Essex Anniversaries

PUBLISHED: 18:04 16 October 2012 | UPDATED: 21:57 20 February 2013

Le Talbooth

Le Talbooth

As Essex Life commemorates it's sixtieth year, we take a look at some other local<br/><br/>institutions celebrating significant milestones.

Essex Street Diversions

Ten-FOOT tall eyeball aliens, a mermaid named Terence and dancing slinkies it must be the ESSEXstreetdiversions of Chelmsford.

2012 marks the 10th anniversary of ESSEXstreetdiversions and the award-winning, free festival has become an annual highlight of the city centres calendar with its eclectic mix of the best street performers and outdoor artists from across the globe.

Since 2003, more than 550 live performances have been presented as part of ESSEXstreetdiversions. These range from Artizanis lobsters to the baby vegetables of Plunge Boom; the Spanish Los Fandangos Musical Box to The Spurting Man from Avanti Display.

And if you act quickly, there is still time to catch the celebrations of the 10th anniversary with an amusing selection of international outdoor performances. On September 29, living French toy, Monsieur Culbuto, will tumble his way along the High Street, engaging with those who dare to get too close. You may be stopped or followed by the giant bouncers Les Tonys from Compagnie Albedo or romanced by The Cupids from Les Goulous. From Holland, Teatro Pavana will be bringing giraffes, well lifelike puppets, to stride around Chelmsford, nibbling at trees and greeting spectators. Continuing with the animal theme, the festival will also play host to gorillas, a polar bear and a giant caterpillar but not all is as it seems.

Chelmsford City Councils cabinet member for Leisure and Culture, Councillor Ray Ride, adds: ESSEXstreetdiversions is a showcase of some of the most imaginative street theatre in the world. Visitors to the city centre on Saturday, September 29 are sure to find performances that entertain and excite as the event returns to Chelmsford for its tenth year.

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Essex Rural Partnership

The Essex Rural Partnership (ERP) was formed in 2002, the result of a merger between the Essex Rural Renewal Forum and the Essex Rural Strategy Steering Group. The partnership, managed by Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE), brings together a wide range of organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors, all with a responsibility for the future of the countys rural areas.

ERP was created to encourage co-ordination of activities to maximise effectiveness of resources and a joint-working approach to achieve greater buy-in, a better chance of securing funding and best value. As a result local communities, rural businesses and the Essex countryside are benefiting from a more effective way of working.

As a non-statutory body, ERP enjoys the position of being an independent lobbyist and is well placed to represent and raise the profile of rural Essex at a local, regional, national and EU level.

More than 80 people attended a special celebration event to mark 10 years of the Essex Rural Partnership (ERP) in July. The event, held at Channels Golf Club in Chelmsford, saw a variety of people from the private, public and voluntary sectors come together to celebrate the achievements of the partnership and look to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

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Bancrofts School

In 1737, Francis Bancroft, a wealthy city businessman, left the bulk of his fortune to the Drapers Company with the request, to establish and maintain almshouses for twenty former Freemen of the Company and a school for one hundred poor boys aged between seven and fifteen. The boys were to be instructed in reading, writing and casting accounts.

275 years later, the school which bears his name continues to flourish. Now situated in a beautiful Victorian building in Woodford Green on the fringes of Epping Forest, Bancrofts School provides a first-class education for more than 1,000 pupils, both boys and girls, aged from seven to 18. A reception to mark the schools 275th anniversary was held at the Drapers Hall for staff, parents and current scholars. This followed the Francis Bancroft commemoration service which this year took place at St Helens in Bishopsgate, the city church which houses Bancrofts memorial. Other celebrations included a 275 Concert held at the school, featuring all choirs and music ensembles while the schools Parents Association held a sumptuous 275 Anniversary Ball at the school at the end of the summer term.

