By Roger Bates


Roger Bates wrote the following impressions when he first came to live in Essex from Kent:




Too cold for me, this land by the sea.

In the east.

So barren a space,

thin hardy grass,

bulrush and marsh.

Bland and featureless,

nowhere to rest the eye,

just the ceaseless chill wind’

and the vast empty sky.

No cheer in this landscape,

no undulation to break

the dreariness of the scene.

Just a dull empty ache

where my heart used to be.

This land by the sea

is no good for me.


Roger Bates 1947-2012



Roger changed his mind once we bought ‘Kes’, a 22-foot wooden Kestrel sailing sloop built in 1964 and for the next two years we both sailed at every opportunity from Bradwell to Heybridge Basin, Pin Mill, Wivenhoe and Rowhedge, spending many nights just sleeping aboard to watch our beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  It was with great sadness that we had to sell her owing to Roger’s illness.


Submitted by Judy Lawrence


11 © Mark Wakefield 2012