These interview extracts are a
greatly expanded version of the material which was used for our book Sea-change:
Wivenhoe Remembered, published by Tempus, which is available through
the Wivenhoe Bookshop.
This web selection, the book and
the accompanying DVD are the outcome of `Remembering Wivenhoe’, a
community oral history project which has been based on voluntary
contributions of many kinds.
Most crucial of all have been
the over 190 people listed at the end of this book, whose memories have
been recorded for the project and for the benefit of all interested in the
history of Wivenhoe in the future. We are deeply grateful to them, and to
all those others who have given their time, knowledge and energy to make
the fulfillment of the project possible.
The project has
been directed by Paul Thompson and administered by Brenda Corti, and the
project committee have also included Annie Bielecka, Ken Plummer, Don
Smith, Janet Turner, and (chair) Rev David Thomas. Jacqueline Thomas
as library representative was succeeded by Jane Stanley.
At the core of
the project was an enthusiastic and talented interviewing team, some
experienced, some new to recording life stories: Lisa Baxter, Libby
Bishop, Annie Bielecka, Ann Clarke, Brenda Corti, Ellie Crichton Stuart,
Ann Dale, Shirley Dow, Bruce Gant, Diana Gittins, Marcel Glover, Alison
Kent, Caroline Munn-Giddings, Carol Mitchell, Helen Polom, Kate Powis, Lin
Roberts, Brian Sinclair, Tony Swift, Paul Thompson and Jan Thurlow.
In the early
months of the project there was also a parallel research group, which
provided valuable historical background information, consisting of
Elizabeth Baines, Ann Clarke, Pat Marsden and Janet Turner. We also were
also very much helped with maritime historical information by Bill Ellis.
presentations of material from the project were particularly helped by the
technical and audio skills of Marcel Glover and Janet Turner, and by Don
Smith’s collecting of photographs. For illustrations we were also
generously helped by Colin Andrews, John Bines, Joyce Blackwood, the
Congregational Church, Tim Denham, James Dodds, Peter and Diane Duffield,
Phil Faucheux, Tony Forsgate, Jan Frostick, Marcel Glover, Marjorie
Goldstraw, Annabel Gooch, Betty Govan, Ken Green, Pat Green, Peter Green,
Jean Harding, Frank Hodgson, Glendower Jackson, Kitty Funnel, Dennis
Marsden, Ralph Moss, Sue Murray, the Nottage Institute, Ellen Primm, John
Stewart, Don Smith, Janet Turner, Ernie Vince, Graham Wadley, and Dave and
In launching the
project we were especially helped by support from Andrew Philips and
Colchester Recalled, the Wivenhoe Town Council, the Sociology Department
at the University of Essex, the Friends of St Mary's, the Sailing Club,
Millfields School and Broomgrove School.
their crucial financial support we thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for
their grant of £43,000 which has made the project possible. We also
received a grant of £2,750 from Professsor Ivor Crewe, Vice-Chancellor of
the University of Essex, which enabled us to include some interviews with
early university staff members.
The Heritage Lottery Fund grant has in
particular enabled the skilled transcription of the interviews by Marion
Haberhauer, the production of a DVD by Steve Humphries, Andy Attenburrow
and Mike Pharey of Testimony Films, and the appointment of Teresa Crompton
to assist in writing the book and in the creation of this extended website
will archived as be part of the `Colchester Recalled’ collection and can
be consulted at either Colchester Museum or the University of Essex
Library, and also at the Essex Sound Archive.
other books on recent Wivenhoe history
comprehensive account of Wivenhoe in the 20th century, particularly strong
on industry and social organisations, is Nicholas Butler, The Story of
Wivenhoe, 1989. Dick Barton, Wivenhoe: Its Attractions, Pleasures and
Eccentric Natives, 1975 gives another briefer and spicier general picture.
Janet Cooper with Shirley Durgan and C.C. Thornton, Victoria County of
Essex, Vol X, has a very interesting entry on Wivenhoe. The maritime
aspect of Wivenhoe's life is recounted in John Leather, The North Seamen,
1971, and The Salty Shore, 1979, and Margaret Leather, Saltwater Village,
1977, gives the parallel Rowhedge story. David Craze, Wivenhoe: a Portrait
in Pictures, 1998, records many of the visual changes up to the
mid-century. On more detailed themes, the many interesting local
publications include Rosemary Feesey, Wivenhoe Park. A History of the
House and Grounds, 1963; Paul Brown, The Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea
Railway, 1965; on the gravel pit, Bill Loveless, Destiny Delayed, 2003;
C.G. Ellis, Nottage. A Viking Influence on Wivenhoe Quay, 1984; Peter Kay,
Wivenhoe Pubs, 2003; Rev Clementina Gordon, Wivenhoe Congregational
Church, 1966; Geoffrey King, `We nearly closed’: A History of Wivenhoe
Methodist Church, 1980s; and Leonard Drinkell, Colne Lodge No 2477: The
First Hundred Years, 1993.
note on boundaries
Many people with
homes in Wivenhoe have spent their lives working in Colchester or London,
and some much further
away, as sailors or soldiers, as colonial administrators in India or
teachers in Africa. Here however we focus on their Wivenhoe-based working
and lives. But rather than confining ourselves to the administrative
boundaries, which during our period have shrunk on the north side and
expanded on the east, the history described here is of a `greater
Wivenhoe', which includes the whole of the Wivenhoe Park Estate, the
gravel pit and farms on the east side, and the Colne estuary to
Brightlingsea and beyond.
||This Wivenhoe Oral
History Project has been majority-funded by the Heritage