ID: ML2022_009_063

TitleMemory Lane: Mill Road
AbstractFrom Ron Green and Tony Millatt, Mersea Museum

For this month we have a panoramic view of Mill Road of over 100 years ago, looking to the northwest. The east side of the road is largely open fields.

Going from left to right, we have first the large chimney which came from the boiler of the steam engine of the mill. I don't remember this as it was in my day an 'Oil' engine with a large fly wheel. I don't really know what fuel oil the engine ran on, maybe someone will enlighten me. Then comes the windmill which looks to be working. The top was removed around 1930 but the base remains - known as the roundhouse. The small thin chimney comes from the 'Old' bread oven which was still in use in my time together with the 'New' oven. Dad and I used to service these ovens together with the one at Abberton which is still intact. It was a horrible job done over the week-end. After the Saturday morning's bake the oven would be opened to 'Cool' then one of us would be pushed in on our belly on several thicknesses of flour sacks through the little oven door over the burning hot floor while the other held on to his ankles ready to pull him out should he be overcome with the heat.

To the right of the mill and bakery is the Mill House - nowadays it has reminders of its former life, with a mill stone in the wall in front of the house and a windmill depicted in pargeting on the end of the house next to the road.

The cottages on this side of Mill Road are yet to be built - c1913. The view looks through to the cottages to the right of Mill House which are still there, now rendered but otherwise looking much the same. The low building which comes next is The Lawns, now hiding behind a heavy brick wall, a relic of WW2. Much earlier, it was one of the first shops on the Island.

Towards the right of the picture, is the Free Church. It is known locally as 'Top Chapel' but has enjoyed other names names over the years - Congregational Baptist Chapel and Union Church. It had a large Manse behind it, now gone. I was asked to value it many years ago for insurance purposes. Soon afterwards it was demolished. To the extreme right is the school room which is still there.

The field from where the photograph was taken is now covered by the Windsor Road houses. It looks to be well cultivated.

Article published in Mersea Life September 2022

PublishedSeptember 2022
SourceMersea Museum