An old view of Leigh Beck High Street

A trip back in time

I recently bought this old Post Card as it is of an area close to my heart, Leigh Beck. The Photographer is standing in Canvey High Street between Baardwyk Avenue & St Annes Road (then called Norrbotten Avenue) looking east towards the Bus Terminus. The Photograph is from c1921.

Looking East along Canvey High Street

Canvey High Street was then called London Road as was quite common at the time – all roadsĀ  eventually led to London! I have also seen a document held by Graham Stevens that calls this stretch of road Station Approach – perhaps a relic of Frederick Hester’s Mono Rail which concluded in this area, or perhaps a reference to the Bus terminus at this end of Seaview Road next to where the Admiral Jellicoe now stands. Incidently, the Admiral Jellicoe replaced a building built by Clr Morris Hartfield called the Terminus Hotel. I understand the current Station Road next west from Seaview Road may have been a clinker path to the Mono Rail Station near Coxy’s Hotel.

The Bakery

Looking left we see a building with a sign saying ‘BAKERS’. This is Stevens the Bakers which was originally the Reliance Bakery. The main building stands today but behind the current shops that were built in front of the original buildings. The reason for this is that in this Photo the Road is still on the raised Sea Wall – it was lowered during 1927.

The Market complete with Bridge

To the right we see a Market which I understand was between Gainsborough Avenue and St Annes Road. A close up view below shows a boy standing by the bridge crossing the dyke between the road and shop. Another shows a group of people, perhaps the shop owners, workers and customers all posing for the photograph. The third picture is a close up of a strange lady standing next to the St Annes Church notice board and sign pointing south towards the Church. The forth picture shows two vehicles, the closest probably between Station Road & Gafzelle, the furthest probably at Seaview Road.

If you can add some details please leave a comment below or email in.

Comments about this page

  • Amazing pictures DAVE, I can even see my grandad used the same WW I army surplus bricks as on RELIANCE COTTAGE.

    By graham stevens (08/07/2008)
  • Re the photo you bought showing the Market between St. Anne’s Road and Gainsborough Road. I believe there was a Barber in the Market called Frank. I have a photo of him somewhere. He had a large white moustache.

    I think the Bakers was originally owned by the Palmers & the Stevens but I think there was a falling out and the two Palmer daughters (who looked like twins) opened up a bakers at the Haystack. Graham could probably tell you more about that.

    By Maureen Buckmaster via email (08/07/2008)
  • Hi Maureen

    Yes you are right, apparently although working in the same premises my Grandad and Mr Palmer hardly ever spoke to one another for many years. I don’t know why. Eventually the partnership was dissolved in 1938 when Palmer retired. However our family’s relationship with the daughter remained cordial. It was Liddy the younger one, who managed a branch shop for JAMES’ of Southend near the Rio cinema.

    By Graham Stevens (09/07/2008)
  • The large building next to the bakers is Ebor House. My. Grandparents, aunt and uncle lived there in the twenties. My grandmother and aunt ran a shop and cafe there. In ‘My Canvey’ on another part of this site there is a photo of the front of Ebor House with my gran and aunt standing by the door.

    By Maureen Buckmaster (27/02/2015)

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