|Continuing 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.