The Mill House (Robert Hirst)

Flatford Mill (Russell Westwood / Illustrated magazine)

Eric Ennion and R S Hellaby with Willy Lott’s Cottage in the background (Russell Westwood / Illustrated magazine)

In 1947 Tendring Hundred Waterworks Company’s proposal for a pumping station at Dedham divided the local community – as reported in the magazine Illustrated on 29.3.1947 – in what was seen by some as a class issue. Opposition to the proposal was led by Sir Alfred Munnings (President of the Royal Academy), R S Hellaby who was secretary of the Dedham Vale Society, Eric Ennion, and the local vicar.

Munnings: “Which is more important d’you think, the needs of agriculture or those of the Clacton holidaymakers? All over Essex and Suffolk little streams are being dried up by ill-considered water schemes”. Eric Ennion said, “In summer the Stour shrinks to a mere trickle. Big scale bores are doing harm to many East Anglian villages by reducing river beds to muddy rubbish heaps. Salt water is coming up the estuary, killing trees and turning good land into saltmarshes”.

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