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1 - History of The Island Yacht Club
...Maureen Buckmaster I never knew that the Government were thinking of damming the Creek well before the floods. When was Sunnyside Hotel built as it's described as new in 1948 and became the Convent around 1949/50. Janet Penn Maureen I have just re-read the passage and I may be wrong but I cannot see where it says the Sunnyside Hotel was new. The Sunnyside Hotel started after the war using what was the original Anglican Convent buildings....
Great Expectations - Chapter 54 - Lobster Smack Inn
I have read several books and articles where the Lobster Smack is portrayed as the Inn in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations and I have often wondered how true the tale was, so I decided to investigate. Thankful for the age of the computer, I managed to find an ebook of the great works and did a search to find the right part of the book, which is Chapter 54. I read it with interest but not being a sailor I had no idea whether the description o...
On the evening of January 31st 1953 the three eldest Manser brothers went to the pictures. Ian 14, Christopher 12 and myself, Andrew aged 10 went to the cinema on Canvey Island to watch “Beau Geste”, an adventure film about the French Foreign legion and their actions against the Tuaregs in the north African desert. Gary Cooper, Robert Preston and Ray Milland starred as the three Geste brothers. They showed the close attachment to each other that...
Policing the Island and the Great Storm
...Susan Snelling Hi, Can I just correct a part of this story. John Lynch died at the age of 54. Enjoyed reading this article Mrs cheryl saunders Just to let you know but at one point you spelt Lynch as Lunch. By the way John is my dad and Sue Snelling is correct dad was 54 and we all sadly miss him....
The Story of Hester's Canvey Island Developments
The Story of one of Canvey’s best known developers, Frederick Hester The Sea Front & Jetty taken from Augustus A. Daly’s ‘A History of Canvey Island’ At the end of the 19th century an entrepreneur had a dream of turning Canvey into an Island holiday resort. Frederick Hester was born in Fulham in 1853, the son of George Hester (reputed to be the last keeper of Putney Bridge) and Catherine (nee Potter) who had six children together. Old Putney brid...
The History of a Marshland Community
Introduction “The estuary of the Thames is not beautiful; it has no noble features, no romantic grandeur of aspect, no smiling geniality; but it is wide open, spacious, inviting, hospitable at the first glance, with a strange air of mysteriousness which lingers about it to this very day.” (Joseph Conrad) Canvey Island lies on the north side of the Thames Estuary about thirty miles from London. The island is four miles long and two miles wide at i...
William Read School- 85 years of History
The original school building The school now known as William Read Primary School was built in the year 1924, and opened on October 7th, to the singing of the official school song, ‘Play The Game’. Called ‘Long Road Public Elementary School’, it was brick built, rendered and painted white, in the shape of a square and enclosing an open air quadrangle with a fishpond in the centre. However, it was unfinished, and there were more children than the s...
History of the Rugby Club
In the early 60’s a new P.E. teacher came to Canvey, Mr Kenneth Light! He stood on the stage at Canvey Secondary School and held aloft a funny shaped ball. “This he gritted through his teeth “Is a god!” A P.E. lesson in an assembly hall? That’s how Ken started out every year. He then took the entire first year on a tour of the rugby pitch. With his pipe wobbling in the side of his mouth Ken would lead his disciples around the pre-metric pitch sti...
1 - The History of the Society of the Good Shepherd
The following is an extract from the History of the Society of the Good Shepherd found in their records deposited at Douai Abbey in Berkshire. We recently visited the Abbey knowing the records were there but not knowing what we were going to find. Markhouse Road, Walthamstow The Society of the Good Shepherd was founded in 1909 by Sister Janet Mary (Catherine Jane Lisabel Cheeper) a former member of the Society of S. Margaret, East Grinstead, or r...
Stan Thackeray's memories
Stan Thackeray was born in South Hackney in 1930 not far from Victoria Park where he lived until his family moved to Canvey in June of 1935 having spent holidays on the island. Of Stan’s first visits to Canvey he says:- 1934 Haystack Corner. Stan’s Mum, Great Gran, Auntie Ann and Stan “My mum and dad had holidays on Canvey Island when I was about 2 years old, we had a Bungalow over Winter Gardens, right over 60 acres for a week, there were duckbo...
Leigh Beck Baptist Church: War - Flood - Survival
1939 and the commencement of the Second World War. Canvey was bombed and people were killed. According to Vera Jones, she said they would stand and watch as the VI and V2 Doodlebugs came down on the Island. As so often in times of crisis, love rises to the surface and people are geared into action. Community spirit is fostered or even re-born. And so it was during the time of war on this Island and especially in Leigh Beck Baptist Church. The mem...
The Memories of Clary Swann
Do you remember The Casino, the amusement park on the seafront at Canvey Island? Everyone that has visited Canvey up until the early 1990’s would remember passing or even visiting The Casino. Its seaside location and abundance of slot machines and fairground rides was a must for every child and even a lot of adults to visit, but how did it start and who ran it and why did it close? There can only be one person to ask – a man who started almost at...
