Benfleet

Local Interest

Interest Group Contact

Please contact Sue Lewsey using the Local Interest email contact link.

If this Interest Group is full and you would like another created, please contact the Interest Group Coordinators found on the Groups webpage.

Click on any image to view full size and to scroll through photos.

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Visit to Southend Lifeboat Station. October 2018.
In October the group visited the RNLI Lifeboat onshore boathouse and were shown all the protective clothing and equipment that the volunteers have to put on before they can go out on the various craft.

Because of the large tidal range and extensive drying foreshore at Southend the Lifeboat Station uses two boathouses, 1 at the end of the pier which houses the B Class & D Class boats and the onshore boathouse which houses another D Class boat and a Hovercraft.

The Southend Lifeboat Station is one of the busiest in England.

Thanks to Sue Lewsey for the write up and photos.

Southend Lifeboat Station Southend Lifeboat Station Southend Lifeboat Station

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Visit to the Museum of Power, Langford near Maldon. July 2018
The Museum of Power is located in the former Southend Waterworks (now Essex & Suffolk Water) Pumping Station.The pumping Station was built in 1924 & opened in 1927 it continued pumping fresh (treated) water using steam engines until 1963 when electric pumps took over.

One engine `Marshall` and pump set has been preserved & thanks to efforts from the museum`s volunteers were brought back into steam in 2011. The museum runs 10 steam days a year.

Our thanks to photographers Sue Lewsey and Tony Parr.

Museum of Power Museum of Power Museum of Power Museum of Power
Museum of Power Museum of Power Museum of Power Museum of Power

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Visit to Plotlands, Langdon Hills Nature Park; June 2018
The Plotlands Area, in Langdon Hills, was created between the wars. People (mainly from London) bought plots of land to build holiday cottages, which had no gas, electricity, water or sewerage.

During WW 2 many Londoners left London to escape the Blitz to live in their holiday homes, there were about 200 cottages, but they have all gone now except one called The Haven which has been preserved as a museum of life as it was in those days.

Nature has reclaimed the area now, but there is a plot that has been cleared by volunteers to create a memorial garden with each volunteer cultivating their own little garden.

Our thanks to photographers Linda Waskett, Alan Aldridge and Dave Balthasar.

Group plus guide, Chris. Plotlands, Langdon Hills Plotlands, Langdon Hills Plotlands, Langdon Hills Plotlands, Langdon Hills Plotlands, Langdon Hills Plotlands, Langdon Hills Plotlands, Langdon Hills
The Haven Plotlands, Langdon Hills Plotlands, Langdon Hills Plotlands, Langdon Hills Plotlands, Langdon Hills Plotlands, Langdon Hills Plotlands, Langdon Hills

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Visit to St. Nicholas Church, South Ockendon; March 2018
The church is dedicated to St Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (now Demre in modern Turkey) in the 4th century; a signatory of the Nicene Creed; patron saint of Russia and Greece, and of children, merchants, pawnbrokers, sailors, scholars and travellers.

St Nicholas is one of only six Essex Round Tower Churches. In 1552 the tower contained four bells but they were destroyed by lightning which struck the church and demolished the tower’s thatched spire in 1652/3. Richard Mulford, the Sexton donated a bell to replace the four bells, this bell was cast by John and Christopher Hodson of London in 1678. The present bell was installed in 1865, donated by Richard Armstrong of Westbourne Park Villas, London and cast by the famous Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London.

Many thanks to Lee & Terry King and Sue & Pete Lewsey for the photos.

St Nicholas Church, South Ockendon St Nicholas Church, South Ockendon St Nicholas Church, South Ockendon St Nicholas Church, South Ockendon St Nicholas Church, South Ockendon St Nicholas Church, South Ockendon St Nicholas Church, South Ockendon
St. Nicholas Church St. Nicholas Church St. Nicholas Church St. Nicholas Church St. Nicholas Church St. Nicholas Church

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Visit to Greensted Church, Chipping Ongar; October 2017
St. Andrews Church, Greensted, is the oldest wooden Church in the World and the oldest ‘Stave Built’ timber building in Europe.

The church represents some 1300 years of English history and Christian worship.

The 51 timber planks in the structure date from about 1060, although excavations undertaken in the chancel in 1960 revealed the existence of two earlier timber structures dating from the 6th, and 7th centuries, around the time that St. Cedd began his work of converting the Saxons to Christianity.

The oldest grave, lying adjacent to the entrance to the church is that of a twelfth century Crusader, thought to be a bowman.

Greensted Church Greensted Church Greensted Church Greensted Church

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Visit to Rayleigh Windmill - September 2017
The Windmill was built around 1809 and continued as a mill until around 1937, run by different power sources - wind; steam, oil; electric motors.

In 1970 the mill was taken over for use as a museum by Rayleigh and District Antiquarian and Natural History Society. Full restoration was completed in 2005.

Rayleigh Windmill Rayleigh Windmill Rayleigh, Holy Trinity Church

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Shoebury Garrison - A Walk Through History; June 2017
A tour guided by local historian and photographer Peter Bolton, uncovered the secrets and some of the weapons testing and research carried out at Shoebury since the Crimea War 1854-6.

Shoebury Garrison Shoebury Garrison Shoebury Garrison Shoebury Garrison Shoebury Garrison
Shoebury Garrison Shoebury Garrison Shoebury Garrison Shoebury Garrison Shoebury Garrison

Thanks for the photographic talents of Pete Lewsey and Alan Aldridge.

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Royal Opera House Visitors This is a pic of the Local History/Interest Group on our visit to the Royal Opera House Production Workshop at Purfleet. We had a very interesting day & were able to see the artists & craftsmen at work making the scenery & backdrops for the Opera & Ballet productions at Covent Garden.

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Book Club Card and Board Games
Comparative Religion Culinary Experience
Darts Discussion 1
Discussion 2 Family History
Film and Book Flower Arranging
French 1 Garden Visits
Gardening Keep Fit
Knit & Stitch Local Interest
London Theatre Lunch Group
Meditation, Relax & Healing Naval & Military History
Outings Paper Craft
Photography Scrabble
Sewing Singing
Social History Spanish
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Walking 5 miles+ Group 2 Walking upto 5 Miles
Wildlife Women in History