Posts Tagged ‘Oil Refinery’

BTP Joe and I have been busy over the past few months updating our stall display which we feature at local community events. We decided to create a ‘giant’ MDF pillbox to replace our table, and after applying wood ‘bricks’, a pva and sand mixture, and layers of paint, we managed to create an authentic concrete texture. We even added ivy to create an ‘abandoned look’. To go along with it we decided to upgrade the display board from what was originally just a map showing historic remains across the Thames, to a hand-drawn and painted antique-looking map featuring particular historic structures across the estuary. Photographs and drawing of these places brought them to life, whilst the addition of a iPad-holder made from an old picture frame enables us to play videos at our stall. We put this display to use in September at the Canvey Archive Heritage Trail, and at the Canvey Transport Museum Open day in October. Follow our Facebook and Twitter to check for upcoming events where we will showcase our display!

Canvey Island Transport Museum (October)
Canvey Archive Heritage Trail (September)

As for other site content, we have numerous features lined up covering a variety of places and traditions. In production are documentaries on Dover Castle and it’s tunnels, Westcliff Highschool for Boys, Canvey’s Occidental Oil Refinery with guest Chris Fenwick (manager of Dr. Feelgood), and the history of tea whilst the boys taste their way through the B Tea P Party. Proposed upcoming content includes East Tilbury Bata Shoe Factory, Coalhouse Fort, a Halloween feature, and a rare opportunity to film the renown Edwardian Severall’s Asylum in Colchester. We also plan to give Beyond the Point a facelift over the next few months looking into a more accessible modern site layout with a new homepage video.

Grisly adventures at Severall's Asylum - 105 years old

Grisly adventures at Severall’s Asylum – 105 years old


Happy Bonfire Night viewers. Before I begin I would like to inform you of a minor update to our content system. News updates once found on our Facebook page will now also be visible on the main website you are currently viewing. We will archive these in the ‘News’ section on the top  menu. This gives us the opportunity to post about the everyday side of BTP, integrating our social media content with our research here on This also means that all of our early posts will be logged and made easily-navigable via either the ‘News’, ‘Historic Locations’, or ‘More BTP’ sections.

2014 marks one-hundred years since the start of the First World War on the 28th of July 1914. Contrary to stereotypical imagery of the conflict; fighting abroad in Flanders Fields, it is important to remember that the Great War was also a struggle fought at home. Beyond the Point is proud to announce it will be investigating this side of the war, as a partner of the Imperial War Museum First World War Centenary Partnership. We visited the commemorative poppy display set up in the ground of the Tower of London last week to begin the coverage. Soon after we visited Rainham Marshes to investigate remains of a ruined Ministry of Defence firing range and coastal defence used in the Great War. Content is soon to follow. We plan a trip to the hopefully undisturbed site of Kynoch’s Munitions Factory, in Coryton.

   If you are subscribed to our Facebook Page or YouTube Channel, you will know that on the Halloween we released the prequel to our ‘Canvey Island Monster Returns’ spoof which we made exactly three years ago when we set up Beyond the Point. It makes for a tongue-in-cheek change to our usual local history-based content. Enjoy this Halloween short film above, or read about the actual  ‘Canvey Island Monster’ that washed up on the beach in 1953 here: We filmed the production using our professional-grade equipment, that we usually use for our historic documentaries, over three filming sessions. Below you can see some of the ‘beyond the scenes’ photographs that I took during filming. You may also notice us sporting our new BTP fleeces which we recently had printed with community funding, as well as some polo shirts. We will be wearing these in future videos and photographs to add to the professionalism and uniformity of BTP.

Wow, a lot of tags!! “Canvey, our little Thames town” is probably going to be the most iconic BTP words that you’ll ever hear! On June 3rd 2012 Liam and I will be down the sea front as part of the Town Council Diamond Jubilee event. The event is  a giant picnic event, where everyone can bring a bite to eat, or visit the local food shops and sit down and listen to the band music play! With confirmation from the various choirs, it’s guaranteed to be a great day out for all the family! The event times are 1pm until 6pm and it’s being organised by the town council; Geraldine Vallis in particular. But wait… gets even better!! Beyond the Point will be there! We could say it in posh terms “Visit our exclusive one off, road show!!” We will be in the heritage marquee promoting the website and the work that we do with our own stall which will feature a selection of our top finds (including the Stephens Inks thermometer), our best pictures, and an exclusive DVD which can only be purchased there and then! For all of our budding BTP readers, you can keep an eye on our countdown to the left <<<

