The Story of Canvey Island

Canvey Island in More Tenses than one

Harold A Thomas told ‘The Story of Canvey Island’ in verse in aid of the work carried out at Whittier Hall, Canvey Island.

The booklet was printed by ‘The Orphans’ Printing Press Ltd and was published sometime in the late 30’s early 40’s and was sold for sixpence.


An Introduction

Old Bell, the Thatcher, knows a thing or two
Besides the way his daily work to do;
He reads a volume as his thoughtful eye
Roams over salting, estuary and sky

He knows, besides a wealth of weather lore,
A host of things concerning sea and shore;
Of deep and shoal, and how the tide will be,
And when ’tis safe to wade across to Leigh.

I think he knows where oysters may be found,-
And maybe knows it is forbidden ground;-
But none forbid him grovelling in the slime
To bank his eel-traps in the summer-time.

His reach of wisdom certainly includes
A knowledge of the Ray in all its moods;
The comings and the goings of the birds,
The ways of water-fowl and flocks and herds:

Of healing herb and wild plants fit for food:
Things practical: yet oft in pensive mood
The mystic’s musings in spirit stir,
God speaks to him from fields of lavender.

For part I click here

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