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Over the last year, Essex Life has invited businesses and organisations to let us know about their own significant anniversaries as Essex Life marks its 60th year of publication. Here we showcase some of the Essex institutions sharing celebrations in 2012

Le Talbooth

In 1952, the late Gerald Milsom discovered Le Talbooth on a visit to East Anglia. He got chatting to the owner who mentioned that the business was for sale. Ever the entrepreneur, Gerald returned home to London and persuaded his parents and sister that their future lay in running a restaurant in Dedham. The rest, as they say, is history.

Now, set in its idyllic position on the banks of the River Stour, Le Talbooth is the flagship of Milsom Hotels and Restaurants. The 15th century building has three individual dining rooms the River Room overlooking the river, the Old Room (a smaller, more intimate room with inglenook fireplaces) and the Weavers Room on the first floor which is ideal for private parties. A huge architectural sail covers the terrace, making dining outside a reality whatever the weather during the summer.

Current owner, Paul Milsom, comments: My father Gerald showed great foresight when he purchased Le Talbooth in 1952 as our anniversaries have always landed in step with national celebrations for the Queens Silver and Diamond Jubilees. No doubt he even anticipated that our 60th birthday would coincide with the excitement around London 2012.

To celebrate Le Talbooths 60th anniversary, Milsom Hotels invites guests to join the birthday fun with a choice of fantastic dining offers throughout September, October and November.

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Upchurch Jewellers

Upchurch Jewellers, an independent, family-run jewellers, has been trading in the heart of Colchester since 1952. Specialising in fine jewellery, both traditional and contemporary, it has been a tried and tested location for those looking for something a bit special, whatever the occasion. In 1952, when the shop first opened, food rationing was still in place. Times were hard and trade was very different from now. A significant part of the business was repairs and restoration as jewellery was recycled and passed on as family heirlooms. Engagement rings, if not secondhand, were gold with semi illusion set diamonds. Silver jewellery was very popular, with people favouring crosses, St Christophers and charm bracelets. In 1964, the company began its long established relationship with the Rolex Watch Company while other watch brands include Omega, Longines and, since 2010, Breitling. Upchurch Jewellers still offers a comprehensive repair service with repairs performed by highly skilled and knowledgeable craftsmen or an accredited watchmaker. Platinum is now the favoured material for engagement rings, due to its pureness and durability, and diamonds are now set to show off their true, natural brilliance.

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Bata Shoes

This year is the 80th anniversary of the beginnings of the Bata Shoes company in Tilbury, and also the anniversary of the death of Tomas Bata, founder of Bata Shoes. The Bata Shoes company was founded in 1894 as Thomas Bata aimed to fulfil an ambition to enable every person on the planet to own a pair of good, cheap shoes. After a plea from a local clergyman in Tilbury to bring jobs to the area during the Great Depression, Bata set up a factory in Tilbury in 1932. For the rest of the 20th century, the factory remained a key employer in Essex, providing worker housing, entertainments and, of course, high-quality, affordable shoes.

On July 12, 1932, Tomas Bata died tragically in a plane crash, but to this day his life is celebrated within the county. It was a tradition when the factory was open that, on July 12, Tomas Batas life was celebrated and a wreath laid in his memory. Dedicated volunteers at the Bata Reminiscence and Resource Centre ensure this tradition continues and this years event saw ex-employees and estate inhabitants joined by Deputy Mayor Councillor Tony Fish, Deputy Mayoress Mrs Susan Bradish, Mr Stephen Metcalfe (Member of Parliament for South Basildon and East Thurrock) as well as Mr Antonin Hradilek, Deputy Head of Mission, Czech Embassy London to celebrate the continued vision of Tomas Bata and the Bata organisation.

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Chelmsford Civic Theatre

Chelmsford Civic Theatre is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012.For half a century, the Civic Theatre has offered entertainment to the people of Essex and beyond and, in partnership with Cramphorn Theatre, has provided a wide selection of performances including concerts, plays, ballet, pantomime, opera, jazz, dance, musicals, comedy, film, live music and childrens shows during that time.

