Houseboat Database

Boat Names and Other Details

Neptune owned by the Falkus family

We have started this database in order to identify as many of the houseboats that have moored in or off Benfleet Creek, including current ones.  If you can add to the information, please get in touch by email or by leaving your contact details with the staff of Benfleet Library.


NameParentageOwner / OccupierPeriodLocationOther InformationPhoto
Altair2010Benfleet CreekPLA list
AmiensRASC launchM Johnson1998 – 2005DauntlessPreviously Fairtime
Amyc 1956
beetroot2010Benfleet CreekPLA list
BendigoConverted MTBTom Scottc 1956Bridge until 1977
BerylSchooner1970sBenfleet Creek, east of bridgepreviously Cyyprea, Mandolin, Carte Blanch and Cilex
Bettaglenc 1957
Bill BustyLanding CraftWilliam Hiltonc 1956
Blue PeterConverted bargeBennett1949 to1953Nr Colvin BridgeDamaged in 1953 flood. c 70 ft long.Painting by Muriel Swanson
BuchraViolet Wright aka Violet Clark1956Scene of tragic fire
Budhari2010The CreekPLA list
Chez NousChris & Mabel Cookc 1929On electoral roll
Commandoc 1957
crystal spring1940s
Daisy (1) same as ?John & Amy Collittc 1929On electoral roll
Daisy (2) same as ?Louise Curryc 1929On electoral roll
Daisy (3) same as ?Ambrose Quiltyc1937On electoral roll
Daylight RisingRAF Pinnace1990 – 1999DauntlessPreviously Sunwood
Deltac 1957
DolphinSamuel and Florence Pattisonc1937On electoral roll
Dolsisc 1937
EileenJane Bickertonc1937On electoral roll
EileenCharles and Mary Whymarkc1937On electoral roll
ElizaErnest & Love Butlerc 1929On electoral roll
ElsieBowlesc 1924Sold to the army in 1943
Emma Janec 1956
FahyFlorence, John & Violet Smithc 1929-37On electoral roll
Ferry BoatWilliam Rosec1937On electoral roll
Florence same  as ?William WardOn electoral roll
Florence 2 same as ?c 1946Rented out at 30/- p.w.
freelanceconverted motor anti-submarine boatM Johnson1998- 2008Dauntless
Frogmore Frank and Mildred Dowleyc 1958
Full SailEmma Jenningsc1937On electoral roll
Gay VentureDoug LewisDoug died when it caught fire
Geojeanc 1956
George HaigRAF PinnaceM Johnson1998 – 2008Dauntless
Grace Darling1938/9
Greenleaf1934The Creek Benfleetholiday accommodation advert in Essex Newsman ninth June
HaroldSidney and Rose Ledgerc1937On electoral roll
Havenc 1956
Heart of Oak 77 foot converted bargeBob’s parentsbuilt 1879West Creek Canvey sailing barge compendium broken up at Benfleet
Henry (Rochester)converted bargebuilt 1865sailing barge compendium
Heraldc 1957
Hi-de-hic 1956
Hill Viewc 1956
Idonoc 1958
Invaderc 1957
Invicta77 foot converted bargebuilt 1877 broken up 1958sailing barge compendium
IrisPercy & Winifred Knowlesc 1929On electoral roll
IvyMary Headc 1929On electoral roll
Jenny Leec 1957
JewelGeorge & Eva Stillc 1956
JumboWilliam, Alice and Dorothy Crudgingtonc1937On electoral roll
KatherineMussonc 1941Sewerage works manager’s log 27/5
LarkCookWest CreekIn Ken deacon’s notes See page Mabel Mary Medhurst Cook
Lassie JaneFrederick and Ethel Brownc1937On electoral roll
 Le HopeReg Hutchings c 1945
– c 1951
 West side of Creek
Let’s Pretendc 1957
LilyLouisa, Ebenezer and Lilian Wiskinc1937on electoral roll
LouisaOld lifeboat1930sOwner ran radio shop at Tarpots
Lowestoftc 1956
Lydiac 1956
Mananec 1956
Margaretc 1957
Margotc 1957
Mary Jan (Rocheter))converted bargebuilt 1877sailing barge compendium
MaureenArthur Kingc 1953 Church CreekDulecia King born on board, May 1953
May Panichec 1957
Mendipc 1958
MillieConverted bargeArthur and Lucy Richardson/ Bennettc1937/c 1956Nr Colvin bridgec 70 feet longYes
MTB 492MTBWinifred Bowling1956
NancyDorothy Martinc1937On electoral roll
Nisenec 1956
Nookc 1957
Patsy Annc 1956
Paula P.c 1958
Peggoty2012for sale
PersecutedTed HeaneyFerry RoadSee article on Ted Heaney
PhyllisCharles A Haskerc 1933Also Sarah and Charles W Hasker
Rembrandt Originally HMAS Martello, LC1S2525 a troop carrier.K & M Swansonc 1950
Rendezvousc 1937
SanRitaPontoon conversionEdward Arthur Bullc 1950/60s
Sans SouciEx landing craftArcher1940s/1950sWest creekSold to Ted HeaneyYes
 Severn Converted Thames or similar bargeBowles later owned by Lilly Hubbardc 1942Between station and bridgeConverted  by William and his fatherYes
SmugglersEx landing craftTurnerWest creekYes
St Christopherc 1946Sold by G Crabtree for £3
St KildaAlfred and Florence Clokec1937On electoral roll
Stella MarisMr A Clarke1945 to 1956Rented to Mr A Ashdown at 10/- p.w.
Sunriseconverted barge built 1889West Creek sailing  barge compendium
Tea boatc 1956
ThanetWilliam Alfred Brown1929
Titanic,Converted MTB1990 – 1995Dauntless previously  Pegasus
VeronicaBert & Queenie Green, children Robin, Martin, Veronica, Jackie, Geraldine. 1946 – 1952Church creek
Wee Pegc 1957
Whylawayc 1958
Windmillc 1953Rented by Bennetts after 1953 flood
Windmill-same as above ?Grace Richardson1956Fire fortnight after Buchra fire
Winmoorc 1957
Zenc 1957
 ZuluRAF launch 1994 Dauntless previously Joradean

