The housing area commonly called ‘The Bird Estate’ was the site of an army camp. Built in 1939 it was used for garrisoning troops in the Second World War. Concern over the construction of the huts was such that a question was raised in Parliament in November 1939.
After the war the camp remained occupied and in 1951 the 74th Company Royal Army Service Corp. were called up for service and sent to Egypt during the Suez crisis. The second photograph below – kindly supplied by Mrs. Alice Chafer – shows the troops on Benfleet station prior to departure.
The camp was eventually demolished in the early 1960’s, and a housing Estate was built. This estate is the south-eastern corner of the Hopes Green estate, ‘The Bird Estate’, and gets its name from the street names which are mostly named after birds. An aerial photograph is shown below – The road winding upwards from the bottom left is Woodham Park Drive, but other roads are named Dove, Linnet, Raven, Swallow, Kingfisher, Curlew and Peregrine. The green area to the bottom and right is part of the Hopes Green recreation ground.