Thundersley and Daws Heath - A History

The people, the area, the history

Beautifully bound hardback copies available from Dans News and Essex100
A remarkable offer for two remarkable books
Essex 100

Renowned local author Robert Hallmann has written a magnificent and essential history of Thundersley and Daws Heath.

The ancient parish truly deserves this delightful book of over 200 pages, amply illustrated with over 300 pictures and using numerous sources, many rare and not previously published.
The hardback version is still available (September 2021) for £20 at Dans News in Hart Road; and from Essex 100 for more distant sales.

Building on the continued success of, and maintaining the production qualities of our previous publications, the Hadleigh and Thundersley Community Archive is delighted to publish the book for which so many of you have asked.

From farming to motor-cycle manufacture, Thundersley people have shown industry and ingenuity which extends to conserving ancient woodlands and commons despite continued development pressures.

Including artists, writers, buildings, families, maps, famous high-speed vehicles and their famous drivers; it is a hugely interesting read!

Available via this link is a special combined offer at Essex 100  of both THUNDERSLEY and DAWS HEATH, A HISTORY and  HADLEIGH POSTCARD MEMORIES  for  £25.00

{The paperback version is now completely sold out. }

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  • I have just received a copy of this book which I am really looking forward to reading. However, on glancing through it I note that I am incorrectly named in two of the photos.
    Page 95
    Photo 105. Fourth row, no 4 is Susan Hawks
    Photo 106. third row, no 2 is Susan Hawks
    I remember most of the people in these photos so will go through them at leisure.

    {Ed: Many thanks, Susan, your corrections have been recorded.}

    By Susan Fogg née Hawks (21/05/2021)
  • What an excellent publication, although haven’t yet had time to read it all as only received the book a few days ago.
    I was born in Park Road, Thundersley, and  lived there for 31 years so know many of the people shown or mentioned.
    Have sent a copy to my brother in Australia – he is in one of the school photos.  Congratulations to Robert Hallmann and everyone else concerned.
    Sylvia Charlesworth (née Theobald)

    By Sylvia Charlesworth (06/01/2016)
  • Spencer Welsh (of Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass) writes: Many thanks for alerting me to the new Thundersley & Daws Heath book.  (I love the front cover!)  It is an excellently detailed, documentary source written in an interesting and entertaining way.  My appreciation and congratulations to all concerned for such an outstanding, masterful production.

    I was particularly interested in the Keys, Maley and Cook family histories. As a young boy I knew the Rayleigh branch of Eric Cook very well: he was a market gardener and pig breeder and had lots of children! In the early 1950s I would be recruited to hoe weed the lettuce plantation and pick gooseberries at Rayleigh, also at the ground behind Maley’s store in Rayleigh Road, earning fantastic pocket money of 7 shillings and sixpence a day during holidays. This was worth dodging sports day for and better than sharing in my brother’s Daws Heath paper round! Long gone happy days!

    For your interest, I have only studied random pages so far, but note pic 300, the AA man was Mr Godolphin who lived at 33 Castle Road Rayleigh (his son is our neighbour) and, on my way home to Eastwood Road from Love Lane School, I would admire his beautiful, immaculate, yellow and black liveried AA motorcycle combination parked in the orchard. Mr Godolphin who served in France during WW1 was captured and ill-treated in captivity.  Pic 177 shows my uncle, Sergeant William George Francis Welsh (1900-1973) in the Hadleigh Home Guard, front row seated fourth from left. My father was meantime carrying out essential war work building aircraft hangers in the aerodromes around Liverpool, but living in Shropshire where I was born.

    Please keep me posted on H&TCA activities.

    Kind regards,


    By David Hurrell (25/06/2015)

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