My Favourite Village... Great Wakering
PUBLISHED: 10:36 07 July 2014
Michael Dedman has lived in the Southend area for all of his life and has lived in Shoeburyness for the last 32 years. He is now retired, but the company that bears his name still has offices throughout south east essex and he still manages a large number of properties in Essex and London. Michael is married with two children. he lives at South Shoebury hall with his wife, Caroline, and they have become keen gardeners raising money for the NGS charity garden programme over the last seven years. The couple have raised approximately £25,000 for the caring charities of NGS including Marie Curie and MacMillan nurses. Michael and Caroline will be opening their garden again on Sunday, July 13, from 2pm to 5pm.
What is your favourite Essex village?
I would have to pick Great Wakering. For one thing it is the driest area in the country!
What do you like most about the village?
It is nice to see that the village has maintained its character over the last 50 years, with only limited development of new homes.
"‘It is nice to see that the village has maintained its character over the last 50 years’"
Have you ever lived in the village?
No, I have never lived there, so I am an outsider, but we live only 3 miles away in Shoeburyness so it is a place I like to visit quite often.
What are your first memories of spending time in the village?
My grandfather took me to the church and the green to the north east where I saw the ducks. I remember looking at the wild life toward Potton Island, before rubbish tipping commenced.
Have things changed in Great Wakering since that time?
A little, with some minor development and fewer local specialist shops, which is typical throughout the country. There are more younger families in the village now though, and they make good use of the Community Hall.
Who are the characters you most enjoy bumping into in the village?
I like to meet the old timers who frequent the pubs and the people working on their allotments.
Are there any events coming up in the village?
Yes, the local horticultural show takes place this summer, where people exhibit their home-grown produce, make cakes and display flower arrangements, plus there’s a stall of homemade gifts.
Does the village have a local pub?
Oh yes! In fact there are four, all in one street. Great Wakering’s pubs had a great reputation for serving good ale to people coming from Southend in old pubs, some of which were early buildings built hundreds of years ago. The Exhibition pub over the years has a wonderful reputation.
What is it that keeps the community spirit alive in Great Wakering?
I think it is the people visiting the pubs and the old and young people using the local facilities. It has a great sports field which is well used.
Where do you find the best view in Great Wakering?
For me the best view is from the church tower at the eastern end of the village, with views over Foulness and the surrounding farm land towards the sea.
Is there one thing you need to know about the village to be considered a local?
I don’t think there is anything you need to know, you just need to join in with all that Great Wakering has to offer.