Views of Canvey Floods from Benfleet 1953

The morning after

Many people had to be evacuated from Canvey Island, one of the places that was used as a reception centre was Benfleet School.

Benfleet Creek from The Downs.
Gilbert Wines
Canvey Bridge.
Gilbert Wines
The railway line close to the foot crossing at Benfleet looking towards Leigh.
Gilbert Wines
Leigh Building Supply wharf in the foreground, that was in Benfleet Creek, looking towards Pitsea.
Gilbert Wines
Looking towards Leigh
Gilbert Wines

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  • I can remember being woken by my parents and told to look out of their bedroom window, we lived on Alexander Road and could see Canvey. Canvey had gone, my school was on Canvey, St Joseph’s Convent and I couldn’t go to school, my elder brother helped in the rescue. I believe we had some relatives drowned in the flood.

    By Frank Daley (22/05/2015)
  • I wish I knew more about Shiner and Holms and how a firm of professional photographers could make a living in South Benfleet in the austerity years of the late ’40’s and early ’50’s. They always took the “class photos” at the South Benfleet Primary School and Group photos of the South Benfleet Junior Choir, organised by Mrs Mitchell of Benfleet High Road – I think her husband was the first “planner” to be appointed to the development of Basildon New Town in 1953. 

    I well remember that Sunday morning in 1953 looking from Thundersley Park Road across the marshes of Canvey towards Shell Haven and seeing nothing but water – no school for us for the next 3 weeks. I don’t know why there weren’t more photos of Canvey from the “mainland” – the Hadleigh or Benfleet Downs would be an ideal location. Even Hilda Grieve’s superb book “The Great Tide” has no photos from the mainland.

    By Richard Hayden (11/01/2012)
  • Sorry I’ve been so long getting back to you. Thanks for the info. I’ll look into it.

    By Patricia Smith (05/12/2011)
  • Mr Wines, the gentleman who took these photographs did talk about a professional photographer taking pictures at the same time of some of the above locations. I will talk to him and see if he knows anything about Shiner and Holmes.

    By Margaret March (27/09/2011)
  • Apparently the other photographer was a Mr Carr.

    By Margaret March (27/09/2011)
  • I’m writing a book about the affect the flood of 1953 had on the people of Essex and was pleased to see photos on the website which I’ve never seen before. It seems very few photos were taken from Benfleet. Are there any more around? 

    Does anyone know anything about Shiner and Holmes the Benfleet photographer? 

    Regards, Pat, ex Benfleet resident, now Maldon.

    By Pat Smith (18/09/2011)

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