Back in July this year we were contacted by Gwenaël Breës, a film director based in Brussels. He was coming to Southend in August to film sequences on the local music scene of the 1970s and 80s.
During his research he had come across our website and found it of great interest. He asked if we had anyone who would meet up with them who could tell them about Canvey and particularly the music scene here. He also wanted to visit the Goldmine Club, the Paddocks and the Dr Feelgood Music Bar.
We could not cover all he wanted as some of the places no longer exist but two of my colleagues met up with them on the 9th August, yes that very, very wet day. Rod Bishop met up with them first of all and showed them around in the rain then they met up with Graham Stevens indoors as Rod explains below.
I met them at 2pm at the Lobster Smack where they did some filming, then to the Dutch Cottage for more filming. From there to the Paddocks and then on to Thorney Bay beach. The next stop was the location of the Goldmine and then to a café opposite the Monico for a coffee and more filming.
This was a welcome respite from the non-stop drenching we had been getting.
We then went to meet up with Graham Stevens and his brother Chris at the Baptist Church hall where they were doing a band practice. Once again we got drowned getting from the car, through deep puddles and drenching rain before getting into the hall.
They filmed the band doing a couple of numbers then did some filming inside the Chapel before we left with Graham and Chris to go to the Canvey Club which has some memorabilia of Dr Feelgood (what an experience that was).
Back on the road we went to the Oysterfleet to do some more filming and hopefully do some commentary at a table pointing out places on a map, but unfortunately the place was packed so we headed off back to the Lobster Smack. Once back there we were able to do some filming and commentary upstairs before their quiz night started.
I finally arrived home at ten past eight to dry out.
I would very much like to thank Rod and Graham for doing this and I will try to arrange something a bit drier next time.
Comments about this page
Shame about the rain but I’m sure that didn’t stop the boys doing what they do best , talk about their beloved Island !
First of all I must really thank Rod for providing transport and guiding our visitors from Belgium to all the locations they were interested in. I have to admit that I really got the easy bit as I only got a bit wet showing the film crew into the Baptist Church Hall.
Quite unexpectedly they carried on filming while the band played and then did some more in the church as we cleared our gear away. By this time the continuing torrent that Rod and our guests had endured for the past 3 hours had subsided to intermitent downpours so, as planned we sought refuge in the famous Canvey Club in surroundings which still retain the ambience of those times in the late 60s when a fledgling Dr Feelgood performed there as The Jug Band.
Here my brother Chris showed Gwenael Brees several pieces of printed memorabilia concerning local bands (photocopies of posters etc) including a copy of the ‘Family Tree’ of Southend bands published in the New Musical Express in the earl 80s. He was also able recount his first-hand knowledge of all the musos who frequented his music equipment shop The Chris Stevens Music Centre in Southend in the decade of the 70s many of whom were to find fame in that decade and thereafter.
As Rod says we eventually found a peaceful place to continue filming upstairs at the Lobster Smack where Gwenael interviewed Rod and myself for about an hour. He showed extreme inerest in every aspect of Canvey’s history and 20th cent development (even inc ‘the Canvey Monster’).
Yes Barbara you’re right we do like talking about Canvey even when we had to leave because of the quiz night we still carried on chatting outside the pub. Yes the rain had at last stopped and a slightly drier and very grateful film-crew bade their farewells and headed back to Southend.
Gwenael Brees promised he would keep the Archive updated and that in the fullness of time we would be able to see the the full picture.
Add a comment about this page