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Essex Field Club
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Mon 24th September 2012 19:49 by Peter Pearson
Thanks for the memory
Michael, your September Ramble took me striaght down Memory Lane

You mentioned the hide on the Naze marshes at Walton and I was priveledged to be one of the group involved in it's construction.
It was originally built in the early 1950's on the sand dunes facing the sea.
John Weston, after whom the EWT reserve at the Naze is named, was the instigator. Together he and the group collected driftwood, railway sleepers, ships hatch covers, etc, then frequently found on the shore and creeks around the Walton Channel. These were floated to the site via the creeks and sea, group members swimming with them or towing them over the saltings with ropes.
The "tin" roofing sheets were taken to the Naze Tower on the roof of Johns van and manhandled with non-salvagable materials and tools out onto the sand bar.
Once completed we spent hours out there, weekends and holidays. Spring, Autumn and Winter were for birdwatching, fishing, beachcombing and occasionally night forays with mist nets ringing passing migrants. Summer in the slack period between the breeding of the Little Tern colony, which we used to watch over, and autumn migration, was for swimming and picnics.
There was a smal flock of Eider off the hide every summer and we would swim out them, John was a good impersonator of their cooing call and they would swim up to us beak to nose.
Unfortunately after a few years errosion took its toll on the sand dunes and the hide was in danger of being washed away. It was dismantled to be reconstructed on the abandonded sea defence wall, where it stood until it's demise.
For half a century it had been in the area on the sands and seawall until it was burnt down a short while ago.
It had given us much pleasure in the past and shelter to many visitors to the Naze. I remember it with affection in sun, rain, heavy snow, gales,fog, infact anythingthe elements could throw at us.

Oh happy days.


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