Having read The Joy of Essex, my pal Jacqui suggests a chapter on Rainham for any follow-up. "Despite Rainham village being tiny it had 10 pubs / social clubs and yet we still craved the bright lights and sophistication of Romford – and it’s amazing how many times I see Rainham cropping up, despite it being such a tiny place and absolutely NOTHING happening there. One of the greatest British bands ever the Small Faces was formed after Steve Marriott met Ronnie Lane and Kenney Jones in the Albion pub, Kenneth Williams was apparently a frequent visitor (!!) and Ross Kemp grew up there – I’ve lost count of the number of references I’ve seen in books and articles over the years. (& to think I couldn’t wait to leave!)" All this, and it gets a namecheck in Bill Bailey's Billy Bragg parody Unisex Chipshop, with a line about "running naked round the woods in Rainham".
Olympic gold and silver medallist and children's book author Christine Ohuruogo — who went to school in Romford — will be at the Newham Bookshop's Christmas Shopping Night tonight at 745-747 Barking Road from 6-8pm. It's 20 per cent off all books and I'll also be signing copies of my latest book The Joy of Essex. And thanks and merry Essexmas to the lady from Southend who came in to the Newham Bookshop yesterday and bought no less than eight copies because her husband enjoyed it so much...
Thurrock does not have the most romantic of connotations: the council’s website reveals that in Saxon or Old
English, ‘Turroc’ meant either ‘the bottom part of a boat
where the bilge water lies’ or ‘a dung heap in a field’. All facts are from Pete May's new book The Joy of Essex (Robson Press).