Thursday, 30 July 2015

Riverside on the north bank and east of the 'Tower. Grays.

Riverside east of the Tower and the north bank. Grays
TQ 61272 77961

Town Centre of this old, downmarket, riverside town

Post to the west Grays

Argent Street
The Theobald Arms. Two-bar, family-run local in the rejuvenated riverside area of Grays, opposite the Town Wharf. Former stables at the rear. It was previously called the Hoy and was recorded from the 18th. It is named after a James Theobald who is a past owner of Belmont Castle.
Shefield House. In 1870 this 3-storey house built in the late 17th, became the infirmary and staff quarters for the Training Ship Goliath, in the grounds were a playing field and swimming bath. They were later used by the boys from the Exmouth. It stood near the Town Wharf, and the site of Theobalds Arms, east of the High Street and from the 17th was the principal house in the town.
The Castle. This was present in 1854. This pub is no longer in existence
The Tops Club. CIU social club, in long low brick building which either it or its predecessor is shown on maps as far back as the 19th.  Now designated as a site for new housing.

Bridge Road
57 Spring of Life Chapel, Gratitude Plaza. Part of the, originally Nigerian, Redeemed Church of God.  This is probably the Pentecostal church of the Assemblies of God built originally in 1937 and called Clarence Hall.
New Recreation Ground - Football ground. This was on the west side of the road. Grays Athletic played here from 1906 to 2010. It had previously been used by Grays United. In 1981 the Club Patron, Mr. Ron Billings, bought the ground to ensure the future of the club but after his death the club was unable to negotiate terms with his family, and the ground was redeveloped for housing
Bricklayers Arms. This probably dates from the late 19th, but it does win competitions for its floral displays.
Congregational chapel. This was opened in 1886, at the corner with New Road. In 1941 it was gutted by incendiary bombs and the congregation moved elsewhere. 
Congregational chapel opened in 1858 and sold as an extension to the brewery in 1885.
Co-op Milk Depot. This was used as a Home Guard base in the Second World War.
Thurrock Brewery.  The Thurrock brewery of Seabrooke & Sons was founded in.1800 by Thomas Seabrooke, in High Street. The family had previously had a brickmaking business. The brewery was moved to an old soap boilers premises in Bridge Road in 1819. It remained in the hands of the Seabrook family throughout and they had other business interests, early on they ran a shipping line to Newcastle. By 1929 the brewery employing 180. had its own railway sidings, an artesian well, a wharf on the Thames and owned 120 public houses., they were taken over by Charrington & Co., which closed the brewery which was demolished in 1969. The main premises, later used by the Grays Co-operative Society, were demolished in 1969
Co-op Laundry. The old brewery buildings were used by the Co-op as a laundry until demolition in 1969.
New housing on the site of light rail and tramways going to the riverside and tidal pools.

Bruce’s Wharf Road
Alexander Bruce were timber importers with a wharf on the river near here. The site was acquired by the forest products group Montague L Meyer in 1951. It had previously been a pole and sleeper depot with creosoting facilities. It had an open concreted area with undercover storage. There was a modern transport fleet
Coal Court
Modern housing on site where coal was handled when it was a real wharf
Columbia Wharf Road
Modern housing on a road near to the shipbreaking site
Wards Wharf. Wards are a Sheffield based machinery manufacturer who also acted as scrap suppliers to Sheffield metal workers, having ship breaking sites in a number of port areas.  The site here had access to the rail system and their own locomotives. Boats were driven up to the wharf from the River and were cut up, along with other vehicles and vessels. The scrap metal was then transported by rail to various steel makers

Conway Gardens
Modern housing on the site of Drum’s Oil Drum Works. They had been there since 1926 but from 1900 the site had been the The Rock Manufacturing Co., makers of patent plaster and cement.  During the Great War a factory there had made plywood for the Government and subsequently it was used by N. Kilvert & Sons, lard refiners

Crest Avenue
Modern housing on the site of a sports field – this seems to have been the Co-operative Society’s Sports Ground.

Crown Road
Bus station

Derby Road
The long bridge over the railway was built in the early 1970s as part of a scheme of town centre regeneration conceived in the 1960s.

