Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Fox and Goose and Thurrock’s missing history

A personal view

IT HAS NOT gone without notice that a pub, located in West Thurrock and steeped in history has been demolished.

The Fox and Goose may have seen better days but that was the point. It had seen better days.

We just wonder if Thurrock needs to have a wake up call regarding its history.

If you go through Facebook and travel from town to town, you will see communities discussing and celebrating the history of their town or village. This is not restricted to 1832 or 1745 but the modern history as well. People discussing a Woolworths from 1976; a football team losing 20-0 in 1984 etc.

There are pockets of history enthusiasts. The emperor of the borough’s archive is Thurrock Council’s Jonathan Catton. Jonathan does a wonderful job, a hero of heritage but he cannot do it all himself. What happens when he stands down?

There are pockets of proud history enthusiasts: The local history society, the Bata group, antique and collectors group. Talk to Susan Yates at Aveley Fc about windmills, talk to Mike Ostler about, about everything. Then there is the Tilbury Riverside Project, which has and is doing sterling work.

But it is the modern history as noted above. The living history. The mass observation projects. The recording of people’s testimony that is missing and the real micro-history that seems to be missing.

Perhaps it is because there is really no such place as Thurrock. It is seen as an administrative construct. People of Aveley have an identity that bears more relation to Upminster than Corringham and likewise, Corringham has more akin with Vange.

Maybe Facebook reveals more clues that people are discussing their personal history and the history of their streets than we realise. People join school groups or interest groups and perhaps they do discuss the past, both modern and ancient.

We have said it before and will say it again but where else do you see the Gull lightship broken up, the two hundred year old pub demolished and the local football ground sold to developers?

People complain about Thurrock being the dumping ground of London. Perhaps a little more active pride and a little less on being defined by what you are not, could go a long way?

1 COMMENT

  1. 35 years ago South Ockendon windmill collapsed. Its remains have languished in various locations ever since – I believe the timbers and millstones are available to anyone who will restore it back as a windmill. Perhaps a worthy community project to bring a piece of Thurrock’s heritage back to the borough – there must be heritgae lottery funding available if any group would take on the project to bring South Ockendon windmill back home?

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