Upminster photos

see copyright notice. Page created 19-Nov-2019. Use the button groups above to navigate quickly around the site.

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Upminster, in the county of Essex, has been my home town for most of my life. Developed and promoted in the 1920s as a "Garden Suburb", it has changed a lot in recent years; we're now officially in the London Borough of Havering, cruelly hemmed-in by the wretched M25. But parts of the town, and nearby Cranham, still retain some rural character. For this page I've initially chosen a few of my photos taken between 2000 and the present day.

Then and Now

The wide shot of Roomes "homeware" store was constructed from three photos taken with a 0.8 megapixel camera in January, 2000. The photo shop to the right of the store, previously the Post Office, had already been replaced by a block of flats when the Roomes building was demolished in 2007 (photo 2). In its place came more flats, plus an M & S food store, pictured (photo 3) on its opening day in November 2008.

In May 2009, Somerfield (née Gateway (née International Stores)) in St Mary's Lane became a Waitrose (photos 4 and 5).

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The Windmill

You'll find hundreds of photos of our famous landmark, the Smock Mill (built in 1803), elsewhere on the web. I could certainly bore you with more of the same, but here instead are a couple of significant moments from recent years.

In July 2003 the then MP, Angela Watkinson, was among those dressed up in period costume to celebrate the Mill's bicentenary. The second photo was taken from the platform. In January 2007, the Mill showed its age when - not for the first time - a sail snapped in a gale (photos 3 and 4). The final two photos (May 2016) show the "cap" awaiting transportation to the Netherlands, to be restored by a specialist millwright. The base and mechanism are also being renovated in situ, and we eagerly await the re-assembly of the whole structure as a working windmill.

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On the Streets

In July 2005, Station Road hosted a French Market. In August 2006 a Farmers' Market brought new life to the town (photo 3) - this became a welcome monthly event until, sadly, it was discontinued in 2012. Photo 4 shows the scene at dusk in December 2005. The final shot, looking north along Station Road, is of revellers on their way to "We are FSTVL" during the late spring holiday in 2018.

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Parks & Gardens

The first photo shows ice melting on the lake in Clockhouse Gardens, on New Year's Day 2002. A less well-known, but even more photogenic open space is Parklands, near the village of Corbets Tey. The old bridge has been renovated since this photo was taken (2013), but personally I preferred it as it was! Two photos in March 2019 capture the magic of the weeping willows bordering the lake. Finally, spring blossoms glow in the morning sunlight, at Hall Lane Playing Fields (2018).

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