Exmouth Road
The road was named after Training Ship Exmouth which was moored off Grays 1876-1979 to teach seamanship to boys.
Long Ferry. In the 17th Grays was served on every tide by the 'Long Ferry' boats to and from Lion Quay which was downstream of London Bridge. But at Grays passengers had to be rowed out to the boat which was out in the tideway.
Short Ferry. This was owned by the Lord of the manor and had run since at least the 12th. It is thought that originally it went from a piece of drier land jutting out into St.Clement’s Reach but eventually it went from Town Wharf. It was leased out from about 1600 and lessor had to have three tideboats and one wherry and for it always to be available when wanted. It was still running in the mid-19th.

George Street
This town centre road dates from the 1890s and the period shortly before that
Post Office built here in 1930
State Cinema. Opened in 1938 the building remains in much of its original state built by Fredericks Electric Theatres Ltd. to the design of F. G. M. Chancellor of Frank Matcham & Co. It is equipped with a Compton 3Manual/6Ranks organ with Melotone attached and a ‘Rainbow’ illuminated surround. It has a fully equipped stage and 3 dressing rooms and there was also a restaurant. It closed in 1991. In 1993 the foyer was used as a nightclub and there were occasionally concerts. In 2001 it was bought by Morrisons to allow them to build on the car park and once they had done this they did minimal repairs and it was sold to a property company. Much of the organ has been stolen during break ins.

Goldsmiths Wharf
E. J. & W. Goldsmith were barge builders and hauliers. As one of the foremost barge companies on the river they built and repaired barges, as well as running their own fleet until the late 1970s. They had 147 vessels at their peak built to have interchangeable sails and said to be the largest fleet ever assembled. In addition to haulage they also had racing barges

Grays Co-operative Society Wharf
The Co-op used this for coal imports.  The co-op also imported wheat for use in their bakery which was near the riverside.
High Street
The High Street originally ran down to the river.  It was realigned in 1973 and the bottom end called Kings Walk.
Bull.  This was also known as the Bull’s Head. It dated from at least 1679 although it had been refronted it the mid19t when a window from the market house was installed. It was demolished in 1970.
The Anchor and Hope. Thus was previously called the George and dated from art least 1727. It was closed in 1960 and demolished in 1970
78 The Rising Sun. Also known as The Sun, and later The Mess. Dates from at least the late 18th. It is now a doctor’s surgery and clinic.
The Queen's Hotel. At the corner of Orsett Road and once the largest public house in Grays. This was originally called The Green Man (or Man and Bell). It was gutted by fire in 1890, and rebuilt. It closed in 1979 and became a Macdonalds.
Dutch House. This was a 17th gabled house demolished in 1950. It was the first building used by the Grays Cooperative Society.
Level crossing. This cuts the High Street in half. It is by the station and the gates need to be opened and closed nearly 100 times daily.  Various solutions have been sought and not implemented.
The King's Arms faced the Market Square with big windows. It dated from at least the late 18th
St.Peter and St.Paul's church.  This 12th church was ‘restored’ in 1846 and it is said that older features were removed.  There are many memorials including two 16th brasses including women and six children and a memorial tablet from 1870 to the memory of the schoolmaster and boys who died in a fire on training ship Goliath. The north porch was built as a war memorial in 1958, including the 12th doorway, removed in 1867, but had been preserved in a local garden. Recent work to the church has included a kitchen and toilet.
The Pullman. This was previously the Railway Hotel, dating from 1863
The Empire Theatre. This opened in 22nd 1910 with films and variety it had 800 seats. It was owned by Frederick’s Electric Theatres Ltd. It closed in 1941 for re-furbishment, re-opening as a live theatre. In 1942 and was requisitioned by the Ministry of Food and after the war, it became a greengrocers store, then later a Tesco. It was demolished in the 1960’s, and the site is now a Boots Chemists
The market place. This was at the south end of the road.
Livestock market. This was opposite the church but by 1843 the site was a timber yard.
Kings Walk
This was originally part of the High Street
The White Hart. The pub is said to date from 1791. The current building was constructed in the 1930s.

