Model Village

Destroyed in 1974

The remains of the Catholic Church taken in the summer of 1974

John Fenwick tries to put together one of the vandalised models

In the summer of 1974 some mindless jobs destroyed Canvey’s that had stood on the seafront for many years and before that opposite Long Road and the Haystack about where the entrance to Oak Road is today.

It was saved this time but closed in 1976 after another vandal attack as this newspaper clipping explains.

The photo below was taken in 1973 and shows the village at the top of Haven road with the village pump. The same area can be seen in the photo taken in 1974 as well as the Catholic Church. As can be seen the damage was bad.

Did you visit the model village? What can you remember about it. Please comment below.

The model village showing the shops and pump at the top of Haven Road taken in the summer of 1973
Echo Newspaper Group

Comments about this page

  • I remember visiting Canvey model village in the 1940’s when it was situated behind the sweetshop known as ‘Longmans’ at the haystack corner,it had a working model railway as well as various model buildings depicting areas of Canvey [albeit with a bit of licence!).

    Longmans sweetshop was known for it’s lollies [Longmans Long Lasting Lucky Lovely Lollies] and also for it’s “spanish wood”.

    By Ian Newman (16/04/2017)
  • Thanks Ian, your comment has completely encapsulated my nostalgia, standing as a toddler in the Model Village at that time. Even down to the taste of Longman’s ” spanish wood” (liquorice roots for the uninitiated). Can you imagine a 4 year old chewing on what appeared to be small tree branches!

    Mr Fenwick, the villages creator, I think that’s him in the photo of the damaged Catholic Church, was a genius. In Bill Gower’s memories he recalls delivering at least two model villages built by Mr Fenwick to seaside resorts on the Suffolk coast.

    Once it was transferred to the site just below the Labworth Cafe, surrounded just by hurdle fencing it always seemed vulnerable to attacks from some mindless idiots which despite Mr Fenwick’s continuos repairs over several years culminated in it’s closure after this final assault. Such a great pity that so much pleasure was lost for future generations of kids (and adults).

    By Graham Stevens (17/04/2017)
  • Apologies, looks like I misread the text as it says it survived this attack and was closed 2 yrs later.

    By Graham Stevens (17/04/2017)
  • No Graham you did not misread it I changed it after I found the clipping on another page onsite. I will link it when I get on my pc.

    By Janet Penn (17/04/2017)
  • I remember visiting the model village on Canvey when I was a kid during the school holidays me & my mum would come down from London on the train & bus with the model churches along with the choirs singing inside them, what a shame it ended with it being vandalised & eventually removed.

    By John Mccafferty (29/04/2017)
  • Having just watched the repair shop i wonder where the model village is stored last seen by the labworth can it be repaired in honor to the people who have served and suffered in the last 80 years to make canvey the place it is today we have lived in same house since 1965

    By brian judd (07/09/2022)

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