February 1971 saw the three churches and
the parish council got together to launch a new village magazine - Stock
Press. One of its more prolific contributors was Donald Jarvis. The first
editors were Edith Sparrow and Valerie Bell. The name Stock Press was
suggested by Thomas McMahon as a pun on Stop Press. Also that year the
Congregational Church chose to remain independent from that known as the United
Reformed Church by the amalgamation of the Congregational Church in England and
Wales and the Presbyterian Church of England. It was now known as Christ
Proposals were being made for a new
airport on the Maplin Sands, which came to nothing: the fast rail link to it
would have passed next to the King's Head. A new telephone exchange was opened
just off the Mill Road. The old exchange had been on the site of the original
Congregational Chapel. On its approach was placed a memorial to William Moss
and other members of the family who founded the chapel as well as to the chapel
itself. William Moss's headstone is now in the wall adjoining Christ Church.
On 26th December that year the first
United Service of all three churches was held in the village. Meanwhile the
Catholic Church was getting a bit dilapidated and so funds were made available
from the Gillow Trust for its renovation. The major part of the work took place
in the spring and early summer of 1972 and for the duration Catholic services
were held in All Saints. Even ten years before this would have been
In 1973, the sewer finally arrived: most
of the village was now on the main sewer. A few outlying hamlets still use
other methods, including having a septic tank installed. The same year the
village got in the national press for vandalism to the cricket club. In that
year Stock had reached the quarter finals of the National Village Competition
and was occasionally featuring in the national press.
1974 saw the local government
reorganisation and Chelmsford Rural District and Chelmsford Municipal Borough
Councils were merged into the Chelmsford District Council, which later became
Chelmsford Borough Council after having gained a charter.
1976 saw a new use for the
old telephone exchange
, which had
stood empty since 1971, when it was converted into a library
To celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen
Elizabeth II in 1977 events took place over three days in June. Amongst other
things, there was an exhibition (in the Village Hall), a United church service
in the grounds of All Saints. There were sports (on the Common), a Fair in the
Square and on the Green, free teas for children and teas for adults and a dance
and barbeque. There was a cricket match between the men and women
At some during the 1970s, the grocers at
the corner of Swan Lane acquired the post office concession following the
closure of the shop which held the concession near the War Memorial.
In 1978 Crondon Hall which had been in
the parish of Galleywood was transferred to Stock. Crondon Hall is some
distance from Crondon Park Lodge and is nearer to Margaretting Tye than to
Stock. Despite them both being originally part of the same manor the two should
not be confused.
In 1979, the old cricket pavilion was
demolished and replaced. The old one was sold to a horse owner who intended
rebuilding it as a stables.
The Bishop can reside whereever he likes
in his diocese and Thomas decided to be both Bishop of Brentwood and remain
parish priest of Stock. This meant, apart from changing the name of the
Presbytery to Bishop's House that for most things Stock had to be served again
from Ingatestone. Incidentally, many people find it hard to believe that the
parish priest is a bishop. In October 1983, the great Belgian Cardinal Leon
Seunens visited the village and said Sunday mass. Cardinal Basil Hume is also
known to have visited the village, but privately.
For a time in the mid 1980s the village
had coach services to Norwich, Peterborough and Kings Lynn. The dates that
various destinations were served varied. In 1983, Peterborough was Wednesdays
and Saturdays, King's Lynn, Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Norwich, Tuesdays,
Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
1981 had seen the end of the last proper
buses through Stock. That is those with a driving cab separate from the
passenger section albeit front platform entrance and doors for the passengers
as opposed to the rear platform with no doors. Buses of the latter sort has
ceased running through Stock in 1975 as I recall
The period saw the construction of the
Chelmsford by-pass. Originally there were proposals for both a north route and
south route. The south route went through Galleywood Common, which Stock did
not want, but which was chosen. The concern was that traffic would come through
the village using it as a short cut to the Thames crossing near Purfleet -
which has proved correct.
