Friday, 16 August 2013


We have a local heroine (from the 1800's) we all adore, called Mehalah.  Nicknamed Glory, she was strong and beautiful and lived a rugged life amongst smugglers and fishermen on the saltmarshes around Mersea.

She's a fictional character (in a book of the same name) but none-the-less real in our hearts.

If you haven't heard of Mehalah you might have heard of the hymn, Onward, Christian Soldiers.  Both were written by Sabine Baring-Gould who was rector of East Mersea church between 1871 and 1881.

I don't think Baring-Gould much liked his time in Mersea but despite his dislike, I want to add a quote from Mehalah to the bottom of the Coast Road map.  There is a gaping hole to the left of the logos that is crying out to be filled with some good words, and the Reverend Baring-Gould was very good at good words.

He wrote,
'Between the mouths of the Blackwater and the Colne, on the east coast of Essex, lies an extensively marshy tract veined and freckled in every part with water.  It is a wide waste of debatable ground contested by sea and land,  subject to incessant incursions from the former, but stubbornly maintained by the latter.'

He goes on to say,
'A more desolate region can scarce be conceived, and yet it is not without beauty.'

It is still that same flat marshy tidal estuary.  Think Dickens and the wild lands of Great Expectations.

1 comment:

  1. Mehalah is a good read for any with an interest in the region. The good news is, it is readily available as a e-book for free! Just google Mehalah ;)