Chelmsford City Councils cabinet member for Leisure and Culture, Councillor, Ray Ride, explains: The Civic Theatre has played host to some amazing performances, shows and acts since it first opened its doors. This year is a chance for us to join together in celebrating the success and history of this amazing theatre.

Events to mark this great landmark have included an open day on Saturday, September 8 at which visitors were able to see the inner workings of this busy theatre, take a tour around the backstage area, view the costumes and props that have been used over the years, get involved with fun activities and enjoy a coffee while soaking up the theatrical atmosphere. There were also special performances throughout the day and a display of historical archives and stories from over the last 50 years, including photographs, programmes and memorabilia.

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Billericay Twins Club

In September 2012 the Billericay Twins Club celebrated its 35th anniversary. The club is a voluntary organisation established by two young and enterprising Billericay mums back in 1977 with the aim of advising and supporting parents of twins and multiple births. Now, 35 years on and with more than 100 member families, its main function remains the same.

Each Monday morning an under fours group meets at Christ Church in Perry Street. While the toddlers have fun in the big hall, there is also a separate baby room for new babies and expectant mums to meet and chat over a coffee.

Member families have the chance to enjoy social events throughout the year, either just for parents or for the whole family. To engage with expectant families, there is also a special twins antenatal group once every three months at Broomfield Hospital in addition to seminars on behalf of Tamba (the national twins charity) for expectant families in Essex.

Today, the groups two oldest sets of twins remain as member families at 35 years old and the groups youngest twins were born recently and are just a few weeks old.

I am happy and very proud to be the current chairperson of the Billericay Twins Club, said Amanda Deacon. Seeing families meeting up and often seeing those friendships last for many years, continuing to offer each other support and friendship, means I know the aims of the club are enduring and still very relevant.

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Shenfield Operatic Society

Shenfield Operatic Society has enjoyed a great year of celebrations to mark 50 years of this very special society.

Following a sell out 50th Anniversary Concert in Blackmore Village Hall in the middle of June, Shenfield Operatic Society celebrated its Golden Anniversary year in style at the Mount Avenue Banqueting Suite in Hutton on June 30.

Founder members and new members all enjoyed a special evening dinner dance organised by social secretary Annette Harris, which featured a cabaret of music from the societys history. Originally formed by school staff at St Martins School (with a little assistance from Welsh rugby-playing friends) the Shenfield Operatic Society was first known as St Martins Operatic Society but changed its name in 1988 to be of wider appeal to local residents.

The society has always had a feel-good family feel about it and always welcomes new members to tread the boards or help backstage.

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Essex Life

In the autumn of 1952, Essex Countryside magazine was published for the very first time. The title began as a quarterly publication, but soon captured the imagination of the countys community and was quickly in circulation more regularly as a bi-monthly title before finally becoming the countys favourite monthly magazine.

In its early years, the magazine was heavily focussed on the history of Essex and stories of the countys greatest residents from its past. Highlights from that very first issue (which has been reproduced in full within this anniversary issue of Essex Life) included the legends of Dick Turpin, a guided tour of Constable Country and a review of some of the countys old Essex inns.

Even in these earliest issues, the magazine played an important role with its coverage reporting of events shortly after the 1953 floods in Canvey Island, including a piece dedicated to showing how wonderful the holiday resort remained. The letters page of the publication became very lively and, perhaps slightly embellished, stories of the Essex Riviera at Southend on Sea implied a wistful and idyllic holiday destination including superb weather.

Over time the magazine has evolved from the newsletter style it began life as. However, it has always remained a favourite read of Essex residents. It was in 2001 that the title was bought by Eastern Counties Newspapers (which later changed its name to Archant) and for a short while it was known as Essex Life & Countryside magazine. In 2007, the name of Essex Life stood alone and has since developed into the magazine that is known and loved today.

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