TitleCentenary Chronicles Birch Layer Breton and Layer Marney - Index
AbstractBirch - Layer Breton & Layer Marney Local History

The Centenary Chronicles

Origins of the 'Centenary Chronicles'

Rarely, something happens that fires people's imagination. Many visited the Parish Council Centenary Exhibition. They wanted more time to study the exhibits, and to explore the history of our area and of people who have lived here. Such a big effort went into that exhibition that it seemed a pity to let it all slip out of our memories. So Parish News editor Geoff Russell Grant and Eric Hall got together to put out a quarterly supplement to Parish News, on a trial basis, the first being published in November 1995. The articles have been very well received and sparked so much interest in our local history as to merit them being afforded a wider audience through the Internet.


"Live for the present, look to the future but don't lose sight of the past"
(anonymous Sussex village writer)

One of the contributors to the exhibition had written about Birch Airfield and he said that he had been met with replies to the effect that "Nothing ever happened there" when making enquiries about it. This is often the way when we accept what happens around us as part of a normal way of life.

We live close by one of the oldest towns in the country the history of which is the subject of articles in the local press. Some of the articles have touched on "our" area and tales of the Great Earthquake, the two World Wars, murders and the lock out of farm workers have been written up. Much more exists, we are sure.

Centenary Chronicles were published from 1995 to 2013 as a quarterly supplement to Birch Parish News. They were compiled by Geoff Russell Grant and Eric Hall and also published on the BretonHeath website.

Centenary Chronicles have been transferred from - Click on the article number below to view the relevant page:

Article Topic
Number 1. The Great War, the building of the Memorial Hall
and the Start of Many Social Gatherings thereafter
Number 2. Who Used to Live Here?
Number 3. Shopping Down the Years
Number 4. From Little Acorns Great Oaks Grow
(Huttons, the Builders)
Number 5. The Village Postman's Tale
Number 6. Of Highways and of Travellers
Number 7. Our Village Schools
Number 8. Birch Village School - 150th Anniversary
Number 9. Of Our Villages and Villagers in The Great War
Number 10. The Village Postman's Life Off-Duty
Number 11. The 1884 Earthquake, and
The German Bomber Crash in 1943
Number 12. The Women's Institute
Number 13. Murder at Birch, 1943
Number 14. The Blacksmith
Number 15. The Miller
Number 16. Little Birch Church
Number 17. Martin Knowles Recollects
Number 18. Emily and Walter Bond
Number 19. Village Signs
Number 20. Remembering the Fallen
Number 21. One Hundred Years Ago
Number 22. "Cheers" - local public houses
Number 23. Charles G Round - Squire and Landowner
Number 24. War Memorials and The Men They Commemorate
Number 25. Pat Adkins Recollects
Number 26. Layer Marney Tower
Number 27. The 1901 Census
Number 28. Village People in World War I
Number 29. Of Local Records and Researches
Number 30. Layer Breton
Number 31. Village Celebrations
Number 32. Harvest Supper Speech - Layer Marney, 1965
Number 33. Abberton Reservoir
Number 34. Patrick Adkins - Local Archaeologist and Historian (1933-2003)
Number 35. Village People in World War II
Number 36. Researching Your Family History
Number 37. Local Census Returns 1841-1901
Number 38. Layer Breton's Quaker Meeting House and Burial Ground
Number 39. Hearth Taxes
Number 40. Hobstevens, Layer Breton
Number 41. Winter Weather
Number 42. A Little History Concerning St Mary's Church, Layer Breton
Number 43. The Wilsmore Family of Layer Breton
Number 44. Ivy Moore née Taylor of Layer Breton
Number 45. Layer Breton Luddites
Number 46. Workhouses
Number 47. Old Farming Records
Number 48. Basil Bowyer's Reflections
on his service in the Bucks Hussars in the Great War
Number 49. Gardening in the Past
Number 50. Layer Breton Chapel
Number 51. Proof of Identity - 15th Century Style
Number 52. Layer Breton Vestry - 1820 to 1861
Number 53. Birch Friendly Society
Number 54. Layer Breton and the 1911 Census
Number 55. Medical Officer of Health Reports
Number 56. Public Health in our Villages
Number 57. Elections and Eligibility to Vote
Number 58. Of White Horses and White Houses
Number 59. Fighting Fires at Birch
Number 60. The Villages in 1910
Number 61. The Layer Breton Missal Stand
Number 62. (i) S.S. Teulon, Architect (ii) The Parish Surveyor
Number 63. Nineteen-Eighty-Mine - A Mine in Abberton Reservoir in 1989
Number 64. Layer Breton - of The Manor and the many Forms of Worship
Number 65. Remembrance - A Personal Retrospection by Eric Hall
Number 66. Olympic Experiences
Number 67. A Village Churchyard
SourceMersea Museum / Breton Heath