Saturday, August 18, 2007


Elizabeth Wallace's new book CHRISTMAS PAST IN ESSEX will soon be released by Tempus Publications of Stroud. I've had a chance to take an early peek through this intriguing book which Elizabeth, an Essex-born girl, has researched and written over the last year.During her search for Christmas stories, she interviewed many interesting folk from different walks of life.

However sophisticated many of us think we are, we tend to hark back to our childhood at this special time of the year. So we learn how the rich celebrated Christmas and also the poor. We discover how doctors, firefighters, postmen and the myriad of other Essex people who were forced to work their shifts and duties, still managed to enjoy Christmas. Often, there were no expensive toys around as there are today, but still children seemed to have had a lot of fun with, in many cases, very little due to the deprivations of post-war austerity.

Elizabeth gives us more than sixty photographs and sketches, many of which have never been published. Cherished photographs were taken from frames and albums to be included in this book. Every part of Essex is included, from Epping to Southend, Saffron Walden to Romford.Even though Elizabeth now lives five thousand miles away in Denver, Colorado, her heart is never far from her family, friends and the wonderful people of Essex.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Chelmsford Essex- based anthropologist, scholar, former teacher and author, Dennis Olding is well known for his extensive knowledge of American Indian culture. But it was not until 1997 that he discovered the important connection between Essex, England and the famous Rappahannock Indian Tribe of Virginia.

During the preparations for the commemoration on both sides of the Atlantic of the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in the future U.S.A. which was at Jamestown, Mr. Olding's knowledge of Indian culture has been indispensable. Added to this is his friendship with a prominent Virginian Indian - Chief Anne Richardson of the Rappahannock Tribe.

In Mr. Olding's recently published book, "Newport, James City & the Powhatans," he tells the story of how, on 4 May 1607, the then Rappahannock Chief met Captain Christopher Newport of Harwich at Paspahegh. Mr. Olding describes Christopher Newport as "the founder of the Commonwealth outside Europe, from the small beginning at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. The fact that Virginia left the Commonwealth in 1783 does not diminish this distinction."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tomorrow, 40,000 scouts attending the World Scout Jamboree in Chelmsford's Hylands Park will say goodbye after twelve days living in 'tent town'. The scouts and guides from 155 countries all reckon they have had a wonderful time at Chelmsford and the friendships will carry on over the years ahead. Robert Baden-Powell could never have envisaged on August lst 1907 just what his first little group of boys from would start when they arrived on Brownsea Island in Dorset. We now know there are 28 million Scouts within the global network and we can certainly be proud of our great UK contingent. As one veteran Scout Leader murmured: "If only the world's Peace Educators could be here today, what a lesson they would learn!"

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Following Saturday's launch by Prince William of the 21st World Scout Jamboree, there has been non stop action at the huge site at Hylands Park near Chelmsford, Essex. Yesterday saw the memorable Sunrise Ceremony at Hylands Park but also at Great Burstead where scouts, cubs and beavers took part and renewed their Scout Promise. Everyone enjoyed al fresco breakfast following the ceremony at 8.00am. Today we met many scouts from numerous countries including the Scouts of China, all having a great time during these twelve days in England.



Wonderful celebrations yesterday at Hylands House near Chelmsford and other places around the world. More than 40,000 scouts from 140 countries enjoyed 'Sunrise' where they renewed their Scout Promise. Images will arrive soon.