Home. About Us. Newsletters. Projects. Publications. Photographs. Maps. Archive. Contact Us. Links.

Ongar Millennium History Society

Ongar Millennium History Society

May 2010

back to index

Churchill and Chartwell
Marion Slade Lecture 2010
Great names from the past
Who do you think you are? Solved
A planned ambush on Coopers Hill.
Ongar by numbers
Ethel Mary Jones, 1864-1957, OBE 1919, JP 1920
The OMHS website
Out and About with OMHS

Well here we are again; another three months have whizzed by and we are almost into summer! I am sorry that this issue is a couple of weeks later than usual, but your editor has been up to her eyes in coursework for a teaching course and had to hand in six files of work by the 14 th May! Thankfully it is all behind her now!

However, I am running low on contributions for the next newsletter in August, so would be very grateful if any of you have anything you would like to share with other OMHS members, preferably on a historical theme. Also any reports from you on OMHS trips and meetings would be gratefully received. It would make a change for people to read the views of other members on our events, rather than those of the committee all the time! Any contributions can be emailed to me via our OMHS website or left for me in Ongar Library.

I hope you all enjoy your OMHS outings, and have a warm and pleasant summer season.

Jenny Main, Editor

Committee Members 2009-2010

Chairman: Felicitie Barnes
Vice Chair: Jenny Main
Treasurer: John Winslow
Speaker Secretary: Vacancy
Minute Sec: Elisabeth Barrett
Bookings Sec: Wendy Thomas
Cttee member: Olive Glassington
Website+: Keith Snow

Churchill and Chartwell back to top

Members were treated to a most interesting talk by John Whaler in February on the life and times of Winston Churchill, his wife Clementine and five children. We heard about his childhood when he was deposited at boarding school at a very young age, to his sometimes foolhardy army service in Africa and his long political career, changing allegiance not once but twice, and leading the country through the dark days of World War 2 to eventual victory.

He represented the neighbouring constituency of Epping and Wanstead and Woodford in the House of Commons for many years. He bought Chartwell in Kent and spent much time there, relaxing with his paint brush and easel and became a much renowned artist. A truly great man. As a follow-up, OMHS will be visiting Chartwell on Wednesday 9th June. Information and ticket availability can be obtained from Jenny on 362684.

John Winslow

Marion Slade Lecture 2010 back to top

The large audience at this year’s Marion Slade Lecture was treated to an excellent well illustrated talk on the work of The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) given by Jim Boutwood FCA.

Founded in 1880, one of SPAB’s first projects was working on Ongar’s very own St Martin’s Church. They have remained strong in Essex ever since, although they are now very much established throughout the country. They work closely with, and are respected by, English Heritage, The National Trust and government departments.

After numerous questions the evening continued with a cheese and wine buffet .

John Winslow     


Great names from the past back to top

My great, great grandfather and great, great grandmother, James and Agnes Hopwood had ten children.      

  Born          Died   

Hephzibah Clementine                                     1838          1851   

Thermutis Sarah Ann                                       1840          1851  

Typo James (my gt. Grandfather)                     1842          ?  

Amphion William Joseph                                  1843         1844  

Lucy Hannah                                                   1845         1860  

Richard Cope                                                  1846         1906  

Charlotte Althea Mabel                                    1849         1851  

Hephzibah Ann Alethea                                    1855         1883  

Joseph Henry Carus                                         1857         1930  

Adeliza Honoria Eveline                                    1860         1944  

Aren’t the names wonderful? I just wanted to share them with you. Can anyone do better?

Wendy Thomas    

Who do you think you are? Solved back to top


Charles Ray and John Winslow, theft of six watches knowing them to have been stolen

Charles Ray, of St. Martins in the Fields, was indicted for feloniousy stealing 5 silver watches, value £30 in the dwelling house of Paul Beauvau on 29th October last. And John Winslow was likewise indicted for receiving one of the said watches, knowing it to have been stolen.

The Prosecutor deposed, he lost his watches out of his shop, but he could not tell at what time, nor how they were stolen.

Mary Ray, the prisoner's wife deposed, that she went to John Winslow's cellar, and told him she had a favour to ask of him, but he must not divulge it; that she knew a young woman, that had not been long about town, who had picked up a gentleman, and got a watch but knew not how to dispose of it; that he agreed to do it, she promising him half a guinea, and bid her to bring the woman to him the next morning, that then she would tell him the truth that she had stolen it herself, that he said then they knew better what to do between themselves; that then she gave him the watch and also pulled out another watch and said she would make a present of it to him for pawning the other; that then Winslow gave a penny to have his wig powdered, put on a clean shirt and borrow'd a footman's shoes and buckles and went out to pawn it, and the watches being advertised, he was stopped.

It appeared by other evidences that Charles Ray was a barber, and used to trim the prosecutor and by going to him on that account, found the opportunity to steal the watches. Two of the watches were found in the prisoner's lodgings by the direction of Mary Ray and the prisoner, Charles Ray could not deny the fact whereupon he was found GUILTY of the indictment. Punishment TRANSPORTATION.

John Winslow deny'd knowledge of the watch being stolen, and called several witnesses to his reputation, who giving him a good character, he was ACQUITTED.

