The Canvey and District Orchestra

Performing in Whittier Hall

Can anyone tell us when these pictures were taken and who the people are in the pictures?

Please comment below.

Comments about this page

  • Could one of the violinist be Arthur Rapkin. He was a violin player and was for many years Commodore of the Island Yacht Club Believed he lived in Upminster Ian Hawks

    By Ian Hawks (16/02/2010)
  • Front Row 2nd left is a young Peter Fugel, Art master at Furtherwick Park School. Far right, Mr McGray, local inventor and engineer (he built that rather eccentric red -brick factory down at Charfleets and then in the late 80s, with only the aid of his female assistant, Kit, dismantled it brick by brick and deposited them in his front-garden in Holbeck Rd.) He also could get quite a sweet tune out of a saw! Behind Peter I think that’s one of Mr McGray’s sons.

    By Graham Stevens (25/02/2010)
  • Further to Ian Hawks’ and my brother’s comments, as an aspiring drummer I would sometimes attend the Canvey and District Orchestra rehearsals and sit along side Mr MacKay or ‘Mac’ as he was known, who was the drummer / “percussionist” in the orchestra, he was one of my childhood heroes and gave me my first ever drumsticks which I recall taking to bed with me as they were so precious. After Mac passed away I acquired [and still have in my safe keeping] the snare drum – with original calf skins – that is clearly visible in the top picture!! The Orchestra was a ‘concert orchestra’ playing marches and light music from the 20’s and 30’s so no great symphonies or concerti. The leader and conductor of the orchestra – standing on the rostrum in the photos was Mr Florrie who lived in the Crescent Road area on Canvey, the brass player – trumpet I think- seated behind Peter Fugel [who my brother identifies] is indeed Mr McGray’s son, standing behind him with the double bass in the lower picture and playing trumpet in the top photo is Mr McGray’s adopted son, sadly I cannot give either of their names. Although I don’t recall Arthur Rapkin playing violin in the orchestra – I do remember him as another drummer and leader of the Arthur Rapkin Trio playing for IYC functions!!

    By Chris Stevens (26/02/2010)
  • Just ‘re-visited’ this page and noticed that neither my brother or I answered the question as to where the photos were taken. They are both in Whittier Hall [picture of John Greenleaf Whittier – who the hall is named after – clearly visible in the top picture on the wall behind the orchestra]. Whittier Hall was in the High Street opposite Gainsborough Avenue and run by our Great Uncle and Aunt Harold and Maggie Thomas who were Quakers. Quaker of ‘Friends’ meeting were held in the hall on Sundays with regular [strictly Teetotal] ‘Socials’ held on a Saturday once a month or thereabouts. On week nights the hall had table tennis and also a billiard/snooker table available. A library and tennis court where the other facilities and some residential accommodation which was occupied by missionaries on ‘furlough’ from abroad and I think, members of the FAU [Friends Ambulance Unit] who can to assist in the 1953 flood relief.

    By Chris Stevens (23/10/2010)
  • The actual question Chris was when were they taken

    By Janet Penn (23/10/2010)
  • Sorry I mis-read it. I was about 10/11 years old when I attended the orchestra rehearsals and the players look very much as I remember them then. My best estimate therefore is that these pics were taken around 1956 to 1958

    By Chris Stevens (23/10/2010)
  • Mr Mcgray in the photo is my step grandad. He married my Nan after my real Grandad James Prichard died.

    By ray prichard (20/12/2013)

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