London Road
St. John’s Ambulance. Grays building

Maidstone Road,
62 Thurrock Targeted Therapeutic Service.
Gurdawara Grays. Sikh Temple. This is in an old works building
Local authority power station. Grays Thurrock Urban District Council opened an electricity works here in 1901. In 1948 this passed to the Eastern Electricity board. The site is now in other hands as Thurrock Enterprise Centre. There was also a mortuary on site

New Road
Thurrock Municipal Buildings and Civic Centre
Echoes. East of High Street, at the far end of New Road, was the Echoes, built c. 1869, which was for long the home of Charles Seabrooke the brewer. It was demolished in 1966
Pier Wharf
The wharf  was developed in 1841 with a pier 400 feet long, to ensure that passengers could now catch ferries at whatever the state of the tide and not have to transfer into smaller transfer boats for access Associated on either side of the wharf, were many companies operating along the foreshore of Grays, some had their own river facility for brining in raw materials or transporting the finished products.
Cole and Lequire. Firm of cornfactors and seedsmen, begun by a Henry Cole who in 1890 took over the corn merchants' business of Leonard W. Landfield and with their own fleet of purpose built sailing barges worked from Pier wharf until 1922 or later

Seabrook Rise
This was once part of New Road
The Regal Cinema. This opened in 1930 as Thurrock’s first ‘super-cinema’, with luxury furnishings, and a ‘Symphonique’ organ. The auditorium was in a semi-Atmospheric style by Fredericks Electric Theatres designed by F.G.M. Chancellor of Frank Matcham and Co. It had variety shows and there were six dressing rooms. It closed in 1960 and became a ten-pin bowling alley. It later became derelict and was demolished in the mid-1960’s. There is now housing on the site

Seally Road
Area of trading estates and supermarkets. This is built on the line of an industrial railway going to riverside works. Part of the surrounding site was a brick works.
Station Approach
Grays Station. Original intermediate station of London Tilbury and Southend line of 1854.  Roman remains may have been found when the stationmaster's house was built.

Thames Road
The Beach. This was first put forward as a possible feature for the town in 1902 as part of the Grays Coronation Committee suggestions for the coronation of Edward VII and that money should be raised for a public baths. Land was acquired on the riverside following this suggestion but there was some local dissent. The committee recommended a scheme which included fencing, an open air swimming pool and lake plus a children’s cricket ground, bowling green and for other games as well as trees, shrubs, seats, a shelter, a store and WCs. In addition there would be a memorial fountain.  Work began on digging the lake and putting up fences. It opened in 1905 with a big ceremony. By 1912 the pond was open daily for swimming. The beach was covered in sand brought in from Great Yarmouth. The fountain was vandalised and removed by the Council for safety. In 1999 the pond was filled in with sand and new playground equipment was added.
Kilvert's Field. This was at the south end of Sherfield Road and was also known as Fishers Field,
Co-op’s coal yard, this was behind their bakery. It received coal once a month from a collier ship.
Exmouth Swimming Pool. This had been the pool for Training Ship Shaftsbury and open to the public at certain times and days. This swimming pool was originally to provide formal swimming training for boys on the training ships. It was accessed via a slipway from the swimming pool. It was repaired in 1907 when it was transferred to Exmouth, as was the swimming pool - although it was thought it could be turning it into a rifle range but it remained as a pool
Kilvert's Wharf. Thurrock Yacht Club. The club was begun in 1946 and has been active ever since. The current clubhouse dates from 1973. Previously the clubhouse had been an 18th lightship called "The Gull". This was uneconomic to repair and its light mast was saved and is now at the top of the slipway.

Town Wharf.
This dates back the middle ages and was closely linked to the Lord of the Manor who also leased the rights to the ferry and to wharfage dues. The earliest reference to Grays Wharf is a complaint by the Prior of the Hospital of Jerusalem against unreasonable access and tolls by Richard de Gray, Lord of the Manor in 1228. Gray first purchased the manor of 'Thurrock' in 1195, from Isaac, a Jew. Their surname was later adapted in to the name of the parish, Grays Thurrock. A public right of way exists to one side of Grays Wharf allowing pedestrian access to the river front/

Training ships
Goliath. From 1870-75, the Forest Gate School District had a ship called the Goliath moored here, It provided boys from all London's Poor Law authorities with training to help them enter the Royal or Merchant Navy. The ship was destroyed by fire in 1875 with the loss of twenty-three lives
Exmouth. In 1877 The Exmouth took over from Goliath managed by the Metropolitan Asylums Board. Exmouth was an old wooden two-decker line-of-battleship, built in 1854. In 1903, the ship's hull was condemned. A replacement built of iron and steel, was commissioned from the Vickers in Barrow-in-Furness. It was inaugurated at Grays in 1905 where there were also on shore facilities
Training Ship Shaftesbury was established in 1878 by the London School Board, as a good way of dealing with problem boys. They bought the former P&O Nubia to be renamed Shaftesbury. She was moored near Exmouth. Boys were taught seamanship in addition to ordinary lessons. There was a major incident when she broke away from her moorings in a storm and then moved to Greenhithe. 1904, when the London School Board was closed and the ship needed extensive repairs, she was closed along with the school in 1905.

