June – BBC Essex, Stalls, and Lots of Content

Hello Beyond the Point readers! It’s been an exciting month for Beyond the Point and things are starting to warm up for summer! Whilst I’m now settled into my apprenticeship at ITN, BTP Liam has just finished his A-Levels exams – much to his relief! We’re now planning some really exciting and exclusive trips for the upcoming months and we’ve got lots of content to publish to polish off the website.

At the end of last month we published a documentary and article on Beyond the Point investigating the ruins of Castle View school. The response has been incredible! Our website stats shot up within a few hours and many people have contacted us to say how many memories this brought back and how sad it was to see the site like. Former pupils and staff have left comments on our website about how they enjoyed our research and interest into the site with many more people emailing us and commenting on our Facebook Page. We attracted pupils –  now in their adulthood and youth, who were fascinated and also saddened by the decay of the old site. The community Facebook group Canvey Island Then and Now helped to share our documentary, photographs, and article, with the locals. as a result we were featured in the Castle Point Echo. You can read about the production of our documentary on BTP Joe’s website.

A week later on July the 5th, when the Echo photographed us for our CVS project, we rushed down to Concord Beach on Canvey as we were about to broadcast live for the Dave Monk Show for BBC Music Day. Another young man like ourselves who wishes to raise awareness of the past is resident Mitchell Tanner, who composed a classical music piece for broadcast which sought to evoke the emotion of the 1953 North Sea Floods which hit Canvey and claimed a number of lives. It was played alongside audio clips of local personalities sharing their memories of the events. Shortly before this was played the BTP boys were interviewed on how the younger generation can be captured by history, and you can hear our interview in the video below:

During this time BTP Liam was on study leave, and had some time aside from revision to update the Beyond the Point website. Mouse over ‘Historic Locations’ in the top menu to read many of the new or recently updated articles – be them on the history of Shell Haven in Thurrock, Benfleet Station, or the Prittle Brook running through Southend. Many of these new articles will be featured on our front page over the next few months as we continue to expand the range of places covered on our site. BTP Joe has also been adding these places onto our interactive map, allowing you to explore what is near you.

More recently we attended the unveiling of an information board at Canvey Point after being invited by the Canvey Community Archive who did this project. The board is to educate passers by on the crash of the American Bomber B17 flight and to remember those who were fighting for our country. The local sea scouts stood at the plaque alongside Ray Howard, the Canvey Community Archive and the Reverend David Tudor who all gave a speech. Messages from the families of the crew were read out by Geoff Burke. We believe this is an excellent display and would love to see more of them around the area, particularly at more lesser-publicised sites of historic and cultural significance.

P1010132Sticking with the Canvey Archive, we also visited Rio Bingo on Canvey Island with Janet Penn. We had an exciting tour around the former cinema, looking at where the old projector would have been also looking at all of the ‘off-limit’ areas. A documentary and article will be coming soon.

Last weekend our BTP stall travelled to The Paddocks for armed forces day. We met many people who were very interested in the work that we do at Beyond the Point, particularly because of our age. Our stall will next be hitting the road at the Canvey Archive’s heritage trail on September 27th. Then on October 11th we will be at the Transport Museum, Canvey, for a stall at their open day.

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