|Is it Hove, Hoov or Holve ?
Mention that name to most people nowadays and in return you will usually get a puzzled look.
Travelling down Coast Road and just before reaching the houseboats, you will drop down a short steep hill. You have just descended Hove Hill.
In the past a sizeable creek - Hove Creek, came right in to the foot of the hill close by the road. It is still there but silting over the recent years has reduced it to little more than a trickle.
This silting has been accelerated by a shingle spit building across the mouth of the creek where it joins Besom (Buzzun) Fleet and restricting the flow of water.
The creek starts off as a fresh water stream draining from St Peters well and other springs running from the high ground behind St Peters well meadow - the area that was known years ago as the Cricket Ground.
Hove Creek was well used in the old days, as can be seen on a postcard produced by local chemist and photographer George Cleghorn around 1905.
It shows a group of fishermen working on their nets. The man dressed in white is recognised as Ernest 'Jim' Cook. Around 1950 our West Mersea Urban District Council erected stand pipes for fresh water at points along the foreshore including one by the Hove, surrounded by a small copse of elm trees where the oystermen used to park their bicycles while they worked on their layings in Besom. Sadly the elms and the stand pipe have now gone. Some of the smaller fishing boats were brought up close to the road to have work done - and a paint up and scrub.
The photograph above shows the fishing boat GREY GULL in the creek and is thought to be in the 1960s. GREY GULL was owned by Bunny and Bill Cook.
In recent years the West Mersea Town Council have constructed a boardwalk running parallel to the Hove Creek. It is well used, particularly during the RNLI Boxing Day swimming event.
Article from Mersea Life, July 2015.