We are often led to believe that the tides cover the Strood more often than they used to and are getting bigger. I think the ever increasing amount of traffic could give that impression. The attached image shows a very high tide holding up traffic in the early 1930s. The view is looking toward the 'East and West Turnings' with the East Mersea Road going off to the right and Strood going off to the left. The traffic is stopped some way from the junction along the West Mersea road. We can roughly date this picture as after 1930. Electricity has arrived in West Mersea and the pair of poles just to the left of centre carry the new overhead cables.
The Strood was widened 1931-1932 and the work was probably taking place at this time.
The bus on the left of the picture is a Primrose bus, one of the last three that were sold to the Eastern National Omnibus Company on the last day of 1935. All three were Guys - MY8142 - a 32 seater, MP5344 29 seats and MK6400 32 seats. The three were allocated Eastern National fleet numbers but probably were never used by them. I believe all stayed on Mersea as holiday homes, one in Seaview Avenue and one in Goings Lane. Also held up by the tide is an RAC motorcycle combination. The four men are looking down waiting for signs of the tide turning. The two in caps in the centre are probably the bus crew and the RAC man is on the left.
On the right of the picture are some of the many advertising boards which occupied the corner at the that time. The most prominent is for Horace Martin, a local builder. A very interesting image taken from a postcard sent to Mersea Museum by Robin Weaver.
Does the tide come over the Strood more often ? It is difficult to say, but things change. The southeast of England is very slowly sinking. The road over the Strood may be sinking. Sea level may be rising. More extreme weather brings more tidal surges...
Published in Mersea Life January 2018 local page 21.