AT the February meeting, more than 100 members and visitors came to hear Jonathon Catton, Thurrock’s Heritage and Museum Officer, give an illustrated talk on a history of Grays.
He began with the town’s name, which originated from Sir Henry de Grai, who was granted the manor of Thurrock by King Richard in 1195. Henry and his descendants held the manor for more than 300 years.
The talk took the form of a walk around Grays, starting with the parish church and moving on to New Road, down to Argent Street, up Bridge Road then on to Orsett Road and the High Street.
Along the way we heard about the buildings, shops and cinemas and events such as the fraudulent transactions at Grays Building Society leading to its closure and the suicide of the manager, the training ships moored on the Thames and the devastating fire in 1875 on the TS Goliath, when one officer and 18 boys were lost.
A short summary cannot cover the detail in this fascinating talk, enhanced by photographs on the screen, which confirmed the importance of Thurrock Museum in preserving the heritage of the borough.
The next meeting is at the Adult Community College, Richmond Road, Grays on Friday, March 18, at 8pm.
The subject is Women and Family in Medieval Times by Jennifer Ward.