Frederick Hester : A brief history in pictures by David Bullock - Page 1

At the end of the 19th century an entrepreneur had a dream of turning Canvey into an Island holiday resort. Frederick Hester was born in Fulham in 1853, the son of George Hester (reputed to be the last keeper of Putney Bridge) and Catherine (nee Potter) who had six children together.

Old Putney bridge including the Bridge Keepers House

Frederick married Sibyl (nee Brewster) and they had seven children together, some of which were to help their father in his Canvey project. The poster below is typical of what would be seen around London also as flyers in the late 1890's, advertising their Canvey Island development. "F.W.B. Hester" in the poster was Frederick's estate agent son, Frederick William Brewster Hester who was born in 1876 and named after his Mother & Father. He was to play a big part in his Father's project and remained on Canvey all his life.

Poster Photograph thanks to Eileen Jackson

With the expansion of the LT&SR railway line from Fenchurch Street to Southend-on-Sea, Frederick took advantage of the close proximity of Benfleet Station to the adjacent reclaimed Island that was potentially an ideal holiday resort for Londoners to get out of the smog and taste some good wholesome salt air and ozone!

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