Anyone Remember?

Chris Williams Canvey builder

I’m Michael Baldwin and used to live in Marine Approach in the 50s and 60s.

I wonder if anyone remembers a Chris Williams who I believe worked as a builder with his father on Canvey at that time. He was married to a pretty girl called Jean, who played double bass along with Chris who played trombone in a jazz band. They originally lived in a large house in Long Road, about opposite The Paddocks. He later built himself a new home overlooking the sea wall, on the corner of Marine Parade and Park Ave. This house still appears to be there today.  

It was while he was there that he decided to build a cruising catamaran which when complete we spent many happy hours on the water.  He and Jean used to drive a Land-Rover which she used to transport her double bass around. Chris also had an old two-seater convertible Jaguar which supposedly used to belong to Mike Hawthorne, the racing driver.  

Chris and Jean eventually emigrated to New Zealand, taking his Land-Rover with him and I lost touch with him.  I’d love to have any news of him since, if anybody remembers him or knows what became of them both.  

Comments about this page

  • Hi Michael

    I remember Chris Williams and his father Harry who lived in Number 3 Urmond road in the 50s.

    He took up with Jean Topps who lived next door but one to us in number 6 [the old lemonade factory]

    I well remember the yellow land rover which had buffalo horns on the bonnet in which he used to tear up and down the road.

    To make matters worse he had a beard which was unheard of in youngsters in those days. My father referred to him as a b****y dangerous beatnik but I found him to be a very interesting chap, good sense of humour. I also spent some time with him sailing as I was a member of Chapman Sands sailing club.

    I don’t know if he is still with us


    Sparrow [Rob Howie]   

    By sparrow (20/07/2017)
  • Thanks for your input Robin.  Glad to hear somebody remembers Chris.



    By Michael Baldwin (21/07/2017)
  • Hi, I also remember Chris Williams didn’t know him personally but recall him driving around in the Jeep with cow-horns on the bonnet. Strong memory of his band performing alongside some early rock’n’roll outfits at a Canvey Carnival event in what is now the Bumble Bee Park. That would have been 1958.

    Sparrow, interested in your ref to ‘the old lemonade factory’. Just a few weeks ago the name cropped up in conversation with Janet Walden and although I’ve now lived in the Oysterfleet area for over 20 yrs I’d never heard the name before although I had heard it referred to as the ‘Gingerbread House’. As I used to deliver bread to ‘Jack’s’ Oysterfleet Stores in early 60s I passed it many times in it’s original form and used the think it looked exactly the same as ‘Sundown’ our family’s bungalow in Gafzelle Dve (see images on ‘Freshwater Floods’ page on this site.)

    By Graham Stevens (24/07/2017)
  • See, I knew I didn’t dream it Graham,  that that tall house was referred to as the ‘lemonade factory’!

    By J. Walden (24/07/2017)
  • Hello

    It was once a lemonade factory[ Corona] and for a short while even ice cream



    By Sparrow (25/07/2017)
  • Hi Sparrow.Thanks for the info. 

    By Graham Stevens (26/07/2017)
  • I am alive and kicking In Australia 

    please make contact??

    By Chris Williams (20/08/2019)
  • Hello Chris

    I remember you and your family really well from when I lived almost opposite you at number 10

    I also remember you had one of the oldest phone numbers on Canvey——-Canvey 9

    By sparrow (21/08/2019)
  • I remember your brother Brian Howi.  I think that’s right spelling. Ii sent this  correspondence to Jean she was thrilled and remembers you. She now lives in the gold coast still playing her double bass. I took a jazz band to europe three times from Australia. Love to hear more from you or anybody from that time. Regards Chris

    By Chris williams (25/08/2019)
  • Hi – I remember Chris Williams and Jean. I sat in with them sometimes playing trumpet. I was well into jazz until I heard Jerry Lee Lewis. I could turn my boogie piano style into rock ‘n’ roll and together with Les, Dave, Colin and Tony, formed the Red Diamonds rock group in 1959. A photo appears on the Canvey history page taken at the Casino.
    Chas Hall

    By Chas Hall (01/02/2022)
  • I also bring to mind a guy from Switzerland; a trumpet player by the name of Jack or sounding like Zark. I believe he worked for a while at Prouts. He was sometimes accoumpained by a girl I knew June Kreedman.

    By Chas Hall (02/02/2022)

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