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walks & TALKS

Discover more about the history of our city in an entertaining walk lead by our period dressed guide.

Choose from any of these walks.
Some are Free and others have a fee of £5 per person with
a donation to the “Ideas Hub” a local charity.

 In either case advance booking using the above contact details is essential    

Telephone: 07779 931401          Email: cityhistorywalks@gmail.com            Follow us on Facebook

HISTORY OF THE HIGH STREET 1860-1960 
Enquire for Dates    
A walking tour featuring the recent history of the town centre before the calming of the ”great river Can”, the advent of the large shopping centres and pedestrianisation of the High Street. This will bring to life tales about the shops and buildings in the High Street, some of which are still there and some that are sadly no more. Included in this walk will be a verbal reconstruction of the large part of Tindal Street that was lost in the late 1960's.
(Meet at the Stone Bridge)                                                                                                                           Also available as a talk

The

Chilling Tales of Chelmsford

March 2022

 

Our local “Master of the Macabre” will lead you on a walking tour

of the city describing the more unpleasant side of its dark history.

Featuring murders, ghosts, hangings, witchcraft, strange happenings and more. 
   

(Meet at the Stone Bridge)   

 

Click here to listen to a Ghost Story

FORGOTTEN History OF Chelmsford  
 Enquire for Dates 

During this walk our local historian, will give you an insight into some of the history of our city that may have been lost in the mists of time. He will explain the origin of the name of the town and how the Romans and then the Normans played their part in shaping the city centre. We will also learn about some of the famous people that were local residents and influenced both the health and the architecture of the old town.  Over time there have been some dramatic changes to our city, one of the biggest was the effects of the industrial revolution and the coming of the railway. This transformed Chelmsford from an agricultural town, with a coaching stop on an old Roman road, into a hive of manufacturing and technology with a direct rail link to the capital and the rest of the world. Coming right up to date, the city continues to evolve in many different ways, but it is really good to refresh the memory and to remember our important local past.

  (Meet at the Stone Bridge)                                                                                                                             Also available as a talk

industrial HERitage Walk

  Enquire for Dates 

Chelmsford has a rich and varied industrial heritage which has included many ground-breaking inventions.

During this walking tour we will cover a large number of these marvellous achievements. The variety is amazing and includes from the early years the location of a rope maker’s walk and one of the many local iron foundries.

From the Victorian era there is the first Marconi radio factory, a generator house used for public street lighting and a steam omnibus factory. The commentary will also include the building of the railway through Chelmsford, the precise manufacture of ball bearings, the evolution of radio, radar and the early days of television. 


  (Meet outside the Woolpack PH)                                                                                                                    Also available as a talk

The CHELMSFORD PIONEERS      
ENQUIRE FOR DATEs
  

Over the years many people have had an influence on our town, now city, some are remembered by blue plaques others are not. On this walking tour we will cover a group of these people who are famous for many different reasons; each however

played their own special part in our history.  This walk was first performed as part of the 2018 Essex Book Festival

 

(Meet at the Anglia Ruskin University)                                                                                                          Also available as a talk

150 years of Chelmsford Star co-op    
Groups only  
A celebration history tour of this great local organistaion visiting a number of the

city locations that the company over the years has been associated with.   

© All content copyright Chelmsford History Walks

Last updated  22/11//21

All walks are available for private hire and most walks can be performed as talks or lectures.

 

  Here are the talks currently available

 

Entertaining talks on the history of the city of Chelmsford performed in period costume. There are currently eight themed talks available and all can be performed in around 60minutes, accompanied by a PowerPoint slide show presentation.

 

1. My Blue Plaque Challenge  -  An Historical Quest
This is a personal quest I have taken on following an invitation from Chelmsford City Council to increase the number of people recognised by a Blue Plaque in Chelmsford. Behind each plaque are some wonderful stories about local people each of which I thought more than deserved this special honour. 

2. The Forgotten History of Chelmsford

This talk is insight into some of the history of the city that may have been lost in the mists of time. The commentary will explain the origin of the name and how the Romans and then the Normans played their part in shaping the now city centre.  This evolution story will cover how Chelmsford changed from an agricultural town with a coaching stop on an old Roman road into a hive of manufacturing and technology with a direct rail link to the capital and the rest of the world.

 

3. The evolution of Moulsham Street

Moulsham Street, named by the Saxons, is perhaps the oldest street in Chelmsford and has a past which predates

the city centre. This talk covers the history of the hamlet from before the Roman occupation, through Saxon and Medieval times up to the industrial revolution and the present day. Over time the street has seen many dramatic changes, but hidden away are some fine examples of it’s evolution which you will discover during this talk.

 

4. Chelmsford’s Industrial Heritage Talk

The industrial revolution arrived late in Chelmsford, but once here magnificent inventions soon came to light. Why not find out how these clever ideas came about and how some had an effect on our planet and beyond. The city’s industrial heritage has an amazing variety and it all started with the building of a canal to the sea.

