A Brightlingsea Town Guide
1890 - 1966
For some forty years Len Southern served the
local Community as its "East Essex Gazette" Correspondent, also as an active
member of the Deputy's Christmas Gift Fund. For sixteen years he was the Fund's secretary.
It was from his home a 7 Queen Street that the annual parties left to visit hospitals and
nursing homes in Colchester and Clacton.
In addition to writing for the local newspaper, Len contributed articles and reports to
the national, under the pen-name L. Western Starr he also wrote for the "Grocers'
Gazette". His weekly poetry was a feature of his local writing. His books on
Brightlingsea history are much sought after today.
A worshipper at Brightlingsea Methodist Church, Len was a circuit steward for a number of
years. As a member of Toc H he became a job master. Brightlingsea Town Football Club had
his support and for a time he was the Secretary of the Brightlingsea Charity Cup.
The son of William and Harriet Southern ( nee Gladwell), who were in business as a Grocer
a London House Stores, and later in the High Street, Len took over his father's business
on returning from serving as a bandsman in the Essex regiment during World War One. on
relinquishing the grocery business in 1937, he obtained a small-holding in Edward Avenue
which he worked for eleven years.
Len's wife, formerly Ruth Sybil Cook, pre-deceased him in 1942. Semi-retirement saw him
moving to Queen Street in 1948 from where he continued his many local interests up to his
death on 1 May 1966. Len was survived by his second wife, Daisy (nee Welham) and his and
Ruth's daughter, Blanch Eileen and sons Eric and Keith.