Benfleet Station, and the High Street in pictures.

Gilbert Wines's pictorial Collection

One man’s pictorial record of Benfleet between the late 1940’s and the early 1960’s.

Glen Villas, now 101 High Street, directly opposite what was then the Benfleet Station Entrance, taken around the 1950's
Gilbert Wines
The High street taken from the foot bridge date unknown.
Gilbert Wines
A view of the garden centre that was on the roundabout by Church Creek, flats were built on this site about 2006.
Gilbert Wines
Benfleet Station from the foot bridge, the electification of the line has been completed, date unknown.
Gilbert Wines
The old railway crossing and foot bridge at Benfleet station, date unknown.
Gilbert Wines
Traffic waiting at the gates for a train to pass, date unknown.
Gilbert Wines
The telephone box and tobaco kiosk outside the station's main entrance, date unknown.
Gilbert Wines
Construction of the pedestrain underpass, and electrification on the Benfleet railway, date unknown.
Gilbert Wines
The signal box at Benfleet Station. (Date unknown but taken just prior to electrification).
Gilbert Wines
Station Stores, which was an off licence and grocers, date unknown.
Gilbert Wines
Station Stores from the foot bridge, date unknown
Gilbert Wines

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  • I can remember Aggie well. When my wife and I moved to Benfleet in 1972 we sometimes ran out of food stuff and went to Aggie if was too late for other shops. Her shop was open until 9 pm and then I remember there was a note on the door to say if you needed something badly you could ring the bell and you might be served up till 10 pm. Those were the days when customers were served.

    By Brian Bellamy (05/11/2016)
  • In the last but one photograph you can clearly see the ‘Cleveland’ sign, situated at the entrance to Ron Dowding’s garage. Cleveland was a brand of petrol back then and I remember there was often a can of ‘RedEx’ nearby. You can just make out some cars on the forecourt, no doubt awaiting a service. Everyone remembers Aggie of course – I always liked her. There was something true and good about her that always came through.

    By Julian Ashbourn (29/10/2016)
  • I remember Aggie very well, a tall well built Irish lady, and very strong. I use to deliver Tobacco goods to her shop when I worked for a wholesale Tobacconist in Southend in the mid 1960s. She always gave me a great big hug that lifted me off the ground when I entered the shop, nearly breaking my back, as well as knocking all the wind out of me! She always gave me a couple of deliveries to do for her, in return for a kiss, another back breaking hug, and a large bottle of Guinness, how could I refuse !! A really lovely lady.

    By John Wernham (29/07/2015)
  • Aggie’s was the only shop open on a Sunday afternoon back in the sixties if you wanted to buy a bottle of lemonade or Tizer. She was not only fearsome to children, her husband was a small slight man who would occasionally have a few in The Crown (as was). My dad told me a story that one evening “Mr Aggie” had one too many and wobbled back home. The next time he appeared at the pub he was sporting a lovely shiner. Aggie clearly did not approve.

    By Steven Heath (02/05/2015)
  • I remember the Karslake family. It was just after they had taken ownership of the Old Vicarage. They were amazed to discover graves in the garden and a well. Mike was a work colleague of my dad’s. I have also learned that Mike was at my parents wedding in 1954….I also remember, Agnes, at the station stores. This would have been in the mid ’60’s. She was very tall and scary to a ten year old, but deep down, I believe, a sweet lady. She challenged me, once, to total up mum’s shopping bill. My parents had a boat moored in the creek. A visit to Agnes was a must, to stock up on provisions, sweets and crisps, for the long drive home..precious memories of our second home………

    By Steve Coe (26/04/2015)
  • Somewhere about this area was a genuine old pre licencing betting days, so unlicensed bookmakers, possibly at a café, bookmakers was called Newton’s or Johnnie Newton’s. Does anyone remember exactly where it was? I worked as a runner for him when I first started work on the construction site, of the sewage works on Canvey as trainee engineer. A long bike ride but financially very rewarding, as both the punters and Johnnie used to pay me. Later John opened a licensed betting shop in Station Road, Wickford, next door to my Shop, Reed & Sons, Newsagents.

    By Michael Reed (12/01/2014)
  • I remember when I was a little nipper must have been about 1950, going into the little cafe next to the station and seeing a juke box for the first time. ps played 78s.

    By Pete Robbins (05/12/2011)
  • The Station Stores was always known as Aggie’s when I was little in the 60’s.  My Grand Mother was Margorie Elizabeth Hayklan the Artist & my Father was Stephan Hayklan the Developer who built many of the houses in the 60/70’s in Benfleet. He had offices at Tarpots, Kent Webb & Hayklan. He built the very stylish houses next to the Old Vicarage on Vicarage Hill, we lived at No 73. 

    The Karslake family lived in the old vicarage, the eldest daughter Josaphine married Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, she is still very active with her company JO WOOD. All my family lived in Benfleet at that time.

    By Sofia Elizabeth Cole (26/10/2011)
  • I clearly remember my dad taking me in the old Ford ‘Pop’ down to Benfleet railway station to see the last steam train go through – he picked me up and held me high as the train chugged through – he said to me that I should remember this as it was a very special moment never to be repeated – I thought good job – they smell! I must have been about 3 or 4 at the time …!

    By sandy (06/08/2011)

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