Nine walkers were the only passengers on the bus from Tillingham to Bradwell. We were a group of eight and the other person, a lady, was walking from Bradwell Village back to Burnham via the seawall; we had a more modest ambition.
Having suffered a damaging fire it was good to see that renovations to the Kings Head, the village pub in Bradwell, had begun. After saying our goodbyes to the lady we started our walk heading north out of the village. Some house names here give an insight into former trades – Forge Cottage attached to the former Smithy and Wheelwrights Cottage; there are also a series of cottages with Bay in their names: Bay House, Bay Tree Cottage and Bay Tree House. For a small village it has a fine selection of buildings. A little further along the road stands the village water pump recently restored – but we failed to get any water from it.
Turning onto a grassy footpath we crossed the first of three stiles, quite a challenge for those with short legs, and this caused some hilarity; the second, a short way on, was marginally better and the third was more like a bench and being in the sunshine was a tempting place to rest.
The amusing thing (to me) was that we didn’t have to climb over the first two at all but I thought it was a nicer route to approach the Memorial to RAF Bradwell Bay. This monument is to those who lost their lives in WW2 when flying from the airfield. During the war Bradwell was home to 25 different squadrons the first being 418 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force using Boston aircraft designed to attack German night fighters.
We made our way across a field and down to Bradwell Marina walking through the boatyard where workers were fitting out boats. In the marina a dredger was busy. From there we headed south across a series of fields and through a small copse that was damp, mossy and delightfully neglected. Then a smaller copse, a short stretch of green lane, down a steep, short, slippery bank and across more fields. Eventually we reached the St Peter’s Way, turned west and headed back to Tillingham where we lunched in the Fox & Hounds
Next walk (4th Tuesday monthly)
March 24th – Meet 10.00 at the Royal Oak PH, Fambridge Road, Hazeleigh, Maldon CM9 6PB 7kms/4.4miles
April 28th – Meet 9.40 Danbury, Mayes Lane Car Park which is south of Eves Corner, the main crossroad in Danbury, 150 metres on the right) 8.8kms/5.5miles.
For those who would like a shorter walk of 6.8kms/4.2miles please contact group leader.