ID: WW01_061 / Winifred Hone

TitleMiss Teresa Buxton - Winifred Hone memoirs
AbstractMiss Teresa Buxton used to stay here at the Victory often, she was a very talented artist, her outstanding pictures were water colours. She also had great faith in our Mersea spring water, which was situated on the coast road not far from the Victory. She used to take bottles of this water home with her.

I'm afraid her faith was not shared by us living at this end of the Island, we were only too thankful when we had a good main water supply. Mersea Island like Topsy has grown since 1919, there were no proper roads, no lights, just candles and lamps, no street lights, no sanitation, just Mr Dixon known as the night cart man. He used to start his gruesome round late in the evening, you could be enjoying a late drink on the verandah when his sonorous voice, which could be heard a long way off, came ringing out "Close all your doors and windows". This you did with great expediency as you knew he was arriving to empty the cesspool, and the smell was not exactly country fragrance. This lack of amenities had its compensations and it is not difficult to sigh for the unsophisticated Mersea of 1919, but nobody could deny that the introduction at a later date of all mod cons has proved valuable for future development.

When we took the Victory in 1919 there were no domstic amenities at all and no business. Transport was very limited, you walked, rode a bicycle if you had one, or engaged George Hewes' taxi - one of the original Fords that never broke down, though I remember being told that it had been known to go for a considerable distance on three wheels. You could use the local Primrose bus services with hard tyres and very hard seats, double decker at 9d return to Colchester. If you sat on the top you got a wonderful view of the countryside as well as 'wonderful dusty', under the direction of Bernard D'Witt then manager of the Bus Company. A very likable and problem understanding man, he supplied us with a wonderful service at the Victory. If you wanted to catch a train to London you just rang up the office and the bus collected you and deposited you at the station and also collected you on your return from London, all for the princely sum of 1/3. You were privileged, if so inclined, to sit beside the driver, this is true evidence of the good old times so ridiculed these days.

AuthorWinifred Hone
SourceMersea Museum / Wendy Brady