Vicarage Square
Site of the Exmouth Infirmary, which fronted onto West Street

West Street
The original market was at the south end, at right angles to the street. The west part of this had the market house or town hall. The market house was rebuilt in 1774 and it was a two storey building, on columns, with open ground floor and court house above. It later became a Congregational church but was demolished in 1824
T.S. Exmouth Infirmary. In 1907 the Metropolitan Asylums Board bought the Shaftesbury's Infirmary from the London County Council. The existing Infirmary moved here with 34 beds. In 1930 the London County Council took over control of the Training Ship. In the Second World War the cadets and crew were evacuated to Burnham on Crouch and the Exmouth was requisitioned by the Admiralty for use as a depot ship. The area has been completely redeveloped and nothing remains of the Infirmary

Baldwin. The River and the Downs
Banbury. Shipbuilders of the Thames and Medway
British History online. Grays. Web site
Children’s Homes. Web site.
Cinema Treasures, Web site
Down-London Tilbury Southend,
Grays Athletic. Web site
Peaty. Brewery Railways
Pevsner and Cherry. Essex
Port of London Magazine
Seabrook Family. Web site
Thurrock Council. Web site
Thurrock History. Web site
Thurrock Yacht Club. Web site
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames
Walford. Village London
Workhouses. Web site

Monday, 20 July 2015

Riverside east of the Tower and north bank of the River. Grays

Riverside north of the river and east of the Tower
TQ 60743 77616

Acres of indentikit modern housing on old industrial sites with no sign of anything except houses. One old pub, some defunct chapels

Post ito the west South Stifford
Post to the east Grays

Argent Street
Built across the site of a former cement works
Cement works – making Shoobridge Anchor Brand. 1871-1922 . This originally belonged to Brooks, Shoobridge and Co, then from 1900 Hilton Anderson Brooks and Co. Ltd and from 1900Associaed Portland Cement Manufacturers (Blue Circle) but it was known as Brooks or Anchor Works. At first there were three wet process bottle kilns but the works expanded considerably.  Despite being next to the main railway to Tilbury, it had no rail link, and used barges for haulage. The site was derelict until after the Second World War when it was redeveloped for industry. It is now under housing
Gumley Road
Recreation ground

London Road
312 new housing on the site of what appeared to be a small chapel, latterly in use as a dancing school.
Gas works.  This was set up by the Grays Thurrock Gas and Coke Co. Ltd. In 1853 it became statutory in 1884 with an original site on the south side of the road adjacent to the railway. It was taken over by the Gas Light and Coke Co. in 1930. They were connected to the railway system via the Cement Company's system and are also said to have had a wharf on the Thames. Until 1913 had been a small company operating only in Grays and Tilbury but they then took over four small works in south-east Essex which they closed down. Their districts were connected to Grays by a then new system of steel mains taking gas to many isolated properties. The works output trebled in ten years and so the retort house was rebuilt and stoking machinery introduced as well as a Carburetted Water Gas plant. The works was extended to the north side of the road and holders built there, probably in the late 1920s.  They were closed by the Gas Light and Coke xi in 1931 but the site remained as a gasholder station. The original site on the south side of the road appears to have been in other use for many years, the site on the north is about to be redeveloped.

Wharf Road
Chalk Row. Cottages which once stood on the east side of Wharf Road south of the railway
The Wharf Hotel. This is shown as ‘The Wharf Hotel’ on maps from the 1890s and possibly earlier. It is said to have once been called the ‘Sailors Return’.
Rail and tram lines once ran from sidings on the main London-Southend Railway south westwards. One line ran to the north to serve the cement works beyond and others ran down to stop short at sites west of the hotel.
Ulmate of Ammonia Works.  This was on the site of the later cement works in the 1860s. This was probably a works making some sort of fertiliser from manure.
Malthouse. Marked on maps from the 19th century to the east of the hotel

Wouldham Road
New road which covers some of the area of the Wouldham Cement Works, to the west.

