Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Riverside -north bank, east of the Tower. Tilbury Riverside


Riverside – north bank and east of the Tower. Tilbury Riverside

Ever changing riverside area full of rail lines, port passenger facilities  as well as riverside utilities and a pub - and the ancient, and still working, short ferry.

Post to the west Tilbury Docks
Post to the east Tilbury Fort
Post to the south Gravesend


Dock Road
The south side consists of a number of light industrial units, some of which are in involved in the old fridge disposal trade.

Dry Dock.
This is one of the original dry docks dating from when the docks were first built. The south eastern end is in the square.
Ross Revenge. This ex-trawler and salvage ship was used to broadcast Radio Caroline between 1983 and 1991, replacing previous vessels. She was moored here until 2014 but has now been moved

Ferry Causeway
This is shown on maps from the 1880s as being on the riverside at the World’s End.  It is said to have been used for cattle
Worlds End Wharf. The causeway is marked as this on 1950s maps. There is said to have been a bench mark on the wharf wall, which has now been destroyed.
Tilbury Signal Station. This was also called the Collier Signal Station. It was used to control colliers entering the Port and waiting for berths. The Coal Factors' Society established an office in Gravesend in the 1840s which was then transferred across the river.  It stood on the World's End Causeway but in the 1940w was moved closer to Tilbury Fort. It identified colliers, and instructed them about berths through a loud hailer system. It closed in 1977.

Ferry Road
Ferry Road runs between fences with the dock on one side and the railway on the other. It’s alignment has changed throughout the 20th and more recently with changes to rail layouts and
closure and demolition of surrounding roads and buildings
Hairpin Bridge. This road bridge crossed from Tilbury Town to Ferry Road and the dock estate going over the rail lines. It had been built in the 1860s and by the 1980s was thought unsafe for traffic and was only used by pedestrians. There is now a pedestrian only modern bridge on site
Marsh Farm – this is shown on maps before the construction of the docks. It is not, of course, an uncommon name.
Seamen’s Club. This was on the corner with Queen Elizabeth Place, there was another club on the opposite side of the road
Tilbury Hospital. Tilbury Docks were built on a site of mostly uninhabited marshland.  The town grew with construction and dock workers and their families but Tilbury had no hospital.  From 1882 efforts by Friendly Societies and others were made to establish a hospital and eventually funding was obtained from John Passmore Edwards.  Land opposite the dock gates, was provided by the Tilbury Dock Company and The Tilbury Cottage Hospital opened in 1896 with 8 beds.  In 1901 it was enlarged but something more was needed. In 1923 the Seamen's Hospital Society, agreed to take it over and a new medical facilities were added. Mr Singhanee, from India endowed award for Indian seamen. The new hospital opened in 1924 and by 1925 there were 94 beds, an Out-Patients Department and a nurses' home. It joined the NHS in 1948 and in 1969 it closed and all services transferred to the Orsett Hospital. The Hospital has been completely demolished and the site is now part of the Tilbury freight depot
Tilbury Laundry. This opened around 1905 and was on the west side of the road south of the hospital. It supplies clean laundry to passenger liners.
Thames Church Mission. The earliest organisation to come to Tilbury with a social mission to seamen in 1885.The building was used in the Second World War by the Red Cross in connection with American troops.
Basin Tavern. This was a public house built on the lines of a mansion. It appears to have been inside the dock estate to the west of the railway lines and to originally been called the ‘Basin Canteen’. It was owned by Truman, Hanbury, Buxton and Co. and was presumably demolished following dock extensions.
Tilbury Dock Board of Trade office. This was on a side slip road to Ferry Road
British Rail Staff Association club room. Tilbury Dock Board of Trade office. This was on a side slip road to Ferry Road and apparently known as the ‘bomb crater’.
Indian and Pakistani Seaman's Mission

Ferry.
The short ferry between Milton and Tilbury is very ancient and almost certainly predates Domesday. It is at the point where the river is narrowest and easily defended. Records can be traced to the 14th. In the 14th and 15th there were structures to guard the ferry and eventually permanent blockhouses. It was then only accessible via the fort and very useful to the military. Gravesend Corporation owned the rights to the ferry from 1694 but on the north side it was administered by the Governor of the Fort. I 1851 it was eventually leased to Gravesend Corporation and later to the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway in 1856. The railway then was built to the riverside. In 1855 the service began with paddle steamers, first called The Tilbury but changed to Sir Walter Raleigh, along with the Earl of Essex and the Earl of Leicester.  Goods were towed behind the ferry in barges from the Worlds End. Once the docks were being built the ferry became very busy.  The boats were replaced and by 1900 there were four ferries– Carlotta, Rose, Catherine and Gertrude from 1906. Edith joined them in 1911. In 1923 car ferries were added - Tessa ad Minnie. In the Second World War it kept running though lights were not allowed despite the fog. The ferries continued after the War, and there was no electric light until1969. It was not improved, despite recommendations, because of the proposed building of the Dartford Tunnel. In 1960 three new vessels were built which were diesel powered but the vehicle ferry closed in 1963 when the tunnel opened. By 1973 it was running at a deficit and suspended. No government subsidy was forthcoming. The service was cut down despite a need for it for those without vehicles but with jobs across the river. In 1985 – by 2whih time only dith2 was running – it was put up for sale. It was sold to White Horse Ferries who ceased to run it in 2000. It was then taken over by the Lower Thames and Medway Passenger Boat Co and is subsidised by Kent and Essex Councils


