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Story continued from Part 2
After visiting the St. Mary's church in Broxted, and wending our way back to Moor End Farm...we were delighted to see that Sonia and Paul had arrived early, and the pleasure of actually meeting my
e-mail friends, whom I had met online about a year ago, was immeasureable! To think that I had actually seen Sonia 32 years prior to this meeting, standing in front of the Bell Cottage where she then lived, and now to finally be with her in person! As I said earlier, she and her sister just happened to be standing there when I took a photo of the BELL in 1971, and we drove away hurriedly without speaking.
We had some extra time to spare before meeting her parents at the Bell Cottage, they decided to take us on a little tour. We were happy to find out that Paul has a car-rental agency, and that the car we would be riding in had been provided with gas (petrol). He assured us that no matter how much grass we trekked into the floor of the car, there would be someone at the agency to clean it up and that was no problem. I think Roger Barltrop can relate to this, as I remember that on previous occasions when Roger was the one driving me around in his new car, that I was the one with mud on my shoes depositing it upon his mats on the floor. Roger Barltrop in1999 I felt bad about that, as I knew he would have to spend some time cleaning the mats later. But he did assure me that there was no problem.
We were soon off towards Gt. Easton with Paul at the wheel. We all had a good laugh at Sue's expense, as she suddenly said "LOOK OUT" as we started along the narrow road with cars approaching. Sue thought we were driving on the wrong side of the road for a second. :)
Paul stopped outside a Rolls Royce Agency and looked at the cars in the show-case so tenderly. He said he knew we wouldn't be interested in going into the Agency, and was about to travel on when we told him that we would love to go inside. Paul hopped out and quickly spoke to the manager, and we were invited to go inside on our own! Gt. Easton is just a small village. Here in this tiny village was this huge Rolls Royce Showroom with so many beautiful antique cars, as well as new. We enjoyed wandering around the whole building by ourselves, with no salesman in sight! We all chose our favorites..favourites! Here are a few of the photos.
Click photo to enlarge
Sue will take the Bentley as Sonia wants the shiny blue car.:):)
After approval of most of the cars by us, we journeyed on to the Great Easton Church. We read the war memorial, checked most of the graves, and Sonia straightened up some flowers, etc., on her relatives gravesite. I could find no GUNNS even though my greatgrandfather (Charles GUNN-Grannie Poole's father) was from Great Easton. We walked into the beautiful church and again we were in awe.
This lovely church is Norman in design and actually built on the site of an earlier Saxon church. It also contains Roman bricks. It has had many changes and at one time in history was cruciform. By 1460 the tower and the bells were no longer there. In 1899 there were major changes made, and in 1928 a brick tower replaced the timber tower which had been there. On the South wall of the churchyard there is an inscription which reads:
Near this spot lies a murdered man
Whos remains were found in Handless Spring.
Unfold the murderous deed if you can
And the Wretch or Wretches to justice bring. This is thought to have been written about 1830 when a dead man was found in Handless Spring...wherever that is?
As we walked out of the door and into the cemetery once more, I took a last look for any GUNN gravesites. I could find none.
Paul stopped at the FORD in Great Easton so that we could actually walk on this famous old bridge. How I became acquainted with this ancient bridge, and found out what it is called and where it is located was again, with the help of the great people I have met on the Internet. First, I had found a very old sepia photo (about 2 inches by 2 inches..) in an old album of my mothers. I had no idea where this photo was taken nor when or by whom. I thought it would make a beautiful painting. Of course, the old faded photo was only in sepia tones, but that made no difference. I was off and running to my paints and started working on the painting which I would later call "The Ford, Gt. Easton". Here is the painting.
The reason I could finally name it, is because I had met this nice gentleman who lived in Bedfordshire. He was on the Essex Genealogy List and we had exchanged e-mails about Broxted, as he once lived near there and knew it well. His parents then lived in Great Dunmow..about three or four miles from Broxted. I sent Richard Byford (my e-mail friend) the photo. He printed it out and showed it to his parents. His mother immediately identified it as THE FORD at Great Easton. My greatgrandfather, Charles GUNN had lived in Great Easton and I often wonder if he actually took the photo. You can see it hasn't changed much in 100 years!
Paul, Sue and Evelyn.
Paul, Sue and Evelyn
Sue and Sonia on bridge
The house looks just the same.
I must tell you about another very nice gentleman named Kenneth Rose who has a great website
Old English Village Schools.If you click on his site you will see some marvelous photos. Ken is a great photographer. When I told him about the painting and the photo of The Easton Ford, he actually drove over to it and took a photo for me!! I don't know where he actually lives, but I'm sure he had to drive quite a distance to do this. I also met Ken on the Internet. These English people are all so very helpful!! Here is the photo Ken sent. Compare this with the painting and I think he did a fine job of getting to almost the exact spot, and without anything to go by. They say it still floods out, like in the painting sometimes.
Sonia and Paul suggested that they take us to Great Dunmow to pick up some food for our "fridge". Also, Sue wanted to cash some traveler's checks which she thought she could do at the Post Office there. So off we went to Great Dunmow, after a very happy reunion with THE FORD.
To be continued at Great Dunmow and The Bell..click HERE
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