Canvey Island, Thorney Bay Beach Camp c.1955
Photo ref: C237304
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Canvey Island was a popular holiday resort in the 1950s. Well-ordered rows of caravans are ready to welcome summer visitors. A complex of administrative buildings can also be seen.This photograph clearly illustrates the flatness of much of the reclaimed land that forms the island and which the sea attempted to reclaim in the devastating floods of 1953.

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Britain's Coasts

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A Selection of Memories from Canvey Island

For many years now, we've been inviting visitors to our website to add their own memories to share their experiences of life as it was, prompted by the photographs in our archive. Here are some from Canvey Island

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We were on holiday. I remember 5 of us in a chalet. I was the eldest child about 9 years old. There was an entertainment area where we attended the Woody Woodpecker Show. Can vaguely remember a small beach. We had to get water once from a standpipe as something went wrong in the chalet?
It would have been mid August 1970 when I had my first holiday here, together with my parents, aunt, and our two dogs. I was 8 years old. It was 50 years ago this month. We rented a chalet for two weeks. There was a duck pond in front of it. Canvey and Kings memories: The sweet shop near the camp run by a lady who owned a lot of dogs! Those 4 wheeled bikes with bench seats you could hire on camp. They were ...see more
It must have been in the 60`s. We stayed in a caravan and loved it all. Flying a kite or playing football then walking along the sea wall and having a swim. We always walked to the funfair in the evenings where I absolutely loved the helter skelter with that huge bowl at the bottom. Just wonderful fun. We also took trips to Southend, Rayleigh Castle and Shoeburyness. We came by train from Fenchurch ...see more
I have never seen Canvey Island when it got hit by the flood in 1959. I know what it did to Canvey but I was looking at the black and white pictures that my grandad showed me and it was different to what it looks like now and I'm only 15 - what a change.