MAD about Bees

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I’m looking for the QueenBee

Last weekend Claire and I attended a beekeeping taster workshop in Ulting run by the Maldon and Dengie 100 Beekeepers. We already have a hive (bee-less) and made contact with Peter Davison, who oversees of the management of the Divisional Apiary based at the Arcadia Road Allotment Site. The taster workshop is designed to give would be beekeepers the opportunity to have some hands on experience with real live bees as well as Continue reading “MAD about Bees”

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The Wild East

English Activities

‘The landward farms produced not only corn, cattle and sheep but great herds of half-wild horses and ponies with a sprinkling of donkeys. They roamed free as the wind over the wide rough grass marshes bordering the sea-wall. When the day came for them to be rounded up and sent to market at Wickford and elsewhere, the scene was like something out of the Wild West. Rough riders on horseback, with cracking whips and yelling in broad Essex, hustled the horses, with flying manes, flourishing their tails like banners, into wooden corrals where they could be sorted out, branded and taken quietly up the lane to the farm on the way to market.’

– James Wentworth Day, A Garland of Hops (1978) Continue reading “The Wild East”

Desk Research: Dengie Woodland

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Illustration by Matthew Ayres from A Popular History of the Dengie Hundred

Mixed-bag of weather today that made walking far undesirable, especially after yesterday’s puddlicious Southend trip. Burnham’s little library has a small local history/topography collection with enough in it to hold one’s attention quite a while – including a copy of the book of the great Chapman/André 1777 map of Essex.

Another map has captured my imagination more recently however, the one above taken from A Popular History of the Dengie Hundred by M.J. Ayres, R.J. Blaney & T.J. Wood. This map is a highly speculative rendering of how the Dengie might have looked in a period for which we have no good contemporary rendering. I’m attracted by the suggestion of woodland on the higher ground, as it gives some impression of what might have been lost locally (only 2% of Essex is covered by ancient, semi-natural woodland, Essex is the second least wooded county in England – and Maldon district has only 3% woodland cover of any kind), and because it visualizes a suggestion made by P.H. Reaney as to the etymology of the name Dengie itself: Continue reading “Desk Research: Dengie Woodland”