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  • With reference to the ‘Lassie Jane’. Ethel Brown was a great aunt on my mother’s side. Ethel was the youngest of ten children and born in 1900. Her marriage to Frederick caused a family rift. Frederick was a master mariner and I would love to know more about him and their boat ‘Lassie Jane’

    By Richard Aust (11/01/2024)
  • Good Morning Yvonne,

    Thank you for your interesting addition to our Site.

    If you could find the photo of your Dad and Grandad on the boat, we would be happy to add it to the article.

    Kind Regards,

    Pamela J. Bird-Gaines

    By Pamela Gaines (15/06/2023)
  • My grandfather , grandmother and father, the Knowles family, lived on the houseboat the ‘Iris’. I believe it sank in the 1950s and my grandfather went to live with my mum and dad in Cirencester , where he passed away . When our family moved back to Essex, my dad would often take us there and reminisce about his childhood on the house boat. My dad gave my sister the name Iris. I think I have a photo of dad and grandad on the boat

    By Yvonne Symmonds nee Knowles (14/06/2023)
  • Hello, is it possible to add some details to the houseboat database. I am the granddaughter of the boat owners of The Rembrandt. it was originally HMAS Martello, LC1S2525 a troop carrier, which was converted after the war by K & M Swanson. It broke it’s moorings in a hightide and my grandmother, Muriel and her infant daughter had to be rescued. Regards, Pat Anastasi.

    By Pat Anastasi (13/05/2022)
  • Good Afternoon,
    I am searching to find out about my great Grandfather William Crudgington who lived with Alice on Jumbo at the Creek. Does anyone know anything about him? He was a carpenter and eventually moved to The Mount at Pitsea. My father Ted / Edward Crudgington was his grandson who lives at Bowers Gifford. I have been researching Jumbo but alas not much to go on but have found so much interesting news of Benfleet and the lovely boats. You never know but someone may know a little more. Thanks Susan

    By Susan Bailey (11/05/2021)
  • To the editor, a big thanks I will pass on the information you supplied this will bring back some happy memories. My mum and aunt would have met this family.
    Thanks again.

    Editor: In case you did not find it there is another page to view. Glad you enjoy our website.


    By Martin (10/05/2021)
  • Hi, it’s Martin again. I have a bit more information. My great grandfather‘s nickname was Bill, his full name was Henry James Woollcott. My aunt remembers an art and crafts shop that made earrings, she has them to this day. The woman in the shop she thinks was called Bobby or Roberta, there were headscarves with patterns painted on them. If there is any information or memories about, I would love to here them.

    Editor: The shop you refer to was possibly run by the Barnes family. Vic Barnes and his wife Yvonne sold all manner of things, they had two children Jackie and Roberta, always known as Bobbie. This link will take you to a page about their shop on our website.

