|With the present planning issues going on for West Mersea at the moment. it is interesting to look back to the Brierley Hall Estate as laid out by architect E. Hollyer Evans of The Strand, London W.C. in 1909. From Seaview Avenue to a line one field to the East of Cross Lane there are some 480 substantial plots including for a Hotel with club next door where we now have the caravan site clubhouse, plots 135 and 136 are for a church and vicarage with a tennis club opposite. Quite a bit of Seaview Avenue is laid out in 18 foot plots for villas. Affordable Homes? Some of the bungalows we built in the 1950s were on 54 foot plots, 3x18, instead of the usual 50 foot. At least one has been demolished and two large houses now occupy the plot. The estate office was to be on the corner of Seaview Avenue and East Road. Almost all of the land each side of Fairhaven Avenue is sold. My grandfather 'Roly' Green owned the first pair of villas on the left coming up Fairhaven Avenue from the beach. He also owned as parcel of land next to them. A new road Brierley Road runs down to the beach from East Road between Seaview Avenue and Cross Lane, next to Brierley Hall with a Bowling Green opposite.
The developers produced a 24 page brochure, describing Mersea as an "absolutely unrivalled health resort, for all seeking rest and quiet without monotony. Population 1,300. No Punch and Judy, no crowds of hatless damsels, hale and hearty fisher folk, nothing but a glorious atmosphere...
There were many other ambitious plans. The First World War put a stop to them all, as it did the proposed railway to Mersea and the gas works. Much of this land laid idle during the 1920s/30s as the farmers could not compete with the cheap foreign imports. I can remember it being brought back into use during WW2 being cultivated by steam ploughs. It has taken over 100 years for new plans to be submitted.
These details come from the brochure owned by museum member Carol Wyatt. Thanks also to Pixie Weaver and Peter Godfrey for the postcards of Seaview and Fairhaven Avenues in the very early days.
An early view at the top of Seaview Avenue. The advertisement on the left is for the Fairhaven Estate, by S. Callow, Brierley Hall. I remember Sam Callow as a little man with a bowler hat like a Homepride Flourgrader. He was the developer of Brierley Avenue although the actual building was done by Clifford White & Co.
One of the first houses on Fairhaven Avenue
Article published in Mersea Life August 2020