The Claxton Family of Canvey and Benfleet

Claxton Furniture Store

Most people will remember the Claxton Furniture Store on the corner of Furtherwick Road and Oak Road and some will remember Allan Claxton’s removal business here is just a little of their history.

Advert probably from the 50s

The Claxton clan originate from the Claxtons of Flempton in Suffolk. The father William Alfred, known as Alfred, was born in Flempton in 1881, he married Mary Ann Wright in Lambeth in 1901. By the time their first born, Allan, was born in 1902 the family had moved to Treorchy, Glamorgan. They stayed in Wales until at least 1915 when the youngest son Harvey was born. As far as I can find out there were eight sons and one daughter. When they actually arrived in Benfleet/Canvey I am not sure but the eldest son, Allan when he returned from Canada on the ‘Andanis’ in 1922 stated his address as Leigh Beck, Canvey Island.

I have not been able to find Alfred in the Electoral Register in 1918 in Canvey or South Benfleet and his sons would have been too young. Dowd has stated in his Canvey Cyclopaedia that Alfred and his sons Allan, Ollie and Victor were un-licensed Cab Drivers on Canvey but does not give a date for this information. Both Alfred and his son Allan do appear in the South Benfleet Electoral registers in 1929. Alfred and Mary Ann were living at ‘Ches Nous’ in London Road and Allan and his wife, Winifred, were living at ‘Merville’ in Oakfield Road. Alfred died in 1934.

Advert from the Essex Country Magazine 1977

By 1937 Allan Claxton had started up his removal business, first on Canvey based 1 Knightswick Road then later at Furtherwick Road, which by 1957 had become the Claxton’s Furniture Store. By 1946 Allan had moved from South Benfleet and resided at 16 Sterling Avenue at Leigh on sea. His business expanded to South Benfleet when he opened his removal business in the High Street.

Allan loved using his cine camera and captured many scenes of Canvey in the 1930s and 40s that can be seen here. Allan Died in 1980.

Ollie who had also been an unlicensed Cabbie on Canvey moved to Stroud Green, London as he stated on his return trip to Southampton from New York on the Queen Mary in 1955 with his wife and son. He was then still working as a driver. Ollie died in 2003.

Victor, another of the brothers who was an unlicensed cabbie on Canvey, I have been unable to find anything else about him, but I think he was still local as he died in Southend District in1982.

There was another brother Derick who I have not traced since Wales.

Next was a sister Muriel who married William Evans she also stayed local and died in Southend District in 1983.

Allan’s younger brother Leonard was living at ‘The Flat’, Station Stores in South Benfleet when he married Rose Price at St Katherine’s Church in 1936, his occupation was stated as Omnibus Driver. Rose’s father was George Price of ‘Willow Haven’, Coker Road, Canvey. Leonard died in 1982.

Leslie also married at St Katherine’s to Violet Aldridge in 1939. Her father was William Aldridge who came to Canvey in the 20s as a builder. Violet and her family lived at ‘Cromwell’, Long Road, Canvey. Some of Leslie’s descendants are in Australia and some in the USA. Leslie died in 1989.

Another brother, Francis I have not traced since Wales.

The youngest Harvey married Maude Pheby in 1936. Harvey was also local and died in 1989 in the Southend District.

If anyone knows more about the Claxton family please comment below or email in as Leslie’s granddaughter in the USA is waiting for information.

The Claxton Furniture Store on Canvey as it is today


Comments about this page

  • My grandad was leonard Claxton… I don’t think he died in Norfolk in 1966? More like tarpots in roughly 1983? It is the same family because I know my family had a removal comPany in canvey and helped people during the floods. I believe my mum had some of the cine films on a cassette and supplied them to a researcher. He also re married my nan Edna Bloomfield

    By Laura hudson (14/10/2013)
  • It was 1982 Laura. The records for then were not available when I did the piece. The other Leonard was born the same year which caused the confusion. Thanks for correcting me.

    By Janet Penn (14/10/2013)
  • if you have any other information i would be greatful as i find it fascinating. Leonard went on to have eleven children most of which reside in benfleet!

