Rayleigh is a picturesque market town and civil parish in the District of Rochford in Essex, England, located between Chelmsford and Southend-on-Sea. It lies to the east of central London and had a population of 30,196 in 2001, having expanded rapidly in the 1960s. Over the years many postcard makers have made Rayleigh their focus, capturing the huge changes that have occurred over the last century. In Rayleigh: The Postcard Collection, local historians Mike & Sharon Davies take readers on a tour through the town's history, illustrated with over 150 postcards from the last century.
After a career in banking and finance, Mike now spends most of his time researching local history. He is chairman of a local history group called Rayleigh through the Looking Glass as well as Chairman of the Historical Society of Rayleigh and a member of the Friends of Historic Essex, the Southend Pier Museum Trust, the British Titanic Society, the Milestone Society of Great Britain and the RNLI. Sharon is heavily involved with Rayleigh Town Museum and local history group Rayleigh Through the Looking Glass. She has a great interest in Antiques and Collectables and regularly attend Antique fairs and local auctions.