Ronald Baker's Yard, Benfleet Creek.

Circa 1955

Circa 1955, Ronald Leslie Baker started a boatyard on the north shore of Benfleet Creek, approximately adjacent to the level railway crossing, before relocating, on construction of new road/bridge, to another boatyard: Marsh Road, (now Wat Tyler Park) Pitsea, Essex.

The boat in my photo, shows an ex-Royal Navy Motor Torpedo Boat, (MTB). I am told this boat was used as a house-boat that I lived on with my mother Jean Baker, nee Dart, with my elder, baby brother, Derek for a very few years, probably up to the building of the new road and bridge and the relocation of my father’s yard.

This MTB was one of many similar vessels, lighthouse ships, barges, etc. that my father acquired from mainly naval stocks, run down after the 2nd World War.

These boats would be re-sold or broken up for salvage or burnt, usually at Canvey Point, for their scrap value. This work was also undertaken by Eric Baker, the elder of the three brothers.

There is another photo, linked to my father, on the page, ‘Recording the changing face of Benfleet : Part Two’, of another of his MTBs being towed, by his brother Dennis.

I am sorry to have to mention that my father was murdered, at home at Church Road, Benfleet, in his later years.

I would be very interested to see any photos of my father or of his yard(s) if anyone has any please? I have no memories of this era, as I was then a baby living on the MTB before living in Leigh on Sea and then, later, back to Benfleet.

 

Ex-Royal Navy Motor Torpedo Boat

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  • Hello Pat Baker, I do remember you, I used to knock around with your elder brother Derek, I also think you had a younger brother and a dog by the name of Bruce who would always grin at you upon greeting.
    I used to live at the Tarpots area and often biked to your house in Church Lane to mess around with Derek.
    I’m very sorry to hear about your Dad, met him a few times, I remember he had a Rolls Royce which he gave me a lift in as I’d fallen out of a tree and couldn’t ride my bike home.
    I hope you are all well, I’ve not seen Derek for some 40 years, don’t know if he would remember me.

    By Ian Briggs (04/03/2021)
  • Ian Lipscomb.
    Sorry, only just seen your message. I was born in 1957 and went to Kents Hill Jnr and then Appleton schools so, I am not sure if I am the right Patrick?

    Alan Walker,
    Yes, I think we did meet once but sorry, I have no idea, re. Irene.

    By Patrick Baker (12/02/2021)
  • Hi Patrick Baker, just come across this article. I knew your father Ronald in the 1970’s. He had a son named Leslie and a daughter Irene both lived on canvey. I married Irene in 1974 and I would have met you during the 70’s at Benfleet. I lost touch with Irene in the 80’s after our divorce, anybody any idea where she is today? Alan Walker.

    By Alan Walker (11/02/2021)
  • Hi Pat Baker, are you the same person who was in Mrs Dobson’s class in 1966? The MTB by the bridge I remember very well. Apparently when the MTB’s were burnt at Canvey Point buckets of copper rivets were collected from the mud afterwards to be sold as scrap.

    By Ian Lipscomb (25/07/2020)

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