‘The Essex Quest’ is a 2½ hour Sunday morning radio show where Liana and Mike from BBC Essex are given clues which lead to various locations in Essex.
This morning, they started from Canvey Island and the second clue took them to Rayleigh windmill. The third clue, if solved, would lead to the blue plaque on the wall of Station House, Laindon Station, the birthplace of Joan Sims. Joan, the daughter of the Station Master, was born in 1930 and lived in Station House until 1952. I was asked to be at the station by 10 am to hand over the third clue.
The clue for Laindon took a while to solve, so we sat in the car out of the wind and rain and listened to their progress on the radio. At 10:30 when they were just a few minutes away, I crossed the road and stood by the wall directly under the blue plaque. As the BBC Essex white van drove into the station, I held up the ‘Joan Sims’ face mask that I had quickly made earlier that morning. (Liana announced that she could see ‘Joan Sims in an anorak’).
Liana and Mike parked the van and came across to see who was behind the mask. After introducing myself and handing them the third clue, which I had stuck on the back of a picture postcard of Laindon Station, we had a nice chat about the station and Joan Sim’s time there.
The last clue was also quite difficult to solve and unfortunately there wasn’t enough time left to reach the final destination, which would have been ‘Smilers Farm’ at Wickford.