Those Places Thursday – George and Elizabeth Brittain at Canvey Island

“Those Places Thursday” refers to one of the daily blogging themes on the Geneabloggers site:

This is a photo of my great grandparents on my father’s side.  I think it was taken around the time of their 60th wedding anniversary in 1961.

Outside "Geomar" on Canvey Island

George Francis BRITTAIN (1881-1963 ) and Elizabeth (Betsy) nee Wiltshire (1880-1969 ) lived in Wood Green, north London, but owned a bungalow (Geomar)  on Canvey Island in Essex.   I spent many happy holidays there as a child but sadly George and Elizabeth were never there, as far as I can recall.  To me as a small girl, Canvey was wonderful.  The road outside Geomar wasn’t built up and had the deepest puddles I had ever encountered.  We used to walk down to the sea front and go to the beach, which I think was made of millions of fragments of shell rather than proper sand.   I always managed to find a new friend on the beach and played for hours quite happily.   Occasionally it rained , hence the puddles!  We would stay indoors and play board games, which I liked as long as I was winning.

Canvey Island is an Island of some seven square miles lying off the South Coast of Essex in the Thames Estuary. The Island is below sea level with beaches to the south and now has a population  of about 45,000 living behind 14 miles of high sea walls.  Back in the early 1960s when we used to visit it still seemed quite a quiet place.   Early in the 20th century the Island was promoted as somewhere for  city-dwellers to escape to the seaside and fresh clean air away from  the city smogs.  Looking back it  easy to see why so many Londoners bought plots of land  and built holiday homes, and I assume that my great grandparents bought their plot in the 1920s or 1930s.  Certainly the family looks relaxed and happy in all the  photos I’ve seen.

I need to do some more research to try to find out the exact location of “Geomar” and the places we used to visit.


About familyhistoryfootsteps

I'm enjoying early retirement! I have been researching my ancestry for several years and am interested in all aspects of family history especially local and social history.
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