The Society has a number of projects in hand at various stages of completion.
Some booklets are available for sale through the society and these are labelled with a £ below.
We are always keen to hear of any other projects which individuals or groups are working on and would welcome any additional help or information which anyone may have regarding the following:
Short note on archaeological activity in the Takeley area
We are very grateful to Margaret Underwood who has collected the Newsletter over the years (as well as being a regular contributer) and has made them available to us. They give an insight into the social activities of the village and remind us of many villagers now no longer with us.
In this section we aim to include obituaries of notable long term Takeley residents. If you have an obituary for someone who you feel should be included please contact us.
John and Nia Watkiss have spent many years and a not inconsiderable amount of their own money travelling to record offices up and down the country tracking down every reference they can find to Takeley. They have generously made al these notes available to anyone researching Takeley history.
This book will be published by the end of November 2008, price £6. Postage would be additional. Available from Octopus Ink Publishing, Yew Tree House, The Street, Takeley, Bishop’s Stortford, CM22 6QU. The authors are both members of the Takeley Local History Society. They trace the history of Bassingbourne Hall from before Domesday to its demolition in 1813. The name was then transferred to the large farmhouse of the estate, and that was demolished in 1988 to make way for the expansion of Stansted Airport.
Takeley Chapel Memorial Inscriptions were transcribed during 2006 and are now available for download in Excel format.
All known Baptism Marriage and Burial Records for Takeley Chapel are now available to download. Takeley Chapel Records page describes what is available and Takeley Chapel Downloads give access to the files.
This documents the known history of every property along Takeley Street.
TLHS have produced two postcards each showing 4 views of the village.
A booklet comprised of a variety of articles on Charactersand Events in the village, laregely gleaned from newspaper articles and parish records.
A booklet on the Takeley branch of The Royal British Legion is now available.
Takeley Holy Trinity Church Burials, Baptisms and marriages indexes can be found on the Church website. These records have been transcribed by Rev. Laurie Bond and are downloadable in Excel or Access format.
All Memorial Inscriptions in Takeley Churchyard were transcribed between 2004 and 2005 and can now be downloaded as an Excel database. If a memorial exists, its location reference can be used with the Churchyard Guide to find the actual grave.
A Takeley Churchyard Guide can be freely downloaded from this website or alternatively purchased at cost from the society. It contains maps to the various parts of the graveyard to assist you to find a particular grave from a known reference number.
One of the first projects tackled by Takeley Local History Society was to investigate the history behind those commemorated on the Takeley War Memorial, particularly those from the Great War about whom so much had been forgotten. Bill Marshall's War Memorial booklet is now at its second issue and we believe we have found the service details of all of the soldiers shown on our memorial. On 6th June 2004 (the 60th Anniversary of D-Day) at a ceremony at Takeley Holy Trinity Church, TLHS presented a bound copy of the Book of Remembrance to the Takeley Branch of the British Legion. This is in the safekeeping of the Church and is on permanent display.
This booklet, completed in 2005, tells the story of the old school at Brewers End from our earliest records in1840 through to 1965 when it finally closed as a school.
The buildings are still with us but their future is in doubt as plans to sell them off for housing are being discussed.
A short booklet from Pat Salmon gathered from old newspaper reports of two crimes which occurred at Mill End, Takeley.
In this booklet Bill Marshall takes us on a nostalgic journey around all the pubs and alehouses, past and present, within a 2 mile radius of the Four Ashes Crossroads.
This booklet by Bill Marshall documents the social history of Reads of Takeley. Reads was a shop and garage which from 1910 to 1980 supplied both the local community and travelers on the main road from Harwich to Puckeridge. The Read family was well known in the area and the way in which the business was transformed from selling tea, sugar and sweets to servicing bikes and cars makes interesting reading.
In these two volumes Bill Marshall and Pat Salmon have captured the wartime recollections of many Takeley people who served their country during WW2.
Probably the single most newsworthy day in Takeley's history was that of Wednesday November 14 th 1962, the day of the Takeley Telephone Exchange Explosion.
