Tall flats at Chapel Road in 1960s

By Roger Howell

When I was a teenager, I travelled from home in East Tilbury to school in Grays. On the way home, I would often notice two tall, dark coloured buildings, which faced each other across a narrow road, near the foot of the hairpin bridge, to the west of the railway tracks. I have recently bought an old 1970 map of Grays, Chadwell and Tilbury. I have also bought copies of the books "Grays Thurrock" by Barry Barnes, and "Grays Thurrock a history" by Brian Evans. From the map, aerial photographs of the docks, and aerial photos on this website, I am pretty certain that they were on Chapel Road. They don't appear on aerial photos from the early and late 1920s. So were they built in the 1930s, to provide extra accommodation for dockers? Or were they built during or after the war, to replace the dwellings on Ferry Road, lost by bombing during World war two?  According to this website, the western dwellings on St Andrews Road were demolished in 1961. If they hadn't been, I might not have  noticed how tall these buildings on Chapel Road were.

From my memories, which date back to 1962 - 1967, the Chapel Road buildings did not have the gallery walkways shown in pictures of the older dwellings flats which had been built on Orient Road, Ferry Road, and St Andrews Road. I think the Chapel Road buildings may have been entered by double timber doors with clear glass panels. However, these "memories"  are 48 to 53 years old,  so I wonder if I am creating false memories.

Can anyone confirm (or rubbish) any of this? If there are any photos of flats on Chapel Road, I would love to see them.

Sad to say, a map of Tilbury from 2010 shows that all the flats provided for dockers no longer exist, nor do the streets they were on. Even sadder, the Tilbury hospital, charitably provided by the Seamens' Hospital society, no longer exists. So the benevolent paternalism of the 19th and 20th centuries is no more, and charity has given way to the drive to make profits. How sad!

My late father was treated in the Tilbury hospital back in the 50s  or 60s.

 

 

This page was added by Roger Howell on 18/09/2015.