Bank Holiday At Canvey
Canvey News Dutch Island Chronicle 1904
August Bunk Holiday at Canvey was a record day for the Island. Favoured by Dame Nature, smiled upon by King Sol. while the tide in its advance curtsied, and kow-towed in true Eastern style to the people, as they came from far and near, from country and from town. The breeze from the S.E. gave a gentle ripple to the sea and cooled the air, which, inland, was heat-laden in the extreme.
Early in the morning visitors began to arrive by farmers’ wagons from neighbouring villages to picnic under the shade of the sea wall, others by brakes that met the trains at Benfleet and conveyed them first, to the Winter Gardens and thence to the Shell Beach. Later on they came in a continuous stream from Benfleet station as the trains arriving from London and Southend brought increasing numbers to see the Island.
Canvey was en fete, flags were well in evidence, and streamers were flying both at Central Park and Shell Beach estates. The day was occasionally enlivened by the strains of the band of the Boys’ Brigade.
Various sports, including push ball and other games, gave zest, to the enjoyment in the afternoon, while in the evening an entertainment of no mean order was given in the concert saloon of the Winter Gardens, engaging the attention and provoking the applause of a crowded audience. A collection was taken at its close amounting to £1 15s. and forwarded to the committee of the FA. Fund by Mr. Jenkins, of “Utrecht,’-—[Well done, Canvey Island.—Ed.]
It was along Canvey’s sea front, however, where most of the people were to be seen at snug Shell Bay with its select paddling and picnic parties, and far to the east and the west of the pier the people were in evidence everywhere. Not only along the beach as far as the eye could reach, but in quiet nooks and shady recesses were little family parties seen enjoying to the full their novel situation. One party with tasty spread were being regaled under the shadow of a hay stack, while they reclined on cushions of new-mown hay, hot water for making tea having been procured from the farmhouse near by.
As the day wore away we saw coming across the island, by way of the London Road, to return by an early train, a family of several children with their mother and father, the latter whistling a merry tune to which the little company gaily marched, keeping step the while, and so moved briskly and cheerily to the rail. Following these, and just, in view, might have been seen young couples dancing along the road as they journeyed (not intoxicated in the bibulous sense of the word) but apparently bubbling over in an exuberance of joyousness—realising in this trip to Canvey a form of holiday-making of absolute joy and sheer delight.