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People: Dee Gordon
Local Author
We are usually quite strict at Rochford Life as to our boundaries and so you might wonder why we cover an author from Southend. Well, Dee is researching a book that involves Wakering and it is just possible that some of our readers may be able to help her in her research. Let her explain.

Dee Gordon is Researching Wakering

“My focus, perhaps for as long as ten years now, has been local history, whether it is Southend or Essex or the East End of London, but local history. Most of them have been commissioned and mostly by the same publisher. The History Press, ( who are the biggest ‘local history’ publisher, tend to do series’ so I did ‘Haunted Southend’. They had already done ‘Haunted Brighton’ and ‘Haunted Birmingham’ and so if they want Southend they tend to come to me.

So they are now doing a ‘Secret History’ series across the country, and so they had said to me,  would I do a ‘secret history’ of Southend? However, the trouble with ‘secret’ is that nobody knows about it! So I have been working on people who have signed the Official Secrets Act, for instance, not that some of them can say very much, and secret tunnels, secret affairs, and so on, and so I am gradually getting there.

But then I was working on people who had secret identities or who changed their identity and I stumbled on an article in an old Essex magazine, from about the 1950’s, about this woman from Wakering called Dandy Sally and I’ve never come across this person before in all the other research for all the other books. I didn’t know the name, I didn’t know the story, who she was. All I know is
- she was apparently born in the 19th century to a baker in Great Wakering, and
- was a scullery maid, and then got work in London, meeting richer and richer people,
- and ending up marrying an earl who was thirty years older than her and became a Countess, although she wasn’t that well received because of her background.

So I thought that would make an interesting anecdote as part of the book.  I have been in contact with Essex Records Office, I have contacted Great Wakering history type web-sites and they didn’t have anything, so I am casting around to see if there is ANYBODY who knows anything about this person.”

So there you are, dear readers: if there is anyone who knows anything about this girl, originally known as Dandy Sally from Great Wakering, would you like to make contact with Dee, obviously the sooner the better, but if you come across this article in months to come, Dee would still like to hear from you.

Her telephone number is 01702 -352064 or you could e-mail her on

Her web-site is

February 2013
Dee - and as she is described on the back cover of one of her books a few years ago