British History online. Web site
Baldwin. The River and the Downs
Cement Kilns. Web site
Stewart. Gas Works of the North Thames area.
Thurrock Council. Web site.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Riverside east of the Tower and on the north bank. South Stifford

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the river
South Stifford
TQ 59532 77402

Post to the south West Thurrock
Post to the east Grays

The main road into Grays passing through the barely perceptable village of South Stifford. Factories and marshland surround the strange and isolated church of St. Clement's.  Why is it there?? Is it true about the pilgrims??  What’s all this about Hastings?

Foxton Road
TCS Yacht Chandlery in portacabins
South Stifford Baptist church. This began in 1900 as a mission in Grays Thurrock. The building here was first hired, and purchased in 1908. In 1915 the building was replaced by a school-church and a hall was built in 1932 on the other side of the road. The church had closed by 1976 and is now in other use. The hall fronting on London Road appears to be totally derelict.
Martin Cross Church Organ Builders are now in the church building. They appear to have a national reputation and to have restored and built many organs

Gumley Road
Road running parallel to the railway with trading estates and light industry. Before the road appears on maps in the 1970s there were a number of industrial sites here behind buildings in London Road
Hedley Avenue
Proctor and Gamble detergent factory. This detergents plant was built by the Newcastle based soap manufacturer Thomas Hedley & Co, which had been part of Proctor and Gamble since 1930.  The Thurrock plant was opened in 1940 and in 1962 Hedley's became part of the Proctor & Gamble group. The factory produces a wide range of soaps and detergents. They make products like Fairy washing-up liquid and Ariel, Bold, Fairy and Daz laundry detergent powders. They also have a distribution centre on site. The original Hedley plant was the easternmost part

Lion Cement Works
Lion Works opened in 1874 on the site of an old steam mill. Chalk was quarried locally from sites to the north. Clay was obtained from river mud. , Originally there were two wet process bottle kilns with three more added in 1880. From 1880 to was owned by D. Robertson and Sons and in 1888 six chamber kilns were built and more added in 1892, and 1896. From 1898 the owners were S. Pearson & Son Ltd
Wouldham Works. Pearson’s aimed to upgrade the plant to state-of-art and formed the Wouldham Company as a partnership with J. B. White & Bros. named as a result of Robertson’s transfer of business from Wouldham, Kent. The company installed six rotary kilns in 1912 it was taken over by British Portland Cement Manufacturers and installed what was Britain’s largest kiln. The plant ran through both World Wars. A rail link was established after the Second World War but much of the cement continued to be despatched by barge until closure. After 1970, it was the last Blue Circle plant on the north side of the Thames. The kilns stopped in 1976, the end of the Essex industry. It became a distribution centre for cement from Northfleet. A section of silos and packing plant was kept and appear to be still there.
London Road
The eastern part of the road – roughly as far as the railway bridge, constitute the old village of South Stifford.
Railway line on west site of Old Shant once went from quarries to cement works
432 Old Shant. This seems to have once been known as The Club House –although it appears to be a 19th building this is not shown on OS maps until the mid-20th and even then not marked as a pub.
470 Ship pub. This dates from at least the 1820s.
Vicarage on a large site to the east of the present church pre-920
St Clements Health Centre
567 St Clements Church. This is clearly a new church and appears to be part of the same complex of buildings as the Health Centre. It is part of the Grays Thurrock Team Ministry. It appears to be on the site of a previous church hall and vicarage in the 1960s
Parsonage Farm to east of that up to the railway. The farm was sold for industrial development in 1917. The farm house of brick and tile, stood until the 1960s
Railway bridge. This carries the line from Upminster over the London Road to West Thurrock Junction. .
471 Ultimate House site. Also called Drapers Yard – Drapers were a haulage company who moved there in 1974 and the site later became the William Ball, kitchen, distribution centre.
Home Farm – this was in the area of the Europa Trading Estate
Horns Farm.  This was on the north side of the road in the area of Palmerston Road. It is said that a small piece of land on the corner of Mill Lane remained into the 1970s with pigs and cows. This would have been between Mill Lane and a now defunct railway line. This piece now appears to be open land but the corner of London Road and Mill Lane has a fine piece of walling with coping stone and the remains of entrances – however some maps show this as the site of Brickwall Farm.
Railway crossings – the road was crossed by a number of industrial rail lines and tramways going to and from pits to the north and cement works to the south.