Sadly, 1985 saw the death of Father
Tatham at the grand old age of 97
In July 1988 there were national
celebrations to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the defeat of the Spanish
Armada. It was the intention to light beacons on as many of the sites of the
original sites as possible. That in Stock was near the Catholic Church grounds.
There were Morris Dancers, stalls, displays, entertainments, a barbecue. The
beacon was intended to be lit by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the County,
Charles Sparrow, QC, although he was out of the country. His return flight was
delayed and the beacon was lit by Thomas McMahon, the only beacon in the
country to be lit by a Catholic bishop.
All Saints was enlarged that year by the
building of a new vestry on the north side of the church, constructed to blend
in with the rest of the church.
1989 saw the acquisition of Swan Wood by
the Woodland Trust. The wood remains open to public.
For years Ruth Sellars had been
campaigning for a pedestrian crossing and in 1990 Stock finally got one. This
has proved to be of great benefit to the village, even if people don't always
For a brief time in the early 1990s
there was bus service on Fridays only to Ingatestone, whilst National Express
started a daily coach service from Southend to Liverpool via Cambridge,
Northampton and Birmingham, which serves Stock.
For years the annual Remembrance Sunday
Service has been rotated between the three churches. There is a service at the
War Memorial on the village green, with the salute taken by the Deputy Lord
Lieutenant of Essex, Charles Sparrow.
In 1993 Stock Mill started having
regular Sunday opening to the public on the second Sunday of the month from
April to October between 2 and 5 p.m. A golf course and golf club was
established at Crondon Park. There is another near Potash Road - Stock Brook
Manor Golf Club.
1995 saw the 50th Aniversary of the end
of the Second World War and there were various commemorative celebrations on
8th May. There was a memorial service in the morning at the War Memorial and a
fair in the Square, with exhibitions in the Village Hall, Rectory Hall and
British Legion Hall. There was tug of war between the patrons of the various
pubs on the Common. In the Catholic Church grounds there was an exhibition of
old vehicles. There should have been a dance and barbecue in a marquee in the
Catholic Church grounds, but some vandals burnt it down. Fortunately people
rallied round and a replacement tent and furniture was found and the dance and
barbecue went ahead on the glebe. In the evening a beacon was lit on the same
site as that in 1988. The original of this too had been burnt down and a
The following day there was a
reorganisation of the bus services. The route through Stock was taken over by
Thamesway. One effect was that from the middle of the rush hour bus services
were reduced. There is now no bus service from Billericay to
Just before Christmas 1997 Donald Jarvis
died at the age of 93.
Since 1998 the Southend Shakespeare
Company has held an annual open air play in the village. For the first two
years this was at Greenwoods, but since then moved to Weaver Field, off Mill
Lane until 2003. Weaver Field also hosted an annual Donkey Derby for a number
of year. Since 2004 Sir John and Lady Margaret Carter have hosted the annual
Southend Shakespeare Company play at Cobblers in Mill Road. The event is
something a bit like the Glyndebourne operas. The Carters also partake in the
annual opening of gardens for the St John Ambulance Brigade.
Of recent years the West Ham Baptist
Mission has given Greenwoods and somewhat earlier Orchard House. The research
station on the hill after being the object of protest by animal rights
demonstrators has also closed and has now been demolished.
On the evening of 31 st December 1999
there was a candle-lit procession from Our Lady of Mount Carmel to All Saints,
where a time capsule was buried in the grounds. That night there were various
parties. At the stroke of midnight the bells of All Saints rang and fireworks
were let off.
At the beginning of May there was an
exhibition in connection with the year in the new village hall, which had
opened to replace the old one. That same month also saw a play The Christ put
on it the grounds of Our Lady of Mount Carmel by all three churches.
2000 also the acquisition of a field in
Swan Lane adjoining Swan Wood and the planting of trees for a new wood - Cygnet
Wood. I also went round the village photgrapthing
it as a record of
how it was on the first day of the century
The summer of 2001 saw an arson attack
on Buttsbury Church; the damage was not so great that it could not be repaired
and this had been done by the beginning of December. In the same year
responsibility of the church was transferred to Margaretting and Mountnessing,
the priest in charge being the Rev Frances Drake.
