Harwich is one of the Haven Ports. Its position on the estuaries of the River Stour and River Orwell has played a defining role in the history of the town, as it was one of the only safe havens on the East Coast between the Thames and Humber. As a result, Harwich has played a key maritime role through the centuries. The town became a significant naval base in 1657, and soon major batteries were developed including the Harwich Redoubt, Beacon Hill Battery and Bath Side Battery. Dovercourt is actually older than its close neighbour Harwich, having been mentioned in the Domesday Survey, but it is considerably smaller. In truth, however, the towns are contiguous today. Both Dovercourt and Harwich are picturesque coastal towns, with significant tourist interest. This unique selection of old and new images and informative captions is essential reading for anybody who knows and loves these beautiful Essex towns.
Ely-born Michael Rouse specialises in local history books, especially photographic collections, of which he has put together a great number including Ely in Old Postcards and A View in Cambridgeshire. He edited the official guide to the city of Ely for some 20 years, and has written numerous freelance articles for magazines. After some years teaching at Soham Village College, he now does storytelling at Ely Museum and takes photographs for Viva Youth Theatre in Soham. He also acts as a local councillor for Ely.