Fort Road
Arrol Bridge. This crossed the rail lines and was cleared following the building of the Fortress Distribution Centre. It was built as part of the landing stage by Sir William Arrol & Co.
Fortress Distribution Park
London Cruise Terminal, Leslie Ford House. This handles cruises by the Marco Polo.
Landing Stage. After the First World the Port of London Authority and the Midland Railway Company promoted a Parliamentary Bill to build a passenger landing stage here, Work started in 1926.  The design by Sir Edwin Cooper incorporated a floating platform secured to the riverbank by hinged steel booms, which rose and fell 21 ft. with the tide. Construction was by the Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Co. 842 ft. of it was for the liners and 300 ft. for ferries. Five bridges connected it to the station. In 1995 the landing stage was formally re-opened and more recently the restaurant pub attached to the station has been refurbished as the Tilbury Riverside Activity & Arts Centre
Tilbury Riverside Activity Arts Centre. This is in part of the old landing stage area.
Baggage hall. This was designed by Sir Edwin Cooper. With huge spaces and a cupola, which has recently been restored.
Tilbury Riverside station was built by the London Tilbury & Southend Railway in 1854 and called Tilbury Fort Station. It was rebuilt with the new landings stage with a weather vane and a clock, a brick ticket office built of brick and refreshment area and bar. In 1981 British Rail ended through trains to Southend and the station closed in 1992.


Hume Avenue
This was once called Old Manor Road
Tilbury Hammers Cycle Speedway. The original track had loco sheds on one side and pig stys on the other side. This was operational in the 1940s.

Pontoon Bridge.
Pontoon Bridge.  During the Great War there was a pontoon bridge built across the River between Tilbury and Gravesend, which was there 1915-1918. It appears to have gone from a place between the 'Worlds End' and Tilbury fort entrance.  It was floated on 67 lighters and was two carriageways wide – and access to it would be dependent on the state of the tide. It was built to allow troops to move between Kent and Essex and had an 800 feet section which could be opened to allow shipping through. It was manned and maintained by the Port of London Authority. It was the first structure ever built east of the City of London which bridged the Thames.


Queen Elizabeth Place
Houses. This was a circular road around houses which were let to the dock police force. Between numbers 4 & 6 there was a fire station which later became the PLA ambulance station
Rail line 
The line ran south to Tilbury Riverside Station from Tilbury Town and then returned in a loop running North West to continue to Southend. Other lines ran into the dock estate to the west.
Engine shed. This lay on the north west loop south of dock road.
Rail freight sidings. This lay east of the line to Riverside Station. This is now partly the site of Tilbury Railport.
Tidal Basin Junction. This rail junction marked the interchange with Port of London property.
Tilbury south junction
Station Master's house, this was within the sidings area at Tilbury Riverside station. It was demolished in the late 1970s or early 1980s
Railway cottages.These were in the ‘V of the rail lines near present business centre and were surrounded by the rail lines into Tilbury Riverside station - the line to Fenchurch Street and the loop to Southend. They were alongside the engine sheds and had been built around the 1860s. They were demolished in the 1970s.  This area is now storage and parking for motor vehicles,
Gas works. This is shown to the north of the cottages in the 1890s. It may be one of four small works taken over by the Grays Gas Co. before the Great War.
Saltings.
The riverside area east of the present landing and jetty station were saltings until late 19th building
Tilbury Fort
The square covers some of the water areas surrounding the fort
Tilbury Gardens
This area had housing for dock officials which remained until demolished for the car park.
World's End Pub
World's End. There was a tavern here or nearby in the 17th which was later recorded by Pepys.  Pocock records in 1797 that the Governor of Tilbury Fort built ‘for the greater convenience of passengers a public house’.
Market. This was to the north of the building. It was an agricultural market set up in the 1840s William Creed, the pub landlord.
Amusements. By the mid 20th the market site had become a putting green. The moat of the fort was used as a boating lake and swimming pool.
The Belgium Re-mount Depot. This was established next to the pub in the Great War and prepared horses for army use
Block of stone for the landing stage, or a mounting block outside the pub


Sources
Bench Mark Database. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London, Web site
National Maritime Museum. Web site
SABRE. Web site
Thurrock Council. Web site
Tilbury and Chadwell Memories. Web site
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames

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