-  Image Collection

Ship Ahoy, Tollesbury. Gowers Postcard No.243 posted before 1910.
The 17th Century inn was formerly named 'The Crooked Billet', then variously as 'The Hoy' and the 'Ship Ahoy'. It was closed after the First World War. Once part of the Guisnes Court estate, it was a rendezvous for smugglers with their illicit cargoes. 
The building, along with Old Hall marshes, is now owned by RSPB, bought as a result of the Eric Morecambe Memorial Appeal in 1985.
Old Hall, Tollesbury. 
Ann Jones wrote (May 2014):
This was the home where my Great Grandfather Richard Banyard grew up. He was born in 1865. His parents were Richard Banyard and mother Sarah maiden name Walford, who also lived in Tollesbury. Young Richard was 8 when his mother died, and 14 when his father died in 1879 so we have not yet checked the census as to whether his father had already left the pub when he died. We do know that young Richard went to live with his uncle John Banyard who we think was a grocer in Tollesbury.
Photograph used in Tollesbury Past by Keith Lovell, plate 62. Before 1910. Photo: Cedric Gurton Tollesbury
Girl Guides Keills III 1949. cAugust 1949. Photo: Girl Guides
Birch Church of England School. An aerial view, late 1950s. The staff room to the north of the main building was added in 1957, together with new toilets. The previous toilets had been behind the main building and used buckets, emptied by the school caretaker. The sewerage plant for the new toilets is to the northwest, just beyond the Air Raid Shelters. The car in front of the staff room is probably the Headmaster's Morris Minor MXO419.
The top of the War Memorial Cross and the church spire just show at the bottom of the picture.
Photo 39 B.S. After 1957. Photo: Birch School
West Mersea Post Office in Yorick Road, with the White Hart just visible on the right. The notice on the front says Post Office for Money Orders, Savings Bank, Parcel Post, Telegraph, Insurance.

Telegram boy Reg Jay on bicycle waiting outside - he was Telegram Boy for Ashton Turner, the postmaster. The wage was six pence and for that he was expected to deliver anywhere on the Island including East Mersea [BJ].
He has his black leather pouch attached to his belt. His left foot resting on a step which was attached to the back spindle. I remember in my young days several of the older men didn't cock their leg over the seat with one foot on the pedal, they scooted along with one foot on this step and lifted themselves onto the saddle from the back [RG].
Photograph before 1911 as the hedge etc is 'younger' than in the Cleghorn photograph from September 1911.
The building is now [2015] Barclays Bank. Before 1911. Photo: Peter Rudlin Collection
Weaver family on beach by Kings Hard. Orleans just visible right in background. Photo: Robin Weaver Collection
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Mersea Museum has a large collection of images, mainly of Mersea Island and the surrounding area. Those shown here are a small sample.
The images are divided into categories - click on a Category to view a selection.
Each year, a selection of the images with an accompanying audiocommentary form an audio-visual display that is run when the Museum is open.
If you can add to the information we have about an image, such as the names of the people, the place or the date, please Email us.
The collection is always increasing thanks to the kindness of may individuals. If you have photographs that are suitable for our collection, we would be pleased to hear from you. We can just take a digital copy of a photograph and return the original to you.
The images above are copyright Mersea Island Museum unless otherwise stated.


Copyright Mersea Island Museum Trust 2019