On Saturday EssexLive published a slightly tongue-in-cheek article about Great Baddow, which was not received well by many of the residents who love living in the one of the largest villages in the country. So, here’s our response.
1. Baddow Has Lost Some Pubs, But Others Thrive
EssexLive asked about our old pub, The Beehive. The Beehive may have been closed for over two years, but we still have the two main central pubs, The White Horse, and The Blue Lion, which provide a place to eat and drink in the village.
2. Excellent Access To Town
EssexLive complained about the busy Baddow Road. Yes, Baddow Road and the by-pass do both get busy at rush hour, but traffic does flow and we are lucky to be so close to town while still retaining our own identity as a village.
3. Excellent Essex Road Links
EssexLive moaned about the A12 getting busy (which is not even in Great Baddow!). But, we have both the A130 and A12 close by, which provide excellent transport links from Great Baddow to the rest of Essex and London.
4. We Have Traditional Shops
EssexLive said “Great Baddow doesn’t exactly have that many options when it comes to local shops and the majority of them seem to have the shutters down by 10pm.” This was one of the strangest claims. Let’s run through some of Baddow’s shops (we will probably accidentally miss some, sorry!): Boots, Greggs, Orfords, Coop, Congratulations, Martins, Thurley Meats, Vines Fruitiers, Little Havens (these are all in the Vineyards, with the bank, Post Office, barbers, hairdressers, betting shop, Chinese takeaway, fish and chip shop, and cafe). Then there’s House of Flowers, Premier Express, Goodfellas Barber Shop, Arthur Antony Kitchens, Thomsons, MicroTill, Essex Icing Centre, My Fairytale Wardrobe, The Essex Carpet Centre, Ronnie Crowe, Tailored Image, Eastern Sporting, Baddow Antiques Centre, Aqualand Divers, Bringy Furniture, Essex Bridal Outlet, Freds Corner, All Mobile Stuff, Essex Granite Worktops, Manor Farm Shop, all in the central area. Up Meadgate there’s another Coop, The Salvation Army Charity Shop, The Pillbox Pharmacy, Meadgate News, Anglia Heating. On Baddow Road we have those two “expensive” garages (one with another coop), Computer World, Baddow News. There are also shops along Beehive Lane, and both the local scouts and Baddow Horticultural Society run stores in the village. How does that compare to most villages in the area?
As for no late night shopping, the Coop is open until 10pm every night. As for not being able to shop after 11pm, is this really a problem in a village? For those wanting to shop after 10pm, there are a couple of options, such as Tesco Express and Premier Express. However, the best thing about the village is that we still have traditional shops, such as a butchers, bakers, and greengrocers, as well as a farm shop, flower shops and many other independent shops. We don’t want or need a large 24/7 supermarket, thank you very much.
5. Cheap Taxis From Town!
EssexLive ask “Why does it cost £10 to get a taxi back from Chelmsford?” If you enjoy a night out in Chelmsford, a taxi back, when shared between friends is less than the bus! And, it is a 45 minute walk, if you don’t want to pay for a cab. It costs a lot more to get out to Danbury, the Hanningfields etc.
6. Many Places To Eat
EssexLive say “it would be fantastic to just have a couple more options when it comes to grabbing a pint or nipping out for a spot of dinner”, but for a village location, we are spoilt for choice in the village if you wish to sit down and eat somewhere. We have Pontlands Park, Russells, Baddow Barn (Hungry Horse), The White Horse, Baddow Tandoori, Yasmin, Blue Lion. The Glass House, The Orchards Cafe, Greggs (it has a couple of seats), plus The Bee Shed Coffee House (on the border with Galleywood), and The Coffee Shop. We also have a Chinese takeaway, fish and chip shop and up in Meadgate, an Indian takeaway (Shebag), and over on Dorset Avenue, Dominos Pizza. Not too bad really! And, Chelmsford City is only a few minutes away in those expensive taxis.
7. Plenty of Parking
EssexLive was positive about the parking, up to a point … Being out of town, most houses have driveways offering off-street parking, and in residential areas there is plenty of road side parking too. And, you don’t have to pay to park anywhere.
8. Parking Problems?
EssexLive say “Finding a space near your house can sometimes feel like an impossible task”. It does get busy during the school run in some areas, but that’s the price you have to pay for having some excellent primary and secondary schools.
9. Our Roads Are Looked After
EssexLive talk about the “ongoing roadworks as you drive up Maldon Road”. The ones on the main road have only been ongoing for a week. Baddow’s roads are well looked after, which makes the village look nice, and is safer to drive and cycle through. Great Baddow’s underground infrastructure is also being improved, with new drainage and superfast broadband, which is the envy of many more rural locations.
10. Two Petrol Stations
If you need to fill up, we have two petrol stations on Baddow Road, which means you can head off on a long journey without having to drive into town to fill up first, which often means getting stuck in town traffic.
11. Good Bus Routes
EssexLive is critical of the weekend bus service, saying “if you need to head into Chelmsford really early on the weekend think again.” For a village location, we have excellent bus routes, as busses from Maldon, South Woodham, The Hanningfields all pass through, as well as the local bus routes that serve the whole village. If you need to be in Chelmsford at 7am on a Saturday, there’s a bus! And you can also catch a bus home late in the evening too.
So, Great Baddow really is not so bad, and this is just a response to EssexLive’s 11 “thoughts” about the greatest village in the country! We can only assume that it was a very quiet news day for EssexLive when they decided to write that article. It’s not the first time EssexLive has slated Great Baddow though – it seems to be a bit of a habit recently. In March 2017 they published “Eleven reasons why Springfield is better than Great Baddow in Chelmsford”, which included gems such as “It has a Sainsburys”, and “You can buy a Range Rover”(which included a pretty photo of a shiny red Range Rover with the caption “A Range Rover is one of the must have cars” – maybe a clue as to who is paying for this journalism?. Let’s keep our eyes peeled for EssexLive’s next instalment of “11 Reasons Why You Should Hate Great Baddow”.
What do you love most about living in Great Baddow?