'Bobby' Arnold remembers

An interview

Taken near ‘Bobby’s’ home in North Drive

Bobby, originally from up north, met her husband Arthur Arnold during the war. They were both in the services, Bobby was in the ATS which she joined when she was very young having lied about her age.

Arthur’s family lived on Canvey Island in a bungalow in Mayland Avenue, where Bobby frequently visited. The couple married in St Katherine’s Church in 1945, during leave from their respective units. Once they were married Bobby had to leave the ATS and she returned to Canvey.

Arthur and ‘Bobby’s’ Wedding Day photographed in Mayland Avenue where Arthur’s parent’s lived

The couple made their home in North Avenue in the new council houses, where their daughter and son were born, 1950 and 1952 respectively. It was here in 1953 just a short few weeks after the birth of their son that the floods hit Canvey. Bobby talks about this in the recording at the bottom of the page.

After the war Bobby had got herself a job at Egens, she also joined Canvey Island’s British Legion. She was the first woman to be allowed to join and she said she had to fight hard for them to agree to accept her. She also joined a group who put on shows in the local halls. You can see her in the picture below.

‘Bobby’ blackened up for a concert

Not long after the floods the family moved to Mornington Road where Bobby still lives today.

Many thanks to Bobby for talking to me.

Comments about this page

  • I have a copy of the above photo. The venue was the Rio cinema. The occassion was the British Legion Womens section Concert Party, in aid of funds for the building of their Hall in Denham road. r-l Mrs Clara Hayes, Mrs Moore, Bobby Arnold, Jessie Topp, Mrs Saville, Mrs Topp, Mrs Hazelton (mum) and Mrs Schoal, she has been cut off from the end of your copy. My Dad helped build the hall with Bobby’s husband, Mr Cashman, Mr Kernick, Mr Clarke and others who’s names I don’t recall now. When the hall was finished several British Legion members payed for chairs as memorials to relatives who were killed in both world wars; the chairs had dedication plates on. What happened to those chairs or the dedications when the Hall was modernised? I tried to find out from one of the new Committee members but he told me he knew nothing about the chairs and that they had probably been discarded. Mum was annoyed when I told her, she said the very least the new Committee could have done was to save the dedication plates. She also wondered what happened to the Union flag that came from the Cenataph which had been given to the Canvey Branch.

    By val court(nee hazelton) (14/10/2013)
  • MAYLAND AVENUE A Mr Tom Lane and family lived there Tommy Lane
    Michael Lane Anita Lane until the early 70’s I enjoyed my trips there occasionally after marrying Michael Lane. Whose friends were the wroes /roes? Who ran an off licence. Hi if Carol Anne, Jackie, mick or David see this comment, stay safe all x Lindsay from eastbourne Lindsay1248@hot mail.co.uk

    By Lindsay (05/01/2022)

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