Leigh Beck Baptist Church: The beginning
God’s Blessing As we celebrate 100 years of Canvey Island Baptist church, Leigh Beck, this historic milestone is a testament to the faithfulness and sovereignty of God. It is also a tribute to many who have gone before; men and women, who laid a sound foundation for growth in this corner of God’s vineyard. How it all started In 1898, it is said that a gentleman named Ebinezer Howard held the view that all new towns should be built with more pleas...
Leigh Beck Baptist Church: The Vision
Rev. Frank Brown Rev. Frank Brown came to lead the Church in 1960. The reader will remember that there had been a vision of a new church being built. It was during The Rev. Brown’s Ministry that this came to the forefront again. Rev. Brown gave an astounding speech in 1962 viz: ‘Next year, 1963, is the Diamond Jubilee of our Church and your Deacons lovingly and prayerfully bring before you the following suggestions for your brotherly consideratio...
The Keil Family
A chance remark by Dudley George gave the Archive the first indication of Canvey’s connection to the KielKraft model aeroplane company. Dudley said to me ”Do you remember Mr Keil who used to live over by the Lake?” To which I replied. ”No, he must have been a bit before my time.” Dudley remembered visiting Mr Keil’s house on the south side of the Lake on a few occasions when his dad ‘Hasty’ was doing some plumbing work there. What most impressed...
Thorney Bay Army Camp
In 1940 a six pounder Coastal Artillery Battery was constructed at Scars Elbow Point on Canvey Island, its purpose being to guard against enemy torpedo boat raids. Twin hand loaded 6 pounder gun turrets were installed that could deliver up to 100 rounds a minute. It never saw action and was dismantled soon after the war and later abandoned in 1956. Aerial photographs taken in 1946 and 1960 show two large gun Casemates 40 yards apart. Rare Photogr...
Canvey Island Made History
During the 1950’s it became apparent that there was a need to find new energy sources. The ever-increasing demand from industry and the domestic market, for both gas and electricity, required larger, more efficient plants to be built. Using mainly coal and oil products to produce gas and generate electricity, both of these products were becoming more expensive and supplies less reliable. One commodity which was plentiful, but largely wasted, was...
Canvey Island Memories.
1939 Goodmayes Lodge Audrey with my grandmothers dog Tony I was taken to Canvey for my annual fortnights’ holiday each August from my first year until I was 12 years old. In the war there was only my mother and myself, and as I have no memory of that time, I can’t be sure we went every year, of course. Here is a photo of me in 1939 on the front lawn of Goodmayes Lodge with my grandmothers dog Tony. After the war I accepted without question that ‘...
Leigh Beck Baptist Church: Modern Times
1990 – again the church was in interregnum, but not for long! In September 1990 the Church called Chris Newton to become Student Pastor, with the task of preparing the Church for full time ministry at the end of his contracted four years. Chris studied at Spurgeon’s College and preached every other Sunday. His Induction took place on 10th November. Chris quite radically, for Leigh Beck Church, modernised our style of worship. The redevelopment of...
Kelly's Directory of Essex 1937
CANVEY ISLAND , which is united to South Benfleet by a bridge opened in 1931 at a cost of £20,000 across Hadleigh Ray, and originally part of the parishes of Bowers Gifford, Hadleigh, North Benfleet, Laindon, Pitsea, Prittlewell, South Benfleet, Southchurch and Vange, was formed into a civil and ecclesiastical parish 4 March, 1881, but under the provisions of the Canvey Island (Constitution of Urban District) Order, 1926, the parish was converted...
Jones’ Stores c1928 Albert Jones Jones’ Corner, at the junction of Craven Avenue and Long Road, has been part of the Canvey landscape for decades, after Alfred Jones had a chance meeting with an old friend on Canvey who encouraged him to sell his home in Kent and begin new life as a proprietor of a corner shop. The Jones family was living in Gravesend, Kent. Alfred Jones had been a bank clerk before WWI but after service in the Royal Navy during...
Reflected Glory (Part 1)
Before I was invited by Bishop Falkner Allison to accept the living I had only visited Canvey Island once in my life. Joan’s parents had moved to South Benfleet, which is adjacent to the Island, on the mainland, – Benfleet Station, on the Fenchurch Street – Shoebury line, admonishes passengers to “Alight here for Canvey Island”. On a visit to South Benfleet, we decided to have a little trip to Canvey, “to see what it’s like”. So we hopped on to a...
Quenby's The Oldest Island Chemist
Quenby’s Furtherwick Road 1936 Not, of course the original, because, as he used to advertise in all the local magazines and newspapers, that distinction belonged to the late C.P.Venables, who opened his shop in the High Street in 1929. Norah Quenby came from Hertford with a loan from one of the wholesalers, and the assistance of her brother-in-law, an old-established Pharmacist in that town, in October 1933 to open a chemist’s at 72 Furtherwick R...
Memories of Canvey Island
Thameside Crescent I’ve lived on Canvey Island all my life and have many friends here. I was brought up in 2 Thameside Crescent and was one of 12 children. I had a very happy childhood, most of which was spent outside in the street. We played hopscotch and skipping and knock down ginger, hide and seek and of course with our dolls and pushchairs. In the summer we all used to go over the nearest field to the farm and when the farmer wasn’t looking...
Canvey Island Rotary