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An ancient settlement, now famous for its sailing and yacht clubs

From remains found, there is evidence that the area around Burnham-on-Crouch was used by dinosaurs, and thousands of years ago by Bronze Age humans. Many centuries later the place evolved into a proper town, being listed in the Domesday book in the year 1086 as "Burnheham".
The town benefited from the stretch of the Crouch river that it lies next to. It became a centre for ferry transport, and then a fishing town, famed for its oysters. More recently though, Burnham has become known for its yachts.
There are four different yachting clubs here, and for a week in August, they all battle it out in a series of races. This regatta, which is known as "Burnham Week", was established over 100 years ago. It has evolved into one of the most respected and popular sailing events in the country, with many extremely skilled mariners taking part. The week also features a more unofficial competition, with the four yachting clubs all trying to put on the best parties!
Burnham-on-Crouch is certainly a place with a sense of fun. Their annual carnival is just a few weeks after the regatta, in September. Events include a funfair, a treasure hunt, a bingo night, and a baby show! Everything builds up to the final day, when there are stalls and sideshows all over town. In the evening, as the sun sets, everyone in Burnham turns out for the parade. Almost everybody wears fancy dress, and carries lights to illuminate their way.
The townsfolk seem to be particular fans of fancy dress. Since 2007, they've also conducted a twice-yearly fancy dress pub crawl. Over 100 people usually take part, raising money for charity.
A more sedate attraction is the Mangapps Railway Museum. Despite Burnham's relatively isolated location, tucked away in a corner of England, it has one of the most comprehensive collections of train-related exhibits in the country. The main building holds all sorts of signs, signals, and levers. Outside, you can find whole buildings, from waiting rooms to signal huts, which have been brought in from elsewhere. The main attraction though, is of course the trains themselves. Mangapps has plenty, which they actually put to use on their own section of track. There are 10 steam or diesel locomotives, and dozens of different carriages.
Burnham is the biggest town on Essex's south-eastern peninsula, which is called the "Dengie 100". This unusual name comes from a time when England's larger areas were divided into smaller sections for administrative reasons. Each of these sections could support precisely 100 families. These divisions are no longer used but down here in Essex, people still remember the Dengie 100.
If you decide to venture out of Burnham, you'll quickly find a cheery rural community, with plenty to see, and plenty of nice people to show you round.
Visitor Information
Mangapps Railway Museum is open Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays, 11.30am to 5pm (closed November to January). Entry costs around £8 for adults, £3.50 children. Southminster Road, Burnham on Crouch, CM0 8QG. Tel: 01621 784898

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