Ships passing Canvey Island

Past and present

Prior to working on Canvey Island for over thirty years, at Prout’s and Halcon I was in the Merchant Navy serving my four years apprenticeship for deck officer on the SS Kingsbury, the ships home port was London, so passed Canvey many times on the way up to Victoria Dock, now the site of Excell. On my way up the Thames after my first voyage of three months to South America, January 1939 my parents went over to the Lobster Smack from Hadleigh to see the Kingsbury sail past. This is the best advantage area on Canvey to see shipping as the deep channel comes in fairly close. The attached photos are of ships passing the CANVEY area, which I have taken over the years. Click on photos for details.

SS Kingsbury loading grain at Rosario Argentina for Victoria dock London

Comments about this page

  • Photo taken 1937

    By Ian Hawks (12/01/2010)
  • Thanks, Ian. A nostalgic panorama of shipping that used to pass Canvey in past decades. A lot more interesting to the casual observer than the floating container platforms that form the majority of the traffic today.

    P.S. Re the Winston Churchill you’ll see in the memories section that Charlie Carey, the founder of the Canvey Lifeguards, did several voyages aboard as cook/quarter-master.

    By Graham Stevens (28/01/2010)
  • Seeing this photo took me back to when I was about 8/9 in the Juniors at Leigh Beck School. We had to do a project and as I lived not far from the seawall in Northfalls Road I chose to do mine on Ships that passed Canvey. I wrote to all the different shipping companies including the Blue Star Line and received back brochures, postcards and all sorts of other information which for a young school girl was so exciting to get your own post through the letterbox. Thank you for the memory of seeing the above ship. Can anyone else remember any school projects they did. I was at Leigh Beck School from 1955 to 1962.

    By Barbara Roycroft (20/08/2010)
  • HI just found out that my grandfather was on the Queensbury 1937-1938. John Arthur DAY 3rd engineer. Wondered if you knew him. He was 5ft 6″ and had grey hair – he was an older seaman. I never knew him and am trying to find out about his life. My dad said that he sailed to the River Plate. From what you srite that seems possible. Hope to hear from you. Best Wishes Lisa

    By Lisa Andrews (07/11/2011)
  • Interesting to hear that your Grandfather was on the SS Queensbury, Capper Alexander Shipping Company a little before my time, I joined the MN January 1939 Most of the company ships were on the South American run taking coal down for the Argentine and Brazilian railways returning with grain and tin meat. On one trip the Kingsbury was in Buenos Aries at the same time as the Queensbury, I remember going aboard to find that I had been at school with one of her apprentices.

    By Ian hawks (12/11/2011)

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