TitleIvy Moore (née Taylor) of Layer Breton - Centenary Chronicle 44
AbstractIvy Moore (née Taylor) of Layer Breton

Birch, Layer Breton & Layer Marney Local History

Centenary Chronicles - No. 44.

Published in Parish News - November 2006

This issue of the Chronicles is, in part, by way of being a follow up to items included in recent issues. Over the last century the pace of life has increased considerably and many changes have occurred affecting almost everybody. This time the intention is to provide an outline of the life of a lady who lived in Layer Breton for almost the whole of the last one hundred years.

Ivy Lily Eileen Moore was born in 1914 just after the outbreak of the First World War which in itself had a massive effect on many families. Her maternal grand parents were Charles and Ellen Taylor, a family having many branches in this area. Ivy's mother, also Ellen, was the oldest daughter, born in Layer Breton in 1891.

A large family, with eight children at home in 1901, they lived in a 4 roomed cottage in The Rows adjacent to The Lodge. The cottages were demolished just after the Second World War. After Ivy came two brothers. One, however, died very young. For schooling Ivy walked 3 miles each day to and from Birch School until she was 14 years old, no matter the weather. In addition she attended the Layer Breton Chapel (in the Quaker Meeting House) and it was there that she learned to play the fiddle and piano as part of the small group of musicians who were largely self taught. Even in the 1920s there was only a limited range of work for girls of Ivy's age and so she worked locally for one or other of the families requiring help about the house. The next event to affect Ivy was a local one. By the late 1930s work on the Abberton Reservoir had begun bringing to this area a considerable workforce. One workman caught Ivy's eye and in 1938 Ivy became Mrs Little, in Birch Church.

Home was, initially, at Birch Green. The Second World War also affected Ivy as her surviving brother was killed in Italy. In the very same week her father died. This must have been a terrible blow and Ivy moved to Layer Breton together with her son Victor to live with her mother. Life was not easy at any time and so Ivy helped out the family income by local cleaning work. Like many others in rural areas she picked fruit and other crops in season but she made a name for herself by her gardening skills. These in addition to keeping a few chickens all helped especially in times of rationing and shortages.

She was also a staunch supporter of the Chapel and made time to attend meetings in Colchester and Stanway Evangelical Chapel. On occasions this meant a long day away from home as she would stay over between services rather than make the journey home only to have to leave soon for the next service such was her devotion. Holidays were not exactly top of Ivy's list of requirements - she travelled to Great Yarmouth one year but only stayed for a couple of days before heading home again - her family was the most important thing in her life. Bill Johnson, one of the leading lights from the Chapel, taught her to drive. Another skill for which she was well known locally was wine making. A glass of her very potent Mangle wine was available to any caller be they meter readers or friends just dropping by! She was a very strong, determined lady who stayed independent as long as she could but about 4 years ago she moved into a care home in Frinton and she died there on 5th September this year just short of her 92nd birthday. Almost ninety two years of devotion to her faith and he family during which time she left a lasting impression on so many people. Those who lived through Ivy's lifetime dealt with many changes not least rationing when she was, probably, registered with neighbour Edgie Bond. Later came decimalisation and so on.

The reservoir, as mentioned above, had added meaning for Ivy, but at least in later years she no longer had to draw water from the well and could light her house at the flick of a switch.

We are grateful to Kevin Little and family for the information on which this issue is based.

PublishedNovember 2006
SourceMersea Museum / Breton Heath
Related Images:
 Ivy Lily Eileen Moore, born Layer Breton 1914 and died 5 September 2006.  PBH_039
ImageID:   PBH_039
Title: Ivy Lily Eileen Moore, born Layer Breton 1914 and died 5 September 2006.
Source:Mersea Museum / Breton Heath