Essex is the name of the sometimes misunderstood county that I live in. Have you ever heard of the Essex girl jokes? If not, I would rather not repeat one, as they do not paint a pretty picture or display us in a flattering light.
If I ever have to say where I live to a non Essex person, my answer is often met with a snigger and conclusions are immediately jumped to. It can be increasingly frustrating, and I find myself saying, “But have you ever been there?” Normally they haven’t, they are stereotyping me thanks to the Essex girl jokes, and it can drive me nuts.
(By the way, my friend Annie and I once appeared in a local newspaper, defending our county. There was a picture of us grinning at the camera, but the reporter got our ages and occupations mixed up. And they mis-quoted me so I sounded rather daft.)
Fighting back from these Essex misconceptions, there are some very desirable parts, and a couple of these parts I visited over the bank holiday weekend. I took a drive out with a friend to two villages, Thaxted and Fitchingfield, and we had a a very pleasant weekend, snapping away on our cameras, and absorbing the atmosphere and history.
See, we’re not all beer guzzling, bimbo loud mouths. Please take my (Essex girl) word for it.
And would my white stilettos and gold fake designer handbag ever lie to you?
The 200 year old tea room. Two cream teas please.
Can you guess which highwayman (he died in 1739) lived here?
Here’s a clue.
The Guildhall, built by the Guild of Cutlers six hundred years ago, and still in active use.
The parish church of St John the Baptist, Our Lady and St Laurence. First built in 1340.
John Webb's windmill. Built in 1804 by John Webb, a local farmer and landowner.
The pretty village of Fitchingfield.
Makes a change from swimming around all day.
Postcard picture houses.
Can you see me, toasting your good health and the Essex life?