The weather in 1968 brought Essex the worst flooding that had been seen since the great tidal surge of 1953. The weather had been so bad that the railway network failed between Wickford and Raleigh and so a bus service was put in place. The bus driver, Mr. David Dockerill, was not to be put off of his task by mere flood water and, on the outskirts of Woodham, he moved his passengers to the top deck of the bus. The weather had created such high water levels that the lower deck was flooded as Mr. Dockerill forced the vehicle through the flood waters, but the passengers were safe in the upper deck and were delivered to their destination dry and safe. In 1990, the weather event of the year took place on the 25th January when a gale of such severity hit the county that on the A12 junction with the A414, at South Woodham Ferrers, seven lorries were blown over and a passenger was injured when a coach was forced into a ditch.
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South Woodham Ferrers was originally a part of the village of Woodham Ferrers, which sits a little to the North of the town. A railway station was opened to serve the community of South Woodham Ferrers in 1889, but it was not until the 1960's and 70's that the town began to develop at a rapid speed around the site of the railway station. In 1981, Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the newly completed town Square in South Woodham Ferrers. The William de Ferrers Secondary School, which is situated in the town centre, opened its doors for the first time in 1982 and uses the main retail area as part of its campus. South Woodham Ferrers is home to the Crouch Vale Brewery whose ale won the award of Champion Beer of Britain in 2005 and 2006 at the Great British Beer Festival.
Many of the street names on South Woodham Ferrers have a link to JRR Tolkien's book characters. It is rumored that the Radar Test Station, situated on Bushy Hill on the edge of South Woodham Ferrers, appears in the James Bond film, Goldeneye.