Manor Road
West Thurrock Primitive Methodist church may have begun in 1845, a small chapel was built here in 1876 and it was closed and sold c. 1903. The building was demolished in the 1960s to make a lorry park.   At the time the chapel was built there were houses on Manor Road – now it’s all lorry parks and sheds.
West Thurrock junction. This is the junction between the Fenchurch Street to Southend line and the Romford to Grays line which was built in 1892.
West Thurrock Signal Box.
Parsonage Road
On the site of Parsonage Farm.

St Clements’s Road
St.Clement's. This church is thought to be on a pilgrim road which crossed the Thames here. There are only three churches like this in the whole country. – It originally had a circular tower which was also the nave, in imitation of the Jerusalem Holy Sepulchre abs these are - usually Knights Templar churches.  It has a 15th tower and is built of knapped flint and Reigate stone, badly repaired in the 17th century. In 1632 three bells made in Whitechapel and a ringing chamber was added to the tower... The church had a rector from 1100. Had been sold to Hastings Grammar School which Beckett was associated with and it has a long connection with Hastings collegiate church. Knights were sent from here to guard the castle of Hastings for 15 days a year. The tower arch has the arms of Hastings. It has recently been restored by Procter and Gamble.
Old St.Clement's Wildlife Sanctuary. This is the old churchyard allowed to run wild.

Barnes, Grays Thurrock Revisted
British History online. Thurrock
Cement kilns. Web site
Dean and Studd. The Stifford Saga
Procter and Gamble. Web site
Pub History. Web site
St.Clement’s Church. Web site

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Riverside east of the Tower and on the north bank. West Thurrock

Riverside east of the Tower and on the north bank.
West Thurrock
TQ 59609 77342

Small, but heavily industrialised stretch of riverside.

Post to the west Stoneness
Post to the north South Stifford

Fiddlers or St Clement's Reach.
An anchor is a ‘fiddler’ and legend is that St Clement was martyred by being lashed to the anchor and he is the patron saint of `mariners. Trinity House real name is the “Guild of Holy Trinity and St Clement and the Saints”. The anchor is its emblem.  St.Clement’s isolated church is north of the river here
Industrial Chemicals Ltd. The company was founded in the early 1970's with just one vehicle. In 1976 they moved to the Titan Works here.They run a transport business for chemical distribution, plus a Hydrochloric Acid pickling plant, de-rusting wheels for Ford Motor Company.
West Thurrock Terminal. Operated by Industrial Chemicals Ltd. It has a  Deep-Water Berth. including accessible mooring dolphins and access is available for HGV Vehicle Direct Access via Fixed Link Bridge Approach Road to the Jetty. It is used for imports of raw materials for in-house processing. There is a Siwertell Mobile Screw Unloader, a Travelling Rail Mounted Quay Crane, and a Mobile Ship-Loading Conveyor
Procter and Gamble factory. The neighbouring detergent plant expanded onto part of the power station site when that closed.. 
Cross river power lines. The 400 kV Thames Crossing is between Botany Marshes in Swanscombe and West Thurrock using the tallest electricity pylons in the UK at 623 feet high. The current crossing was built in 1965, with a span of 4501 feet. Each tower has three cross arms and carries two circuits of 400 kV three-phase AC. 
West Thurrock Electricity Substation.
West Thurrock Power Station was a coal-fired power station. It was built by the Central Electricity Generating Board in 1957 opening in 1962. It had two tall chimneys and was later converted to burn oil and natural gas. It was operated by National Power from 1989 and was decommissioned by 1993. Part of the site was taken over by Procter & Gamble works including the former coaling jetty.

Electrical Infrastructure. Web site.
Grace’s Guide. Web site

Industrial Chemicals Ltd.
Placeandsee. Web Site
Proctor and Gamble. Web site

Thurrock Council. Web site

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the river. Stoneness

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the river

TQ 58575 76204

A lonely area and a tiny reminder of what most of the Thameside marshes once were.


