If you listen to Ken Turner’s memories of houseboats, he mentions not only his parent’s craft “Smugglers”, but also those of his uncles. “Sans Souci” was owned by Fred and Win Archer and moored at the western end of the creek, near to Win’s sister( Ken Turner’s mother). They were both ex-army landing craft, which with their twin Rolls Royce Merlin engines removed, proved a sound basis for living on the water. You can tell from the interior photos that it was well furnished. It helped that Fred was a builder, responsible among other developments for the bungalows on the eastern side of Mill Hill. They spent 5 years living on the boat before succumbing to life ashore and the boat was then sold to Ted Heaney, but that’s another story!
Rita Archer’s (daughter) memories of Ted are available in a sound recording on this site, which includes some references to his pre-Benfleet days.
A further recording, which also involves her cousin Ken Turner, covers houseboats and their owners, the golf course at Bowers Gifford, walking on the sea wall, Cemetery Corner, dances at Tarpots Hall and the army camp and fetching the water.