Henry Gerald (Harry) Russell

A Canvey man

Henry Gerald Russell, known as Harry, was born in 1911 and moved to Canvey as a young boy with his widowed mother and 2 younger sisters soon after world war one.

While Canvey was the subject of many of his pictures, Benfleet also features and indeed in later life he  moved to Benfleet via a houseboat. A familiar sight in the Anchor and Hoy and Helmet  he finally  settled at 67 Hall Farm Road, where he died in 1992. For more information, see his son David’s potted biography, which can be found on the  the Canvey Community Archive.

Reproduction of these images on this website are with the kind permission of the Canvey Community Archive.

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  • This is for Dorothy Stanley (nee Flack). My mum (Yvonne Crozier, later Jones), my Aunt Daphne (Daphne Crozier, later Wardle) and dad (Don Jones) were friends of your parents Doug and Lavinia (at school and then as adults) . What I find interesting is that mum’s middle name was Dorothy and my dad was Donald! I have a picture of them (with my dad) taken in the late 1940s if you would like a copy. When my dad was drowned in 1986, they were kind enough to have his name enrolled in the prayers at St Mary. Last time I saw Lavinia (‘Livers’ to my mum and Aunt) was in 2010 at my mum’s funeral in Benfleet. I know from Aunt Daphne, who remained in touch, that she went to live with you or one of your siblings. My sister Yvette Jones was at school with Donald – South Benfleet and King John) and I was in the year above. My brother David Jones, six years older, was for a while in the church brass band with your brother (John or Peter, I can’t remember). I think Doug organised it? I remember visiting your house behind St Marys and, when we were small, we all got taken to the seaside together, usually on Canvey. Your dad rode a motorbike!!

    By Stephen Jones (22/12/2017)
  • Hi Christine doubt if you will remember me personally , ( Dorothy) but maybe my brothers, John, Donald and Peter Flack ? I believe Peter was good friends with your brother Simon , they went to king John school too, I think and may be wrong , but was you in the Hadleigh boys band and drum majorettes , as it was then? We lived in Hall farm road too, no.99 the bungalow on the corner by the alley to the fields., and faced fleet road . I remember too the Owens girls and the Hughes that lived in the corner house at the bottom of your road . Next door I believe , to you were the rollisons , I was friends with their elder daughter Susan then. I too remember fun times playing in our road , and areas, walking round the back to the creek, the old houseboat behind the cockleshed. Playing in the old grounds of the Methodist church by your house , . So many memeories, I remember your dad too, always had a pipe on . And an amazing artist . Lovely man . Best wishes to you , Dorothy Stanley (nee Flack)

    By Dorothy Stanley (20/12/2017)
  • Harry was my grandmother’s lodger for a while, I think during the war.  I knew him as ‘uncle Harry’ as a child, and of course later knew him as an adult.   I understand he taught Vic Ellis the basics.

    By John Dickens (18/11/2013)
  • That’s my dad. Just been looking at some of the pictures of Benfleet, haven’t been there for a few years, and missing it a bit now. My children have grown and flown and I suppose I yearn for my childhood memories again. It’s a shame that there are no pictures of Hall Farm Road. I was born in the dining room of 67, and when my eldest son was born, I didn’t quite make it to the dining room; he was born in the front bedroom of 67. Seems strange looking at some of the pictures. I have some wonderful memories, and if my parents knew of what I got up to!!! Does anyone remember, Denise and Judith Howard, Maureen Cunningham, Geraldine Paye, Cindy Jiggins, and the Owens girls? The token boy as I recall was Tony (can’t remember). We spent many happy hours on the green outside our homes, playing until the sun set. Who remembers playing tennis in the middle of the road, no cars back then. And putting on plays in Miss Fisher’s garden. Knocking the almonds off the tree in the front of the Hall’s house? Roller skating down the road into the close, and going straight across the road onto the grass. Climbing on top of the post box that was at the end of the road. Hiding in the hollow stump of the oak tree in the graveyard and calling passers by names; who remembers the ‘jam sandwich man’? Never did find out if he really did have jam sandwiches in his rolled up paper. I could go on. We managed to cram so much in. Don’t recall ever being bored, and never scared to walk through the graveyard at night or alone. Can the same be said now? As for the bread from the bakery. I remember being sent up on a Saturday before it became a ‘chore’, for a loaf of stoneground bread, as well as being told to see if there was any stale loaves as these were cheaper. I lived at my dads until the mid eighties, when I moved down to Cornwall, from there I made my way to Wiltshire, then finally here to sunny Weymouth. If anone does read this, I was friends with a boy named Ken Corbett for a few years. He did try to contact me once but I didn’t get the message until years later. So if by chance he is still around, would be nice to hear from him. He was a police officer the last I heard based at Leigh on Sea. Don’t do Facebook, but I can be found on the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council website. And maybe soon I will visit.

    By Christine James nee Russell (11/12/2012)
  • I remember Mr. Russell well, just as he appears in the self-portrait, with his pipe and hat. He used to come into Hadleigh Bakery in Benfleet High Road for his bread when I worked there in the early 1980’s.

    By Jenny Day (30/11/2010)

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