Lost or Neglected Essex Guideposts

Images from the old guideposts archive.

A series of pictures illustrating Essex guideposts and fingerposts that have long since disappeared from the landscape or "then and now" comparisons with survivors.  Do you have any photographs to submit?  Cast iron types preferred but any interesting guidepost will be considered for inclusion.  The main scene is not relevant just as long as a guidepost or milestone is visible in the image.  Email me here.

If I have unintentionally used any images that are your copyright and have not credited please contact me on the email link above.  I will then either remove the image or give due credit and source details.

ex-arc-01.jpg (17346 bytes) Location:  Adjacent to the Two Brewers public house, Chipping Ongar. Date:  Early 1950s.
Details:  On the traffic island is a Maldon Iron Works post with semicircular parish finial.  Replaced with modern sign at unknown date.  Legends on arm - (1) BRENTWOOD 7/  ABRIDGE 8 /  LONDON 21 / A113 - (2) GREENSTEAD  1/ TOOT HILL 2 1/2 - (3) EPPING  /  CHELMSFORD  /  DUNMOW / A113.

The Eastern National bus is registered TM 8797 and fleet number 3081 (later 1155).  It is an AEC Regent with bodywork by Strachan.  51 seater.  It was ordered as a new vehicle in 1931 and withdrawn from service in 1956.  

Check http://www.ryanbus.co.uk/bside90/index.html for Eastern National history and fleet details.

Credit:  C. Carter (via Jim Young)
ex-arc-02.jpg (31686 bytes) Location:  Junction of Billericay Road and Dunton Road, Herongate. Date: 23 Oct 1965
Details:  This was the Herongate Old Dog bus terminus (at the Dunton Road junction about 200 yards beyond the Old Dog public house - the distinctive house is still there but the grassy island and guidepost are gone).  This was taken by Jim Young.  As the conductor he had just seen the bus back around the corner - not a maneuver recommended today!  The driver was Mr. Kinnear.  

Go to http://www.ryanbus.co.uk/bside90/index.html for Eastern National bus histories.

The guidepost appears to be a post-war type but showing its age.  A plate holding the "BILLERICAY" arm to the "BRENTWOOD" arm has rusted and obscures some of the letters.  There also seems to be a plate, with or without an inscription on the opposite side to the "SOUTHEND" arm.  Dunton Road was shown as a Cross Road from Brentwood to Tilbury Fort in Paterson's Roads and John Cary's Itinerary, as well as early 19th century maps.

Credit:  Dr. Jim Young.
ex-arc-03.jpg (33546 bytes) Location:  Junction of Colingwood Road and The Avenue, Witham. Date: About 1960 
Details:  Yet another Eastern National bus; this one heading in to Witham from Braintree.  On the extreme right of the picture on the corner of The Avenue is a Maldon Iron Works guidepost.  It is a 7 feet 6 inch with three 7 inch arms and a conical finial.  The arm to the right bears the legend COLCHESTER (miles if given are hidden behind the telegraph pole.  The arm to the left reads B1018 BRAINTREE. Credit:  John Scott-Mason (via Janet Gyford)
ex-arc-04.jpg (43647 bytes) Location:  On the (now former) A120 at Takeley Street. Date:  1968
Details:  The conical finial and arms suggest that this is a product of Maldon Iron Works.  However, the spacer between the upper and the lower arms is not standard.  The post is not standard pattern so maybe original parts were used on a later date post.

Thanks to Nick Catford for allowing use of this photo taken from his Disused Stations website.

