Fire in the Village 1970

and at the Lobster Smack Jetty

The night of the fire my wife and I were asleep in bed about 12.30am when our dog jumped on our bed barking like mad and woke us up. All we could see was flames lighting up our window from outside, we lived in a bungalow behind canvey cycles at the time, we jumped out of bed ran outside to see the hardware store across the road well and truly alight.

We phoned the fire brigade and they said there was no one available because the sea was alight and every engine in the area was busy. We insisted  one should come because there was fuel about explode. A small tender turned up and then got help we had a great time watching the firemen blasting all the paint tins of the shelves, so that was a night to remember.


Comments about this page

  • The hole haven creek area sea. Was on fire after cruiser liner,passenger ship.went through number 4 jetty shell haven. As my late father bert foulger and crew attended this incident. With port of London launch. Taking land fire crews out to boats to as sun tugs were fighting the fire on barges at Anchorage opposite lobster smack public house. As crude oil was spilling from pipeline along number 4 jetty. That was cut in have!!!!!! In to the thames. Very close call.was in all daily papers. The passenger liner then run aground on mud flats opposite lobster smack. Still with all the cabin lights was a large cruise ship from tilbury. With the Thames on fire. I was scared for my dad and the fire crews. And the smell of crude oil for weeks along sea wall. As I lived at Laburnum road canvey village.

    By Gary Foulger (21/03/2022)
  • Can’t quite understand why this page has the title ‘ Fire in the Village’ when Canvey Cycles ( owned by Mr Simpson )was on the the corner of Eldertree Rd and the High St before the one- way system.
    Re the Thames Alight incident I think that Rod Bishop has given a first or second witness account of this. Not sure if it is on the Archive site but I know that he gave the name of the vessel involved. Comment please Rod!! Graham.

    By Graham (24/03/2022)
  • I believe it is on the site somewhere Graham. As to the title that was the title submitted by the author back in 2016.
    Found it click here.

    By Janet Penn (25/03/2022)
  • Thanks Jan
    I had a good look but wasn’t certain whether Rod had only told me about it. Maybe one of these days we will get our talk together about ‘Canvey’s Watery Edges’! I know Rod has done some preparatory work on this
    Thanks again, Graham.

    By Graham (25/03/2022)
  • The ship cruiser was Monte Ulia passenger liner hit number 4 jetty shell haven it cut jetty in half,!!!!!!! On 26th july 1970.much fuel oil went in river Thames opposite lobster smack public house. And caught fire,the Thames was on fire!!. My late father came home bert Foulger from PLA launch that he work on smelling of fuel oil and smoke. With canvey retain fire was a close call.and cleaning operation to clear oil etc from sea wall area ,which was on sea wall area for weeks.local council and shell workers. The incident was late at night.when my dad got the call at Laburnum road canvey village I ran down haven road .me mum vi was cross with me. To look over the sea wall to see this scary incident like from a flim!!!!! Watching the Sun tugs and other vessels fighting the fire with barges on fire and the river Thames also. The smell of fuel oil will stay with me. And the very tired fire crews and other people. The liner run aground opposite the lobster smack mud bank.were the black jetty is now. With all its lights on and all the passenger cabins like some monster coming out the sea. As fuel oil from shell broken pipes on jetty no 4 spilling into the Thames. I remember my dad telling my mum that it was a close call for canvey and all the people that took on the fire that night. As my dads PLA launch had burnt paint from the fire on the river Thames and all the brave people that took on the incident, were in shock!! Because did not no if they can stop the fire spreading and the Monte Ulia passenger liner had fire around her. I run home silly o’clock in morning to get a roasting of my mum!! Dad came home exhausted and very tired smelling of fuel oil and smoke. Bernard braine MP kick off over this incident for the safety of Canvey residents. Because the investigation took so long and whether the report will be made public. Because he talked to my late father about this incredible incident!!

    By Gary Foulger (22/05/2022)

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