To the Devil a Daughter, the Tendring journey with pictures.

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oldjiver
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To the Devil a Daughter, the Tendring journey with pictures.

Postby oldjiver » Fri 28 Mar, 2014 11:39:07

Part of the fascination of DW books for me has been the mixture of real places and events with exciting story lines. I am fortunate to live in an area that DW has written into two of his books, "Black August" and "To the Devil a Daughter". I was aware that he had visited the area, and I am grateful to site member DARREN for the information that the parents of DW's wife lived at Woolverstone House, which is within 20 miles of the Essex/Suffolk places mentioned in the books.
In TTDAD Conky Bill and John Fountain are pursuing Copely Syle from his Priory at Little Benford to a rendevouze with a seaplane in the Essex marshes at Hansford water.
Here are some pictures and a little comment about the places mentioned in the book.
WHAT DO WE KNOW FROM THE BOOK?
They stayed at the RED LION pub in colchester.
They stayed at the WEAVERS ARMS in Little Benford
The WEAVERS ARMS had a TRIANGULAR green in front of it.
The PRIORY was within half a mile of the WEAVERS ARMS.
They left the Weavers Arms travelling SOUTH then turned to go towards WEELEY.
They joined the road at THORPE-LE-SOKEN to GREAT OAKLEY.
They found the SEAPLANE in a CREEK that had ACCESS ON BOTH SIDES.
They went to a pub in GREAT OAKLEY.


Following on from these clues, we find that DW has changed the names of some but not all places. The following is what I found from a trip following the book on 27th March 2014.

The Red Lion pub in Colchester is as named in the book. It has not changed since DW's time , except it has a large shopping precinct built to the rear.

The Weavers arms is clearly the BRICKLAYERS ARMS in LITTLE BENTLEY
The Bricklayers Arms has a TRIANGULAR green in front of it.

Regarding the PRIORY. In the book the Priory is almost opposite the Church. In reality the building opposite the Church is BENTLEY MANOR. It is EXACTLY half a mile from the pub. It was the rectory until 1825, then the rectory was moved to FYLDE HALL, and would have been so in DW's time. Fylde Hall is also about half a mile from the pub, along Rectory Road and a long drive. Bentley Manor is Gothic in style, and although it looks modern is actually 16th century. I believe thst Bentley Manor is the "PRIORY" in the book and not the actual rectory at Fylde Hall.

The coast road from Thorpe-Le-Soken to Great Oakley, past the marshes in HAMFORD BAY is 5.4 miles long. It is the B1414. This causes something of a problem as in the book C.B. and John meet the lorry driver Cotton two miles out of Thorpe. But when they are chasing the Seaplane their route is given as THREE miles past the place where they met Cotton, plus about a quarter mile to the track that led into the marshes. This would take them to Great Oakley. But at Great Oakley the only creek large enough to take a seaplane is at BRAMBLE ISLAND. However this is an explosives factory site (my mother worked there at the time) and access would have been restricted. This leaves the only practical site as the creek between BEAUMONT QUAY AND LANDERMERE. as this has access on both sides as in the book. However it is less than one mile from Thorpe, not five and a quarter.

The pub in Great Oakley was probably the MAYBUSH. However there was to my knowledge another, but it has been closed for many years.

Some trivia about Landermere....
It was the Birthplace of Dr Gull. Queen Victorias surgeon, who is suspected by some of being JACK THE RIPPER. He is buried in Thorpe graveyard, and his grave has been reported as a site where Devil worshipers have been known to congregate at night.
It was the home of THE THORPE GIANT. a man who would shake hands with locals from their bedroom windows, and light his cigarettes from the street gas lamp! He lived, with his mother, under an upturned boat at Landermere.

Here is a link to Google maps showing the places on the route. I have tried to give you a flavour of the route and the places that DW would have seen at the time. I think he was a bit imaginative about the seaplane creek, and picked Little Bently Manor as Copely Syles Priory because it looked the part. However thats all part of the fun with DW. I hope that if anyone has anything to add to this thread they will. And finally if you follow the route you will get a warm welcome, and a good pint in the Bricklayers, and a good arguement with Super Sid!!!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.87799 ... ,13z?hl=en


THE PICTURES.

The Bricklayers Arms at Little Bentley.

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The Triangular Green out side the pub.
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Little Bentley Manor (The Priory?)
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The actual Rectory.

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The Land Lady Liz.
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Dr Gulls grave (The small square one directly under the tree)


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The Beaumont Quay side of the creek. I was met by a farmer called "Super Sid" (it was written on his jacket) He wouldn't let me go any further up the creek without permission of the landowners, Guys Hospital. (but I managed to get a few shots in.)

Image


Landermere, the other side of the creek. I used to take my daughters on walks here when I was much younger. I had a bit of difficulty getting into good positions for pictures here because of my disability. However I met a lovely pair of hikers who guided me to the best shots I could get.
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My helpers!

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Dr Gulls cottage.


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The Maybush in Great Oakley.

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A view that C.B. and John would have got of the seaplane just before Great Oakley. As you can see the marshes a quite a way off.

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Last edited by oldjiver on Fri 28 Mar, 2014 15:21:18, edited 7 times in total.

