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TV's Christine in Manningtree witch hunt
6:00am Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
A TELEVISION programme is set to reveal the secrets behind north Essex’s outstanding beauty.
ITV’s Off The Beaten Track explores the UK’s hidden countryside.
Presenter Christine Bleakley was in Manningtree to film the episode for the show.
She interviewed Manningtree mayor Kerry King and market boss Jenine Collier for the programme before dropping into the Crown pub for lunch.
Christine learnt the history behind Matthew Hopkins Witchfinder book and his execution of 300 women who were said to be witches.
The episode will also see her take part in rehearsals for a film where she played the role of a witch accuser.
Christine said: “These sort of stories are part of our hidden history and it’s really important to hear it, even though it’s uncomfortable sometimes.
“We all need to know about it and, in fact, it’s right on our doorsteps.
“The attractions around the Essex and Suffolk borders certainly put Essex’s celebrity image firmly in the shade.”
Christine also visited the Tendring Show.
Jenine Collier hopes the programme will raise the profile of England’s smallest town.
She said: “I hope it is going to be something positive. We haven’t seen it ourselves yet.
“The television crew were fantastic and we really enjoyed it.
“We only do this to try and raise the profile of Manningtree and bring people to our little area.
“They were coming to do Dedham Vale and Flatford and I persuaded them to come here.”
Christine paid a visit to a farm in Dedham Vale where bloodhounds are kept.
The dogs provide a friendly hunt, chasing runners on a pre-arranged route instead of foxes.
She then visited Flatford to see the efforts being made to keep the area as John Constable would have painted it more than 200 years ago.
Off The Beaten Track will lauch on Friday. The episode featuring Manningtree is expected to air next week on November 8.
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