Born 100 years ago today

Frost Maurice in High St shopMaurice Edwin Frost – better known as Jack – my father, was born one hundred years ago today.

February 1st 1917 was undoubtedly a busy day with his arrival in the front bedroom at 69, North Street, Walton. His mother Grace, his father Broughton and his sister Edith were all there to greet his first appearance.

This post is really a very personal one, but maybe some other old Waltonians will remember him.

I remember him with much love – he taught me so much without realising it.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments


Over many years I have been pleased to assist people with their family history research relating to Walton-on-the-Naze.

Genealogists now do most of their research online and a search for old Walton residents invariably leads to these Walton Tales and my Walton Photo Archive.

Back in November, I wrote about one such enquiry which has resulted in not only making friends both here and in USA, but also gaining a lot of new knowledge about our town. Melanie Carter of Weeley Heath has sent me a super piece of her family history researched by her second cousin, Carole Cowgill, which I reprint below with a view to it perhaps being of interest to anyone else researching any of these families. I will be pleased to assist in putting any family researchers in contact with Melanie.

imageThe Carter family were prominent in Walton in the 19th century, owning the North Street bakery and also operating bathing machines on East Beach.

   The North Street Bakery                     Stephen Carter’s bathing machines on East Beach

This is the document I received:


William Carter 1809-1894 and Sarah James 1809-1880

William Carter was born in 1809 in Great Oakley, third son of Thomas and Sarah Carter. He was baptised there on 25/6/1809. He and his three brothers followed their father and became master bakers.

William established a bakery at 4 North Street, Walton le Soken, in the early 1830s, just as the town was starting to be developed as a seaside resort. (The business was probably purchased from J. Pyman, baker late of Walton with the Soken, and previously miller of Gt. Oakley, according to the local newspaper, who became insolvent in Feb 1833.) The first pier in Walton was built in 1830, and many of the town’s hotels and businesses were established at that time. William married Sarah James in Walton le Soken on 7/11/1833. She was the youngest daughter of Thomas and Mary James, butchers in Walton le Soken.

William and Sarah had 10 children, all born in Walton le Soken (which later became Walton on the Naze) – two of the children died in infancy: The children’s dates of birth were noted in William and Sarah’s bible:

  • Sarah (born 14/8/1834 – bap 18/8/1834; died 3/10/1834 – buried 8/10/1834)
  • Jane (born 30/8/1835 – bap 26/9/1835)
  • William (born 27/11/1836 – bap 8/1/1837)
  • Thomas (born 16/12/1838 – bap 13/1/1839)
  • Sarah (born 19/5/1840 – bap 14/6/1840; died 16/40/1841 – buried 21/10/1841)
  • Stephen James (born 17/12/1841 – bap 23/1/1842)
  • Jonathan Edward (born 23/2/1843 – bap 6/1/1845)
  • Anna (born 16/11/1844 – bap 6/1/1845)
  • Arthur Charles (born 10/11/1847 – baptism not found)
  • Elvina Mary (born 25/4/1849 – bap 2/11/1851)

In the 1841 census, William was a baker living in North Street, Walton, with wife Sarah and three children.

In 1851, William and Sarah were at the bakery with seven children. By 1861, William and Sarah were in their 50s, still at the bakery with their three daughters and a 12-year old errand boy. image


William developed a bathing machines business at the East beach in Walton on the Naze from 1863, run by son Stephen. (pictured right and below with his dog ‘Nep’)



Steamers brought day trippers from London, Margate and Gt. Yarmouth, docking at the pier. Walton had been revitalised in the 1860s by Peter Bruff, a civil engineer who brought the railway to the town in 1867, and was responsible for developing the south side of the town


In the 1871 census, William and Sarah still lived at the North Street bakery with daughter Anna, 26, shop assistant, and grandson John Yerbury, aged 4 (oldest daughter Jane’s son). Son Arthur, 23, a journeyman baker, was living next door.

William’s wife, Sarah, died on 4/7/1880, aged 74. By the 1881 census, William was a retired baker, living at North Street with youngest son Arthur, 33, who was now a master baker and had taken over the bakery from his father. William’s unmarried daughter, Anna, 36, was also living there, as well as a female servant and a 14 year old boy help.

William had a letter published in the Essex Standard on 8/2/1888, complaining about the state of the paths and roads in Walton, and that the council commissioners didn’t actually live in the town and didn’t work for the ratepayers’ best interests.

The 1891 census showed William, Arthur and Anna still at North Street bakery – Arthur Carter, 43, unmarried, was a master baker, living with his father William, 81, retired master baker, and sister Anna, 46, housekeeper. A 25 year old shop assistant, Phillis Harris, was boarding with them.

