The following text was received from a lady by the name of Anne Harley, requesting help in finding the whereabouts of the house in Benfleet where her grandparents lived from 1914 until some time in the 1920s.
We have searched extensively using OS maps from that period and a house name database on this site, without success. If anyone can shed any light on the location of ‘Bryn Teg’, please let us know by adding a comment at the foot of this page.
“I wonder if your members can help me work out where my grandparents’ house in South Benfleet might have been? My Dad’s parents, Annie and Sidney (or Sydney) Fairs Williams, probably started their married life in May 1914 at “Bryn Teg”, Vicarage Hill, South Benfleet. The house name is sometimes mis-spelled as “Bryk Teg” , as in their entry in the 1918 electoral register for South Benfleet.
My Dad started attending the local primary school but tragedy struck in May 1923 when Sidney died suddenly. I have only recently found this account in both the “Chelmsford Chronicle” dated 25 May and the” Essex Newsman” of 26 May 1923:”
SOUTH BENFLEET – DEATH IN CHURCHYARD
Mr S F Williams of Bryk-Teg, Vicarage Hill was hurrying to catch the 8.14 train to London, when he fell in the churchyard and expired almost immediately. He had been unwell.
“At least that tells us that the location of the house meant that going through the churchyard was a short cut to the station.
I guess that the house was sold some time after 1925 and by October 1928, my grandmother was certainly living in Yorkshire. “Bryn Teg” certainly does not appear on the electoral register for 1929 so the name must have been changed by the new owners.
In the late 1970s I had a look at Vicarage Hill but was not able to work out where my grandparents’ house might have been. All we could see then was modern housing and Google Earth seems to confirm that.
The photos below seems to show some of the house’s surroundings between 1916 and 1920/21, which might help someone who knows the area better.
I also have a picture of my father’s class at the primary school in the early/mid 1920s, a photo of an unknown gentleman from Benfleet and an ageing print of someone in a small sailing boat on Benfleet Creek(?) if these would be of interest.”