western end of The Hangings
is connected to Parkeston Road by an access road. The Hangings itself
starts behind the carpark of the Lidl supermaket and "Mayflower"
Brewers Fayre pub/restaurant. Beyond this carpark is the Gateway Retail
Park and the Morrison's store. Many people using The Hangings do so to
walk to these shops.
|Also at this point is the entrance to Parkeston Cemetery. A sign at the entrance says it is open from 9am to dusk, although several groups have visited the grounds at night in recent years to watch for ghosts. Their success or failure is not known.|
| Within the cemetery is
this Victorian Chapel. The grounds of the cemetery are bounded by the
rear of the Lidl supermarket on one side and The Hangings on the other.
A second path along the Hangings, the 'High Path', ran along the
cemetery fence until access to this path was blocked in 2007 due to
building work. This author remembers the High Path from the 1960s until
|Vehicles, other than cycles, are prohibited in the Hangings. This is enforced using a series of gates, with walk-arounds. The property opposite this gate, at the end of the access road, is "The Gatehouse" and sits on the former trackbed. The tarmac path bears to the left but several other paths exist here along the right hand bank, leading to Harcourt Avenue.|
|The path was for many
years a dirt or mud track, depending on the weather. Tendring District
Council installed the tarmac in 2003 when carrying out other works to
create the cycle route. The Hangings is also popular with dog walkers.
This author notes that the sensible dog owners are clearing up after
their pets, but there are no bins anywhere. Perhaps this is on TDC's
The name 'Hangings' does not have a macabre explanation, its' origins are from the way the trees on both sides overhang the path, as can be seen in this photo.
|Children over the many decades since 1882
have used The Hangings as a play area. Several trees, such as the one
here, have been pressed into action as swings. Hanging off the branch
on the left are several ropes.
Unfortunately, trees do not always survive. In this example, the bank is being worn away and the roots exposed. Here, run-off from roads such as Harcourt Avenue is causing the erosion. In other cases, trees have been deliberately cut down to make room for building works. It is hoped that tree preservation orders will protect most of the rest from such vandalism.
house building policy inevitably means that spare land is used for
housing. In this case it was the field between The Hangings and
Parkeston Quay. The new estate is clearly visible from The Hangings.
|Visible from The
Hangings is much of The Vines estate, built mostly in 1965. As a child
living on The Vines (born late in 1965!), I remember using The Hangings
first as somewhere to play and then as a means of getting into
Dovercourt town centre easily. I am told I was still in my pram the
first time I ventured into The Hangings - that would be 1966 then!
|Just before the next
metal gate is the exit into the Vines estate. This short lane takes you
into Rowden Close, just off Larksfield Crescent.
Two things to note here, although the lane has a tarmac surface, the short stretch between this lane and the Hangings is pure mud (when wet!). Some kind soul has recently put broken brick down to help keep the mud off everyone's shoes but plainly some more tarmac is needed. Secondly, as you can see from the photo - the lane is quite untidy and at times there is only a narrow gap between the nettles!
On to Part 2:
Vines Estate to Patricks Lane