Pictures of Church Creek, Benfleet 1930 - 1951

Houseboats and Swimming in the Creek

Church Creek was home to the people who lived on houseboats and a place of recreation for others. However, when the creek was blocked off following the building of Ferry Road under the railway line, all this changed, as can be clearly seen in Gilbert Wines’s photograph when compared to Joan Philips’ snap at full tide.

Church Creek behind the tea rooms.
From the collection of the late Kath Fisher with the permission of Paddy Marrisson
House Boats on Church Creek
From the collection of the late Kath Fisher with the permission of Paddy Marrisson
Church Creek taken from The Hoy's yard
Joan English (nee Philips)
Church Creek in 1940's taken from the rear of The Hoy.
Joan English (nee Philips)
Mrs Fisher on a frozen Church Creek, believed to be 1930's, the same trees and houses can be seen in the background as in the picture above.
From the collection of the late Kath Fisher with the permission of Paddy Marrisson
Church Creek one cold winter, date unknown
Joan English (nee Philips)
Church Creek taken from the top of Benfleet Church 1951 before the creek was closed with a sluice, the rail crossing of the creek can clearly be seen in the distance.
Gilbert Wines
House boats in Church Creek from the top of Benfleet Church in 1951
Gilbert Wines
Church Creek after it was no longer tidal, to allow Ferry Rd to be built under the railway line.
Gilbert Wines
Church creek before it was dammed for the new road. The black, two storey house by the creek was occupied by the local midwife, nurse Revell.
Joan English (nee Philips)
Church Creek looking towards the High street, date unknown
Joan English (nee Philips)
Rent book for the house boat 'Stella Maris', the rent was 10 shillings a week. The owner A. Clarke of Rose Cottage, 12 Essex way, South Benfleet. Tenant Mr A. Ashdown who rented this boat for 6 months from 17th March 1945 to 22nd September 1945
Jill Ashdown
Rent book showing weekly payments of 10 shillings in 1945
Jill Ashdown
Tenant agreement for the houseboat Florence II dated May 18th 1946, the boat's owner lived in East Croydon Surrey.
Jill Ashdown
Memories of Benfleet Creek and happy days swimming in the creek.
Richard Yetton recalling the various groups of people who swam in the creek from May to September, including some of the older ladies of Benfleet. 7 Minutes long

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  • My dad, Kenneth Cripps, with his brothers and my Nan lived on a house boat on the creek. Need help to find documented archive going back to the 1950’s. Anyone knowing any info please get in touch . Samantha Cripps, Daughter of Kenneth Cripps.

    By Samantha cripps (20/06/2020)
  • Has any one got pictures or information about the tea boat in 1948 run by Dorothy Ada Payne, my grand mother.
    My father who has just passed, John David Cripps, was born on the tea boat as we have just discovered via his birth certificate.
    Any information would be fantastic.

    By Dawn Rouse aka Cripps (19/06/2020)
  • Wonderful and very interesting, Mr William and Alice Crudgington had a house barge during 1937 called Jumbo and I am trying to find some more information about my Great, Great Grandparents.
    I was born and raised in Bowers Gifford, so was my father Edward who now is 81.
    Such lovely images that really captivate the Benfleet era.

    By Susan Bailey (30/03/2020)
  • The small white house could be a pumping station to drain the marsh. Anglian water now has a modern building on the site which probably does the same.

    By Bill West (25/03/2014)
  • In one of the photos above, there is a reference to the Black two storey house being occupied by the Midwife. The said Midwife was in fact Nurse Revell, variously referred to on these pages.

    By Michael Reed (22/03/2014)
  • Thank you Margaret.

    By Cia Parker (25/03/2013)
  • Having spoken to one of our older residents he thinks it might be either a milking parlor, as part of that land was used for milking cows by Howard’s Dairy, or it was an old fisherman’s cottage. It might also be that the picture is before 1939, as the army camp cannot be seen in the background and that was built soon after World War II started. If anyone has any info please add.

    By Margaret March (24/03/2013)
  • In the fourth photograph I can see a white house all alone – what do we know of its occupants and demise?

    By Cia Parker (16/03/2013)
  • My Dad lived on a boat called Thanet until 1929 when his Dad died, are there any records at all of this boat at Benfleet? I have the death certificate of my Granddad who died in March 1929 and it states that he died of pneumonia on a houseboat Thanet at Benfleet. Any info would be fantastic.

    By Sue Condon (09/01/2013)

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