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Postby oldjiver » Fri 28 Mar, 2014 11:41:39

Here is the Red Lion at Colchester.

Image

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Postby oldjiver » Fri 28 Mar, 2014 11:43:25

Me and my pint at the Bricklayers didn't come out in the original post, so here it is..

Image

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Postby oldjiver » Fri 28 Mar, 2014 18:19:03

Hamford Water is also the subject of one of the "Swallows and Amazons" books by Arthur Ransome.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_Water

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Postby Darren » Fri 28 Mar, 2014 20:52:29

Great article, Steve. Perhaps you could start a new thread - Dennis Wheatley Pub Crawls.

I see that the Bricklayers Arms sells Morlands Old Golden Hen (which I highly approve of). Do all the three pubs serve decent real ale?

I have an old friend from my student days who lives in Suffolk - he also used to read DW and loved real ale. This might be the excuse to meet up with him again. Having both just read TDRO, we both set off at midnight on Walpurgis Night in 1990, to cruise the Leicestershire countryside in my 1962 Triumph Spitfire to look for Walpurgis rituals - we didn't find any, but the memory of flying round country roads with the top down reminded me of the car chase from TDRO film.

Cheers, Steve.
Last edited by Darren on Fri 28 Mar, 2014 22:48:39, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,

Darren.

oldjiver
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Postby oldjiver » Fri 28 Mar, 2014 22:42:54

I see that the Bricklayers Arms sells Morlands Old Golden Hen (which I highly approve of). Do all the three pubs well decent real ale?

I asked about the Old Golden Hen The landlady (not the wench she insisted) said it was Green King??? I will have to look it up. Brewing is my hobby, I used to work in a brewery in the "Summer of Love" (1967). I dont often bother with pub beer as mine is BETTER! :roll:

P.S. I believe Green King is the local supplier of Morlands and other ales.
Last edited by oldjiver on Fri 4 Apr, 2014 18:35:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby ken68 » Mon 31 Mar, 2014 17:23:17

very interesting that. i really must try to get a chance to explore that area. two of favourite books are black august and to the devil a daughter.
did the landlady know about the red lion being in a book?

ken

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Postby oldjiver » Mon 31 Mar, 2014 17:48:11

ken68 wrote:very interesting that. i really must try to get a chance to explore that area. two of favourite books are black august and to the devil a daughter.
did the landlady know about the red lion being in a book?

ken

I did the Bricklayers Arms to Maybush journey that day. The Red Lion is an old picture, but the front was the same when I passed recently as when I first saw it 50 years ago. I haven't been in there for many years. As I said, I brew my own beer so I dont go in pubs a lot. The Bricklayers was an exception. Luckily the beer was first class.

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Postby Jim » Thu 3 Apr, 2014 12:24:21

Thanks for posting all of these photos. I have been to England a dozen times, but haven't seen that much outside London and the other big places (except for Lewes, because I have friends there). Nice to have images to go with our favorite books...

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Postby Charles » Fri 4 Apr, 2014 17:08:24

Just to add my bit ...

Absolutely superb research, and superb photos ...

Do you think we should consider the area for a Field Trip ???

All best !
Charles

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Postby oldjiver » Fri 4 Apr, 2014 17:43:51

Thanks for your kind words Charles. A field trip would, I am sure, be a very interesting day. I think that Shingle Street( Black August) and Hamford Water could be combined in a rather full day. There is more detail in TTDAD sites, but Shingle street in infinitely more beautiful. As I am not really able to do more complicated journeys it would be a nice opportunity to meet fellow DW enthusiasts. Perhaps those more able and experienced in DW history may be able to add to the unfolding story.

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Postby oldjiver » Fri 4 Apr, 2014 18:33:35

This is a picture of the rectory taken in June 2010. A lot changed in four years??
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/38380933

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Postby ken68 » Sun 6 Apr, 2014 12:16:48

re landlady, i really should read these posts more carefully :oops:
perils of reading on a phone.

i would certainly like to visit the area so that would be a field trip we would be interested in. we can pencil in spot at the convention for future trips.

ken

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Postby oldjiver » Sun 6 Apr, 2014 12:55:44

ken68 wrote:re landlady, i really should read these posts more carefully :oops:
perils of reading on a phone.

i would certainly like to visit the area so that would be a field trip we would be interested in. we can pencil in spot at the convention for future trips.

ken


Let me know if you do and I will post an outline of distances places timings etc, and anything else that can be done locally.

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Postby ericmocata » Thu 10 Apr, 2014 01:36:51

I have always thought that England has some amazingly beautiful country-side areas. Too bad everybody there talks funny. :twisted:

I just noticed something about one of these places. Little Bentley, to be precise. There is a horror author by the name of Bentley Little, from Arizona, if memory serves. Although, I am fairly certain that is his real name and has no actual connection, but ooooh, spooky, ain't it?

Since I live in the U.S., I don't have anything like that to go visit. I do however, have some shots from places the Texas Chain Saw Massacre was shot, which is, for people like me, pretty amazing.

Some of those shots are quite beautiful, ruined only by the date in the bottom right. I realize that is a convenient feature, but it does muck up a photo, doesn't it?

And just out of curiosity, what kind of beer are you drinking in that picture at the Bricklayers?


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