A Detour…

We went to Jaywick (just down the coast from Clacton) on Tuesday looking for a Martello Tower. We didn’t find it and we came away feeling thoughtful after driving round what appeared to be a shanty town.

Jaywick was grew up as a holiday village in the 1920s and 30s when a property developer sold plots of farmland to Londoners to build holiday homes. The land he sold was not used for farming because it tended to flood – you would have thought this was a bad sign.

It became permanant by accident. After the war, with pressure on housing  in London, people moved out and started living in Jaywick on a full-time basis. Poor roads, lack of employment opportunities, lack of mains drainage and badly built houses all contributed to making it one of the most deprived areas of the UK.

{t’s a lesson in how things can go wrong from optimistic beginnings. You get the idea that it could all have been different, as other Plotlands schemes seem to have prospered, or been demoloished. Peacehaven is probably the best-known successful development, though it has been helped by being in a prosperous area and by being built on well=drained land.

Names can be interesting. I note that Peacehaven was originally named New Anzac-on-Sea in 1916.  Many Jaywick roads are named after car makers. You will, however, search in vain for many of our current car names – no Honda, no Seat, no BMW. Instead you have Crossley, Standard and Singer. The newest car name I saw was Lotus (founded 1952) but it looks like part of the 1970s rebuilding.

No photos for this, but an interesting bit of history (even if it wasn’t the history I was looking for). We never did find the Martello Tower…

8 thoughts on “A Detour…

  1. derrickjknight

    Fascinating. In Raynes Park, SW20, there his an area know as The Apostles (12 roads) where houses were built on land too wet for farming. You can imagine what happens with some regularity

      1. derrickjknight

        Quite amazing – almost as much as how I learned about it. 39 years ago, Jackie was 31, working as a Home Help for a woman of 96. When Jackie’s informant was 5, her father, when the houses were being built, had said to her: “Don’t grow up and buy one of those, dear. They will always be damp.” This had been when Raynes Park was being developed on the land of a local farmer. The Apostles were built over a natural dew pond where nothing would grow. The lengths of the roads like Edna vary, showing an outline of the pond from the air. Thanks for the link.

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