St Nicholas, Elmdon, Essex

St Nicholas church in Elmdon Essex has a 15th century tower, but the rest of the church was completely rebuilt in the 19th century. This has wiped the nave and chancel clear of graffiti barring a few faint initials on the 16th century tomb of Thomas Meade in the chancel.
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However, behind a curtain at the side of the organ (dating to 1860), is the original hand pump for the bellows and graffiti left by the children who pumped it.
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The artwork is the most charming, ranging from faces and animals to a penny farthing bicycle.
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There are signatures with ages, initials and what must be rotas for organ duty. There are declarations of love and the enigmatic message ‘Jam Sarnie’. I don’t know if that’s an expression of hunger or someone who acquired that nickname. And there is a touch of warning or paranoia in the text that ‘He talks about us’. 
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Ickleton Road
Saffron Walden
The church is usually open during daylight hours. There is very limited street parking on Ickleton Rd.
Report by Anthea Hawdon

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