COULD you help solve a local history mystery?

There's not much that historians from the Rayleigh Town Museum don't know about their patch, but they've been left scratching their heads over the origin of a residential building name and the artist behind an elusive plaque commemorating the First World War.

Mike Davies, chairman of the museum based in High Street, Rayleigh explained: “A while ago the museum was donated a WWI plaque with the words “Lest we forget”. It was dated 1984 and all we know about it is that it once stood in the foyer of a residential home in Rayleigh named Gordon Roughly Court.

“We have tried unsuccessfully so far, to find out ANYTHING we can about both Mr Gordon Roughly as well as the artist who created the plaque who we think was called Kate Fee and who once lived in the Southend area.”

The interest in the plaque’s history was sparked recently when volunteer members of the museum were sifting through the Echo’s extensive photographic archives, which have now been gifted to the museum.

“On sorting through the Echo photos I found a photo of Kate Fee dated January 20, 1982,” added Mike.

“We’d love to hear from any Echo readers who can help us find both Kate Fee and any details relating to who Gordon Roughly was. He may have had a connection with the British legion but we’ve not been able to get any confirmation on this.

“If we can trace Kate we’d love to invite her along to the museum for a visit."

*Contact Mike via the museum at