Back in January I wrote a post complaining about the closure of the footpath between Vicarage Lane and North Street. I had considerable support from many locals in the form of Public Rights of Way Evidence forms which I planned to submit to Essex County Council to get the pathway reopened.
Before doing this I met with Helen Pudney of Titchmarsh Marina, who now own the Mere and the surrounding land. After a long discussion I was able to get her to agree to reopen the footpath albeit on a slightly different route. This satisfied me as all I wanted was to be able to walk this shortcut to and from the Naze.
I am now delighted to be able to tell you that the footpath is now open and the route used by many to get to the school and doctors is reinstated.
Entering from the Vicarage Lane end it is not obvious where the path starts, but just go to the right hand end of the new metal fence and there it is.
This is a copy of a message I received today from Helen:
We never meant to upset you or other residents of Walton as we explained when we met to discuss the matter. Unfortunately, because of the actions of others we had no choice but to follow the legal and professional advice being given to us. (We were advised to fence the site when we first bought it in 2009 but resisted as we never intended to prevent access) We fully intend to regenerate the site and bring it back into use for everyone to have access to and enjoy with footpaths, maybe even cycle-ways, but until our plans get approved we cannot specify the exact routes. Access via North Street will always be maintained. It provides great linkage from the site to the Town.
Today about 200 Walton folk gathered to say goodbye to Steve Eaton, a true Waltonian – man and boy.
Steve was a classmate of mine at Primary School and I was pleased to see several more of our contemporaries in attendance.
Here are a couple of photos of Steve (who was also known as ‘Twiggy’ ). Although these were taken many years ago, he never lost that cheeky smile with which he always greeted me.
Exactly sixty years ago as I write this, Walton and much of the East Coast was about to be inundated with a huge surge of water from the North Sea.
A combination of a high Spring tide and wind over the North Sea created a storm tide which overwhelmed the sea defences.
At Felixstowe 38 people died and 58 at Canvey Island. Nearer to home at Jaywick, 37 people are known to have lost their lives and it could be even more as the wooden chalets which had been built for summer holiday use and caravans were overturned and simply washed away without the residents being accounted for. My good friend Harry (Sonny) Francis, then a 13-year-old boy, was rescued from his seafront home in Jaywick wearing only his underpants which, at that age, must have been very humiliating.
In total more than 300 people were killed by the storm in the UK.
There is a silent amateur film showing the events at Canvey Island at the Essex Film Archive site http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/228
I wrote a post on this subject in 2009 which includes photos and a humorous account written by my brother – so rather than repeating myself I give you this link. http://petefrost.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/east-coast-floods/
You can see lots of photos of Walton on the morning after the flood (1st February 1953) at http://www.putmans.co.uk/OW_Floods_Index.htm
Having just experienced a few cold days and a fall of snow here in Walton reminded me of a very different town exactly 50 years ago.
24th January 1963 dawned as a bright sunny day, but bitterly cold. Not many folk ventured out into the cold air, but for those of us who did, a previously unseen spectacle presented itself.
The sea was frozen right out as far as the end of the pier. The lifeboat, Edian Courtauld, and the boarding boat were surrounded by ice.
I and my colleague David West were soon on the scene with 35mm cameras to capture the moment. We printed literally hundreds if not thousands of copies of these photographs as it seemed that every local person wanted copies. You can see all of the pictures at http://www.putmans.co.uk/OW_SeaFreeze_Index.htm
As I returned from the walk to the end of the pier to capture the frozen lifeboat I was taking another shot from the Parade when a figure below shouted up to me, “Here boy! Look what I’ve got”. It was Tom Hipkin proudly waving a frozen lobster in my direction.
It’s hard to believe that 50 years have passed since I as a young 17-year-old whipper-snapper was capturing this phenomena.
I hope you enjoy the pictures at http://www.putmans.co.uk/OW_SeaFreeze_Index.htm
Back in December 2007 I wrote a post here http://wp.me/p18byN-L which made reference to André Sranz, who used to run the beach kiosk on the Albion Beach, when I was a boy.
In 2009 I received a Facebook message out of the blue from a person in Sweden who was looking for her grandfather of the same name. Being an unusual name I felt sure that this must be the same man.
I made some enquiries around the town but André seemed to have disappeared from the radar and in January 2010 I had to report that I had failed in my search.
But then last year in August I was chatting to Ernie White and happened to mention the search for André. Ernie had been a close friend with Andr and he was very enthusiastic about finding him. This encouraged me to renew my search and fortunately after mentioning this on a Walton Facebook Forum I struck lucky and was given an address for a person thought to be André’s brother, Ferri, in Spain.
Sure enough, when Ferri was contacted a very happy young lady found her great uncle and her father was in contact with an uncle he never knew he had.
Unfortunately Ferri had also lost contact with his brother André so his whereabouts are still unknown.
If you can add anything further to this search I would be pleased to hear from you.
I’ve been very busy today adding loads of new photos to the Archive.
Any photo with a reference number higher than 1784 is new to the Archive.
If you’ve got an hour to spare check them out at http://www.putmans.co.uk/oldwaltonindex.htm
I have been scanning a lot of negatives from the 1960s and several of the faces, although familiar to me, I could not put a name to.
So here goes – it’s your turn please
I now realise the error of my ways in removing the images once I have names – so I will leave these few remaining images, but all of the earlier ones will appear on the Archive http://www.putmans.co.uk/OW_People_Index.htm
Thank you to the brilliant folk on the Walton-on-the-Naze Memories forum http://www.facebook.com/groups/popplewell/ who have identified these Old Waltonians
“Tiny” Fields with Mrs Broughton
Gwen Gray on whose knee?
Ken & Edna Shaw
John & Gwen Gray
The lady wearing bonnet is Mrs Gray
Lady third from left = Mrs Wackett
Left to right Ray Hall, Jean Halls, ???, June Hall, Derek Halls. who is the other lady?
Sid & Edna Ward
Jean Halls & Ron Edmunds?
There are more, but I think these are enough to be going on with