Monday, November 22, 2010


Here are some images from the launch of Saturday's Billericay Archive Group in the local library. Chairman of the new history group, Jim Devlin is pictured with chairman of the Town Council Peter Bowditch. A great surge of people joined us who seem to like the idea. We have Iris Yoemans and Joan Shirmer who were both interviewed and their memories are magical. James Shrubb, our super Town Crier was there in full colourful regalia. This is one important gentleman who never fails us in all our town endeavours. Trained interviewers were collecting individual stories and eventually (with their interviewees'permission) we can read about this historical town with its links back to Roman times. Centuries later, in 1620, the town could boast of six of their residents who travelled on board the Mayflower that sailed America in 1620.

One intriguing aspect of the site is that of Professor Wynford P Grant, who - as an 11-year-old - started his own BILLERICAY OBSERVER newspaper in the late 50s. He also wrote some excellent historical books when he was fourteen. Some of the most eminent journalists and film crews from around the world came to interview him. On our website you'll see the Pathe clips live.

Our much loved Cater Museum at 74 High Street was well represented, as was the Essex Record Office and local organisation. Enthusiasm for this new project was high and I suspect that particular story will run and run!