Barges, Canals and the Basin, Memories from Frank Thompson
Published by Mersea Island Museum Trust, 36 pages. A5 size booklet (N3639)
Heybridge is a large village adjacent to Maldon, near the river Blackwater in Essex. Nowdays Heybridge has merged with it's larger neighbour, but in past decades the village had it's own very distinct identity and history, and one of the most notable aspects of the village was the Heybridge Basin, an area where the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation Canal merge into the tidal Blackwater Estuary, itself fed by the rivers Blackwater and Chelmer. The two rivers are joined by a lock which is regularly used by canal boats and barges, and there are two pubs adjacent to the lock (The Old Ship Inn and The Jolly Sailor).
The author of this fascinating booklet came from an old and established 'Basin' family - his grandfather ran the Jolly Sailor, and like his mother, he was christened in the pub! This booklet contains six short essays and articles to do with the local history of the Basin and it's people over the decades, and offers a fascinating insight into the social history of the area. The articles include:
- Cannibal Island - the story of a village in brief.
- On barging, the canal and its horses.
- Regatta Days of long ago at Heybridge Basin.
- To Salcott for a Stack
- The barge UNITY of 1885
- A Knotty problem from Frank - Who was Matthew Walker?
Condition of the booklet is generally excellent. The cover is clean and tidy, the staple spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.