William Carter died at Walton on the Naze on 12/5/1894, aged 85.

According to his great grandson Harold, William Carter was stacked in money and a wonderful man.

In his will, William left daughter Anna the house and bake office in North Street, then in the occupation of his son Arthur, together with the furniture, plate, linen and pictures. Son Thomas was left two houses in North Street (the proceeds to be left eventually to Thomas’s son Thomas); son Stephen (pictured below with his pal Billy Steer) was left the 12 bathing machinesimage he used in his business and £60.

Son Jonathan was left three cottages, stables and a cart shed in North Street (to be sold on Jonathan’s death and the proceeds split equally between Jonathan’s sons Edgar and Arthur – Edgar’s son Harold eventually inherited the three cottages, after uncle Arthur’s half was left to him); daughter Elvina Mary (wife of George Polley, pictured below with her brother Stephen Carter) was left some freehold land in Station Road and a life insurance policy of £100.imageThere was no mention in the will of sons William and Arthur or daughter Jane. Presumably, they had already been provided for in William’s lifetime. Jane’s husband, John Yerbury, had died aged 36 in 1874, and it is quite likely that her father had helped her financially at that time. William had bought Valley Farm, Thorpe le Soken for son William in the 1860s. Son Arthur had already been left the bakery business at North Street, Walton on the Naze.


Recently a further relationship to the Carter family has been brought to my attention. Both Robert Creswell imagewho was the owner of various wagons and also ran a horse drawn ‘bus’ service to Colchester, and Jonathan Parsons Potter the town’s butcher are connected. Considering that Walton in the mid 1800s was a small village with a very small population it is understandable that so many of the families were inter-connected.

             Robert Creswell (above) leading one of his wagons with what
             appears to be the complete population on board for a day trip

I researched my own family tree many years ago before the advent of home computers. I spent many happy hours pawing over the original church records, but maybe I should now take a new look at the Frost family with the aid of the Internet.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DAFFODIL DAYS – Walton Memories by Daphne Harvey

I recently had the pleasure of supplying a number of old Walton photographs to DaphneDaffodill Days Harvey to illustrate her 49 page A4 booklet “Daffodil Days”.

Any readers who were around in Walton in the 1950s and 1960s will probably remember Daphne’s father, Edwin Atkinson, better known as ‘Atty Atkinson’ –  the local sign writer.

Daffodil Days recounts Daphne’s early life in Walton from when she was born in 1924 and living in Green Lane at the house named Kosicot. Her mother inherited Wendycot and Sandycot in the same road from Daphne’s great grandfather who had built all three houses.Tariff

Daphne’s mother, Jessie Elizabeth Garrett, had grown up in Witham and married ‘Atty’ in 1917 while he was on leave from WWI service in France. Later she created a good business at Sandycot as a boarding house for the many holidaymakers who thronged to Walton between the wars.

This is the tariff for a stay in 1939.


High School Outfits


Daphne’s recounts her school days at Walton School with headmaster Laddie Lansdowne and then Clacton High School where she was a pupil during WW2, until the whole school, pupils and teachers,  were evacuated to Wolverley, near Kidderminster in Worcestershire, where she completed her education.

Returning to Walton Daphne met her husband Edward Harvey an RAF officer who was stationed at the radar post in the Naze Tower.

Daphne Harvey



Copies of Daffodil Days can be obtained for £6 including postage by contacting Daphne’s daughter at and I can recommend it as an interesting read with lots of illustrations.

I congratulate the 92-year-old author.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


I recently saw this photo postcard on the Clacton & District Local History Society Facebook Group site – the owner has given me permission to reproduce it here.

congragational mission pc 1

It was captioned “Walton Congregational Church Mission” which did not ring any bells with me.

The reverse of the card proved that it had been posted in Walton on July 12th 1907 and that the photographer was Victor Turner a well known Walton man.

congragational mission pc 2

I was at a loss to know just where this photo was taken as it was clearly not at the church building.

I turned to a small booklet “The Story of Walton-on-Naze Congregational Church 1834 –1937” and I think I may have found the answer. Chapter Six refers to “The Work of the Naze Mission” and tells of how a number of church members including the Misses Tricker, who I remember as the owners of the High Street toy shop, “commenced a splendid piece of work in a room belonging to the late Mr. R. Warner. Services for children were held in the morning, a Sunday School in the afternoon and a Gospel Service in the evening.”

Robert Warner was the owner of the Naze Foundry and I am guessing that the building in the photo was either on the foundry site or could it have been the building which is now the Naze Baptist Church and was formerly the Foundry Canteen?

Any suggestions?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


An intriguingly titled book “Sheds on the Seashore” by Kathryn Ferry has recently landed on my desk.

