7. Jan, 2021

For Whom The Bell Tollesbury

I needed a walk where I wouldn’t see anybody at all and Tollesbury sprang to mind. There was an isolated RST right out on the seawall at the former pier, which was destroyed in 1940 as an anti-invasion precaution. I have wanted to visit this for absolute ages and there was no danger of bumping into anyone.

However, there was also a multi and an AdLab series here. 🤔 I had visited this sleepy town many times before, usually visiting the Tollesbury Wick nature reserve and never seen more than a handful of people so I was reasonably sure that it was safe out here.

I parked up in the centre of the village and quickly gathered the info for the Tollesbury Village Lock-Up multi. I would normally have gone over to the Kings Head pub. They had an etched glass window showing Russell’s Gravesend Brewery there which some cretin had damaged. Russell’s were bought out by Truman’s in 1930. The landlord told me that the window would cost £1000 to replace. I wanted to check out what had been done but I gave it a swerve on this occasion.

I drove down to where I would normally park up to walk out to The Wick and set out on the AdLab series. Stage 1 was quickly sorted and then I walked out to the Lightship. I had only seen this from a distance before but it’s very impressive close up. By the way, the light was on! I retraced my steps back to the Sail Lofts and carried on to the pool. The last stage was out on the Wick and is was very muddy so I had to take great care.

I have been to Tollesbury many times and I’d dearly like to know where the Stone & Sons Brewery was. They were bought out in 1950 by Tolly Cobbold. A Tollesbury lad emigrated to New Zealand around this time and for some reason took a few Stones beer labels with him. 🤔 These re-surfaced in the U.K. about 20 years ago and I was lucky to get one of each. Mind you, they cost me an arm and a leg (swapping wise, that is).

I was able to find the well placed Lock-Up multi and then drove down as close as I could to get to RST - Tollesbury Pier trad. This would still leave me a 3 mile round trip and I never saw a soul. It was eerie out at the sea wall. You couldn’t imagine a railway station out here but it was, placed for the sole purpose to get the fish and shellfish from the Blackwater estuary to market in London as quickly as possible.

The station was at the end of the Kelvedon to Tollesbury Light Railway, affectionately known as “The Crab and Winkle Line.” It opened in 1907 but the expected traffic didn’t meet required amounts so it closed in 1921.

I realised that the impressive looking ship out in the estuary was the Mi Amigo, the former Radio Caroline pirate radio ship. Oh happy days, listening to that when it was moored just outside territorial waters in the 60’s. I spent the time walking back to the car reminiscing about those days.😀

1 Multi 1 Traditional 5 AdLab