In the 50s this vintage Hispano was bought by a fellow student for the princely sum of £400. Yes, only two noughts ! It had once been owned by Count Zabrowski the racing driver. It had two cockpits with two windscreens and duplicated instruments. Supposedly it was to take four persons but we were able to stuff in many more to pay for the petrol,it would take about a gallon just to clear the garage forecourt. I think it was later sold for about the same amount. Another student friend bought an old Rolls-Royce for £40 and took it right round Spain and back then sold it for £45........ Sigh.
A drawing by my brother Colin Grimes of one of our boats pulled up onto the grass island on the Pyefleet marshes near West Mersea in the late 40s. The boat was called Sudden Death due to us fitting a sail on what was supposed to be a rowing boat. Happy to say it didnt live up to its name but did result in a lot of involuntary swimming. Strood Villa can be seen in the background.
While we have been on the subject of Mersea Island here is a rerun of that brilliant little film "Bella and the dog"from the stable of Musing on a muddy island " This will strike a chord for anyone who has walked the Essex marshes or owned a water loving and sometimes smelly black Labrador dog. See it to the end for the sting in the tail.
This is a Birdseye picture of Strood Villa bought by my family around 1945. it was on the edge of the marshes and was used as fortifications to guard the Strood causeway leading to Mersea Island during WW2. We had to de-fortify it which meant moving many hundreds of sandbags and several gun emplacements. It became a brilliant family home,a real life Swallows and Amazons to us children................drawn from memory by Colin Grimes.