My life on Canvey 1948 to 1970
by Eddie Terry ("Peanuts")
"Sitting out here in Australia in my Seventy
fourth year with the temperature on 38 degrees Centigrade and a cold
Tooheys in my hand my mind went back to the wonderful memories of
my teenage years on Canvey Island, so I decided to put pen to paper
and take a happy trip down memory lane which your readers might like
to share with me. As it is a rather long trip I am spreading it over
a number of episodes. I hope a lot of members of my blog site HERE
are senior citizens as they will remember the 50s & 60s and there
are quite a lot of people on the Island who were in their teens in
"My first memories of Canvey Island when I moved
from London with my family just after the war were the wide open country
spaces and the unmade roads. My parents had rented a small bungalow
at the very end of Beach Road which in the winter became a quagmire
and impassable, luckily we had a back path which led up to the High
Street, but these conditions were nothing to the pleasures that Canvey
gave to a Londoner used to congested streets and little freedom. This
back path went past a row of shops that included the "Toothman"
who made false teeth, Selby's the barber, a gun shop, a shop used
for storage (Just found out it was owned by Ken Macquarie), one used
by Mr. Bishop as storage and a few other shops that I cannot recall.
The path ended in the High Street by Tremains the newsagent and just
past Tremains was Bishops the greengrocers and then Attewells the
butchers where my brother Roy had a part time job delivering the orders
(this was whilst he went to school and before he joined the Royal
Navy as a Boy seaman)."
"Our next door neighbours were a Mr and Mrs Watts
(who was instrumental in getting me a job with the Regent Oil Co.)
and next to him lived Jack Surrage and his family. Mr & Mrs Watts
lived in a bungalow that was at one time a school. The bungalow that
my father rented was a small two bedroom fibro one and, having sisters,
my brother and I slept in a shed in the garden (this may sound rough
but the extra freedom it gave us outweighed the discomfort). This
shed was provided by the Coastguard Department (unbeknownst to them).
During the war they had built a two storey observation post on a field
at the sea wall end of Weel Road (in what is now called Kismet Park
I believe) which was used to observe any action in the estuary and
was left empty when the war ended, so every night my brother and I
stripped a couple of planks from it and with our father walking on
the other side of the road took them home. End result one shed in
our garden and just a 4 x 2 frame at the seafront."
"I suppose he thought it was better for us to
get caught than himself (only joking).