For my first 23 years I lived as an islander. My island, Canvey, is not very big. Although it only ranks at number 52 in size in the British Isles it is number 10 by population. I still live quite close, though I rarely go back there. Today I decided to take a nostalgia trip. Lesson: If you plan to take photos of places you know and want to remember, it pays to do it as early as possible. You never know when things might be irreversably changed. ———————————————————————— On Canvey Island, 1953 Many lives were lost With the records of a football team I can't believe it's happening And that it's happening now I can't believe it's happening It's coming true somehow British Sea Power - Canvey Island [youtube.com]
The Dutch Cottage. The oldest building on the island.
The Lobster Smack. This is reputedly written about in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. It is not mentioned by name, but there is an inn matching it's description in the story.
A working jetty near The Lobster Smack.
The lowest football ground in Britain. Like much of the island it is below sea level.
When I was very little this was a bus garage. For a long time it has been a museum. It's hardly ever open though and I don't know anyone that's visited it.
My first school; Leigh Beck Infants. Just the same as it looked all those years ago.
And right next door Leigh Beck Juniors.
My senior school: Furtherwick Park.
Furtherwick is scheduled to close in 2011. It must be strange for the kids who go there now, because there is no annual intake. When the youngest year group now leaves school that will be it.
Behind the railings is where "
The Casino [canveyisland.org.uk]" used to be. An magnificent art-deco amusment park.
The Monaco pub. It's seen better days and the ghastly paint scheme doesn't help.
This was always known as the Labworth Cafe. I think they've tried to make it a bit more up market now.
Despite only living a quarter of a mile away, I never went in.
I was tempted to go in for some lunch today, but decided that for old times' sake I'd just walk past.
This ramshackle collection of amusements is where the model village and the crazy golf used to be.
Canvey Point. This is as far as you can go. It used to be the home of
The Concrete Barge [concretebarge.co.uk]. I was very sad to learn that this has been broken up and removed. I have many happy memories of playing over there.
My Mum's old wool shop is now a curry house. I might go in there one day to order a take away just so I can sit in there again like I did when I was a 5 year old and I used to play my records out the back on an old wind-up gramophone.
The War Memorial Hall. There were no yukkas there when I was a kid, and no nice new roof either.
And finally, one from the album. Me at a fancy dress competition in the War Memorial Hall in 1966. I'm number 4 in the middle. Who'd have thought you'd ever see Myra Hindley and Princess Diana in the same room together? ;¬)