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Manningtree memories

Here are memories of Manningtree and the local area. You can start now: Add your own Memory of Manningtree or a Manningtree photo.

Early Memories of Brook Street

Brook Street c1953, Manningtree
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I lived in Brook Street with my family between about 1958 and 1967. We lived at the bottom of the road nearest the High Street and opposite a large pond, which was a source of great entertainmanet to me and my sister at times! We watched local firemen practice fire drill, unrolling huge hoses and aiming the water into the pond then rolling up the hoses again when they'd finished. We sometimes climbed the wall surrounding the pond and dared one another to walk along it, and even walked along a ledge on the inner side of the wall, just above the water line - we must have driven our poor mother mad! The house we lived in is long gone now, and so is the pond. I'd very much like to know what the pond was built for and when.


I have visited Manningtree only once, but I have an interest in the area as my father (Donald Turner) is tracing our family tree and he has discovered that one of our ancestors - Elizabeth Goodwin was tried and hung as one of the witches of Manningtree  by Matthew Hopkins!  She was accused of casting a spell on a grocers horse, and making it die after he refused to give her credit to buy cheese.  

Growing up in South Street

Brook Street c1953, Manningtree
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i grew up above the old gas showrooms between 1964 and 1975 wen we moved to clacton on sea
i have recently had the pleasure to catch up with a few old school friends and people who knew me when i was dee jaying on a disco at the red lion pub in south street in the early 1980s

Rnli Sponsered Walk

i was the youngest walker at the age of 10 years old in 19701971

Matthew Hopkins - Witchfinder General

Essex has the unhappy distinction of having executed more witches than any other county in England’s history, and the first major trial for witchcraft itself, as the main indictment, took place in Chelmsford in 1566 when 63-year-old Agnes Waterhouse of Hatfield Peverell was found guilty and hanged. One of the most unpleasant characters in the county’s story was Matthew Hopkins, who lived at Manningtree in north-east Essex in the mid 17th century. After denouncing his crippled neighbour as a witch, Hopkins realised he had a particular talent for terrorising old women that could make him powerful and wealthy. He claimed to hold the ‘Devil’s own list of all the witches in England’, and as the hysteria of witch-fever gripped East Anglia in 1645-46, many towns paid him to come and search for ‘witches’. He assumed the title of ‘Witchfinder General’, made his headquarters in Colchester, and is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of up to 400 people throughout East Anglia; people were either denounced by neighbours (who... Read more

Schooldays And Beyond

Starting school for the first time was at Mistley Norman School, my first teacher was Miss Temple in the infants we were given a slate board and slate pencil one thing that sticks in my memory we all had a small mattres and after dinner we all had to have a nap.Then we moved from the prefabs to Lawford soI was sent to Lawford School in Wignal Street. Transport was bike or on foot sometimes my friend and I would get a lift with the milk cart from Pooles Farm to the churn table on the corner of Bromley Road, bulk tankers were in the future so horse and cart was used for the trip. Mr Hughes the head master wore a monacle and he wouldgive it a clean then the lesson would start. One day he bought a moose head from a sale and put it on the tree stump at the school gate the antlers were so large we could sit in them .My next school was Man... Read more

Memories of Essex


I was born in Mistley at Ye Olde Mill House in 1930. My father Rupert Edwards was a family butcher and my grandparents lived at Shanghai Villa, Mistley. I attended Mistley Norman School and won a scholarship to Colchester High School. My early memories were of the swimming pool and the start of the Second World War. It was fascinating at first to hear accents from the north, see searchlights, and I really enjoyed watching the solders marching up the hill, and playing in the band after church, often the Coldstream Guards. I knew all the names of the planes and remember Brookes getting an incendary bomb, the smell lingered for ages.

Childhood Memories

I was born in 1951 and lived in Middlefield Road, Mistley with my parents, sister and brother. My maiden name was Lay - Flurrie. I attended Mistley Norman School in 1956 my teacher being Miss Temple, Headmaster was Mr Thompson. Other teachers were Mr James and Miss Jacklin. I remember having a bottle of milk everyday at school and when it was winter time the birds had pecked at the foil bottle top. I left Mistley Norman School in 1966 to attend Manningtree Secondary Modern. In this year 1966 I had a paper round after school hours and I would cycle to Manningtree to pick the papers up and my first stop on the way back was Brooks on Mistley Hill where the workers would be waiting for their paper. I have fond memories of times spent at Furze Hills, the old tree Nobbly which I would climb on, game keepers pond feeding the ducks and swans, also Blackberrying in the school holidays to earn a bit of pocket... Read more

Russell House And The Maltings - Brooks (Mistley)

I was 4 when my mother remarried, and my step-father's father was RWE Squirrell. He lived in Russell House, just around the corner from the Manningtree Maltings, working for Brooks at the time I think. It was just around the time of the RHM acquirement. My new grandmother worked in the secretary pool at The Maltings, and I was fortunate enough to have the run of Russell House when I came to visit. A magnificent property, situated in a huge garden. The Rose Garden out the back was a quiet secret garden, and the rest of the grounds perfect for the odd game of hide and seek. Out of hours, when the maltings was closed, if a caller rang through, it would make the massive alarm bell in Russell House sound and then the call would be routed to the houses' phone. It was interesting to see my grandfather change personality from the kindly gentleman to the professional in a snap. I have vague memories of a fire at Brooks', and then my... Read more

Memories From David Cheverton of Hope Cottage, Heath Road

In 1953 I attended Bradfield Primary School which in this year of 2007 celebrates its centeniory year. I have fond memories of many cricket matches during my time at the school playing against other local school teams. Mr Martin the Headmaster had lots of fast cars, to the delight of all the children. There was always a scramble on match day to see who would have the pleasure of going in one of his cars.
I lived in Bradfield till 1967 when I was 21 years of age, at that time Bradfield had a brilliant football team called ' Bradfield Rovers' and I was their Linesman for many a year. They won the Amos Charity Cup and many league titles.
Bradfield also had three Public Houses at that time, one was The Strangers where the football club spent most of its time. The other two were The Village Maid and The Ram and Hogget which is now a private dwelling.

Strangers Home

I lived with my father Denys and sister Mandy at the Strangers. I have many great memories of Bradfirld and the villagers. Who remembers the likes of Bill Long, George Jones, George Barnes and one I can only remember by the name of Blackie.

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