Old Photos of Witham

The Park, Maldon Road, in the snow

Taken: 28 March to 3 April 1975, Ref: M849

The Maldon Road Recreation Ground (the Park), in the snow, looking along the central path towards Maldon Road. A hedge is round the rose bed next to toilet on right, with cedar behind it.

Shows some of the plaques on the oak trees planted in 1946 by RAF personnel from Rivenhall airfield.

The wording on the plaques said that the trees were given “in gratitude for the kindness of the people of Witham to the RAF crews stationed at Rivenhall between October 1944 and March 1946”

The Essex Weekly News reported that “six officers and other ranks from the RAF base at Rivenhall each planted a young oak tree to commemorate the story of the flying men in the urban district, and as a token of thanks for the hospitality shown them by the townspeople. The first was planted by Group Captain A J Biggar, who was station commander at Rivenhall. All six bore a metal tablet placing on record ‘gratitude for the kindness of the people of Witham to the RAF crews stationed at Rivenhall between October 1944 and March 1946’. Among those present was the Chairman, Mr D J Maidment, and members and officials of the Council, and many prominent townspeople, who were invited to a cocktail party at the airdrome [sic] by the Group Captain and his officers”.

The trees have flourished ever since, but the whereabouts of the plaques is unknown.

Photos concerning these trees are M847, M849, M854, M1010, M1011, M1012, M1013, M1014, and M1218.

RefM849
Date taken28 March to 3 April 1975
SourceBraintree and Witham Times. Neg dep at ERO, Acc A8391.
Posted on Full size 6672 × 4384

Unless otherwise specified, photos are the copyright of the original photographer.

Every effort has been made to contact the owners of the photos or their relatives, to obtain their permission to use their pictures. But I have not always managed to find them, for which I apologise.

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