Burnley Road

Road Train. This is a lorry drivers training school
Tardis. They supply clean water in tankers

Channel Tunnel Rail Link
This runs north east:south east under the area

The point marks the river’s turn out of Long Reach and into St.Clement’s or Fiddler’s Reach
Lighthouse  No.5. This is 22 miles from London Bridge. It was established in 1885 and carries a wind generator on its top, at 44 feet high, the light is visible for 9 miles.
Pill boxes – these are defence structures from the Second World War and there is one either side of the lighthouse and point.
Sluice outlet
Ancient ferry to Greenhithe. Thought to be used by pilgrims although this can’t be proved. There is a footpath to Stoneness from St. Clements Church. It is thought mainly to have been used for cattle.  It continued into the 1950s.

West Thurrock Lagoon and Marshes.
When the sea wall was rebuilt the flood channel behind it, about 1,100 yd. west of Stone Ness, was left as a lake, named as 'the Breach' on maps down to the 19th and later shown as swamp. It is an important site for wintering waders and wildfowl attracted by the extensive intertidal mudflats together with a large and secure high tide roost,
Stone Ness salt marsh is noted for the size and character of its marsh plant community. The saltings constitute the largest area of salt marsh in the inner Thames estuary,
The lagoon is an important high tide roost for overwintering waders and wildfowl. Large reed beds border its south and eastern perimeter where Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers and the Bearded Tit breed.
West Thurrock trading estate

English Nature. Web site
Lighthouse compendium. Web site
Road Train. Web site
Tardis. Web site
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames
Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide. Web site

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Riverside north of the River and east of the Tower. Dartford Crossing

Riverside north of the River and east of the Tower
Dartford Crossings
TQ 57449 76762

Section of riverside taken up with large aggregate and oil terminals and some very large jetties.  The are is however dominated by the high - and very busy - bridge.

Post to the west Purfleet jetties
Post to the east Stoneness

Dartford Tunnel
The idea of a tunnel below Woolwich was first considered by the Ministry of Transport in 1924 and this was eventually proposed between Dartford and Thurrock. It was thought to be suitable for part of a ring road round London. A pilot tunnel was drilled in the late 1930s but further work was delayed due to the Second World War
New Tunnel. By 1970 the tunnel was carrying over 4 times the original estimate and a second tunnel was announced by the government. This was to be part of what was then the North Orbital Road, now the M25. Work was delayed due to a lack of funds, which was resolved by European funding granted in 1974. The second tunnel opened in 1980, allowing single direction working in each tunnel and connection of the crossing to the M25.
Old Tunnel. Work began in 1959, using a similar construction method to the Blackwall Tunnel but the delay in work due to the war allowed the tunnel's design to be improved with a better ventilation system. Tolls were levied from the start. The two-lane tunnel opened in 1963,
Queen Elizabeth Bridge. There was a concern that the two tunnels would not be able to cope with the full demands of a completed M25. In 1986 proposals were made for improvements and in 1986, a Trafalgar House consortium won a bid to build a new bridge under a private finance initiative. This included transfer of the control of the whole crossing to Dartford River crossing Ltd. Work on the bridge began in 1988.[ It was designed by German engineer Hellmut Homberg, and the two main caissons were constructed in the Netherlands – and designed to withstand a collision with a large ship. The towers are about 200ft high. It was opened by the Queen in 1991when it had the longest cable-stayed span of any bridge in Europe. It is the only bridge across the Thames downstream of the Tower,

Lafarge Wharf . This wharf handles Marine Aggregates only, with receiving hoppers and discharge conveyors for self-discharging vessels.
Tunnel Wharf – this was the wharf for the Tunnel Cement works which stood to the north of the railway
Vopak Wharf and Terminal. There are 3 berths on the wharf. The site has 86 steel tanks doe oil storage. There are fully automated road vehicle loading facilities available and loading and discharging facilities for sea. They handle high and low flash petroleum products.

Dartford Crossing. Wikipedia. Web site
Port of London Authority. Web site
Tarmac-Lafarge. Web site
Vopak. Web site

Riverside north of the River and east of the Tower. Purfleet jetties

Riverside north of the river and east of the Tower
Purfleet jetties
TQ 56808 77004

This posting covers only a small section of riverside on the north bank
This small stretch of riverside west of the Dartford Tunnel takes in a series of jetties connectred to aggregate wharves. There is also the outlet for a small watercourse and steps. A path goes along the riverside.
Civil and Marine Jetty
This is operated by Hansons with two berths each wtith two dolphins. It deals with self-discharging slag bulker and North Sea dredgers. Specialising in  Slag Grinding.

Port of London Authority. Web site