Cricksea aka Greenglades

Pictures of this High Street Cafe

The original Post Card of ‘Cricksea’

I recently purchased the above high quality photo Post Card of “Cricksea Canvey-on-Sea” that was on Canvey High Street on the corner of Mitchels Avenue, opposite Beach Road. Today a Petrol Garage stands on this plot (See Photo at the base of this page). Looking at the larger Photo below of the main building a sign can be seen advertising “Luncheons, Teas, Dinners”.

A close up of Cricksea with Sign

On closer inspection of the Post Card the building on the right is called “Cricksea Annex” (See Photo below), does anyone know what this building was used for? Look at the veranda with chairs, is that a child to the right? Perhaps this was a holiday home? Can you see the small bush shaped like a bird?

A close up of the Cricksea Annex

I have blown up the centre of the Photo (see below) to reveal three ladies with a baby and small child (See close up at the base of this page), all sitting on a bench with another larger bird shaped plant. In the background you can see an old Caravan, a shed, a bell shaped tent, perhaps a farm building and a lovely bungalow. The strip of land behind this plot would have been the route of Hester’s Mono Rail in 1902. Right in the distance on Benfleet Downs you can see the Water Tower at the top of Essex Way.

Buildings and land behind Cricksea

I understand from Trish Nichols (aka Trivianut) that the building was also (earlier?) known as “Greenglades” where her parents Reg & Jean Newman lived in the 1940’s. I don’t know the origins of the names ‘Cricksea’ or ‘Greenglades’ or when the building was demolished, but it was replaced with a large Petrol Garage that in the 1970’s was known as far as I can remember ‘Steves Garage’. Today the Petrol Garage continues with a mini market.

If anyone can expand on the history of this building and its residents and life as a cafe, please add your comments below.

Comments about this page

  • We have a picture of him with his chairs.

    Click here.

    By Janet Penn (15/10/2008)
  • Hi Dave
    Another interesting find! There is a Flood photo in one of Geoff Barsby’s books showing the owner of Green Glades, Mr Liddiard, traversing the area between the two buildings using a pair of kitchen chairs as stilts to keep his feet dry. However the gap is narrower as quite a substantial extention had been added to the original Cricksea. Green Glades sticks in my memory because when I delivered a Greetings Telegram to a wedding reception there, sometime in 1954 the best man gave me a half-crown tip—more than my afternoon’s wages! My sister also remembers being a bridesmaid there at ‘Smiler’ Talbot’s wedding on Boxing Day 1959. So it appears that Green Glades must have kept going into the mid-60s. I think the petrol station/garage/car sales was a Jack King enterprise, his eldest son Denis was the proprietor also the name Steve’s has King associations i.e Steve’s Taxis.
    In your enhanced picture of the Cricksea Annexe if you look level with the left gable-end you can clearly see the top of Creek House above the Small Gains Creek wall.

    By Graham Stevens (15/10/2008)
  • The smaller building was where we used to go to Georgette Juveniles dancing lessons in the late fifties.

    By Lyn Taylor (15/10/2008)
  • The smaller building was used in the late 50s early 60s as a dancing school Georgette Juveniles. I noticed in the picture the Salvation Army Hall has not yet been built which was directly behind.

    By Lulu (16/10/2008)
  • My mother went to Canvey Island frequently as a child, probably between 1920 & 1930 (she was born in 1915, in London). One of her aunts apparently ran a teahouse (Matilda?) surname McDermott, and an uncle was in charge of the bus service at one time. By the time of the 1950’s floods, she had not been there for some time and it is possible that records may have been lost. She also spoke of an aunt who had a duck which had a wooden leg, due to the great skill of a local vet, and the fact that the duck was a very good layer. Anyway, I would be looking for McDermotts, (quite a few), who lived on the island during the 1920’s and also maybe the 1930’s.

    I now live in Australia, and have done since the early 1960’s, so do not have easy access to this information.

    Any memories of this time would be welcome, as my mother obviously felt that her times there were very special.

    Claire adds 09/11/08:-

    I have recently realised that my mother’s family, on her father’s side, may have still been the McDermot-Roe (not sure about the case). I could give you chapter and verse about the McDermot-Roes, but time is limited. Their history is listed on the internet. In any case, my great grandfather, or my grandfather, (I’m not quite sure which), dropped the “Roe”, and became McDermott, probably early in the 20th century. This does not mean that further generations on Canvey Island would have gone the same way, but certainly some ties may have been lost. I would still value any information.

    By Claire Stephens (18/10/2008)
  • In the floods and after, the St GEORGE’S Ambulance had a first aid station at this little bungalow beside Greenglades, I was just a cadet at the time, we used to treat the sea wall workers from broken bones, to cut fingers, and one case a huge boil on this chaps neck, poor man, and I think we used PONDS cold cream tut tut I remember that a baby was born there and the chaps from St George’s delivered it, it was in the Daily Mirror at the time and named another cadet a boy named, – ? ELLIOT, Lorie OLIVER RAN THE POST and St GEORGE’S Ambulance brigade was run by Mr and Mrs MOORE .

    By Cricksea (13/02/2010)
  • Hi Graham I have just seen the Photo and comments on Green Glades, I believe that Charlie Neil Jn first purchased the Garage, then sold it to the Kings, I remember a Model T car in the show room which had apparantly been in one of the Barns at Small Gains. Also see my comment about the Criksea Boys, My Earliest Memories. 

    By TONY MATTHEWS (20/03/2014)
  • In the mid 1970’s we bought a car from this garage. Although then it was a car showroom called Hicksons. Our car was inside the very elegant showroom. Not sure when it became a petrol garage.

    By Joan liddiard (03/08/2014)
  • I used to be friendly with a girl who lived at Greenglades in the early 50’s we used to dance in the ballroom. However I thought the ballroom was attached to the main building! I wonder who this little girl was?

    By Joan Liddiard (03/08/2014)
  • hi graham i have found a post card the same as yours on the back it was sent to my dad from his dad date was 30 jun 1921 it says he has now finished the bungalow its very hard to read but when i looked at the parish records i find a william soanes as a cafe on the high street do you have any info you can pass on to me 

    yours Mr S Soanes

    By stanley soanes (13/07/2017)
  • Stanley we have William Soanes in Kelly’s directories 1925/6 and 1929 as Refreshment rooms, Cricksea, High Street.

    By Janet Penn (13/07/2017)
  • Looking at the Poor Rate Books. SOANES started to occupy CREEKSEA at the start of 1920. At this point, the property was owned by H. PRICE-POWELL. SOANES became the owner by the end of 1921. I believe the Annexe came about by the end of 1923.

    William SOANES first appears in the Electoral Roll in Autumn 1921, possibly as a result of his property acquisition although his abode is described as “72 Temple Chambers E.C.4”

    By Martin Lepley (13/07/2017)
  • They were still there in the 1929 census Martin. Residing at Cricksea with his wife and I presume son Grace Nancy and Louie.

    By Janet Penn (13/07/2017)
  • I attended Ballroom Dancing classes in the first half of the 1960s at Greenglades. This was by then the building to the left in this photograph, but with a hall attached. There was an interconnecting door from the hall to the building. Mr and Mrs Groombridge ran the classes.

    By Elaine Harvey (12/11/2019)
  • I may well be that baby born at greenglades my mother has now passed away but she always told me I was born there November 1955 it must be me if there’s no other record of another baby being born there

    By Michael James bond (07/02/2020)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.