My time on Canvey.


Looking South down Beechcroft Road

My name is Brian Jarrald, I was born on Canvey in 1944, so I guess I am an Islander, went to live in New Zealand in 1961, when I was 17. My parents were married during the war at the Parish Church by the King Canute. I attended Primary & Secondary school on Canvey and had a wonderful childhood on the Island.

I have stumbled upon this website and will search through some old photo’s to see if I can find anything useful for the archive. I have a lot of memories of the flood, and what Canvey was like during my time there.

I lived at 1 Beechcroft Road, off Long Road, the house is now demolished, it was one of three in a row, of “new style” Octagonal shaped Dutch Style Cottages built in the 1930’s, the other two remain, ours was the first closest to Long Road, next to the present thatched one, there was another one built up near The Point, not sure if it is still there. They mimicked the two very old Dutch Cottages still standing, but are larger, the builder originally intended to build more.

I returned to Canvey circa 1978 and in 2011 and it is much changed, but it brought back quite a lot of good memories. If there is anybody out there who I once knew or went to school with it would be nice to hear from you, feel free to email me on As I said I now live near the sea in Northland New Zealand, my main interests are sailing my yacht Gulliver, a 34 ft keeler and managing my garden, I guess living close to the water on Canvey created that first attachment to the sea, which has always been with me.Brian J.

Comments about this page

  • Great to hear from you Brian. Please feel free to tell us more about your time on Canvey and we would especially like to hear what it was like living in one of these houses. Hope you like the picture.

    You might also like to have a look at these two pages re the cottages, Wick Cottage and Fielder Estate

    By Janet Penn (02/08/2013)
  • Thank you for adding the photo, it looks an early one. The house was bought by Rose Bellamy my Gt Aunt, she told me before her a doctor bought it and he was going to use it as a surgery. She formally lived in a house called “Cromwells” which was at the corner of New Rd & Long Road, it was opposite some shops, and became a bank before it was demolished.

    I lived at Beechcroft Rd with her and my parents until it was sold and we went to NZ. She called it The Dutch Cottage, and that confused people as it was often taken for one of the original ones, it was sold in 1961 for £2000-00 to Chadwicks the Estate Agents, the site and adjoining field where I played and had bonfires now has bungalows on it. It had a long room attached at the rear with a fireplace which was our lounge, and two rooms down and two rooms up in the main cottage. Downstairs we had a small black coal range like a Rayburn which heated the house, there were fire places in each room which we didn’t use. The three other rooms we used as bedrooms. The kitchen was always warm in the winter but the bedrooms very cold and several times water in a glass by my bed froze, needed lots of blankets and an eiderdown then. I often came home from school in the winter made toast on a toasting fork in front of the range and had toast and beef dripping on it.

    The house I think was timber framed, with wire pebble dashed on the outside and probably asbestos lined walls on the inside, it certainly was that kind of material. At night if it was wind the house seemed to shake and sometimes you could here the ships fog sirens and bells on the buoys on the Thames. We had a long garden down to a ditch at the back, and grew most of our veges, had a cherry and several apple trees. The drive led to a concrete garage which my Dad built just after the war, it was hard to get the building materials.

    My father worked as a printer in Southend after the war, and my mother during the war worked at the munitions factory in what was the ECHO factory near Priory Park, Southend.

    By Brian Jarrald (02/08/2013)
  • I remember the bungalow that was a bank in the village. Very convenient.

    By Janet Penn (02/08/2013)
  • Hello Brian You and I were in the same class at school and I remember visiting your house once. I’m still in touch with a couple of people from those days and I’ll p.m. you shortly Best regards Robin Howie

    By sparrow (02/08/2013)
  • The original plans had 5 cottages. Three down Beechcroft Rd and two more behind them in a cul-de-sac we now call Woodhurst Rd.

    They were built by Messers HOWARTH & WRIGHT.
    Planning approved 6th March 1934.

    By Martin Lepley (16/02/2024)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.