Looking down river
'Greensleeves' and 'Hazel May'
Close-up of 'Greensleeves'
This Essex village, situated where the River Crouch is narrow enough for a road bridge, has an interesting history. The first bridge, a wooden one, was replaced with an iron bridge in 1856, and replaced again with the existing one in 1872. Not so many years ago, the structure was strengthened by adding metal supports under it. The most prominent building is now an antiques centre, but in its heyday was a mill, beside which barges would berth for transporting grain and flour.
Even today, fair sized vessels can be seen moored near the bridge. One of the larger ones is the ‘Hazel May’, the motor vessel beyond the little green gaff cutter, ‘Greensleeves’ shown in the photos above.
When I first saw ‘Greensleeves’, I thought she was Charles Stock’s ‘Shoal Waters’, but a closer examination revealed she was very similar, perhaps a sister ship.
Getting vessels as large as the old Thames barges to Battlesbridge these days could be a bit tricky, because of silting and a narrowing of the channel, but it’s still possible at high water springs.
Battlesbridge Conservation Area
Guide to Battlesbridge
‘Hazel May’ Photo
Another ‘Hazel May’ Photo
My previous Blog about ‘Shoal Waters’, Charles Stock’s boat