ID: ML2022_006_058

TitleMemory Lane: Celebration Arches
AbstractFrom Ron Green and Tony Millatt, Mersea Museum

With Her Majesty the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, I am reminded of King George V's Silver Jubilee in 1935, going along to events in the school field and receiving my mug - long since disappeared. There were a number of arches built across the road and below is a picture of the one placed in the village, on the corner of Yorick Road and High Street.

This is the Fishermen's Arch, decorated with flags, netting, oyster dredges and oars.
The tall man chatting to a group of people looks like Joe Mussett. The man in the middle of the road with a bicycle is Walter Cock and Kenny Bacon can be seen in the bottom right hand corner.
Cock's, the butchers shop on the left of the picture is still there.The shops on the right advertise Oysters fresh daily, Mersea Rock, Cycles, Wills Gold Flake. Behind the nearest shop was a billiard room.

Several other arches were built. The surprise these days is that the "Welcome to Loyal West Mersea" arch was at Pete Tye Common, near the bottom of Langenhoe Hill - but that was the West Mersea boundary until 1953. Other arches were at Queens Corner "God Save King and Empire" (designed and decorated by Mr A.W. Osborne - he was landlord of the Fountain), Barfield Road near the British Legion "All One Family, the King and his Subjects" and "AOF salutes the Sailor King" (Ancient Order of Foresters), and Griffon Corner "God Grant the King a Long Life" (the Agricultural Arch).
It is said that at the entrance to the built-up area, a red banner across the road read "30 mph. But no Limit to our Loyalty".

The White Hart was decorated for the occasion, with a banner across the road to the Village Tree "God Save the King". It was not to be - King George V died January 1936, the planned Coronation for King Edward VIII did not take place as he abdicated, and the Coronation of King George VI took place 12 May 1937 - with another set of arches across the roads of West Mersea.

Published in Mersea Life June 2022

PublishedJune 2022
SourceMersea Museum