Canvey Island Documentary DVD by


With 20+ copies available, make sure you get one! Titled “Canvey Island – A comprehensive documentary” this documentary DVD will feature information, interviews and images from Canvey Island throughout the ages! This 1 hour (approx) DVD will be on sale for £4.99 and it has been filmed in full High Definition! We haven’t done any BTP visits over the past couple of months as we’ve been out every weekend filming this and this weekend will be the last, with Liam just needing to do a final interview! We’ve been all over the island and after hours of filming and editing it will finally be ready! You can view the trailer below! You can also keep up with us via Twitter and Facebook!

That’s all from us, make sure you visit us on the day!

Get your DVD!!

BTP Liam and I are currently filming as I mentioned in my last post. On Thursday we interviewed Graham Stevens about the Canvey Island floods of  ’53 and when we met up with him, he gave us a folder of documents. The folder had several fantastic documents in it of the Occidental site and jetty showing that the jetty, isn’t complete currently and that there were plans to make the jetty longer at the end. Some of the other maps and plans show the piping for the various containers, Gas Liquid Chromatography maps (it’s makes it sound better than GLC maps!!), diagrams of the various administration offices and the height comparison to a worker. You can see the images below, that BTP Liam and myself spent combining from several photocopied segments of the documents. (You can click on the images to make them bigger)

I doubt that you can read it but it says 'Foster Wheeler', which after researching, I found out that they are a 'global engineering and construction contractor' and 'a power equipment supplier'.

Inside the front cover

The divisions in the folder labeled 'RHS - #'

The first map of the site with the locations of the drums

Map 2 which shows you the plan for the Occidental Jetty; showing that it was planned to be longer. You can also see other small jetties that are coming off of the sea wall.

In this map, map 5, you can see the whole area with the proposed piping route going away from the site, north.

Map 7 shows you the the proposed administration buildings and workshops. You can see the scale difference between the people and the buildings. It's a shame it's not here!

You can view the rest of the images at our Forum Topic. The images above belong to Graham Stevens but were scanned and cropped together by Beyond the Point. With great thanks to Graham!! 

I recently bought a book off Ebay (several are still on there and have been for along time – if you don’t want tobuty one there are also several down Canvey Library) called ‘Canvey: An investigation of potential hazards from operations in the Canvey Island/Thurrock area’. Although arguably the most boring book of all time, with 90% of it containing graphs and statistics on the possible harm the Shell, Coryton, Occidental, and United Refineries, and one small one in Standford-le-Hope, plus the Calor gas terminal on Canvey, could do if an explosion or disaster happened there, mainly to the surrounding population.

It did however contain something more than worth its price (despite only 7 pounds) which was a very detailed map/plan of the middle portion of the Occidental Refinery. It has great detail from road, bunds (blast mounds or something), drum dimensions, the construction jetty, and more. This is exactly what we are looking for. If we had the entire refinery in his format, then the mystery of the place would be more or less solved.

It also contains a fold-out map at the end showing the locations of these refineries:

Yesterday, I went to Canvey library and picked up a book known as ‘Coryton – the History of a Village’, by Winifred N. Scott. It is about the village of Coryton before the company Mobil came in and built the infamous refinery there, forcing out the residents and demolishing the village meanwhile. Albeit fairly interesting, I wouldn’t have gotten this book out, until there was one image that caught my eye. On page 41 there is an aerial image from 1981, showing the refinery with the Occidental Jetty making a show in the background – nothing special I thought. The page before, however, shows an image from 1974, in the Occidental refinery’s early days, showing the Jetty under-constructing, not seen before! It clearly, although in the distance, an image of several poles sticking out of the water, being the ‘legs’ of the jetty, with nothing adjoining them together. Towards the start of the poles, part of the top walkway can be seen on the jetty, and out in the water, where the end should be, there stands a single pole mounted on something like a buoy, perhaps marking the jetty-to-be’s ending point, or simply just a passing boat in a coincidental place. From the ironwork of the jetty, we’ve found that it was commissioned by Occidental to be built by the intrepid iron-mongers ‘Dorman Long’.

The whole image


The jetty in the making