an irreverent look at Writtle Village, Essex, its people and goings on!
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This site has been updated on December 2006

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December 2002
They don't apply to me

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Road traffic,  
a  problem?

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What is Art? 

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Letters to the Editor

I have been a bit remiss in not publishing the letters to the editor so here they are:
The publication of comments and views  below are not an indication of support or an endorsement of those views by the Editor of Disgruntled-of- Writtle

Subject: Comments

And I thought I had just been unlucky whenever I have been to 'Toutesjours!"

Well at least they have a fantastic selection of videos to rent and their prices are reasonable! I can't remember the last time I went in there and the staff WEREN'T having trouble with one of the tills, or explaining to another member of staff how the Lottery machine works. It's amazing how much time needs to be spent shelf stacking for such a sorry selection of goods... But at ten PM when you have just realised someone else has used the last sheet of toilet roll, they are an essential asset to the village!

However at least they are open! The co-op seems to open for twenty minutes every other day, during hours that are of no use to those of us in full time employment.

On another note, I think the issue of public transport in the village should be raised. Writtle is not a happy place for the non-driver...

One Saturday last summer whilst my wife had taken the car for the weekend, I had to make a trip into London. Mid morning I set off from home just off the A414 and walked the half-mile or so into the village, my destination: the bus stop on the village green. However I was to be disappointed. According to the timetable there, there are only three buses into Chelmsford a day, one every two hours! To make matters worse, apparently I had just missed one by ten minutes... However before setting off home to find the number of a taxi company, I thought I would ask in the Post Office. I thought it a bit odd for there to be so few buses going through the village as it seemed every time I drove past the green and along Ongar road I ended up behind a yellow 'Hoppa' bus!

I made my way past the remarkable collection of nicknacks to the counter. However it turns out no-one in the Post Office has ever used the bus service in Writtle. One member of staff did mention that she thought the buses to Chelmsford stopped outside Barclays. When asked if they had a timetable, I was helpfully told that I would have to get one from Chelmsford...

Optimistically, I set off in haste around the corner and, lo and behold, there on the opposite side of the road from Barclays was another bus stop. Without a timetable.

Undeterred, I leant against the iron railings and waited. Sure enough, after about fifteen minutes the familiar yellow nose of a bus rounded the corner, its happy smiling driver a very welcome sight! I stepped forward and raised my hand... as it drove straight past and turned right towards Chelmsford! The humiliation and annoyance of this was only compounded by the two gurning twelve year olds gesticulating at me from the back seat.

By now I had become resigned to my fate. As the sun was out and I was in no particular hurry, I rolled up my newspaper and set off with a click of the heels on a leisurely stroll down the highways and byways of surburban and semi-rural Essex to a place that had started to seem as unreachable as the Emerald City, Chelmsford Railway Station.

Despite the issues above, we have lived in Writtle for over a year now and most of our experiences have been happy ones! Friendly neighbours, welcoming pubs (A great pint in the Wheatsheaf and a way-above-average selection of reasonably priced food in the Inn on the Green), excellent curry house, fish and chips where one portion is big enough for a large family, a lovely little library and a wonderful little shop open all hours (the last one was typed with my tongue ever so slightly in my cheek!)

Keep up the good work

Richard Gunn
Via contact form

Subject: Writtle Observations

My name is Steve Eltham and I have lived in Writtle since 1984. It's a nice place to live and I've no serious grievances with my lot here. After seeing the web site advertised in 'Writtle News' I thought that I may as well chip in with a few observations that I have. They are all to do with vehicles one way and another.
1/ What sadistic bastard was responsible for those vicious speed bumps onthe approach road to Hylands House? Surely people are going there to relax,take it easy, walk the dog and all that, not to test the 0-60 times of their vehicles. So you may do 30 mph there - big deal.
2/ Why isn't Bridge Street closed during peak hours in the fish and chip selling world. The safety of people walking the pavement and queuing for their food is being put in jeopardy by inconsiderate motorists who have the cheek to want to use the road.
3/ What function do the double yellow lines on the side of the The Greenserve? I'm sure that in other locations they mean no parking at any time, but not here apparently.
4/ Between Longmeads Close and Ongar Road there is a pleasant patch of grassed area. On this area Chelmsford Borough Council have erected signs stating that vehicles are not allowed on the grass and that a 20 fine will be imposed. Which bit of the statement 'vehicles are not allowed' is not being understood here?

