Old Images of Tilbury, Essex

Categorised as Essex
Old photo postcard at the Port of London in Tilbury Essex

Glimpse history through old images of Tilbury, Essex, England.

Dock Extension 1929

During the first stages of building a new extension to Tilbury Dock, which would allow the world’s largest ships to dock there, divers were helped into the waters to lay depth charges.

Creating extension to Docks at Tilbury, Essex (1929) – British Pathé on YouTube

New Dock Opening 1933

In 1933, Tilbury’s new dock extension was opened by Lady Ritchie, who was on board the Oronsay.

TRANSPORT: Opening of new dock at Tilbury (1933) – British Pathé on YouTube

Waste Paper Fire 1936

This is 1936 newsreel has brief footage of a fire at Tilbury Dock, caused by a fire of a large quanitiy of waste paper.

Waste paper fire in Tilbury (1936) – British Pathé on YouTube

Flood 1953

Flooding across the east of England in 1953 brought several members of the royal family out to meet forlorn communities.

About 2 minutes into this newsreel, following the scenes at Purfleet, Mablethorpe, Sutton on Sea, and the volunteers at Cambridge, we see Queen Elizabeth II walking along boards set on the muddy ground of a street at Tilbury, surrounded by a large crowd of residents. She then meets one of the affected households.

Queen Tours Flood Areas (1953) – British Pathé on YouTube

Leaving Tilbury in the 1970s

Lots of people lined up to wave goodby to relatives as they emigrated in the 1970s. People on board included the young, the old, and everything in between.

There’s also a shot of the waterfront and some of the buildings behind.

Emigrants – Tilbury (1970-1979) – British Pathé on YouTube

Tilbury Docks in 1980

First broadcast as part of the Thames TV programme Finding Out on 13th October 1980, these are a few seconds showing the docks and surrounding area from the air.

Tilbury Docks from the air – London – River Thames – 1980 – ThamesTv on YouTube

Historic Book

Extract from: Stifford and its neighbourhood, past and present. [With] More about Stifford, by William Palin

Published in 1871

Pages 9 – 10

The Roman road and the Pilgrim roads have been already spoken of ;
the latter are still distinctly traceable to some extent , though the making
of wider roads suitable to increased traffic , and cutting down long lines of
old pollard oaks , within the author’s recollection , have in some instances
broken the thread by which even forty years ago ( about the extent of his
local knowledge ) they could be more widely traced . Such of them as survive
will be noticed under the respective parishes .

The only general change in
the more modern roads has been their general improvement , at a greatly
increased charge .

The improvement has been brought about by surveyors ,
in our more intelligent modern times , getting a clearer apprehension of the
meaning of the word highway , viz . a road raised above the roadside .

Young drove on our roads , or tried to do so , in 1767. He took the old Roman
line of road throughout . They were not the people to leave it as he found it .

He says , ” Of all the cursed roads that ever disgraced this kingdom in the
very ages of barbarism , none ever equalled that from Billericay to the King’s
Head at Tilbury . It is for near ten miles so narrow that a mouse cannot pass by any carriage . I saw a fellow creep under his waggon to assist me
to lift , if possible , my chaise over a hedge . The ruts are of an incredible
depth , and a pavement of diamonds might as well be sought for as a quarter .
The trees everywhere overgrow the road , so that it is totally impervious to
the sun except at a few places . And , to add to the infamous circumstances
that continually occur to plague a traveller , I must not forget the eternally
meeting with chalk – waggons , themselves frequently stuck fast till a collec
tion of them are in the same situation , and twenty or thirty horses may
be tacked to each other to draw them out one by one . After this descrip
tion will you , can you believe me , when I tell you that a turnpike was
much solicited for by some gentlemen to lead from Chelmsford to the fort
at Tilbury Fort , but opposed by the bruins of this country , whose horses are
torn to pieces with bringing chalk through these vile roads ; and yet in
this tract are found farmers who cultivate above a thousand pounds a
year , but are perfectly contented with their roads . ”

One cannot dismiss
the subject of roads without a word of more modern means of travelling .
Old inhabitants will remember the time when travelling here was a very de
liberate affair . Thirty years ago Kerr’s Horndon coach was the only means
of reaching London , which latter few of the old inhabitants of that time ,
after spending a long life here within twenty miles , had ever seen .

” The
coach ” left Stifford at 8 A.M. , reaching the Bull , Aldgate , well known for
the venerable Mrs. Nelson , at 11.30 , if the roads were propitious , by
Barking ; returning at 4 P.M. , fares 48. 6d . and 6s . 6d . Then the ‘ Star ‘
and ‘ Diamond ‘ fleets calling at Grays pier . And now , the pride and agent
of civilization , the rail .

Tempora mutantur , nos et mutamur in illis , for
along with other matters connected with the highways a curious reason has
been assigned for the bad roads of former times , viz . that the farmers ,
getting the fee simple of a field by a happy crop , did not care to invite the
non – resident rector and squire , by good roads , to look after tithe and rent ,

” They wor fine times for farmers then , and fine goin’s on too ,
One crop o ‘ mustard ud buy the land wi’out much ado .
Landlords and rectors they was birds o ‘ which you only heard ,
They’d send for rent or tithe , but twarn’t often they appeared ;
For that matter the tenants didn’t werry much wish they should ,
And they kept the old roads most as bad as ever they could . “
The Old Essex Clerk .

No diversion of roads , nor , worth mentioning , of field – paths in the last
forty years .

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