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
Grays
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
Post to the south Broadness

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.


Sources
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.

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