AT our January meeting Phil Edgar showed how parts of the borough had changed throughout the years in a photographic display. Stanford le Hope and Mucking are close, but Mucking is the oldest parish, being mentioned in the Domesday Book. It was larger in Saxon times as the Mucking dig in the 1950s showed, some artefacts now in the Thurrock and British Museums. The church closed in 1952, but there is still a school and the Crown public house.
Stanford le Hope had its marshes, Boorman’s flour mill and railway tavern; the cattle market was in Victoria Road. Phil showed several photos of The Green, showing how Barclays Bank once stood there, complete with steeple, also the blacksmiths and the Cock and Magpie Inn which became Lloyds Bank. The Doctor’s House is now the Inn on the Green. St Margaret’s church underwent a major restoration in 1887, when the new tower was added.
Stanford wharf even has a small beach. We were shown Ivy Walls where Joseph Conrad lived, St Joseph’s church built in 1910, also a school for workers at Kynoch which opened in 1912. The railway station was originally called the Horndon Halt, with no footbridge between platforms. Seabrooke’s brewery was bought by Charrington’s then pulled down. Also shown were the Regent cinema and Hassenbrook Hall.
St Mary’s Corringham is over 1000 years old, the oldest church in Thurrock, with a large pond behind. Many photos showed the fire crew, blacksmiths, Giffords Cross, the building of Gable Hall school and Herd Lane school. There were several views of Kynochtown (later Coryton) which was more like a village, employing more women than men, some apparently being prostitutes sent from London! They had their own railway, school and hotel. Accommodation for men and women was segregated. In 1954 the Queen Mother visited to see the new houses built there. The expansion of the nearby Mobil Oil refinery meant the village being demolished in the 1970s.
Fobbing has the White Lion pub and St Michael’s church, where John Pell who invented the long division sign was the vicar. He also built their first school. Phil concluded with the Five Bells in Vange, the boundary of which used to go right up to where Basildon is now.
As our Christmas meeting was cancelled due to bad weather, the talk was followed by festive refreshments and a raffle. Our next meeting is at 8pm on Friday 17 February at St John’s Church hall in Victoria Avenue, Grays when our chairman Susan Yates’ talk is entitled Broomsticks & Bedknobs. All visitors are welcome.