Thanks James - that's exactly the kind of thing that I had in mind.
On the classifieds - wasn't a prod - we are eternally grateful for the hours you already put in - I just wondered if my own experiences of Ebay and the like meant there might be a great, untapped market out there !
OFFERS used to only cover certain areas - you may have to step over to the other side of the main road, Sarah2. Its possible they have more funding now, but they used to collect working equipment for free, but charge to collect dead stuff. But I feel its worth a small charge to promote the reusing and recycling that they do and not have your PC dumped in a hole in Essex.
For about 20 years I've been going to a place called the Othona Community, next door to the Saxon stone chapel right out on the peninsula past Bradwell. Its a great place, has the feeling of being on the end of the world. Also I've been going sailing with some friends with boats on the Colne. I have explored all the rivers and islands round there, but my favourite is to moor overnight in some muddy creek and watch the sun go down over the mudbanks with a bottle of wine. For those who dont know, mud can be surprisingly beautiful - gorgeous skies reflected in billowing curves of wet mud with the calls of the wading birds is my idea of Essex.