Eaton Bray Millenium Book - Pages 2


Introduction by Maurice Saunders

On the theme of 'change and walks' - having lived 77 years in Eaton Bray, in the house where I was born, both words trigger vivid memories. On summer evenings whole families walked our footpaths.

Interested in the site of your home? If it's The Orchards or The Comp of pussy willow and wild violet fame, then about 700 fruit trees of the Wallace Farm and Nursery have made way for homes. Carnations grown where Wallace Drive is now were ordered for royal garden parties. The Coffee Tavern with reading and billiard rooms was the brainchild of two men intent on offering young folk an alternative to the ten Public Houses. The new dwellings in Lords Mead stand on a previous brickworks, later a garage. May Close sprang up from the Fountain Inn, where behind it Tom Deveral packed 'Beacon Flour'. Rose Wood's charming house, now Woodside faces the Garage, formerly the home of our taxi man, whose claim to fame was having driven to Clacton and back in a day. Butcher Jabez Thorne purveyed fine meat from premises in what is now Perry Mead; that in turn looked across the road to the site of our old school, bounded on one side by Moorend Farm and pond that was renowned for its winter skating.


The Chequers Inn was a one-time slaughterhouse and then a wartime fire station. Medley Close was named after the headmistress who's poultry farmer husband won the county egg laying trials year after year. Yew Tree Close was a farm owned by Sharretts builders and undertakers. The water wheel of Bunkers Mill beside the Ouzel remains. Opposite is Eaton Gate Close, location of a factory making various products over the years.

Lower down Moor End stood Alfred Thorne's Two counties Flour Mill, a major employer in the village, now replaced by Watermead. Across the road stands Janes, our oldest shop representing over 100 years of Christian business ethics. Half the residents of Summerleys, which adjoins, were wiped out by Typhoid. Victims were carried along by the Meads Brook to the old Pest House opposite the previous Vine Inn in Northall Road. Then walk back along over the stream, up the field adjacent to the Village Hall. This was known as Costin's Meadow and was where all denominations would unite on Rogation Sunday to pray for a good harvest.

The heritage and history is all around, Mauricecaptured here on camera and in sketches.

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