    By Martin (10/05/2021)
  • Does anyone remember the ‘ESME’? She was sunk in the big flood in 1950’s, owned by William Woollcott my great grandfather.

    By Martin (03/05/2021)
  • We lived on the Hinimoa from about ’65 till 1970, first in Dauntless boat yard, then on the railway side right where the Gladys is now moored. She was a converted Admiralty steam pinnace, 52 ft. Took her to the South of France, eventually, to do charter work.

    By Val and Roy Puncher (04/03/2021)
  • I was the one born on houseboat ‘Maureen’, owned by my Dad Arthur King, in May 1953.

    Dulecia King

    By Dulecia King (28/11/2019)
  • Hi, I am doing my family history and found this, I know my mother, father and sister were living on a houseboat when the flood happened , best regards Paul

    George W S Purvis
    Gender: Male
    Birth: Mar 5 1891
    Residence: Sep 29 1939, Houseboat, Dungiven, Benfleet, Essex, England
    Age: 48
    Marital status: Married
    Occupation: Telegraph Mechanician
    Wife: May L Lydia Purvis
    District: Benfleet Urban District
    County: Essex
    Country: England
    Date: Sep 29 1939
    Schedule: 354
    TNA Reference: RG101/1473A/027/6
    Piece: 1473A
    Item #: 027
    Line: 6
    Records are closed for those individuals who were born less than 100 years ago unless matched to a registered death record.
    Relation to head
    Name: George W S Purvis
    Birth: Mar 5 1891
    Marital status: married
    Occupation:Telegraph Mechanician
    Relation to head: Wife (implied)
    Name: May L Lydia Purvis
    Birth: May 2 1893
    Marital status: Married
    Occupation: Unpaid Domestic Duties
    Relation to head: Possible relative (implied)
    Name: George HJ Purvis
    Birth: Mar 6 1920
    Marital status: Single
    Occupation: Assistant Steward This record is officially closed
    Relation to head: Possible relative (implied)
    Name: Emily Purvis
    Birth: Nov 15 1884
    Marital status: Widowed
    Occupation: Housewife

    By Paul Purvis (08/10/2018)
  • I owned the George Haig. I bought it from Mike Johnson in April 2006 and lived on it for 2 years until it was sadly destroyed by Leigh Marina after she broke her back on a poor mooring. The most peculiar thing about this list is that my Grandad William Alfred Brown is also listed here as he lived and died on the Thanet in 1929. At the time I bought the George Haig I had no idea that my Grandparents and my Dad had lived on a boat, let alone that it was also at Benfleet but I have my Grandfather’s death certificate and it is a fact! How weird!

    By Sue Condon (10/11/2015)
  • I believe the Tom Scott of the Bendigo (see craft list) was the chap who skippered my parents’ barge the May Flower when they sailed her from Maldon to Leigh after her purchase in 1950. My parents later sailed the barge up to Benfleet berthing below the old bridge, about where the barrier now sits, staying for a few months in 1954. Details and interesting pictures in my book, The May Flower A Barging Childhood.

    Tom was a barge skipper, but my mother is sure that he had essentially retired by then. Where he lived she hasn’t been able to tell me – he was just a ‘chap’ my father knew from when his family’s boats were moored at Benfleet for winter lay-up.


    By Nick Ardley (08/05/2014)
  • It should be remembered that there were many other types of vessel on the waterways locally, other than spritsail barges. A register of these other vessels is unlikely to exist, other than vessels on the PLA craft register – this includes many spritsail barges. River Lee type dumb barges will also have been available for use as homes when their trading/cargo carrying time was over…

    By Nick Ardley (02/05/2014)
  • Houseboat ‘Severn’ which I stayed on most Friday nights when I was aged about 7, so 1954 ish. Owned then by my great Aunt Lily Hubbard and lived in by my Aunt Maureen and Uncle John Stockwell, after he came out of the Royal Navy. Was almost without doubt a retired Thames Sailing Barge. It was complete with the fire with the Mica front panelled door, low ceilings and very heavy beams in common with most of these barges. The very heavily timbered decks and hull etc. On the list here it states, built by William and his father, but I feel may be it was converted by them or am I misinterpreting the information, can anyone help?

    By Michael Reed (25/04/2014)
  • On reflection, it could be Severn was a sailing barge or shallow draft sailing vessel from another source than the Thames of course. 

    By Michael Reed (25/04/2014)
  • Owners of the ‘FROGMORE’ were Frank and Mildred Dowley – their eldest daughter was in my class at Benfleet Infants and Juniors and held her birthday parties on board!

    By Leslie Spurling (01/12/2013)

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