The Ferry Bell

South Benfleet to Canvey Ferry

Welcome Everybody!

I’m in the process of looking through the archives of my father’s side of the family, the Layzells. I’m looking through all the possessions, documents and photos, all of which have been safely kept in my family home for two generations. I’m really surprised how far back the inscriptions in the books go and most are treasures to me.

The first one I’d love to share is my grandfather’s, Albert Layzell’s, ferry bell. Albert was the first ferry man to passenger locals to and from Canvey and Benfleet.

If anyone knew of Albert and has any photos I’d love to see them. Maybe the bell may help to identify him and/or his boat!

I’m happy to hear from people who have a family link or interest. Please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment on this page. I’d love to know more!

Amongst Albert’s belongings Yvette found a photo showing the Ferry Bell at the ferry landing on the Benfleet side of the creek.

Albert Layzell's Ferry Bell
Yvette Layzell
The ferry about to leave Benfleet c1925
From the collection of Yvette Layzell
Close up showing the Ferry Bell hanging from the lamp post c1925
From the collection of Yvette Layzell

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  • My great grandfather Jesse Cripps was also a ferryman and lived in Benfleet.

    By Linda Beavis (04/12/2022)
  • Would love to know if there is any family link with Yvette Layzell and the Lazell family from whom I am descended . My grandfather was Ernest Lazell and he lived on Canvey until his death in 1981. All his siblings and ancestors seemed to be agricultural workers. His great grandfather Edward is buried in North Benfleet and we cannot find ancestors any further back from Edward. His parents appear elusive although we know he was born in East London. Any further help gratefully received. If Yvette can shed any light or any links through her family treasures and books and documents it would be great because we know the spelling of the surname Layzell or Lazell was changed and interpreted according to whoever heard it pronounced and how they transcribed it.! Paula nee Lazell

    By Paula Jenkins nee Lazell (29/01/2018)
  • Hi All,

    Bernard, Vi or Violet is no longer with us.  Interested to know she worked in a cafe as I always told she worked in an office as a solicitor’s clerk. The family home is still there and is still standing strong.

    Martin, Are you the Martin Lepley, I know? If so, long time no see!  I don’t believe so. I’ve never found a link.

    Margaret, I believe there were a few ferrymen. I’m not too sure how the ferryman worked. Competition between them may have been strong.


    By Yvette (07/07/2015)
  • The ferryman between 1920 – 1930 was Samuel Freeman. (Information from Ray Frost, relative).

    By Margaret March (07/03/2015)
  • Is this any relation to the LAZELL family from Canvey. Particularly Henry Edwin LAZELL who is on Canvey’s WW1 plaque?

    By Martin Lepley (07/01/2015)
  • Albert’s daughter, Vi, used to work for my father in The Clock House Cafe for many years, she was a lovely lady and we were very close.  She can’t be alive today, do you know when she died? I know the family house was behind the church. Vi was a very private lady and a lovely lady. Bernard Hagon. I am now 80.7

    By Bernard Hagon (02/12/2013)
  • Welcome to our site Yvette. Within our history under Armed Forces Second World War Casualties 1944 there is reference to Stanley William Layzell who was killed in action on 29 September 1944. His parents lived in Benfleet.

    By Ronnie Pigram (25/10/2012)
  • See also on this site ‘Life at 2 Station Cottages’ by Dennis Layzell and Benfleet & District Rifle Club.

    By Eileen Gamble (25/10/2012)

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