I feel a bit better now.

Via E-mail December 2001

Subject: Road Traffic

I have lived in Writtle for 3 1/2 years now having lived the previous 30 in Braintree, although I was born in Writtle in 1967. It had always been my intention to come back and live here as I feel it really is my home.
I have read your article regarding road traffic in Writtle and that is the subject that I wish to comment on. I live on Bridge Street opposite the Chip Shop and I can concur with your comments regarding the haphazard parking that occurs almost every night because people simply cannot be bothered to use the car park 100 yds away. I am not anti-car and it may surprise you to know that even though I cannot understand peoples parking habits outside my house, I really don't feel I have any choice but to put my car exactly there. Why ? Because the traffic in this village is, in my opinion getting completely out of hand. Not just the volume, but the speed that motorists are allowed to travel at. God forbid, but I really don't think it will be long before a fatal accident occurs whilst someone is trying to buy their dinner at the Chip Shop! I leave my car outside my house because it is my only legal recourse to slow the damn traffic down! If I thought the council would put in place a proper control over the speed and volume of the traffic through the village I would quite happily park elsewhere. But I fear they will not do that. Only last year, a traffic calming island was placed further up the street by the Green. I have to say that it has made absolutely no difference as far as I am concerned and was a complete waste of time and  money. The traffic has not slowed down one bit. I would be very interested to hear any views or information you may have  regarding the traffic situation. A number of houses have gone up for sale in Bridge Street in recent months and I know for a fact that the main reason people want to leave is traffic.
Such a shame that a wonderful village like Writtle is blighted. Surely there must be a strong case for ensuring motorists use the bypass for what it was intended and not use the village as a short cut to save them a few minutes each day ?

Please provide any shred of hope you can that something will be done?
yours desparately.

Via E-mail October 2002

Subject: A414 Roundabouts

Following yet another tediuous journey from Writtle to my place of work at Southend, I must admit that visiting your website has cheered me up a little.

However, i would like to raise the issue of the state of the roundabouts in and around Writtle, in particular the one near the Hanging Gardens nursery, at the junction of Highwood Rd and the A414. We live about 100 yds from here and are embarrassed at the state of this roundabout, especially when we have visitors. The grass on the roundabout here was cut by the council twice this year (and if my memory serves me correctly, only 3 times last year). Was it a coincidence that one of the cuts was the week before V2001 (perhaps just to smarten up the area, and create a good impression ? !!).

Anyway, we contacted the Hanging Gardens nursery over a year ago, wondering whether they had considered sponsoring landscaping of this roundabout. An ideal advertising opportunity, we thought. It turns out that they had contacted the council over 2 years ago suggesting just this very thing, and it has been under discussion ever since.

There has indeed been an improvement recently to the other roundabout on the A414. When are we likely to see an improvement to ours?

Yours very disgruntledly
Via E-mail October 2002

Subject: you don't understand

you call Fishli and Weiss's piece at tate modern a wast of mony etc. You dont seem to be aware that what at first looks like rubish is actualy not rubbish but a heap of delicatly crafted sculptures. Every thing in that room has been hand made it is one of the best pieces at the tate. Perhaps before you rant on about art you should look a little more closly. All is not lost. As soon as you can buy a copy of the film "The way things go" by the before mentioned artists. Imagine how many of your opinions are misguided and be happy that the light of knowledge might come and pay you a visit. Stop trying to be clever and trying to know about things that take time to learn about. Do you have a collection of famous painting jigg saw puzzles. If you do burn them and sort you self out. Please reply to my e mail.

Via Email september 2001

The Reply
Hello Jon,
 Many thanks for your three mails, which are the first regarding the article about art. I assume from the three mails that you have sent that I have touched a nerve. The article was written to provoke thought and discussion which in your case it has succeeded and is an expression of my personal views on art etc.
I would be happy to engage in a  mail dialogue with you on this matter but why not write an article with examples to present the modern art lovers case.
I am putting together the new edition  which is running late etc and would only be too pleased to have your copy. 
I look forward to your reply
jan  editor


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