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Visiting Mersea for the Jubilee? You'll need a passport!
A MILITARY barricade will be set up on the Strood to restrict access to Mersea Island...in the name of charity.
The Strood – the only road on and off the island – will be manned by servicemen from Colchester’s Royal Army Medical Corps as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations on Saturday, June 4.
Drivers will be stopped and asked to make a donation to Help for Heroes before being issued with a mock-up passport. It will double up as Mersea Independence Day, featuring a street party and live music.
Eric Straughan, organiser, said: “We requested four or five soldiers to man the Strood, but we’re told we will get more than that. We have done it before in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of VE Day and raised a lot of money.
“It is a lot of fun and at last marks Mersea’s independence.”
The checkpoint, led by West Mersea resident Captain Rob Hinton, will be in place from 8.30am to 2.30pm.
He said: “We will be slowing people down when they cross the Strood.
“We will ask for a donation and explain what its about. Of course, if they don’t want to make a donation we will just send them on their way.
“It should be fun and some of the lads I’m bringing down are quite extrovert types and will get into it.”
All the servicemen manning the toll booth are both members of London’s 144 Parachute Medical squadron and Colchester’s 16 Air Assault Brigade medical corps.
The barricade will be effective as there is set to be the highest tide of the year and the Strood, the road over the Colne estuary, will flood for 30 minutes.
Mersea Island’s street party will run from 1pm to 5pm on the same day. The High Street will be closed and there will be food, refreshments from Mersea Island Vineyard and music from local band the Poachers. Children are invited to attend in Fifties fancy dress.
The party continues on Sunday, June 5, with a Bands in the Field day, with many acts performing in Legion Fields from 1pm until 7.30pm.
To host a stall, call 01206 386954.