Subtitled “A Tour through Beach Hut History” it contains a wealth of information on the history of sea bathing and the proliferation of bathing machines around the coasts of Britain with their many designs and development from the mid-eighteenth century.Huts front cover

The author recounts her two journeys around the English coast where she visited the sites of beach huts including those at Walton, Frinton, Holland-on-Sea and Clacton.

Her description of a meeting with Robert Hipkin at Hipkins site at the Naze is particularly amusing.

I did not read all the chapters where she was visiting other parts of the coast, but the historical development of the bathing machine was most enlightening

The 355 page book is published by Pen Press and has a cover price of £12.99

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Polley, Carter, Cousins, Cook and Horton

Polley George ArthurIn the past I have written here about my contact with Brian Polley the great grandson of George Arthur Polley the renowned coxswain of Walton’s “True to the Core” lifeboat.  


Recently my story has expanded considerably.

Back in August I received a request from Melanie Carter of Weeley Heath, to be put in contact with Brian Polley. I did this and then my inbox almost exploded with an exchange of messages and images between the three of us for the next two months.

It transpired that Melanie and Brian are third cousins and both are hooked on family history research.

I was delighted to keep in touch with both of them to learn more about their Walton families and I will now try to summarise some of their information, such that should another member of these families read this, I can put them in touch.

1960 Carter Bakers North St (Wrights)Melanie’s GGG Grandfather , William Carter (1809–1894) was the town baker in North Street. The bakery was later run by their son Arthur (1847-1928). This is a photo of him and his wife Sarah (nee Fitchett) in the bakery doorway  

The bakery was sold to Mr Yerbury (son-in-law of William and Sarah Carter) and Mr Button in 1930 and then bought by Wrights in 1933. It is now sadly no longer although I’m sure most readers will well remember the bake house and the aroma of freshly baked bread and cakes .



506 Eastcliff beach tents

Another of William and Sarah’s ten children was Stephen James Carter (1841–1931) who was the owner of East Beach where he operated his bathing machines until the council purchased the beach from him in 1921



Matthew Stoker Horton[2]Stephen married Emma (nee Cousins and previously Cook)) and lived in Eugene Villa, Saville Street. Their daughter, Lily (1872-1947), married Francis Gales Giles Horton ((1869-1937) who was the son of Rev. Matthew Stoker Horton the Minister of the newly built Congregational Church in Station Street.

879 Congregational Ch 1878

 Matthew Stoker Horton 




Frances Horton was a great pal of George Arthur Polley, making two epic trips together in 1893 and 1895 from Walton across the English Channel to France, in Arthur’s 19 foot sailing boat “Volata”. But that’s another story for another time.

To complete this story and make the connection with USA, one of William and Sarah’s daughters Elvina Mary Carter (1849-1927) married George James Polley (1846-1910), they had eleven children one of whom was the aforementioned George Arthur Polley (1871-1959), the coxswain of the True to the Core Lifeboat. (Below)

1511 True to the Core 16-12-1905

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Miss Tordoff

I recently received the following reminiscence from John Hall which got me searching for a photo of Miss Tordoff. A fruitless search unfortunately.

I remember her from my days at Walton Primary School where she would occasionally take a class for country dancing. My father also would talk of her in hushed tones – a scary lady for all the right reasons, as you will see from John’s words below.


Yes Miss

‘Old Tordy’ or more correctly Miss Tordoff, she of the excessively rouged cheeks and plimsoll shod feet.

Quite short and somewhat plump, with round wire rimmed glasses that sought to descend down a slightly moist nose.

An institution whose origin seemed lost in antiquity and of whom myths abounded.

English and Country Dancing, hence the plimsolls, were her subjects and as I had no love or talent for either not my favourite teacher.

She was by some distance the longest serving turnkey at Frinton and Walton Secondary Modern School and was purported to have taught three generations of some local families.

A claim borne out by a famous story, where whilst reprimanding one poor unfortunate she retorted. “You’re hopeless, just like your father, and come to think about it, his father before him.”

‘Tordy’ possessed Teacher Radar, that mystical gift that permitted 360-degree vision without the slightest rotation of the head.

She taught using a combination of induced fear and repetition and one dreaded her un-solicited attention.

“Hall what is an adverb?” “Don’t know miss.”

“Why don’t you know Hall?” “Don’t know miss.”

Perhaps this will help you remember. You will write out one hundred times, an Adverb qualifies the Verb.

“Yes Miss”


Do you remember her? Do you have a photograph of her?

I believe she lived at 4, The Parade and her initials were E. M., but I do not know her Christian names.  Can you help fill the missing gaps?

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments