We can be extremely precise when all of this came about through an interview I had with Eric Doe of Pricketts Hall Farm along the Earls Colne Road. Eric distinctly remembers in June 1942 the arrival of a large American staff car stopping outside his farm with two American flags fluttering on each wing. He jokingly said, “You don`t see many of them coming along the Earls Colne Rd!”
The car doors swung open and what appeared to Eric to be very high-ranking officials emerged in their American uniforms. They left the driver and walked across the road, taking a particular interest in a large wood at Butlers Farm, locally known as Nurses Wood.
Sadly, this was felled shortly after the war ended.
They soon disappeared in the direction of the wood and Eric thought this may be a good time to have a chat with the driver in an effort to shed some light on their mysterious arrival. However, the driver was having none of Eric`s questioning and continued to read a newspaper without hardly uttering a word, so Eric was none the wiser and he would just have to wait and see what happened next.
Was this going to mean another airfield? The area around Bures Hamlet was very undulating and far from ideal for an airfield. Then one morning in 1943 the normal peace and quiet of Earls Colne road was shattered by the sound of heavy machinery and trucks arriving, together with American soldiers shouting and gesticulating at the drivers and directing them towards Butlers Farm.
It soon became clear that large swathes of land and woodland had been commandeered for the site for a Forward Ammunition Depot or Dispersal Site. The wood at Butlers Farm would be especially useful for the storage of incendiary bombs, well away from the prying eyes of the German Luftwaffe.
Just printed out the third revision of my book, hopefully this time after proof reading it will be time for it to go to the printers for the final colour print and binding.
Sadly after advertising on my three local web sites and giving it a mention in this blog, I have received no interest from prospective buyers of the book.
With the “bures-online.co.uk” web site receiving on average 800 visitors (not hits) per month, its certainly received plenty of publicity
Since starting this project as far back as 2002/3, I have filled many Notebooks and audio recordings from local inhabitants.
From these notes in 2004, I made an initial draft copy of a book I contemplated publishing. I think at the time it was around 40 pages.
Each time it has any major amendments, I always save the file as a different revision number
Yesterday, I added information about Hadstock airfield which has unbelievably made it revision No 34
Just as I think, I have exhausted all the avenues of research, something else comes along
This beggars the question, when do I bite the bullet and publish the book
Talking to Sam Russell ( WordPress bloger), I leant that Hadstock (Lt Walden) airfield, near Saffron Walden was supplied with munitions from Bures
Hadstock was one of two Satellite airfields controlled by Wethersfield (9th AF)
Ridgewell was the other satellite
Consequently, as we supplied Wethersfield and Ridgewell we must have delivered to Hadstock
That would be the furthest journey made out of Bures.
I must update my records.
It was suggested by the Lt Waldingfield History Group, that I should approach the Heritage Lottery Fund to see if they would offer me a grant to continue my research and publisher fees.
I made tentative enquiries to find that I was not eligible because I have to be :-
(a) an organisation with a Constitution
(b) have a Bank account in that name
(c) minimum grant funding of £3,000
I can fully appreciate that individuals may fraudulently abuse the system of obtaining funds, but it does leave genuine lone researchers such as myself abandoned.
HLF State:- We fund projects which focus on heritage. Heritage includes many different things from the past that we value and want to pass on to future generations, for example:
(a)histories of people and communities;
(b)histories of places and events
(c)people’s memories and experiences
(often recorded as ‘oral history’)
(d)places and objects linked to our industrial,
maritime and transport history,
With the proposed book, I must have interviewed well over 20 -30 local people going back as far as 2000. Today only one of those is alive today
So I certainly have preserved their heritage.
Not only that, the book is unique as nothing like this has been published before
I ran into the same funding problem back in 2001 when I launched a web site for Bures.
This only started off with a couple of pages and now it runs into the hundreds.
Bures back in the early 90`s was an “Industrial Village” having its own Brewery, Brickworks, Tannery, Slaughterhouse, 5 Blacksmiths and 9 pubs – a wealth of information
As the River Stour runs through the centre of the village, barges would take Bricks and Straw down to Harwich then on Sailing Barges up the Thames into London.
Straw for the horses and bricks for building.
Today the web site covers over 200 different topics concerning the village, which makes it undoubtedly the largest Parish web site in the UK
Five years ago it got so large, I had to move the War years pages to a new site
Since 2001, I have received no funding to support this work.
Again the same problem of not being a recognised organisation had hindered all applications for grants.
I calculated a few months ago, that over this 16 year period, I may have spent over 10,000 hours researching and publishing the material
The financial outlay of those years would be well over £1000 with traveling, printing, purchasing records, books etc
Until two years ago, all of my research material was available on my web site
Unfortunately, within months I found my work, had been plagiarised by rogues who had published it on their own web sites.
WW2 War Forums were publishing my text, maps and images
The worst culprit for infringing my copyright was Google who published all my images on their search engine ( bures-images)
I even had only local person who had the cheek to ask, if she could copy all my web material and use it for their University Dissertation at no cost !
That was the last straw and it was subsequently taken off-line
There is a good trick to play on these people if you think they have stolen your work
Slip in the odd spelling mistake or a factual error and see if it appears elsewhere
If someone has just copy/pasted the text, the error will follow them.
I learnt this from the London A – Z maps. Did you know some of the streets on the map are totally ficticious. Usually small cul-de-sacs.
If anyone copies the maps, little do they realise they will subsequently publish the errors
Sometimes called “Trap Streets” or “Copyright Traps”
London A – Z Link
I am in the process of publishing a book called “When the Americans arrived in Bures”
This subject has taken me some 10 years to research.
Its a unique insight into the Bomb Dumps that were constructed by the United States Air Force to the west of Bures during 1943.
This information has been derived from local people in the area and the USAAF archives.
Trains arrived daily from Liverpool and Immingham Docks to unload munitions at Chappel rail station.
These were then distributed around the local area for storage away from the prying eyes of the Luftwaffe.
They were then despatched to the USAAF ,Essex and Suffolk airfields when their stock required replenishing
The book is proving very expensive to publish due to the internal pages all being in colour
Publishing this book on Amazon and with their selling fees, this would leave me with a profit per book of 25p
Consequently, I am trying to find out if anyone would be interested in purchasing a copy