“Everybody knows Tollesbury… A wonderful place. You must know Tollesbury! Yachts, oysters, fishing boats – …It’s littered with little sea-going boats, all of them out in the river well way from the village, and the dinghies lie around on the mud with no-one to mind them … the place is the devil’s own job to [sail] away from if a man doesn’t know the mudbanks. But an East Coast fisherman would know the lanes like his own backyard.”
(Margery Allingham, The Tiger in the Smoke, Chapter 17)
The village of Tollesbury, on the coast near Tolleshunt d’Arcy is the setting for the short story “The Sexton’s Wife” and is one of the places which provided the inspiration for Saltey in Cargo of Eagles. Some of the novel’s scenes take place in sail lofts (above) which are based on those at Tollesbury. In The Tiger in the Smoke, characters sail from Tollesbury to France.
Church of St Mary, Tollesbury
(mentioned in “The Sexton’s Wife”)
Salt marshes at Tollesbury from the air
Photos © Chris Willis