D A Fyfe & Co Ltd, Patent Forage Works, locally known as the Chaff Factory, was situated on the A120 road at Takeley, a quarter of a mile east of the Four Ashes crossroads on the south side of the road. Bill Marshall's detailed report on the Chaff Factory contains lists of workers, maps, photographs and the reminiscences of workers still living in the area.
Takeley Nursery was situated at the end of Jacks Lane, Takeley and was built on land that was originally Jacks Green Farm. The nursery stretched from Jacks Lane in the north to the A120 to the south and was bounded to the east by the Takeley/Little Canfield boundary. Bill Marshall worked there for 34 years from 1947 – 1981 and in 2001 thought it was the right time to put his memories in writing as the site is scheduled for demolition for new housing development.
In this project Bill Marshall investigates the Rose Nurseries which Charles Wright owned and ran on what in the 1960s became the Roseacres housing estate. In this booklet Bill has put together the history of Charles Wright and his Rose Nursery and Gardens. It was in operation for about 37 years from 1923 to 1960.
Sid and Rose Layton lived in a small bungalow known as 'Rosedale' with about half of an acre of garden It was situated on the A120 nearly on the border with Little Canfield and Sid was the Takeley Florist from approximately 1930 to 1970. In this short booklet Bill Marshall remembers Sid Layton and his florist business.
This is the story of what became known in the press of 1816 as "The Notorious Elsenham Gang". Pat Salmon and Gordon Barker have researched the story and give us a real insight into our area and how different things were almost 200 years ago. The gang operated over an area that included Henham, Tilty, Elsenham, Broxted and Much Easton. After a reign of terror including burglary and sheep stealing t he gang came to grief when they shot James Dennis of Tye Green, Elsenham. Their leader, Joseph Clark, was hanged at Chelmsford in March 1817. The other members of the gang were transported to Australia.
In 1971 A L Frost, Les to all who knew him, produced a small booklet called "Takeley, a short history of the village". Obviously in demand, this was reprinted and updated by Les several times, the last being in 1983. Les sadly died in 1984 and the booklet went out of print until in 2000 Trevor Allen in his role as Parish Chairman, Village Historian and TLHS Chairman updated and reprinted it (now called "Takeley A History"). As part of the Millennium Celebrations a copy was made available for every child in the village. Les Frost's original words live on unaltered in the booklet but new sections detail changes that have taken place since 1983 and are supplemented with additional photographs both old and new.
The late Mike Piper, a member of TLHS until his sad death in 2001, produced this excellent insight into the formation of a water company in 1886. A group of shareholders (including one of Mike's ancestors) placed a water pump over a well at Brewer's End, Takeley. The pump can still be seen there today.
For some years Pat Salmon has been collecting information about Mole Hill Green. This has now been compiled in the form of a book with many old photographs and contains chapters on the school, people and occupations, farming, The Three Horseshoes pub
Following his success with the Mole Hill Green Book, Pat Salmon continued to research records to do with the village and as a result found many match results for the cricket club. These are reproduced here together with some photographs of the cricketers. This booklet will be of particular interest to anyone whose relatives played for the club between 1912 and 1967.
Pat Salmon is currently compiling the history of Bambers Green. If you have any information which could be included please let us know.
A booklet on Brewers End booklet is now available.
Pat Salmon is currently preparing a booklet on Takeley Pantomimes.
This booklet is in the planning stages but it is hoped to eventually document the history of Smiths Green. If anyone has information which could be included please let a member of the society committee know.
June Bethell-Fox gives an interesting account of life in Smith's Green, Takeley in 1961.
Discover the mystery of how an Archbishop came to be buried in Takeley. Who was he, what was he doing here, how did he die and where exactly was he buried?
The history of Takeley School from its earliest days as a "Penny School" in 1869 to the present day is explained here by Nikki Younie.
