Charles Hollingbery Canvey Builder


Charles Joseph Hollingbery was born in Bethnal Green on the 4th August 1909. In the 1911 census he is shown as the youngest son of George and Agnes. George was a Boot Manufacturer, a profession Charles was to follow in his early years.

He married Gwendoline Knight in 7th August 1929 at Rochford Registry Office, residing at that time in a Caravan on Canvey Island, his occupation stated as boot repairer. Their first child was born on Canvey Island in October 1930 and was Baptised by Rev Debree in St Katherine’s Church in December of that year. The address given for the family was Gladsville, Fairlop Avenue, Charles was still working as a boot maker.

Other members of the family had also moved to the island. Charles’ father, George died in 1953, George is stated as living at number 10 The Avenue, Charles and Gwen were living at no. 23.

I have not so far been able to pin down through records when Charles started in the building trade. But by 1958 he was definitely building. He had also moved again to ‘Maisonwick’ in Furtherwick Road. In the local Captivating Canvey, Hollingbery first advertised his building Company in 1958 and also in the same year a notice regarding land on the Island was in the London Gazzette.

Extract from H. M. Land Registry notices in the London Gazette of 25 November 1958, page 17
(4) Land on N. side of South Parade, Canvey Island,
Essex, by C. J. Hollingbery, ” Maisonwyck,”
Furtherwick Road, Canvey Island.

Hollingbery’s offices at Charfleets Estate, Canvey Road

In 1960 he was contracted to build roads on the Charfleets Industrial Estate. About the same time he started one of his major house building projects North of Canvey Road, locally known as the Saints Estate or Charfleet’s Housing Estate.

The Industrial Estate was built on part of the Charfleets Farm to the south of Canvey Road. Mr E.E.Lawrence was the Architect who in 1960 contracted Charles Hollingbery to build Charfleets Road and Close and all the associated works. Several years earlier there had been a larger contract to build the service road but it is not Hollingbery who had this job. (see gallery below)

Holingbery’s Advert from the 60s

The housing estate was part of Hill Hall Farm, the land owned by Arthur Meyhew Clark. It was arable land made up of Chapel Marsh, Seven Acres, Eight Acres, Reeds and Horse Marsh, as can be seen from the map from 1872. This same area made up the parcel of land bought from the A.M Clark Estate in 1961 by Charles Joseph Hollingbery of ‘Maisonwyck’, Furtherwick Road, Builder. The first of the homes were started around 1962. (see gallery below)

Cisca House was another of his buildings. In their program for the opening on the 27th September 1969 they mentioned Charles.

The main Contractor for the building was Messrs. C. J Hollingbery Limited, of ‘Maisonwyck’, Furtherwick Road, Canvey Island and the Committee wish to express their thanks to this Firm and to their Manager, Mr G Wilkinson for the manner in which the Contract has been undertaken.

There are many examples of Hollingbery’s homes and buildings across the island. It would appear that it was mainly in the late 50s and 1960s that he was most productive.

In 1962 when Ten Pin Bowling was starting to be all the rage in the UK, Charles was a regular at Basildon and it was here that he became the all time Ten Pin Bowling record holder and player of Britain’s first perfect game.

When he retired his family moved to Perranporth, Cornwall where his interest lay in hotel ownership. Charles died on August 9th, 1996.

More will be added later.

Comments about this page

  • He built houses in mid 50s Gwendalen Ave named after his wife

    By Rick Arnold (14/01/2015)
  • I was in the same class as Janice Hollingbery from Furtherwick Road at St. Joseph’s convent School from 1956-1963.

    By Janette Sheern (10/02/2015)
  • Thank you for posting this. Charles was my great grandad and Gwen was my great nan. if you can any information about Gwen. Then please email me. Lovely to know more about my great grandad. Ten~pin bowling I wouldn’t of guessed that in my wildest dreams ??

    By Becky (09/03/2015)
  • i kept my first horse at lelia turner (nee Hollingberry) and Bruce turners stables down the unmade road as you turn off canvey road to charfleets in 1968 my dad ken banham was a builder and worked many times with Charlie


    By paula (24/03/2015)
  • lelia painted a portrait of my dad Sidney alterman when he was mayor of old canvey island council, which I still have now

    By josephine joseph (22/08/2015)
  • Charles is my great uncle. I am from Australia. 

    My grandma is Eileen Hollingberry who was the daughter of George Hollingberry (brother of Charles Hollingberry) 

    I would love to know more about this. 

    By Elorah (26/02/2017)
  • Its lovely to see people’s memories of Grandad Charlie and also my Mum Leila. I’m still on the Island. 

    By Anita Finning (06/11/2017)
  • Anita, Aunt Gwen was my mums sister Ada. And your Mum will know me as Joey Nash

    By Joe Nash (26/01/2018)
  • My Grandfather was Henry Hollingbery (brother of Charles) I am trying to gather information on his first wife Lillian Gibson any help would be appreciated

    Kim Hollingbery Hook 3.5.2018

    By Kim Hollingbery Hook (03/05/2018)
  • Wow I have many stories of this man 🙂 I think he gave my grandad his first job. His also family I think my great grandmother Mick Boyce

    By Rachel Stevenson (05/03/2019)
  • My Grandfather was called Harry Hollingbery
    he was the brother of Charles the builder.
    I am the Daughter of Frances and Arthur Lane (Tina)
    My Grandfather (Mums Dad Harry) married my Nan who was my dads mother Dorothy Lane) in 1953 the year that i was born, it all sounds confusing took me awhile to get my head around it. They lived in Roosevelt Ave Canvey in a small bungalow with an unmade road after moving from Russell Road Walthamstow. I know there must be other people related it would be nice to find them.
    Great memories of staying at Canvey with my Grandparents.
    Granddad use to sit me on the crossbar of his bike and we would go to get the errands for Nan as he put it great fun.

    By Tina Potter (06/03/2020)
  • Lovely reading this information on the former owners of our property
    Thanks Jan

    By Ant Smith (26/05/2020)
  • I used to go to school with amelia hollingberry,have a netball picture of us,we were both in the same team

    By Janet harrington nee cracknell (02/06/2020)
  • Hi Janet Harrington,
    I wonder if you’d be able to email or message me a copy of your photo? Amelia’s my Mum. She has dementia now and is in a care home but remembers her school days and it would be lovely to show her this.

    By Anita Finning (04/08/2020)
  • Charles was my Nans brother, her name was Agnes, Charlie names roads after his sisters, st Agnes drive, not 100 percent sure about the others, Florence may have been another but I know it was three roads and im sure there were more he named after family members. Ill post when I find out.

    By Scott Hepworth (26/08/2022)
  • Scot Hepworth there’s also Gwendalen Avenue named after Charlie’s wife. My mother in law was Charlie’s sister, Eliza. There was also Martha, known as Mick. The Hollingbery family married into other large Canvey families. At one time I would think they were related to most of Canvey.

    By Maureen Buckmaster (13/11/2022)
  • Anita Finning My mum was Florence Windsor (flo)She was Aunt Gwen’s sister along with Ada, Millie, Lillian, Lena, Bob, Fred and Dick.

    By Ann MacLean (Windsor). (07/01/2024)

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