    By laura hudson (14/10/2013)
  • I lived at 12 Hatley Gardens, Tarpots, Benfleet in the early 70s. I remember the Claxton Family and played with the younger ones. They had two houses because the family was so large 39/41 Hatley Gardens. I guess their Dads name was Leonard?

    By David Rogers (29/10/2014)
  • My grandad was leonard claxton he was my mum Pauline’s father , yes they had two houses 39 and 41 my nan Edna and Leonard had many children Pauline, Susan, Jill, Jackie, Maureen, Robbie, Michael, David, Jimmy, Lawrie, and Bonny they were a great family I have many fond memories round my nan and grandads. 

    By Bonita Byrne (16/08/2016)
  • I used to go out with a Pauline/ Bonny Claxton in the late 60/ 70, I remember the 2 houses, you could go in one and come out the other one

    By J JENKINS (29/11/2017)
  • My sister Jean worked at Claxtons for a while as a book keeper..back in the early 60’s …all of my eldest sisters furniture came from the store when she got married in 1963

    By Sandra Springall (05/01/2018)
  • I love reading the history of my Claxton Family. I appreciate all the comments and would like to thank Janet Penn for all the work she has done on this. I am very grateful. Cathy.

    By Cathy Bousquet (22/06/2019)
  • Didn’t one of the family live in Benfleet Road in 60s/70s

    By Bernard Litman (12/05/2020)
  • Hello just writing a reply to all this information I am JILL the daughter of Leonard Claxton he died 83 he was 71 he had married in May Claxton in the 60s not sure of date as I was only young but remember the wedding registry office Southend my mum and dad and happy together at 41 Hadley Gardens South Benfleet where they had 11 children Robbie Jimmy Pauline Susan David Michael Bonny Jill Laurie Jackie Maureen my dad died 82 my mum died 2007 I am JILL Claxton as Gleed now with husband and two children Dionne and Carly for grandchildren I do believe my dad Leonards sister known as Millie died in Benfleet I’ll peoples homeIf you need to know anything else I’ll let you know lots and lots of things have to write it down get it get the facts right and let you know

    By Jill gleed (03/02/2021)
  • So interesting. My Uncle, now sadly deceased was John Claxton, who I believe had a brother Mick. John was born in 1928 and married Maureen Miles (my mother Ursula’s sister in the 50’s. I think that John’s father, who I met once in around 1968, took his own life some time after. John and Maureen had four children (my cousins, Sally, Jane, Jeromy and Paul). Paul died in 2013 (aged 50) and was much-loved by those around him. The family lived in Rayleigh, Essex for nearly 3 decades and were very-much part of the furnishing business until its closure in the late 70’s.
    You could not meet kinder and more welcoming people as John and Maureen and I often think of them.

    By Mr Nicholas Mark Horne (11/02/2022)
  • I am Jill (Gillian) Claxton (didn’t know there were two of us!), Allan’s daughter now Jill Kearney. He and Winifred had three children. My two brothers John and Michael were in their teens when I was born in 1946 and we lived in Leigh. In addition to Millie, Alfred’s children included another sister, the youngest in the family, Pat. If I recall correctly she married a George Myles and they lived in Westcliff. I remember hearing there was another brother who was killed in truck accident when he was in the army. That was probably Derrick. I now live in Toronto keeping up the family tradition of crossing the Atlantic. My son, Liam, was delighted to find this page after his father died in 2016 and he became curious about his roots.

    By Gillian Kearney (18/06/2022)
  • I believe the brother who died in the army accident was Francis not Derrick.

    By Gillian Kearney (19/06/2022)
  • Jill, so you are my dear Uncle John’s younger sister! Am I correct in thinking that your father could possibly have been the same man I met in the sixties, when I was 4 or 5? At the time, he was heading for Austria or Switzerland with John and Maureen on a skiing trip.
    John met Maureen at the Smack in Leigh on Sea, probably in the mid-fifties.
    How lovely to hear of the connection.

    By Mr Nicholas Mark Horne (11/10/2022)
  • Yes. That was my father – an enthusiastic skiier, he also had a pilot’s license and took helicopter lessons in old age. I was so happy when my son found this site and the old movies I thought were lost.

    By Gillian Kearney (12/07/2023)

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