(Of course!)

John Winslow

A planned ambush on Coopers Hill back to top

On July 9 2009, site clearance on Coopers Hill, Marden Ash, adjacent to

1, The Elms, revealed the remains of a long forgotten World War II defence. It is unlikely that the builders recognised the long smooth cylinder of concrete which they had unearthed and were having considerable difficulty in breaking up. One end was tapered, and fitted with a substantial gunmetal spigot, secured by reinforcing rods into the body of the concrete. This was for mounting a mortar, and was placed in a hexagonal brick lined pit (also exposed by the builders) to provide some protection to the gun crew.

It was undoubtedly strategically placed here to ambush enemy convoys on their way to London as they slowed down on the climb up Coopers Hill. There may have been some other temporary obstruction across the road (of which no trace has been found), and this emplacement would have been well concealed from the enemy in the undergrowth of the front garden of a large house (long demolished) called The Elms. Large numbers of similar ambushes were installed across the Home Counties on the approaches to London at a time when invasion seemed a very real possibility. Fortunately they were never required.

Michael Leach


Ongar by numbers back to top     

1157      The year Henry II visited Ongar     

£200      The cost per acre in 1903 for the land which was bought to build Hackney Homes    

1            The first telephone number to be allocated in Ongar went to Brighty & Co. Over the years the                        number was prefixed by 20 and later by 36    

104       The number of horses that could be stabled in Ongar in 1686 when the

village was an important place for travellers.     

15          The number of years that the Ongar Show ran from 1949-1963.  


John Winslow

Ed’s note: Do you know of any interesting Ongar numbers? If so, please let us know.  


Treat yourself to an OMHS postcard pack!

12 views of Historic Ongar for £2.00

Contact John, Wendy or Jenny      

Ethel Mary Jones, 1864-1957, OBE 1919, JP 1920 back to top

Ethel Jones was the eldest daughter of Harry Edward Jones, JP (president of Civil Engineers 1918) and Louise (née Horne). She was awarded the OBE for her work in the 1914-1918 war as commandant of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) hospital in the Budworth Hall, Ongar.

She was one of the first women in Britain to be made a Justice of the Peace. In her spare time, Ethel was a fearless rider with the hounds of the Essex Hunt, and she always rode side saddle.

During the Second World War she was nominally an air raid warden based in the study at Marden Ash House where she lived. She hosted many repair parties for sheets for the Ongar War Memorial Hospital. She also put the garden down to vegetables and kept a flock of hens which she distributed around Ongar.

She is buried in the family grave in High Ongar churchyard.

Information provided by her nephew, Nigel Hunter Jones

Jenny Main

The OMHS website back to top

Whether we like it or not, we must move with the times and by launching and improving our website we enable a worldwide audience to be made aware of the history of Ongar and the activities of OMHS. Those with access to the Internet will note that there has been a considerable expansion to our web pages with many photographs added and several excerpts from our DVD of Bygone Ongar. Links to other local history societies and community groups are now included.

More recently you can now catch up with past OMHS newsletters as they are on there too! For those without access to the internet, any committee member will be pleased to arrange for a browse, which is also available online free of charge in Ongar Library. However, we also continue in our traditional ways with quarterly newsletters and occasional noticeboards and personal contact . www.omhs.org.uk

John Winslow

Ed’s note: Phew! For a minute there, I thought I was out of a job!!

Out and About with OMHS back to top

Our members have had a splendid choice of visits and outings this spring, and on into summer too. Hopefully some of you have been able to, or will soon, take advantage of these opportunities organised by your hard-working committee!

1. A visit to Essex Record Office in Chelmsford

This evening visit to Essex Record Office in Chelmsford was enjoyed by ten OMHS members. There was a tour of the search room first, and then there was time to look at documents relevant to Ongar put out by the ERO staff, including a map of Shelley that we had not seen before. Also there were items that members had asked about in advance including the WEA survey of Ongar High Street and information relating to the Drum and Monkey Club.

2. High Street Walk with Michael Leach

These evening walks with Michael are always popular, and however many times you have been on them, you always see something new and learn more about our town and its history.

Michael reports: “We looked at the Boodle tomb, the earthworks of the Saxon burgh below Castle Street, the URC chapel, backlands and derelict outbuildings to the west of the High Street and tuck pointing on the King's Head (still sadly derelict). [It] doesn't seem much when written down, but it kept us busy till dusk!”

3. Trip to the National Archives at Kew

By the time you read this, the trip to Kew may have happened! It is planned for Saturday 22 nd May. A coach will take 29 members to the National Archives for a day of discovery. It is the repository for all national and government records and has a large area where visitors can access documents online, but if they get a reader’s pass to the search rooms, they can consult some original documents. It is an ideal venue for family historians to trace their ancestors, but has so much more besides.

If you want to learn more, or plan a visit yourselves, their website is full of information and guides to the resources available. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

4. A Visit to Chartwell

Following John Whaler’s talk to us in February on Churchill and Chartwell, a coach load of members will be travelling to Chartwell on Wednesday 9th June for a tour of the house and gardens. At the time of writing there are 3 seats available on the coach. Please contact John Winslow or Jenny for more details if you are interested.

Jenny Main