In September of the year, following the
commissioning of a new statue of the Virgin and Christ, Our Lady of Mount
Cannel church was renamed Our Lady and St Joseph, reflecting the Catholic
Church in the village heritage, commemorating both the chapel at Lilystone Hall
and the present church.
In 2002 to celebrate 25 years of the new
library a delightful murder mystery book called If Books Could Kill written by
Phil Lovesey and the residents of Stock was published.
To celebrate the
Elizabeth II in June 2002 a programme of festivities was arranged - an
exhibition of Coronation and Royal memorabilia and of Stock in the past fifty
years was in the village hall; there was a united Church service, followed by a
children's street party in the Square; there was a parade through the village,
including the Queen for the day and walkers in costume and fancy dress; an
Elizabethan fair on the Common; a barbecue; and a six a side cricket knock-out
The year also saw the opening of the
hotel and health spa at Greenwoods.in September. Not everyone was happy
about this. And not simply because it was and is rather expensive. Something of
the old village had gone.
On 15th March 2003 there were people
from Stock who took part in the march to and rally in Hyde Park against the
invasion of Iraq. However Stock people did take part in Countryside Alliance
marches in London.
About this time there was a proposal
to build houses on the Life Science Research site. Originally they were going
to include affordable homes for local people. However a trade off was done by
the Parish Council with the Borough Council and the affordable houses were
built elsewhere in the village. What emerged was Harvard Grange with
In 2003 the newsagents was taken over by
one Sarah Lewis, who said she was going to open a tea shop in I, which she duly
did. Unfortunately Sarah also stopped selling certain things, such as stamps
and tobacco. In October 2005 she sent a letter out saying that she suspending
the delivery of newspapers to people who hadnt paid their bills. However
she not only sent this out to people who hadnt paid,, On 14th November
she shut the shop at lunch time and on 15th November there was a notice in the
shop to the effect that the shop had closed for good. Sajid and Lesley Purves
applied to sell newspapers. Whilst it was easy as regards the local weekly
newspapers it was not until 12th December that he started selling daily
newspapers Interestingly the Daily Telegraph sold more copies than the Sun.
In 2004 an art gallery opened in the old
antique shop. This lasted until late 2005 when the shop became a maternity wear
shop. The shop has now closed.
Mercifully no one from Stock was killed
in the suicide bombings that happened in London on 7th July 2005. Sadly there
was a young woman from Billericay who was killed. Hearing about it on
television whilst in Stock it was like being in England in 1916 and knowing
that a terrible battle was raging in France.
In 2005 Thomas McMahon celebrated 25
years as a Bishop. To celebrate this on 24th July he preached at Even Song at
All Saints and had a reception in the Rectory Hall.
In October there was an
village hall in connection with the bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
Also a diner.
In 2006 there were several proposals
that effected the village. One was for the enlargement of the shop at the Ship
garage. It was widely believed that once the shop had been enlarged it would be
let by the petrol company to one of the supermarkets, who would establish a
small supermarket there. This would be detrimental to the trade of the village
shop. The villagers fought this by means of letters and a partition. The parish
council objected. The proposal was rejected by the borough council. When a
further application for the redevelopment was made this was also opposed and
The idea of affordable houses emerged
again and this resulted in a proposal to build them at the corner of Back Lane
and School Lane. This is going ahead subject to objections in 2007. 2006 also
the start of preparations for a Village Design Statement.
In 2006 the former newsagents was
reopened as a bistro.
At the end of 2006 a village heritage group
was established by Jenny
Berkley. The patron of this is Lord Petre. A lecture was given by him to the
society on 29th November 2007.
The village web site of which you are
looking at has a lot of historical input. Including some, indeed some would say
most, by the current writer. Please, I urge you if you have anything of an
historical nature send it to Roger Watling at firstname.lastname@example.org