the darkness of the cinema before the manager saw me.
I recall what the manager looked like. He was in his 50′s or 60′s with grey hair and mustache, always dressed in a suit and shirt and tie.
I felt a little guilty about going in under age, but I will be forever grateful to the Regal for those special memories.
I remember that the first ‘X’ films I saw, for those interested, were “Cage of Doom” (“Terror from the Year 5000″) “Demons of the Swamp” (“Attack of the Giant Leeches”) and “The Fantastic Disappearing Man” (“Return of Dracula”). I still have these movies in my collection and whenever I watch them I always fondly remember where I first saw them. Regal Cinema RIP.

Giantleeches

Holy Trinity…

holy trinity

This month’s feature at Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass is on Holy Trinity Church….

Lights Out First World War Commemoration

Mametz, Western Front: men, animals and supplies in snow covered valley (oil-on-canvas, 76.2 cm x 127.6 cm, 1919) by Frank Crozier (1883–1948), Australian official war artist.

Mametz, Western Front: men, animals and supplies in snow covered valley (oil-on-canvas, 76.2 cm x 127.6 cm, 1919) by Frank Crozier (1883–1948), Australian official war artist.

From the District Council website:

Rochford District Council will be taking part in the national ‘Lights Out’ campaign, which will see the UK plunge into darkness to mark the start of the First World War.

‘Lights Out’ is an invitation to everyone in the UK to turn off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on Monday 4 August 2014, leaving on a single light or candle, for this shared moment of reflection. This will mark the hour that Britain entered the First World War, one hundred years ago.

‘Lights Out’ is the headline project of the cultural programme 14-18 NOW, initiated by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. It will complement a candlelit vigil of prayer being held at Westminster Abbey, which will be attended by the Royal family, at the same time.

It is hoped that over one million candles will be lit across the UK to remember each & every service man or woman who gave their lives in the war to end all wars.

Councillor June Lumley, Chairman of Rochford District Council, said: “The ‘Lights Out’ campaign is a simple but effective and creative way of marking the start of the First World War. I am proud that Rochford District Council is taking part in this national campaign, and urge residents across the district to participate in this important and symbolical act too.”

Rochford District Council will turn off all the lights at the Rayleigh and Rochford Council Offices and Rayleigh Windmill, from 10-11pm on Monday 4 August, leaving just one bright light illuminated at each location. Residents across the District, particularly owners of other prominent buildings, are encouraged to take part at the same time.

The Royal British Legion will be holding a First World War Commemoration Candlelit Service, conducted by the Reverend John Townsend of Holy Trinity Church, Rayleigh. This will be held outside the Royal British Legion Memorial area in Rayleigh on 4 August, commencing at 10pm.

Further information is available on the ‘Lights Out’ website, http://www.1418now.org.uk/whats-on/lights-out.

Aiming For A Museum !

town museum

Mike Davies from “Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass” is on a working party trying to open a Town Museum. He has emailed lots of people today , including ourselves:

We are actively pursuing our aspirations to open a Rayleigh Town Museum …..Indeed we have just identified a potential site in the centre of Rayleigh High Street…Watch this space!!!!!
We now plan to hold a number of “Fundraising” events to raise much needed funds and the first of these will be a Quiz Night, details as per the attached poster.
It would be great if you could support us in some way, either by attending, donating a prize for our raffle, exhibiting the poster at a club or group you are a member of, or by becoming one of our “sponsors”.
If you would like more details please contact me at any time.

Regards
Mike Davies
Chairman
Rayleigh Town Museum
Working Party
01268785657

Lots Of Cafes…

Martin Tweed's Tea Rooms on the corner of Crown Hill circa 1900's. Demolished in the 1920's when road widened

Martin Tweed’s Tea Rooms on the corner of Crown Hill circa 1900′s. Demolished in the 1920′s when road widened

There’s no shortage of places in Rayleigh to get a coffee or a tea. So it’s appropriate that this month Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass features tearooms and cafes of past decades…

Jazz At The Old Hadleigh Fire Station

There’s a series of musical events at the old Hadleigh Fire Station over the summer.

The next one is on Friday 23 May (the day after the local elections) and features the Francois Carrier trio.

Entry costs £5 – including first drink.

Find out more at the Fire Station website here (the website unfortunately spells Francois’name incorrectly)

And if you have never heard of Francois Carrier , we’ll add something  from youtube later so you can see if his music appeals to you… Depends how much you like contemporary jazz….

 

The Old Pubs Of Rayleigh

spread eagle 1912

This month’s photo on Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass is of old Rayleigh pubs – including this picture of the Spread Eagle, circa 1912.

The Rayleigh Fireman’s Wedding !

One of our regular readers has very kindly pointed this video out to us !

Note that the fire engine was owned by Rayleigh Urban District Council. You can see it go down Bellingham Lane and Rayleigh High Street… Any further information on this gratefully received…

The Battle Of Wakering Common

essex police logo

We haven’t mentioned the Rochford District Community Archive for a while. So here’s a link to  a story of alcohol and violence from 1912:

“At that time there was just one village policeman who depended to a great extent on the good will of most of the villagers and his strong wooden stick to keep order. There was no telephone, no police car, just him, his bicycle and… “

 

Plaques of Rayleigh

The April feature on the Rayleigh Through The Looking Glass website is on heritage plaques, like this one near Bellingham Lane:

bellingham

 

 

 

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