Saturday, 31 July 2010


                                Family home mid forties on the Essex coast. We moved there to be close to the Colchester military Hospital where my oldest brother was sent having been badly wounded during the Normandy invasion. For us youngsters it was heaven being surrounded by marshes back and front and high tide coming up to a few feet from the front door. We sailed both the Blackwater and the River Colne,both being in easy reach depending on the tides.The house had been converted into a fort during the early war years to guard the nearby Strood Causeway leading to Mersea Island so it was hard work bringing it back to a decent state and us children were give the task of moving hundreds of sandbags out.
   Once that was done it was Swallows and Amazons full time. In the 40s there was only one other house on the causeway road and no trippers to speak of.The locals used to tell them the salt flats were highly dangerous and could swallow them up instantly so it was rare to see anybody out there save the odd  marshmen and happily no jet skis or gin palaces to foul the peace and quiet. We only came into the house to listen to ITMA.
I even slept in the yard extremely cosy tack room as I had very muddy boots on most of the time.
 It was a sad day when we were packed off to the London house and our paradise was sold to some other lucky people.
One of my younger brothers ran away and lived in a tent out on the Pyefleet marsh for some months,I would have joined him but art school beckoned...
 Very odd blogland is...My labels are coming up with words I havent put in..what have "cycles" to do with marshes?


  1. If you google "cycles, marshes." you get lots of information about tides and gases but I am flummoxed that words are appearing that you have not typed in.

    I spent my childhood under the braken in a Scottish glen. Wonderful.

  2. Health and safety would frown at you going under bracken these days Rosie

  3. I have an image of a Gee-type figure, riding a bicycle on the marsh...

  4. Oddly enough we did cycle the marshes on my mums old vintage boneshaker minus the tyres to give better grip.