 

5. Mr Marconi and the birthplace of Wireless 1898 to 1922

The story of how Chelmsford played a key part in the evolution of radio from Morse code and the RMS Titanic to the early broadcast days of the BBC.

 

6. Talk on the History of Chelmsford High Street 1860 to 1960      

A talk featuring the recent history of the town centre before the coming of the large shopping centres and pedestrianisation.

This will bring to life tales about the shops in the High Street, some of which are still there and some that are sadly no more.

 

7. The Five not so famous pioneers of Chelmsford 

Over the years many individuals have had a great influence on our town - now a City. 

Some are acknowledged by blue plaques and others are not celebrated at all. So who were they and what part did they play in history?

They are; William Strupar, an early publicist, John Bewley an industrialist, Richard Coates a Canal Builder,

Dr Benjamin Pugh a Doctor Surgeon and Godfrey Isaacs a Business champion of the first order.

 

8. The Secret Wartime device made in Chelmsford

This talk links a device found in your domestic microwave oven with a successful hi-tech Chelmsford company and the code breakers at Bletchley Park. The story is the result of research into history that was until recently deemed as classified information.

 

9. The Essex Women that rocked the boat

Walk in the footsteps of Essex Women who rocked the boat! Meet the local women who fought for equality and their rights! Discover the history of the Essex Girls from the 15th century Witches to the publicans of the 1960's. From the campaigners for Anti Slavery to the secret factory workers of WW11, we will take you on a journey back in time to when women found it tough to be heard in a “man’s world”.  These were all ordinary ladies but each had remarkable drive and passion that made them special.

 

Details

Each talk can be performed as required to an audience of up to 80 people.

For larger groups a personal address system may be required.

To show the presentation we have a laptop, projector with stand and a 54 inch wide screen.
The cost per talk will depend on the size of the group and travel required.

 

For availability please call Alan on 07779 931401 or E-mail cityhistorywalks@gmail.com

 Women That ROCKed the Boat

Enquire for Dates 

Walk in the footsteps of Essex Women who rocked the boat! Meet the women of Chelmsford who fought for equality and their rights! Discover the history of the local Essex Girls from the 15th century Witches to the publicans of the 1960's.

From the Anti Slavery Campaigners to the brave factory workers of WW2, we will take you on a journey back in time.

 

(Meet opposite the railway station)                                                                                                                Also available as a talk

History of Moulsham Street
Enquire for Dates 

Moulsham Street, named by the Saxons, is perhaps the oldest street in Chelmsford and has a past which predates the city centre. This walk covers the history of the hamlet from before the Roman occupation, through Saxon and Medieval times up to the industrial revolution and the present day. Over that time the street has seen many dramatic changes, but hidden away are some fine examples of it’s evolution which you will discover during this tour.

 

(Meet at the Stone Bridge)                                                                                                                             Also available as a talk

FREE

CITY HERITAGE SCAVENGER HUNT   
A FREE WALK -  available at ANYTIME
A joint venture with Chelmsford City Council and a way to have fun with our local history.
 
Click on the link below for more details;

https://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/leisure-theatres-and-museums/blue-plaques/city-heritage-scavenger-hunt/ 

Follow the Yellow Brick Road History Walk
 
Enquire for Dates 

 

This is a new guided circular historical walk from Chelmsford Museum which covers the old manor of Moulsham.  Around 1839 a large development took place when a number of the buildings, some built in yellow brick started to appear, hence the title. There are many fascinating stories to be told about the history of people that then became residents and some of these will be relayed as we walk around the area.

 

(Meet outside the Chelmsford Museum)      COVID –19 Restrictions will apply    (Also available as a talk)

 

MARCONI HERITAGE WALK

Enquire for Dates 
 

A tour from the first Marconi factory to the second, finishing at the famous Marconi 1912 building.  When the young Mr Marconi used radio waves for practical signalling without wires in 1896 he led us into the era of practical electronics, including not only radio but television, radar and space communication. 

It may be claimed that Marconi's choice of a disused warehouse in Hall Street to be the birthplace of the world's radio industry makes Chelmsford the starting point of the Electronic Age. Why not come on this walk and hear more about this famous man and the way he and the people that worked for him changed our world.

 

 

 

Podcast about Winifred Sayer

BritAIN’s First Paid

Radio Artist

Click here to listen to the story

 

 

MARCONI CELEBRATIONs 2022

 

 

102 years since Dame Melba sang from Chelmsford across Europe and beyond.... 

To celebrate we have a free special walk.

FREE

Communicating Connections Marconi Walk

Coming soon  

 

We are excited to announce that we have teamed up with Essex Record Office to put on a FREE Marconi themed walk for their project Communicating Connections. This walk will showcase key places in Chelmsford linked to the Marconi Company, alongside bringing these to life with clips from oral histories collected for the project.
One not to be missed - book your free place.