Old Photos of Witham

The Park, Maldon Road, looking along the central path.

Taken: 1940s-1950s approx, Ref: M854

The Park (recreation ground), Maldon Road. Looking north-west along central pathway towards the Kings Chase entrance. The two large trees in the foreground have since fallen.

Shows some of the plaques on the six 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.

The trees have done well but the plaques disappeared some time ago.

There are newspaper reports from 25 January 1946, in both the Essex Weekly News and the Essex Chronicle.

There are newspaper reports about the event from 25 January 1946, in both the Essex Weekly News and the Essex Chronicle.

Photos concerning these trees are M847, M849, M854, M1010, and M1218.

RefM854
Date taken1940s-1950s approx
SourceMia Robson
Posted on Full size 844 × 518

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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