A brief history of Rayne Parish council.

We are presently still researching the councils history, so the information on this page is incomplete.

The first ever meeting was held on the December 4th 1894 in the Church School Room and this was to elect the Parish Council.

Caleb Slann Blyth was elected as chair and five councillors were elected to the council. Daniel Hart , Henry Goss jnr, Rev W Hemming, G A Brunwin and D C Rolfe.

Mr S Tyler became clerk and was re-appointed for a further year in April 1895 at a salary of £14 per annum. He resigned in October 1916 due to old age, at that time he was 84. Miss E Vaughan was the next clerk with an increase in salary to £18 per annum and eventually resigned her post in August 1945 due to ill heath, although by this time her salary had been reduced to £7 per annum. Miss W E Brock, who later became Mrs Edwards, was appointed clerk after Miss Vaughan's resignation... Mrs Edwards resigned in 1968, during which time the Parish Council acquired the Playing field and Rayne Hall Green as an open space. So Rayne had a total of only three clerks for nearly 75 years up to this period.

They were then followed by…….

We think, Mrs Chandler or Chantler in 1968. ?-1983?

Sqn Leader Guthrie-Dow 1983(87?)-1991?

Diane Smith 1992 -1993?

Cecilia Edwards 1993 -?

Joy Shepperd ?- April 2000

Melanie Whiteside 1st May 2000-1st August 2007

Phillipa Potter 1st August 2007- 1st December 2011

Sarah Cocks 1st December 2011-Present

It was not only clerks who held their posts for long periods, for example Councillors….. Mr G E Brunwin served for 62 years. Miss G E Blyth retired after 32 years Mr C J Brown retired after 25 years Mr Leverton Smith for at least 40 years

Indeed there are present councillors who have contributed a considerable number of years service.

The overall impression is that, on the face of things, Rayne has been a very stable and pleasant place to live for many years.

Out of interest, One minute book sufficed for the period 1896 to 1938, the next finished in 1957 and the fourth started in 1974. It would appear that this book finished in early 1978 and the next in March 1983. From here onwards it seems that the minutes were typed up and placed in ring binders.

Now of course the computer rules. The minutes are typed on a laptop PC stored on hardisk and on the office PC, then onto CD and soon DVD and since August 2002 archived on the Parish Councils website.


In 1938 the council managed to get an increase in councillors from five to seven after being refused in 1934.Permission was obtained for the Council to plant an Oak Tree and three Weeping Willows on Rayne Hall Green to commemorate the 1937 coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.


The idea to provide the playing field arose towards the end of the decade. Rayne became a member of the Essex Association of Parish Councils. It would appear that there was a shortage of housing (!) It was looked into to provide street lighting. The "Electric Supply Co" was asked to provide supplies in the village. Water was brought to the village via a "deep artesian well" at Petches Bridge and a sewage scheme was discussed. Braintree Council announced its intention to collect refuse. The clerk Miss Vaughan resigned after 29 years.


The most significant events during this decade must be the acquisition of the Playing Field at Oak Meadow by compulsory purchase and retaining Rayne Hall Green as an open space for the village.


Perhaps the most significant even of this decade is the Co-option of a Mr R F Jiggins to the Parish Council in 1972, some thirty six years ago.!


A number of important issues occupied the council during this decade, amongst them… The Rayne-Braintree By-pass figured significantly, permission was requested and given to erect the Parish Crest opposite the Welsh Princess and a set of Bye-laws were introduced for the Playing field and Village Green. The clerk came into the 20th Century with the purchase of a second-hand electric typewriter. There were numerous issues with Rayne Foundry and Anglian Water were questioned about the quality of their water supply over much of the decade.