Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Being Born in Rochford

Although I am now most associated with Leicester, I come from Essex, and was born in the small market town of Rochford.

It was at the hospital that I was born. At the time, during the war, it was the main maternity hospital for the Southend area. My parents lived in Westcliff, a Southend suburb.

Most of the hospital has now gone, and has been redeveloped for housing. There is still standing, however, a large building with a chimney on top, which can be seen for miles. I tell people it’s to commemorate my being born there!

Rochford is a very nice town, and years later I went back to live there. I still lead Guided Walks in the town.

Anne Boleyn lived at Rochford Hall. She may have been born in the town, although I doubt it. But she was certainly wooed by Henry VIII there.

Others who come from Rochford include Peter Taylor, the former England footballer and manager of the England Under 21 team, who was for a while manager of Leicester City; Spencer Prior, another footballer whose teams include Southend United, Norwich City, Leicester City and Manchester City; and Digby Fairweather, the jazz trumpeter who now leads George Melly’s backing band.

If anybody reading this has any Rochford connections (Born? Lived? Worked? Relatives? Ancestors?), I’ll be delighted to hear from them.