With my summer holiday (in Turkey) looming and the usual 'holiday pylon' to follow in August, I thought that I would choose a UK pylon for July. I have quite a backlog of submissions from fans of the website, but this rather splendid one from Essex caught me eye as I trawled back through my collection of emails from the last year or so. This is what the email I received had to say:
I recently took these photos whilst out on a 10 mile hike near Woodham Ferrers which is near Maldon in Essex. I thought the pylons were majestic and fascinating, hence looking on the web at other photos and coming across your site.
Woodham Ferrers itself has more than a few points of interest of which my favourite is that it was attacked during the Peasants' Revolt in 1381. This revolt, about which I knew almost nothing (the name Wat Tyler rang a bell, but that was about it.....), seems to have been about a form of Poll Tax and started in Essex and then spread to Kent.
I recognised the name of Maldon because of the sea salt connection. It has been harvested since 1882 because Flat tide-washed marshes and low rainfall mean high salinity. So pylon fans heading to Essex can top up on sea salt and this series of email exchanges on whether there is a discernible difference between sea salt and other forms of salt makes for interesting reading before you make any purchases. For literature fans, Maldon also features in HG Wells's War of the Worlds and in the Marvel Universe, the twin superheroes Psylocke and Captain Britain were born and raised in Maldon. Science fans will be equally pleased to know that John Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh, was nor in Maldon and went on to win the Nobel Prize in physics in 1904 for:
...his investigations of the densities of the most important gases and for his discovery of argon in connection with these studies".
Perhaps more relevant to the picture above, the reason for the blue sky in the background is due to Rayleigh scattering. I'll end on that note and if you have read this far, then I hope that you are as delighted as I am that a pylon picture can lead to so many interesting (if somewhat random) facts about Essex. I'm always better informed after writing these posts and hope that any readers are as well.