As you can Imagine the Basin was a lively place back then. Manning sailing ships was adangerous business. Navigation was crude and ships were run on a shoestring to get maximum profit. A bad storm at sea could be disastrous and often was. To make port safely and have money in your pocket, you were going to have a good time while you could! It was not long before worrying tales about the rowdiness of the Basin reached the good people of Maldon and it was decide to send a missionary to steer them onto the right path.
Time went by and nothing had been heard from the missionary so It was decided to send a search party. A search of the area was made but nothing could be found of him until a gruesome discovery was made behind one of the cottages. The Missionary’s boots and dog collar, on a rubbish tip! The terrible conclusion was that the poor Missionary had been dispatched and consumed!
Now with all historical stories there is usually some truth behind them. The fact that by building be sea lock ships no longer had to pay harbour dues to Maldon may have been an issue at the time. Non the less the Basin was now known as Cannibal Island.
Some two hundred years later, if you say you live in Heybridge Basin to an older Maldonian, they may say back, “Oh you mean Cannibal Island!”