Whilst recently looking through some documents I had acquired regarding the history of Canvey Island, I came across this information regarding King George’s playing field. The article was not complete as it was going to itemize all the expenditure but gives some fascinating facts about a field I had played in many times as a youth.
Before the provision of the King George’s Playing Field there were within the Urban District three recreation grounds, namely Leigh Beck, Labworth and the Paddocks.
Of these, the last named was the most popular, being used for football and cricket.
It was found, however, that with the growth of the district these facilities were insufficient, and in December 1951, the council decided to acquire land in Furtherwick Road for the lay-out of an extensive recreation ground providing for as many facilities as possible.
Work was commenced in 1953 and was completed in 1956.
The Council’s plan envisaged the creation of football, cricket, tennis, hockey and netball pitches, together with a running track, jumping pit, a bowling green, and a pavilion which would house a canteen and dressing rooms, in addition to accommodation for badminton and table tennis matches.
Thus all sportsmen and sportswomen will be accommodated whatever their sporting interest.
To date all the facilities envisaged have been provided, with the exception of the bowling green, which it is hoped to provide at a later date.
The intial step was the lay-out of the tennis courts and a contract for this work was secured by Messrs. E. Dow & Sons (Contractors) Ltd., of Chelmsford.
This firm was also responsible for the preparation of the sports pitches, although some of the work carried out by the Council’s own staff.
The major item of building construction, namely the Pavilion, was undertaken by messrs. R.S.Collins, who are a local firm of building contractors.
The council have been responsible for the purchase of the equipment in the Pavilion and the other sports equipment.
The total cost of the project has been fairly considerable and the Council gratefully acknowledge the assistance from the King George’s Field Foundation, who made a grant of £2000; the Essex County Council, who made a grant of £229 towards the purchase of the land; and the Ministry of Education, who donated a sum of £180 towards the equipment.
The total expenditure has been £19,414.