Saturday, July 21, 2012



As a local historian, I welcome new books that increase our knowledge of our surroundings and the lives of those people whose names are reflected in our street and place names.  Allen Buckroyd’s earlier book on Great Baddow was warmly received and sold out quickly.  I am not disappointed with his latest local history book CHELMSFORD  HERE  AND  NOW which is on sale at Chelmsford Central Library and good local bookshops. It is fascinating and I learned a lot.

Newly created as a city, Chelmsford’s provenance goes back more than two thousand years, being a staging post between Londinium (London) and Camulodonum (Colchester) which the Romans elevated to the capital of Britain.  Archaeological Roman remains have been found in surrounding villages, particularly in the nearby village of Writtle.  This spot was the site of a royal hunting lodge, built in 1211 in the time of King John.
Mr Buckroyd’s book covers every aspect of our county city. Using his own photographs, he takes us on a tour of the town centre, with its town sign in the High Street, highlighting Chelmsford’s motto “Many minds one heart”, explaining the major symbols and the luminaries who were born there and whose names are associated with the city.

We learn about the genius Guglielmo Marconi, who, in 1899, opened the first electronics factory in the world in Hall Street which subsequently moved to New Street in 1912.  Worldwide industrial companies started in Chelmsford;  Hoffmans, Crompton Parkinson,  Christy’s and more, employing thousands living in Essex.

This is an excellent book, written with care and  illustrated with hundreds of photographs taken by the author. Mr Buckroyd should be rightly proud of his contribution to Essex history. 
Baddow & Galleywood U3A Publications   ISBN 978-0-9546650-1-3

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