Leigh-on-Sea (2)

As a footnote to my entry on Leigh-on-Sea, I was putting away my copy of Norman Scarfe’s 1968 Shell Guide to Essex and spotted my copy of Ken Worpole’s Essex Journey.   It reminded me that John Fowles was a native of Leigh-on-Sea – ‘a single narrow street, with salty, muddy houses, still retaining snugly the character of fishing and naiveté’;  and so too was Simon Schama, who opens Landscape and Memory with a recollection of ‘the low gull-swept estuary, the marriage bed of of salt and fresh water, stretching as far as I could see from my northern Essex bank, toward a thin black horizon on the other side’.  So, too, is John Wonnacott, whose house overlooks the beach at Chalkwell and some of whose greatest paintings are not his portraits, but views of the Thames Estuary and Essex mud flats.

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2 thoughts on “Leigh-on-Sea (2)

  1. Mark Fisher says:

    Ken Worpole was my excellent Research Assistant when I was first appointed Shadow Arts Minister in 1987. I’ve lost touch with him and didn’t know about his Essex book. Thank you.

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