|Abstract||I didn't know much about cooking and for that matter some of the customers didn't either.
In those days there was every luxury at hand but without the necessary equipment.
Mersea was a good place to start the art of cooking as there was no competition.
I like to think I helped put Mersea on the map on the culinary side, at least
judging by the important people and quite famous small functions I have prepared over the years. Planning and cooking a meal
for some important special occasion became almost a ritual, but in this day of prepared frozen foods it's just like
feeding battery hens, it doesn't require initiative or concentration.
We had to treat The Visiting to something higher in the pub, which we managed to do over the years with the food, the addition of
up to date amenities and of the ballroom.
Old mother hubbard went to the cupboard, for to quench her thirst
But when she got there the cupboard was bare, her old man had got there first.
Berty Lincoln Cocks came to live at Mersea in 1928. He was a cultural and charming man, but very often his friendship with John
Barleycorn took charge and he would go on the bottle. Some slight event would trigger him off, and he just became another
personality. The extraordinary thing was that when he finally said, at least for the time, farewell to John Barleycorn, he always
remembered what had happened during these lapses and regarded it as a recurrance of an old illness. On these occasions he would
tell everybody that he was drunk and incapable. He had a freewheeling cheque book £5 to £20 for many hangers on who took
advantage of his great generosity during these lapses.
Is one day hate,
Your 'Omo' mate.
My days of youth are over
My torch of life burns out
So why not come and shop with me,
While I'm still about.
It's hard to choose the '3' from '5'
Who for your votes are fighting
Wise shoppers never have much doubt
They put their trust in "Whiting".
There has been a revolution in the method of food and grocery retailing. Supermarkets, cash and carry have provided an alternative
to credit and delivery, but the inhabitants of Mersea Island still prefer the friendliness and personal touch from the proprietors
of the local shops.