Credit: 1968 Nick Catford
ex-arc-05.jpg (22731 bytes) Location:  TQ 505978.  At junction of road from Passingford Bridge and Theydon Mt, looking towards Abridge. Date:  13 March 1963
Details:  A pristine example of a Maldon Iron Works post probably lost during the construction of the nearby M25 motorway. Credit:  Dr. Jim Young.
ex-arc-06.jpg (24194 bytes) Location:  Junction of Nevendon Road, High Street and London Road, Wickford. Date:  1958
Details:  Maldon Iron Works guidepost with missing finial.  Probably removed when the junction was made into a crossroads during bypass construction. Credit: Unknown
ex-arc-07.jpg (23513 bytes) Location:  Kiln Road (A13), South Benfleet, opposite Kenneth Road.  (Top of Bread & Cheese Hill) Date:  1985
Details:  Although taken comparatively recently (1985) this wintry picture by Paul Fretwell has been included for aesthetic reasons as well as recording this Maldon Iron Works guidepost.  The finial appears to be a disc type which are uncommon and the only other examples being in a cluster around Ingatestone, Stock, Hutton and a single one at Hockley.  Since 1985 the post has been replaced by a new one in cast traditional form.  Click on the thumbnail for "then and now" pictures. Credit:  Paul Fretwell 1985.
ex-arc-08.jpg (22033 bytes) Location:  Unknown but probably somewhere in north or north west Essex Date:  1940?
Details:  This image illustrates the fate of guideposts all over the country in the spring of 1940.  With the fear of invasion all signs (including milestones) were either taken down, obliterated or destroyed.  No doubt many historically important posts were lost and never replaced. Credit: Unknown
ex-arc-09.jpg (20943 bytes) Location:  The Street, Little Waltham Date:  May 1944
Details:  A Maldon Iron Works guidepost with semicircular parish finial.  The post was still in place as late as 1963 (see below).  The American troops in the picture are most likely marching back to Boreham airfield after taking part in the "Salute the Soldier Day" parade in Chelmsford. Credit: Unknown (Via Tony Fewell)
ex-arc-10.jpg (20435 bytes) Location:  The Street, Little Waltham Date: c.1963
Details:  Same location as the previous image almost 20 years later.  It is not known when the Maldon Iron Works guidepost was replaced but a guess is the 1970s. Credit: Unknown
ex-arc-11.jpg (19646 bytes) Location:  NGR: TL 8127 1532.  Powershall End, Witham. Date: 5 September 1963


Details:  The Powershall End guidepost can be seen in the background when it still had its second arm.  It is a Maldon Iron Works example with a conical finial.  The legend on the now missing arm was  FAULKBOURNE / NOTLEYS, TERLING / BRAINTREE.  The happy man strolling through the September 1963 flood is Mr. Alfred Lepper.   Credit:  Unknown. (Via Janet Gyford)
ex-arc-12.jpg (26946 bytes) Location:  NGR:  TL 818126.  Witham.   It was on the Maldon Road (now B1018) going out of Witham, on a bend just west of Oliver's farm.  Date: About 1959
Details:   A lost  Witham finger post.  It was made redundant when the A12 cut off the 'Bye Road to Witham' (the arm pointing to the left) running northwards towards Home Farm. It was a 3-arm Maldon Iron Works example with semicircular parish plate finial.  The handsome chap in the picture is George Vale, the baby is is son Richard, and the date is about 1959.  Amongst his retirement occupations is writing reports on Witham Town's football matches for the local newspaper, and winning gardening prizes.
Credit: George Vale (via Janet Gyford)
ex-arc-13.jpg (152370 bytes) Location:  Elmstead Date: Believed to be late 1950s.
Details:  A Maldon Iron Works post with one 10 and three 7 inch arms.  Semicircular parish finial.  No further details currently available. Credit: Unknown.  (Via Jim Young)
ex-arc-14.jpg (18881 bytes) Location:  Upminster crossroads Date: After c.1920
Details:  An old postcard showing Upminster crossroads.  It certainly dates after c.1920 as two of the arms have road numbers on them.  It appears that the arms have been fixed to the lamp standard on the circular traffic island. Credit: Unknown.
ex-arc-16.jpg (19962 bytes) Location:  Steven's Corner, Basildon. Date: Late 1950s or early 1960s.
Details:  A sign of the past.  This genuine 19th century finger post once stood at Steven's Corner, Basildon.  It was probably swept away c.1960 in the name of progress as Basildon new town developed.   Possibly cast by Whitmore & Binyon of Wickham Market in the 1860s. Credit:  Unknown. 
ex-arc-15.jpg (24377 bytes) Location:  It was on the corner of Upminster Common (now called Tyler's Common) at the junction of Nags Head Lane with Warley Road. Date:  About 1910
Details:  This post was still in existence c.1970 but with only the arm towards BRENTWOOD remaining.  The opposite side of the arm was cast BROOK STREET. Date of ultimate destruction unknown.   With its slender, fluted shaft, it can almost certainly be attributed to Wedlake of Hornchurch and can possibly date to around 1840.  Image shows postcard view of uncertain date but believed to be c.1910. Credit:  Unknown.  Via Geoff Perrior.
ex-arc-20.jpg (129544 bytes) Location:  Junction of A12 (now A1023) and A129, Shenfield. Date:  1930s?
Details:  Postcard of unknown origin.  The post has an annulus finial but the maker is unknown. Credit:  Unknown.  Via Geoff Perrior.
ex-arc-21.jpg (137714 bytes) Location:    Great Baddow near White Horse public house. Date:  Late 1950s?
Details:  Maldon Iron Works post with semicircular finial. Credit:  Unknown. 

If you have images to submit please contact me HERE.

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