Staff at Prouts

Old Photos

I came across the section about Prouts whilst browsing the Canvey  site. I lived on Canvey, in Craven Avenue, from 1951 until 1966.  Dad worked for Prouts when he finally retired from a life at sea. I think he was employed around 1960. Have these couple of photos – one of the staff and another of Dad working on a catamaran. Thought they may be of interest so someone??  Hope so. 

Comments about this page

  • Cheri. Having worked at Prout’s for many years after being at sea, can you let me know your fathers name so that I can place him.The only ex seaman that I can remember was known as Jock, he is sixth back row from the right. Ian Hawks.

    By Ian Hawks (15/10/2012)
  • Hi Ian. Sorry, I meant to have put that on here!! I did originally, then lost all the info, so had to rewrite it, and forget it second time around!!! The joys of old age! LOL!! Dad was James Black, AKA Jimmy, or Jock (and probably a few other names that I won’t repeat!!) Are you in the photo? I remember a few of the faces, but not the names. I used to bring Dad’s sandwiches down to him during my school holidays and we’d go and sit on the sea wall and eat together. Precious one to one time!! Thanks for your interest. Cheri

    By Cheri Arlenghi (15/10/2012)
  • Cheri. Yes I remember your Dad very well,we use to chat about our days in the Merchant Navy a lot. I may have taken the photo of him rigging the mast in the photo. On many of our deliveries of Catamarans by sea he would be part of the crew. I am third from the right. Ian []

    By Ian Hawks (15/10/2012)
  • Hello Front row third from left is Trevor Bloxham, his dad worked there at te same time. Extreme right same row is Mr Vincent[varnish shop] Third from right in the third row from the from is I believe the formidable Mr Hawks. Other names I remember are Mike Brown [carved the goose heads on the tiller of the first Snow Goose] Paul Haylock, supervisor on cold moulding–cigarettes 3d each.The Mc Kenna brothers.Mick Gully- always a laugh. Derek Neilson-also a clown, and on folding boats with myself was Dave Poole-still on the islandand Ozzie Osborne. Not forgetting Jim the sweeper up. Regards Sparrow

    By sparrow (15/10/2012)
  • Hi Ian and Sparrow. Can’t honestly say that I recognise or remember either of you. But it was almost 50 years ago and I’ve been to sleep a few times since then!! LOL! The only faces I recall are the younger ones….might be something to do with me being a teenager then! I can remember the lad in the front row, extreme left as you look at the photo, also the 3rd from the left in the second row and the lad next to Dad in the back row, to the right of Dad. And for some reason the man in the front row, second from the right, seems very familiar. Don’t remember much about Prouts apart from Dad talking about the layers and layers of polyurethane varnish he used. And having to drink lots of milk so it didn’t affect his lungs?? Could have that bit wrong though. Sadly Dad died back in 1987, spending his last 3 months in hospital after having a leg amputated. I seldom visit the Island now, as I live in Clacton, but have gone to Leighbeck to look at Dad’s old work place. A few changes from the old days!! Thanks to both of you for taking the time and making the effort to reply to me. Nice to know that Dad lives on in the memories of others! Best wishes to you. Cheri (

    By Cheri Arlenghi (15/10/2012)
  • Sparrow. Are you in the photo ? Ian

    By Ian Hawks (16/10/2012)
  • Cheri, If you go to the Canvey Island Boat Builders page on the archive site you will see two more photos of your Dad. Second photo, Hurrying Angle being loaded on to a ship in the London Docks, Jock second from left. The last photo in the gallery, arriving in the docks, the crew L to R Dave Bowen,Jock and Ian.

    By Ian Hawks (16/10/2012)
  • Hi again Ian. Many thanks. I saw the other pics a few days ago but wasn’t totally sure if it was Dad. But now, with your information and enlarging the pics, I can see clearly that it is him!! Thank you so much!! Cheri x

    By Cheri Arlenghi (nee Black) (16/10/2012)
  • Hello Cheri, Thank you for putting up this page. We have been searching the web for information on the boatworks at Prout. We own “Other Goose” a 35 Snowgoose that was built in 1980 and are looking for someone, anyone, who worked on the boat. She is in Canada now and is in the middle of a well-derserved rebuild. We were told she was the prototype for the 37, and has a trampoline instead of an extended front deck. THe builder’s certificate is signed by Robert George Phillips. We would love to correspond with anyone who remembers working on the construction of the boat.

    By Susan & Rick Schultz (20/10/2012)
  • Hello Susan and Rick, How interesting to hear from you. Sadly Dad died back in 1987, so I can’t help you there, but I’m sure Ian and Sparrow will see this page and may well be able to assist you! My memory of Dad’s work place is not too good…I was only a teenager when he worked there, so I probably wasn’t too interested! But I really hope you can gain some information. If I can help in any way. please feel free to contact me. My e-mail address is You can always contact me through there if it is easier. Good luck in your search and I’d love to see a pic of Other Goose when she’s ship shape and Bristol fashion again!! Thank you. Best wishes Cheri x

    By Cheri Arlenghi (21/10/2012)
  • Susan & Rick. Having worked for Prout’s for many years and being involved with the development of the Snow Goose catamarans have made a few enquiries and have tried to get my grey cells working. So far from memory I believe “Other Goose”was kit built by Rob Philips, if I come up with any further details will get in touch. Ian

    By Ian Hawks (22/10/2012)
  • Cheri. Being an ex seaman your Dad mainly worked on the rigging of the catamarans, hence the photo of him raising the mast, he was a jack of all trades. If you have any details of his life at sea, ship details etc I would love to see them. You have my e mail on previous comments. Ian.

    By Ian Hawks (22/10/2012)
  • My sister, Estelle Burgess, worked happily for Prouts, in their office, for a couple of years when she gave up work in West London and came back to live with her mum on Canvey. She is not the girl in this photo but was there when they launched their first catamaran.

    By Yvonne Creasy, nee Burgess (25/01/2014)
  • hello is there anyone in this photo called Peter willmott

    many thanks

    By william willmott (03/05/2017)
  • hi I remember Pete Willmott very well, absolutely lovely guy, I guess a relation of Russel?

    By Nigel todd (24/12/2017)
  • Hi William & Nigel,

    Lovely to hear you mention Peter Willmott. He was my Dad, please leave your email and I’ll contact you. I’m hoping that someone has some photos of my Dad when he worked at Prouts.

    Many thanks,
    Dawn Willmott

    By Dawn Willmott (03/05/2021)
  • I’ve see the staff photo before and identified my Grandfather, Rufolf Frank Hollebrand as the gentleman in the centre of the picture in glasses wearing white overalls. He retired from Walthamstow down to Canvey Island in the early 60’s and took a job in the varnishing area at Prouts working, at that time on what was their largest ever catamaran. He lived with my Grandmother in Point Road opposite the shops where the buses turned – the Bus Terminus. As a child I loved coming down to Canvey and have great memories of the local area and walks along the sea wall and passing the boat launchway at Prouts. Sadly he died in 1963 when I was 11 without seeing the finished catamaran he was working on but it’s great to see his picture here. Thanks for posting

    By Colin Thacker (11/09/2022)

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