The Concrete Barge

A Canvey favourite

F Whitnall

Sent in by Frank Whitnall the date of this photo is unknown but he thinks it is probably c1970s. Frank says it was probably taken around then when he and Simon spent ages at the Point searching, successfully for Iron Age/ Roman pottery.

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  • i remember the concrete barge well. it was an early 70s playground for us kids then. the area was also good for bird watching.and cockaling. its a shame authorities saw it fit to distroy it on safety grounds. it was quite unique and should have been preserved,espiecialy as i understand it had interesting history.


    By Gary Casson (14/08/2018)
  • It was not unique…there are hundreds of them around the coast. Look at Bradwell and the Kent Coast.  It was taken down by the Island Yacht Club as it was on their land.  It was dangerous as the concrete around the steel mesh had crumbled away.  The IYC would need to insure it and this was not a viable situation.

    By Valerie Deane (15/08/2018)
  • I think the first time I saw this barge in the mid 60s it still had a small pilots cabin on top . There was a huge hole in the other side where you could get in probably put there by the Engineers emptying out the explosives. Mostly filled with water , crabs and interesting graffiti back then . A great echo chamber .

    I understand it has broke loose from tow and ended up there . From memory it used to flood every tide so it was on no one’s property . I took my young son there when I last visited Canvey around 10 years ago and to my disappointment it was gone . I blamed the HSE for that not knowing when it was removed .

    As Gary said it was one of the many places kids used to play in around the island . I was on Newlands so this was the nearest . The old gun battery at Thorney Bay was another but a bike ride away for me . The 2  B17 bombers not far from here was another place but very dangerous because of the mud and tide . I think I still have a couple of 50 cal rounds from the crash site somewhere.

    I think if something is part of the history of a place , it’s also many people’s memories and as that should be preserved . The gun battery is now gone too. Sad because that could have been a great attraction for tourists as others around the country less well preserved have become. There are some local authorities that are all to ready to erase the past without thinking what that could be in the future .

    Once it’s gone , it’s gone forever .

    By Malcolm Roberts (07/12/2018)

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