Mangapps Farm - 28th May
I have wanted to visit Mangapps Farm and its privately owned railway museum just outside Burnham-on-Crouch for a couple of years now. Today, I decided that I was coming over here whatever! I pulled into the carpark and immediately spotted an old hulk under shelter with CK69 on the bow. I have an interest in fishing smacks and bawleys so knew that the “hulk“ must have been a Colchester registered boat at some time. This was something to look at later.😀
I paid my money in a railway carriage doubling up as a tea room and had a great time exploring the plethora of railway memorabilia from all over but with a huge concentration of Essex stuff. I’d had come over primarily to see Pitsea Station sign from the London, Tilbury & Southend Railway era which I knew was here. I found that but was astounded to see the sign for the Purfleet Rifle Range Halt.😀
After a couple of hours of true amazement, I tore myself away and calmed down with a coffee and shortcake in the tea room carriage. Could this be the venue of a VangeRover On Tour event in the future. After scanning the books for sale shelves, I went outside to have a look at this “hulk”.
This “hulk” is the Oyster Dredger “Vanguard” built in Burnham-on-Crouch in 1938 and the sole survivor of three local vessels that took part in the evacuation of troops from the Dunkirk beaches in 1940.
It is in a sorry state having been vandalised over the years. If only the vandals had known the history of the Vanguard and seen the blood of wounded and dying soldiers in the woodwork, would they have done what they did?🤔 Thankfully the local council have recognised its importance and are making steps to save the Vanguard.👏👏👏
It was time for home but there was still enough time for a cache. Not enough unfortunately for SideTracked Mangapps Farm but the trad at Cemetery Chapel was a good second choice.