The Regal Room

Rayleigh, its People, Places and Heritage

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Local History Group 'Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass' have over time acquired a significant
number of Rayleigh related artefacts, such as postcards, maps, books, ephemera and much more.
These have been displayed at a number of regular exhibitions held in the town but they now have
a permanent home for all to see, enjoy, and learn about our Town’s history.

Object of the Week

Hackney Carriage Plate

Recently purchased from ebay is this Rayleigh UDC (Urban District Council) Hackney Carriage registration No 20.

The words Hackney originated from the village named Hackney in Middlesex and relates to horse drawn carriages. This metal sign would have been displayed on the registered owner’s taxi as a means of formal identification.

We would suggest that it probably dates to the 1960’s, definitely before 1974 when the RUDC was merged into the Rochford District Council.

We wonder who it belonged to?
What car was it on?
Does anyone have a similar example?
Does anyone have any information on these badges?
If so, we would love to hear from you.


Some of our Volunteers have been on holiday but the rest are still working hard at home on various projects.
In June they worked 544 Hours!


Friends of Holy Trinity website

Friends of Holy Trinity Garden Trail

Friends of Holy Trinity website

Our Volunteers have been working extra hard at home on various projects.
We are working very hard to get the museum open.
In July they worked 652 Hours!


How do you spell Rayleigh? This is the Raley page from our copy of Morants History of Essex, which is regarded by many as the first definitive history of Essex. It was originally published in 1768, our edition is dated 1816.

Morants History of Essex

Our Volunteers are still working hard at home on various projects.
In June they worked 556 Hours!


Another wonderful picture from the museum archives. What was Crown Lane, now Crown Hill. Taken from the mount, you can see the Dutch Cottage. I believe the footpath in this Google Streetview picture is the one to the right of the cottages which were known as Sweeps Row.

Crown Lane, Dutch Cottage and Sweeps Row

Just to let you know even though we are closed our Volunteers are still working at home on various projects.
In May they worked 600 Hours!


Here is a picture of Stock Car Racing at Rayleigh Stadium in May 1969.

Stock car racing

Can You Help?

Our picture today, Friday 3rd April 2020.
Whilst we know where some of our pictures have been taken, many contain locations and people that we need help identifying.
If you can identify anywhere or anyone in any of the pictures, please send us a message.
Today's photo is of Rayleigh Secondary School Football Team from 1938-39, (now FitzWimarc). We have a few of the names of the boys but most are unidentified.
If you can help, please send us a message with any names, making sure to include the number on the person in the photo.

Rayleigh Secondary School Football Team from 1938-39

"As no one is able to visit the museum at the moment we thought we would share some recently acquired pictures from our collection over the next few days.
Whilst we know where some are taken, many contain locations and people that we need help identifying.
If you can identify anywhere or anyone in any of the pictures, please send us a message.

Today's photo is of The Crown pub and Lloyd's Bank, but where the Star Cafe is now located is a shop called Thomas Lebon and Sons, does anyone know what this shop sold and how long it was there for?"

Announcement - Coronavirus

“In view of the latest development with the Coronavirus pandemic the Museums Trustees have decided to close the Museum until further notice with immediate effect. We have taken this decision to protect, as much as we can, both our Volunteers and members of the public. The Museum is in a strong place to deal with the ramifications of this closure and our Social media outlets will remain open to deal with any questions or enquiries you may have.
Further updates will be given on a regular basis. Please feel free to phone our Chairman Mike Davies on 01268 785657 with any specific enquiries.” The museum email [email protected] will still be monitored.

Entry is Free

Tourist information sign

We are a Tourist Information Point
with local walk leaflets available as well.

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We have a new range of merchandise, come in and take look. More pictures soon.
Spitfire merchandise

A selection of Wooden Toys
Wooden Toys



This is the result of a community coming together.

We are proud to have played a small part in this installation at Holy Trinity Church. Many thanks to those who spent hours knitting or crocheting the Poppies. Well done Rayleigh Town Council, Nicola and the team at Holy Trinity. What a fantastic community effort to remember the citizens of Rayleigh killed while serving their country.




Let us know what you think of your visit

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See some comments here What You Think

Two new unique postcards of Rayleigh Town & Rayleigh Town Museum
50p each

Pictures of Rayleigh Pictures of Rayleigh Town Museum

deeds documents

Please check back here regularly for updates on our progress and information on fundraising events.

For more information or feel you can help us in any way please contact Mike Davies

Join the Friends of Rayleigh Town Museum

Heritage Lottery Fund Logo

picture of rayleigh high street picture of dutch cottage and crown hill

Rayleigh Town Museum, 1st floor, 91, High Street, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 7EJ
Opening Hours: 10am to 4pm, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Museum Telephone 01268 773535 (answerphone when we are not open)

Charitable Incorporated Organisation 1159405