Off to the seaside, North Essex style, to one of the last GBG ticks reachable by train without a sleeper (I appreciate infinity would not be long enough for some Northern Rail journeys).

Just for Tom

Wivenhoe is one of the smarter small towns (7,000 odd) between Colchester and up-and-coming Jaywick. It’s a real throwback to the good old days (1287), and gets visits from real Essex folk as well as people wearing pashminas and Helly Hansen jackets with children called Theo.

Early motorhome

There’s a manageable amount of new housing by the station, which will get you to the honeypots of Clacton in ten minutes. I think I’d stay in Wivenhoe.

West Quay

A few folk had correctly identified this as the 206th successive day of sunshine on the Essex coast, and were marking off boats in their boat-spotting book.

No Ferry across the Colne to Rowhedge today

It’s worth crossing the Colne to Rowhedge for their pubs, particularly the Albion.  Many thanks to Tendring CAMRA for their info.

I’d brought my Dad and Mrs RM here for lunch at the Black Buoy a while ago, and they were entranced.  “Much better than snooty Southwold” said one of us.

Coastal Essex

The Black Buoy is gastro but good, the Rose & Crown has the 2004 Champion Bitter on the bar and the views of boats.

Black Buoy – note hipster bike
Not hipster pub

But I only have eyes for the Station, after which the, er, station is named.

Love a station pub

It’s a little gem of a station boozer.  Not that Essex is short of good boozers.


You can trust a pub with two handpumps, Carlsberg bar towels and an old Tolly Cobbold sign.


Slightly irreverent in the best sense.

Can I have a pint of the Strong Man

No, I’m keeping it back for myself“.  They should twin with that Burton Latimer place.

Lots to see if you like train stuff (grief, who does that ?),

What can it mean ?


but better just to sit at a proper table and enjoy decent Colchester Brewery beer and the banter from a surprisingly young crowd. Or perhaps tradesmen knock off at 2pm on Fridays ?



I enjoyed it so much I nearly missed the train back to Colchester. And believe me, you wouldn’t want to be stranded in a strange Essex town with men wearing scarves.

37 thoughts on “A WIVENHOE WOBBLE

  1. “(I appreciate infinity would not be long enough for some Northern Rail journeys).”

    Crikey! Good thing they don’t run any trains over here!

    “Early motorhome”

    Or a food truck. 🙂

    “No Ferry across the Colne to Rowhedge any more”

    They should consider a bridge like that one between Wales and England, near The Boat Inn.

    “Black Buoy – note hipster bike”

    The mobility scooter for the younger set. 😉

    ““No, I’m keeping it back for myself“. They should twin with that Burton Latimer place.”

    Indeed. So, Table Ale then?

    “Or perhaps tradesmen knock off at 2pm on Fridays ?”

    From the photos below I take it they were all shy?

    “you wouldn’t want to be stranded in a strange Essex town with men wearing scarves.”

    Better than pashminas. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. For the sake of clarity, the ferry is only finished now until April: http://wivenhoerowhedgeferry.btck.co.uk and with regards a bridge (foot and cycle), Rowhedge were in favour, but Wivenhoe against: https://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/15845632.poll-councils-emphatic-no-means-1m-bridge-is-on-troubled-waters/

      We (Tendring CAMRA RambAle-rs) visited the Rose & Crown, Black Buoy and Station at the end of a recent pub walk from Brightlingsea (then started at the Black Buoy for the next one). http://www.tendringcamra.org.uk/rambale/rambale10.html

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Bridge argument depends who you talk to in Rowhedge Ed – I’ve not found much, if any?, support for it in the Albion! The ferry is really great…..when it runs!!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Wivenhoe is a lovely little town. I see from WhatPub that the Black Buoy was renamed from the Black Boy, presumably for reasons of political correctness 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But Caernarfon’s Black Boy, which I consider to be about the best pub in Wales ( not that there’s many good ones to choose from ), is still the Black Boy – but maybe the most politically correct refer to it as the Bachgen Du.


      1. Still quite a few of them about, including ones in Bewdley and Bridgnorth. However, this Essex one has also been renamed, after a period as the “Dirty Infant”. The name, of course, comes from a nickname of Charles II and doesn’t really have the imagined racial connotations.


      2. I recall a pub in Sussex (Bognor way on, I believe) from the eighties, called the Labour in Vain, where the singularly un-PC pub sign was an Afro-Caribbean child sat in a bath while someone attempted to wash him – very droll!


      3. Replies only nest two levels, hence the confusion.

        Along the same lines, the Gypsy’s Tent at Hagley was renamed the Badger’s Sett.


      4. Clive,
        Yes, that one near Bognor, now closed, was one of two Labour in Vains, the other being at Yarnfield several milers from me. The pub sign image of a black child sat in a bath while a woman attempted to wash him is thought to be as old as the pub itself but has now been replaced although it doesn’t take much thought to realise that it’s the white woman, not the black child, who is foolish.


      5. T’other Mudgie,
        That’s terrible, likening Romanies to TB-ridden mammals and their homes, in which they take great pride, to little more than burrows.
        Anyway, getting back to Black Boys, there are also a few Blacks Heads the Wirksworth one being my best known first as Hardy Hansons and now Greene King. The image of a blackamoor on the pub sign has though now gone.


      6. There is a “Black Boy” in Headington (Oxford), once a Morrells pub and now a food-led Everards house. They have got around the political-correctness problem by installing a swingboard with a black racehorse thereon.

        Oswestry Town are former winners of the Welsh Cup. Vaguely recall a kerfuffle when they were told that they could not represent Wales in the then European Cup Winners’ Cup.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I see that the Kaffir in Whetstone has been renamed “The Lime Tree” too, another meaning of the word.

      It’s not so much PC – whatever that is – as exhibitional piety, if you ask me.


      1. Bill,
        I shall have to make sure I don’t get it wrong when in Perth next month and Dundee in April – or they might not have me north of the border again.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. @Fred: Some English teams used to compete in the Welsh Cup but they couldn’t get into European football if they won it. Euro glory went to the highest-finishing Welsh side, which is why Wrexham got into the old Cup-Winners Cup so often.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Greatly enjoyed reading this. I took a moment to Google ‘Tolly Cobbold’ (as I’d never heard of them) and thought you might be amused by the final sentence in the Wikipedia entry:

    “For a short time in the 1960s, Tolly Cobbold produced an infamous lager known as Husky Brew, which John Cobbold himself compared to a dog’s urine.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mark,
      That Husky lager continued into the 1970s.
      Tolly was short for Tollemache.
      Leone Sextus Denys Oswolf Fraudatifilius Tollemache-Tollemache de Orellana Plantagenet Tollemache-Tollemache ( 10 June 1884 – 20 February 1917) was a captain in the British Army who died during the First World War.

      Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s