During the Second World War, thousands of women responded to the government war effort call to "Dig for Victory". It was a call which took often took them from the cities to the country and which changed their lives for ever. Mersea had its share of Women's Land Army girls living on the island and others were based in a hostel in Peldon.
East Mersea Golf Course
Mersea Island Golf Club no longer exists and has not operated since its sale in 1950. It was at East Mersea, looking across the Colne to Brightlingsea. It was very popular, visitors often arriving by steam yacht. To go with the exhibition of memorabilia, the Museum published a booklet containing the history of the Club. Some Cups from Golf Club have recently been acquired to add to the collection.
The smack 'Boadicea'
BOADICEA, CK213, was 200 years old in 2008. She is an East Coast Oyster Smack, built in 1808 by James Williamson of Maldon, originally clinker built and registered at Maldon as BODECIA. About 1887 she was rebuilt by Aldous at Brightlingsea, when her clinker planking was replaced by carvel. In 1970 Michael Frost renewed all her timbers, but she still has the hull shape of a working vessel built in 1808. BOADICEA is normally moored in the Besom at Mersea.
A Mersea Beach Hut
There have been beach huts at Mersea for many years. In the early days, the beach scenes show tents but this developed into beach huts and prior to World War 2, there were many huts along the front. There are still around 900 beach huts at Mersea.
Fid Harnack - pictures and sketches
Fid Harnack (1897-1983) was a well-known marine artist, who lived most of his life on Mersea. Fid's paintings are classics of the coast in all its moods and particularly capture the feeling of modest adventure which sailing men enjoy.
'The Blackwater' audio-visual
50 slides of the River Blackwater and its shores, starting at Maldon and ending at Peldon, presented by Ron Green.
The Hewes family
The Hewes Family is well known on Mersea. The family came from Bradwell on Sea where Hewes can be found in parish records dating back until the sixteenth century. George Hewes, born Bradwell around 1798, was the first of the family to live on Mersea, sent to the island during his service as a Coast Guard.
Kim Holman boats
Kim Holman, was a well-known yacht designer with more than 700 boats built to his designs. A Cornishman by birth, the Second World War brought him to know and love the Essex coast. He settled in Mersea in 1955. In a short but prolific 12 year period, Kim Holman designed a variety of boats - and founded the firm Holman and Pye which continues to this day, based on Mersea. Kim Holman died in 2006,
Stowboating was an ancient method of fishing for mainly sprats and whitebait, using a large net suspended between baulks from an anchored fishing smack. Fish swam into the net with the tide. It was a method used 'since time immemorial' in the Thames Estuary by boats from Brightlingsea, Tollesbury, Rowhedge and West Mersea, only dying out in the 1950s.
West Mersea Lifeboat and the RNLI
There has been a lifeboat at Mersea since 1963. The initial Inshore Rescue Boat was not even equipped with radio and had to be kept outside. It provided a service in the summer months and daylight hours only. Since those early days, the West Mersea lifeboat service has gone from strength to strength and continues to this day.