Many people are interested in our history, why are we called Sugarloaf? When and where did the group start up and who started the group?

Sugarloaf was started up in 1974 by a lady called, Rosemary Ockendon who lived at Sugarloaf House in Grays Thurrock, the house later changed its name to Chalk Pit Farm. 

These are two newspaper clippings from the Thurrock Gazette dated 1975

Rosemary run a small livery and riding school. The children used to come from North Ockendon Mental Institution and a Special Needs School in South Ockendon. Later on they started to have children from Treetops School (SEN) in Grays Thurrock. Most of her helpers were personal friends or owners of the livery ponies that were very kindly loaned for the occasions along with her own school ponies. One of her great achievements was to get one of her riders threw his bronze award in RDA.

She had a very active committee who raised funds so that they could be as self sufficient as possible. She taught for at least 5 years, until she moved abroad. Then a good friend of hers who lived in Corringham took over and moved the group there.

Not long after she moved, chalk pit farm was demolished and Chafford Hundred and Chafford Gorge was built on the land.

~~~~~~~Thanks to Rosemary Ockendon Day ~~~~~~~for all your info

2024 we will be celebrating Sugarloaf RDA’s 50th Anniversary!