My memories of Canvey Island

Written by the late Bill Beaver

By Janet Penn

I remember coming to Canvey in August 1912 from Walthamstow where I was born in 1905.  I came with my family to stay for two weeks at a bungalow by the lake.  The name of the bungalow was 'Maycot'.  For those days it was quite a modern building, built in 1911.  It had large tanks for catching and storing rainwater from the roof.  The water was filtered through granulated charcoal packed in a large earthenware vessel which was especially made the filters and was a common household utensil in most homes on the Island.

Photo:Waterside Farm

Waterside Farm

I remember crossing the creek in a rowing boat, it cost ½ penny per person.  At low tide one could cross on the causeway where there were stepping stones, some of which can be seen outside the Council Offices.

I recall walking along the path round Waterside Farm across a cornfield to a stile known as 'Temple Bar' then along the path up by the lake.  I thought it was wonderful, so much lovely grass and reeds and there seemed to be hundreds of skylarks singing all day long.  The lake seemed a lot cleaner and more interesting to me then.  I can remember trying to get into an old boat that was there and getting in a rare mucky mess.

Photo:Temple Bar

Temple Bar

I remember the walk to the beach by way of Lakeside and Furtherwick Road.  No shops in those days just a nice sandy lane with many small sloe hedges either side of the lane.  Chambers Farm had a gate across the road and an open fronted cart shed with table and stools.  A jug of tea or milk and cakes could be bought and consumed at the wooden big table.  I thought the beach was wonderful, so many shells and under the loose rocks so many winkles, small crabs etc to find.

Next to the bungalow 'Maycot' there was a farm and farmhouse barn etc some cows and horses, chickens, geese!  and ducks that used to waddle along to the lake.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'My memories of Canvey Island' page

Photo:Bill Beaver and his daughter Janet. c1881

Bill Beaver and his daughter Janet. c1881

Janet Dolling

Bill was later to move to Canvey where he lived, apart from a few years away, until his death in 1989.  Bill Beaver was one of the first Volunteer firemen. You can read more about Bill Here.

I would like to thank Bill's daughter Janet for allowing us to use some of her father's memoirs and pictures.

This page was added by Janet Penn on 23/10/2008.
Comments about this page

Excellent memories from a bygone age

By David Bullock
On 24/10/2008