Houseboat memories of Anne Bennett

Born on the Blue Peter

Anne writes from Canada about her early years (1949 – 1956 ) in Benfleet Creek :

I was born on a houseboat named the Blue Peter, moored very close to the Colvin bridge to Canvey. I don’t remember too much as we were only there for 5 or so years. We lived through the1953 flood, with the moorings stretched to the limit but thankfully they held. Blue Peter did suffer a lot of water damage and we had to rent the houseboat named the Windmill until dad purchased the Millie.

We also had a smaller boat for trips out, she was called Evelyn. I remember running around on Millie and falling into the creek more than once ! Then getting hauled up by a rope and on the other end was a very unhappy father and a crab or two pinching on my arm. Also remember swimming with my sisters and trying to get out  before those darn crabs snipped at your feet.

Another memory is the line-up on the Canvey bridge, people and double decker buses alike. I returned in the early 1970s to find they appeared to have filled most of the creek in, it looked so small,

I’m also the proud owner of an oil painting of our first houseboat on the creek , painted by a local artist named Muriel Swanson who lived on the houseboat Rembrandt. It’s nice to have an oil painting of one’s birthplace, I wonder how many people have a painting of the room they were born in ?       

 

Houseboat Blue Peter painted by Muriel Swanson
Anne Bennett
"People and double decker buses alike" There's a hint of Lowry's matchstick folk
Sister Joan in dinghy
The Bennett girls - right to left Joan , Sally and Anne
Bennett family
Sally learning to swim
Bennett family
Anne's mum, Daisy on the deck of Millie 1955
Bennett family
Dad, Laurence with Me and a cousin on Millie
Laurence Bennett on Evelyn
Bennett family

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