Essex Landscape Mysteries (ELM) was a short-lived magazine published in 1981-2. Edited and produced by Jim Kimmis – in association with Glen Mead and Jim’s then-partner Helen – ELM was very much a product of its time and circumstances, typed and drawn on stencils. A copy would set you back a measly 35 pence. ELM ran for five issues, with an additional final ‘half’ issue for subscribers and exchange magazines, comprising those articles, letters and reviews outstanding when Jim called time on the project. There was also one ‘occasional paper’, Jim’s Essex Church Dedications.
In its short life ELM covered aspects of Essex ‘earth mysteries’, archaeology, witchcraft, ghosts, and phantom black dogs, obscure history, folklore, and even UFOs; plus news, reviews, readers’ letters, and the odd poem. Contributors included Andrew Collins, Michael Howard, Nigel Pennick and Jeff Saward. If nothing else, ELM drove home what Essex natives have always known – that the county is much more than its popular image as a realm of cartoon blondes, ducking-and-diving wide boys with sawn-off shotguns, and right-wing xenophobes. With a human history going back to the Palaeolithic and encompassing Britons, Romans, Saxons, Normans and others, Essex has folklore and Forteana to spare. It’s more Detectorists than TOWIE, more Essex Serpent than Essex Boys. While ELM did not exist long enough or have the resources to do anything more than scratch the surface of Essex historical oddities, weird lore and antiquarian curios, it made a decent start.
The Ongar Zodiac by Jim Kimmis was not part of the ELM project but is included to expand the Essex theme. It was published as Occasional Paper 9 by the Institute of Geomantic Research in 1977.