March 2019 Speaker
On 13th March Tony Tuckwell entertained us with a talk entitled “The Only Coastal Way is Essex”. Tony is not a native Essex person and when he arrived in the County had only heard of a couple of the towns and was totally unaware of the large coastline. In fact with almost 350 miles and 19 islands, it has a longer coastline than Cornwall and more Islands than any other English County.
Describing the estuaries as a smugglers’ paradise, Tony indicated the importance of various church towers as navigational aids, mentioning Canewdon, St Osyth and Fobbing. The coastline has the best seawalls in Eastern England, which makes walking sections of it easier since it’s flat and solid. After his retirement as Headmaster of KEGS, Tony decided that he’d walk all the possible coast as a series of days out mainly using public transport.
A particular favourite was the Dengie Peninsula, due to its remoteness and peacefulness, with the section between Bradwell and Burnham having no houses for a 15 mile stretch. Another hugely enjoyable walk was the one around Canvey Island. His encounter with the Army at the Shoeburyness Artillery Testing Grounds revealed the true spirit that had enabled Tony to take on and beat such a daunting challenge!