My Favourite Village Glyn Ridgers chooses Tollesbury
PUBLISHED: 13:17 06 October 2013 | UPDATED: 13:17 06 October 2013
Which is your favourite Essex village?
My favourite Essex village is Tollesbury, a lovely place not far from Maldon. Being nestled on the banks of the River Blackwater, Tollesbury has an abundance of wildlife, interesting boats, a great little beach which is ideal for families and fantastic scenery looking across the salt marshes towards Mersea Island, presenting a perfect setting for photographers, painters, walkers and cyclists.
What do you like most about Tollesbury?
I really like the beautiful tea room, The Loft, where they always make everyone feel welcome and the menu is fantastic with an amazing range of cakes. It is always the sort of place where you can just go and eat, relax and forget about the day’s stresses and feel as if you are on holiday.
Have you ever lived in the village or are you an outsider?
Even though I was an outsider, I feel very welcome now and part of the community. Through running my photography workshop business with business partner Jonathan Wignall, we have supported fundraising events for local initiatives.
What are your first memories of spending time in Tollesbury?
My first visit to Tollesbury was only a few years back, when I was looking for a suitable location for my business. I was blown away by the diversity this little village offers photographers. It has wonderful landscapes, wildlife, boat wrecks, charming buildings, a marina and yacht club and an amazing lightship called Trinity that is a base for the Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust (FACT).
Have things changed in the village much since that time?
Being quite new to Tollesbury I have not seen many changes and I think this is what is so appealing about this Essex gem. It is a surprisingly thriving hub for businesses that blend quietly into the beauty of Tollesbury, allowing it to keep its peaceful village appeal, which makes it so inviting to individuals.
Who are the characters you most enjoy bumping into in the village?
The people who run FACT are always so full of energy and doing great things with children, such as teaching them sailing, archery and team-building skills. Then there is also Doug and his dog Digger who do a fantastic job looking after the boats and the boatyard. Does the village have a local pub?
There is only one pub in Tollesbury and that is The Kings Head in the village square. The locals are nice and the live music is pretty good too.
What is it that keeps the community spirit of Tollesbury alive?
Tollesbury holds lots of school fetes and festivals that attract people from all over Essex, while sailing is a common passion of most residents of this village. It is also nice to walk anywhere and be greeted by a good morning or good afternoon by the locals.
Where do you find the best view in Tollesbury?
For me the best view is overlooking the salt marshes towards Mersea Island as the sun is rising or setting, especially if a mist is present making the lightship Trinity look spooky. Our photography students have captured some stunning views and images that are unique to this location and I am always amazed by the wonderful views Tollesbury has to offer.
Is there one thing you need to know to be considered a ‘local’?
Every time I enter Tollesbury I feel like I am welcome and have a sense of belonging as if I have been there for many years. Hopefully one day I will move into the village and become an official ‘local’.