Trevor Allen, the Village Historian, has been collecting photographs and documents of Takeley and making them available to schools etc. for many years. Recently, technology has advanced to allowed us to scan these. This has not only ensured that the images are far more likely to survive as a collection in the future but has also allowed us to share these images in the form of reports, this website and the calendars that the society has produced. We would welcome the temporary loan of any old photographs of Takeley and the surrounding area (they only take us a few minutes to scan). We encourage everyone to photograph (and label) their local environment today in order that images of today will be preserved for the future.
English Heritage hold the national archive of aerial photographs and these include many hundreds of photographs of Takeley from the air dating back to about 1946. To make this important resource available to the society Roy Livermore and Steve Hazon have been viewing the archive (held in Swindon) and selecting suitable examples for the society to purchase.
As part of our activities to conserve historical documents two of the early Takeley School books covering the period 1869 -1902 and 1902-1964 have been photographed by Terry Eagleton. These offer a fascinating insight into the events happening at the time. We hope to follow up this work by cataloguing information from the books in a database such that we can look for references to the weather, world events (two world wars), local events (telephone exchange explosion) etc. so that this information can be used in further study.
Wills are a rich source of early recorded information and are often the only record we have of peoples' lives. A number of early wills dating from 1558 exist for the Takeley area and Nia Watkiss has been researching and transcribing these.
Nia Watkiss has been researching Manorial Records from Waltham Hall dating from 1559. In particular a survey of tenants and land from 1621 lists the descent of tenancies back to 1340. This document has required specialist translation as it is mainly in heavily abbreviated Latin.
The Patent Rolls date from 1303 and contain the proceedings of the King's Court. Nia Watkiss has been copying all the Takeley references from these including grants of land, a burglary committed by the Prior of St. Valery and a reference to the shortage of tenants due to the Black Death.
Quarter Sessions courts were held in front of the magistrate. Nia Watkiss, assisted by Mary Deval (who sadly passed away recently) has been collecting the Takeley references from 1556 which include burglaries, assault, misdemeanours, attacking people in church and accusations of bewitchment.
As part of the development of Sycamore Close an old shed in the railway yard was demolished and rubbish from inside was thrown on a fire. A passer-by realised that the books burning on the fire might be of interest to someone and pulled the more intact ones out. These turned out to be Goods-In books from the railway covering the periods1941-42 and 1947-48. Dave Venable set about the unenviable task of photographing and transcribing the handwritten books into a database and we now have an invaluable source of information. The contents of each consignment received, who sent it, who signed for it, the date etc. are all included as are the signatures of many Takeley residents. Using this information Dave has been able to produce statistical information including some about D A Fyfe's Chaff Factory customers (the sacks seem to have been returned to the factory by rail) and the problems of breakages - particularly of wines and spirits - when sent by rail.
Several old newspaper articles about Takeley have come to light and where possible these are being scanned to ensure that they are preserved and made available for research. Topics include The Stansted Airport enquiries, the Telephone Exchange explosion, Raid on the Takeley Post Office. As a resource, old newspaper articles about Takeley have been extremely usefull in recording the events that took place in the village, many of which would have been forgotten but for these archives.
A properties database has been started to capture any information available about any property in the village. If you can help by lending us photographs or details from old deeds please get in touch with us.
A nationwide field names survey has been underway for some time. Nia and John Watkiss have submitted the data for TAkeley and we will include a link to this data when it is available.
Cooper's End was demolished in 1987 to make way for the new airport terminal. Pat Salmon has been collecting photographs and newspaper cuttings about Cooper's End and this can now be found within his Mole Hill Green History booklet.
We are recording the reminiscences of older Takeley residents on a small portable recorder so that they can be archived for the future. If you or an elderly relative have memories of Takeley and would like to participate in this please contact the secretary.
Pat Salmon has obtained Census Records for all of Takeley on microfiche and is gradually transcribing them. the available Census Records are 1841, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901. The 1851 records are not available for this area.
As part of our mission to make the history of Takeley more accessible we have in the past produced calendars using old photographs from our archives and from our members. We are currently taking a break from producing these as other organisations now produce local calendars, but hope to start again in the future.