Its a daytrip I can really recomend, heading east out of London on the A13 in the morning sun we stopped off at Tilbury. The geometric fort is a good starting point before a walk along the Thames past Tilbury B Power Station before arriving at Tilbury Beach.
The shore hear is littered with the remains of a Victorian bottle dump. Ceramics, glass, shoes and human bones moved form overfull cemeteries.
Onwards to Canvey itself. A somewhat depressing suburban settlement on the island where the Thames meets the sea. Once a major holiday destination for the East End, Canvey’s reputation was somewhat ruined by the North Sea flood of 1953. An impressive sea wall keeps the water at bay and away from rows of bungalows and buildings on a strangely small scale. Indeed the roads and everything seems to be on a smaller scale here. Boat yards, arcades, car parks and 1930s buildings are contrasted on the west of the Island with the oil refinery and a nature reserve in a decommissioned refinery site.
Updated August 2011: Guardian’s Country Diary on Canvey Wick.
Update February 2012:
First published Apr 24th, 2011 11:20pm
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