Monday 12 March 2012

Essex - day 2: Battlesbridge

The Essex mist rolled in overnight, veiling the Manor House for the rest of the day.

Travelling across country to Wallasea Island we had to perform an emergency stop at the sight of Battlesbridge antiques centre. The village of Battlesbridge is given over entirely to the selling of antiques and crafts, where over 80 dealers ply their wares from a variety of shops and stalls.

Throughout Essex, the ramshackle, make-do display of goods is an endearing feature of roadside commerce. These types of places have been lost to the areas I know: the neatened-up New Forest and ironed-out East Sussex.

A typical antique shop at Battlesbridge

The £1 stall next to the toilets offered up a couple of gems, including a sorry looking porcelain clown with its head chopped off.

Five floors up, at the very top of the Antique and Craft Centre, resides the Willow Tea Room. Its offerings may be distinctly 1980s, but the view down the River Crouch more than make up for it.

Inside the Willow Tea Room

Coffee and cake in the Willow Tea Room

Just before reaching Wallasea Island, T's Outdoor Photography eye was drawn to this lonely looking shed. As we circled the building, set-up the tripod and took photos from a variety of angles, Lion Creek steadily filled up with its chocolatey, Willy Wonka water.

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