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ID ML2015_008_P69 Article from Mersea Museum

TitleMemory Lane - the wall by The Square
AbstractContinuing on with last month's Coast Road theme, for this month we feature the ornamental wall in front of The Square which was built to house a barometer...

The barometer was sold at auction at the Hall Barn many years ago and is now in a private collection in South Essex. It would be great to see it back in West Mersea. It is doubtful, but we are for ever hopeful. The location was naturally a popular meeting place for local fishermen and oystermen discussing the weather and the day's work.

The first picture is believed to be the only one in existance to show the barometer. The two men posing either side in 1924 are 'Billy Oak' Hewes in the 'Nancy' yachting gernsey and Titus Mussett holding a Tendal basket. Unusually for an oysterman, which Titus was, the basket is fully woven across the bottom instead of the usual fine mesh wire netting.

The second picture of around the same date shows a group locals which include - Edwin 'Juggy' French, Archie French, Bertrand 'Bunny' Cook and George 'Hoppy' Hewes on his motorcycle. Hoppy had Mersea's first taxi - a model 'T' Ford. In the sidecar we see Johnny Chatters.

Others in the group are Teddy Vince, William Wyatt and Kenny Bacon on his bicycle with his left elbow leaning on the wall near the arch. Kenny was not a fisherman but a bricklayer all his working life.

Another feature of this wall which dosen't show on the images but can still be seen today are the indents on the wall copings where countless knives were sharpened over the years.

Article printed in Mersea Life August 2015, page 69.

AuthorRon Green
PublishedAugust 2015
SourceMersea Museum
IDML2015_008_P69
Related Images:
 1924 'Billy Oak' Hewes and Titus Mussett. Billy was Harry Mussett's great grandfather and was named 'Oak' after the smack. 
 The picture shows the barometer in the wall by The Square on Coast Road - the wall and case are still there, but the barometer has gone. Titus Mussett is holding an oyster tendel.  FL12_007_003
ImageID:   FL12_007_003
Title: 1924 'Billy Oak' Hewes and Titus Mussett. Billy was Harry Mussett's great grandfather and was named 'Oak' after the smack.
The picture shows the barometer in the wall by The Square on Coast Road - the wall and case are still there, but the barometer has gone. Titus Mussett is holding an oyster tendel.
Date:1924
Source:Mersea Museum / Owen Fletcher Collection
 Uncle Whitey Mussett, (Aunt Maud's husband). By the barometer at the Square, Coast Road.
 On the right is Kenny Bacon - on bicycle with acetylene light.  PA1_MIL_AB1_PIC47
ImageID:   PA1_MIL_AB1_PIC47
Title: Uncle Whitey Mussett, (Aunt Maud's husband). By the barometer at the Square, Coast Road.
On the right is Kenny Bacon - on bicycle with acetylene light.
Source:Mersea Museum / John Milgate Collection


This item is part of the Mersea Island Museum Collection. The contents must not be published without the permission of the Museum. The information is accurate as far as is known, but the Museum does not accept responsibility for errors.


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