The Opening of the Colvin Bridge

and Luncheon was served

Everyone came to the opening

The Southend Standard first published drawings of the new bridge for Canvey in 1929. The estimated costs at the time were in the region of £15,000. The building work started in 1930 when Brigadier Colvin drove the first pile for the new bridge. A year later a notice from the Port of London Authority dated 20th May, was placed nearby stating:

  • New Bridge over Benfleet Creek
    NOTICE  IS HEREBY GIVEN

    that the new bridge over Benfleet Creek adjacent to the Hard leading from Benfleet to Canvey Island WILL BE OPENED for road traffic on Thursday, 21st May. 1931.          
  • The structure will contain a drawbridge in the centre which will be opened to a width of 60 feet for the passage of vessels. When the drawbridge is closed there will be two navigable openings each 30 feet wide with a headway of 2 feet above High Water of Ordinary Spring Tides for boats and small craft.
    Masters of vessels requiring the bridge to be opened during the day shall exhibit a black ball or shape in a position on the vessel where it can best be seen and during the night shall wave a white light horizontally.
    On and after 21st May, 1931 the following navigation lights will appear on the bridge:
    WHEN CLOSED.
    Two red lights horizontal in centre of bridge and one white light over the centre of each of the two navigable openings.
    WHEN OPEN.
    Two red lights  one on each side of the navigation opening.

    By Order
    J. D. RITCHIE
    Secretary

There were great celebrations when the bridge was finally opened on the 21st May 1931. It was opened by Alderman J.H. Burrows, and named the Colvin Bridge. The Bridge was named after Brigadier-General R B Colvin who had performed the pile driving ceremony a year earlier. The day was a public holiday and children and their families crowded the area to follow the cars and members of the Canvey Chamber of Commerce across the newly opened bridge. Luncheon of Roast Chicken, York Ham, Ox Tail and Veal and Ham pie was served by the Canvey Island Urban Council to the visiting dignitary.

Drawing of the bridge that appeared in the Southend Standard

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