Growing up on Canvey in the 1950s

“This Photo was taken at Northwick camp, I think about 1950”

The picture with the pedal car is the old army camp down Northwick lane. There were workshops there last time I looked but the one my family lived in was gone. My Mother lived down there (I’m sure Iris and George White lived there also) just after the war until I believe the council houses were built in Cedar Rd, where they all later moved.

The boy in the car is my brother Graham Gibbs who sadly passed away in 2000. I don’t know who the other children are besides my other two brothers. My Mothers name was Sylvia Garside Gibbs and she passed away in 1999. She lived there with my Dad Bob Gibbs. The second photo was taken at the creek, I would think somewhere near Northwick Camp.

The creek

This, I’m sure is either the same week or day as the second fancy dress photo. Mum is in the plaid skirt holding my brother Grahams hand, who appears to have won first prize although he doesn’t look too pleased about it! She’s holding my sister who was born 1952, she looks just a bit older than a year to me, so I’m pretty sure it’s 1953. You can see a swing in the background, not that if that helps much.

Fancy dress competition c1953

I am pretty sure this was Coronation day Fancy dress competition. Now the pretty lady with the lovely white shoes on and the head band, holding the hand of little girl with the beautiful corkscrew hair is, or maybe was, Ivy Edwards and the little girl is called Sharon. They used to live up by Tewks Creek and I think maybe they lived at the camp together but I’m really not sure.

Fancy dress competition c1953

The fancy dress competition was I think to do with the coronation or carnival and was an Island event. This is my brother Graham again, posing as Charles Atlas. I would think that would have been 1953 summer before the flood. I have another picture simular, I will send it to you. Sorry I dont know where abouts it was taken but definately the Island. Maybe the Paddocks??

I should think theres a few people in the picture who are still about they might be able to add some info if they recognise themselves. I’m so, so sorry I can’t be more helpful.

But!!!!! the picture of a barn on site that looks awfully like the one that was at the bottom of Northwick Lane at Mr Lazels farm (which was just behind the camp) could it possibly be? We used to go picnicking and blackberrying down there years ago.

Regards Roz Green

Comments about this page

  • Canvey was my second home. We had a caravan in the 50,s on Colonel Fielders site. Every Friday mum packed our case and we drove of to Canvey. Only from Barking but it seemed never ending till we got to Benfleet. I wanted to know if there are any pics. or does anyone remember The Cosy Cafe. A lovely homely lady served there Oh for the return of those days. Also the bingo on the front and Yes I still have a photo of me on Winston the donkey. Happy times Edna

    By Edna (12/07/2009)
  • Flory Lake was the owner of Cosy Cafe

    By Rich (13/11/2009)
  • Ah! The Cosy Cafe, real home cooking. On the corner of Gills Ave it really lived up to it’s name. I used to deliver rolls and scones there in the early 60s. It was a bit up-market too, most of the dinner-time clientele were people like Selby, the architect, and from Beecrofts Solicitors and the Council Offices.

    By Graham Stevens (02/02/2010)
  • I’m not entirely sure, but I think I’ve just spotted myself in the photo of the fancy dress competition. I always remember Mum talking about me winning a prize (I think) for being dressed as Little Mo, the tennis player. I would have been 5 in 1953, so it does fit. I have a vague recollection of it  taking place in the Paddocks, as Roz suggests. I think it must have been after the floods though, as it looks  lovely and sunny, not January/February weather. Thanks for posting these photos. They’ve taken me back years!!  :)  

    By Cheri Arlenghi (20/02/2016)
  • Rich ,thank you so much, yes that was the lady Florrie, such a lovely little lady.

    By Edna Reynolds (10/04/2016)
  • My Dad as a child had many family holidays on Canvey Island during the 1930’s and 40’s and his parents bought a holiday bungalow there … when he and my mum married they moved from Enfield to the holiday bungalow to live ….. so my sister and I were born on Canvey and grew up as children during the 50’s 60’s … we didn’t have much but our childhood growing up on Canvey was idyllic…… so many cherished happy memories

    By Janice Watts (07/03/2022)

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