Posts Tagged ‘Welcome’

Less than two months into 2016, it’s already looking like a big and busy year for Beyond the Point! We have many exciting things to show off in the coming months, ranging from our Secrets of Severalls documentary, to a completely new fresh look for Beyond the Point as we revamp our website.

So the first news update is that Beyond the Point getting a complete revamp. We’re a non-profit history organisation although we don’t want to be stuck in the past and as we approach 5 years since Beyond the Point was founded we’ve decided that this is an ideal time to modernise the site. We’re in the process of designing a brand new website, one that is much more user-friendly and easier to navigate. A large amount of the content is being tweaked, including some of older content which isn’t quite up to our current standards and many more locations will also be added to our website. This is a really exciting time for BTP and our biggest change to date. Our new and improved website will be going live later on in the year.

Secrets of Sevs UpdateAlso to be released later this year is our Secrets of Severalls documentary and news of its production is certainly getting out there, not just from a few likes on Facebook but from a television broadcast advertising the making of our documentary to a 6-page spread in the Digital FilmMaker Magazine (no pressure then!) Ever since we had the green light from the NHS in September last year, we knew that this was going to be quite a big project for us, one that would be quite a step up from our normal calibre. Since announcing that production has started, we’ve had tens of thousands of views online, hundreds of messages and a massive interest from a many people.

Earlier this week we headed back up to the Severalls site to be interviewed by ITV News Anglia for a report that they were doing on the future of the site. This was transmitted on Monday evening and got the word out that we were the last people to film there. If you have any memories of photos of Severalls Hospital then please contact us. You can see the ITV News report below.

All rights to the VT are owned by ITV News.

The Digital FilmMaker Magazine also snapped up this story. The Digital FilmMaker is a national magazine exploring the behind the scenes and the making of short films and features various articles on the latest filming equipment and projects. We are delighted to have a 6 page spread, offering an in-depth look at the planning and organising of this documentary so far. You can see a sneak preview below and can purchase a copy of the magazine in shops such as WHSmith.

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Hello Beyond The Point readers! Liam and I are excited to announce the launch of a new scheme called ‘Your BTP’. We recently released ‘iBTP‘ which allows you to follow in our footsteps and re-create the BTP visit yourself, by using our iBTP map and guide. ‘Your BTP’ connects you with Beyond The Point even more, although in a slightly different way.

Over the past three and a half years of running Beyond the Point, we have met so many people, all of which have an incredible passion for their local history – they might have been part of history themselves, or just hold a strong interest in it. We’ve been thinking for a while about how we can get people even more integrated with Beyond the Point, and Your BTP is the way forward. The scheme works by people writing their own memories and tales (or sending us some old photographs/video clips) on the area’s that we cover; perhaps you’ve grown up here, have some old family photos of the area or even worked at the one of the places that we’ve featured like the Fisons Factory for example. Then, you can send in your memories to us so that we can publish them on our website. A new tab will be created at the top of the website where we will publish the articles, allowing all of our website visitors to view and comment on them.

Beyond the Point is a unique community archive, in that our community is South-East Essex and is expanding further afield. We’ve covered so many sites across Essex and ‘beyond the point’ at Kent ;), including Runwell Hospital, Rainham Marshes, The Imperial War Museum, The Gherkin, Wartime Southend and many more. The amount of people that have passed through these places with their own unique story of the place is incredible, and we would like that archive those memories for the future. So whether you’re from Canvey, London, Tilbury or somewhere else – why not send us in your memories?

If you would like to write an article for our website or send us in any old photos or video clips, then please send them via the Contact Page, or email them to us at BeyondthePoint@mail.com

Merry Christmas!

Posted: December 25, 2014 by BTP Liam in Various
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   Happy Christmas!

BTP would like to wish you, and your friends and family, a very merry Christmas, and all the best health and happiness. Check below for our Christmas Message giving a glimpse of what’s in-store for the new year…

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What’s next for BTP 2015?

As for exploration, we have a visit to Rainham Marshes’ Ministry of Defence ruins on its way imminently. This will be continuing our partnership with the Imperial War Museum & the First World War Centenary. We will be visiting further sites relating the Great War such as an archaeological expedition to the site of Coryton’s thought lost munitions factory. We have recently visited Dover Castle and the abandoned former Castle View School; both exclusive permission visits, and are currently processing our content from these trips for release in Q1 of 2015.

Finally we would like to unveil a new innovation – ‘iBTP’.  iBTP will be a way in which you can experience Beyond the Point first hand. Soon as Beyond the Point cannot house its archaeological exhibits in a museum (they might be a little too large!), we are going to be making it easier for you to visit the places we cover. Our Interactive Map has recently seen a major update, and now has a large portion of the places we have visited on, allowing you to find what treasures are nearest to you. Secondly, we will be publishing iBTP Guides with many of our articles; essentially printer-friendly versions of our articles, complete with a map and route plan. Due to the nature of some of the sites we visit, not all places will receive this special treatment, but those found within public, safe grounds will do. Whenever you see the iBTP banner next to our content, you know you can plan to follow in our footsteps with ease.

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Hip-hip horay!

3 years on today, tens of thousands of website views later and many more explores on, from when we set up the website in 2011! July 17th 2011 was when we set up this blog, and when we were biking around Two Tree Island, we never would have thought how iconic that day would be. A nationally recognised community archive was founded, a friendship was strengthened further more and my spelling and grammar was corrected for the next 3 years by Liam! 😉

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Above are a few photos from the first few albums on our Facebook page. As today marks 3 years, we have looked back at our journey and have answered some questions to give you even more of an insight into Beyond the Point, including answering the question that we’re asked the most – How did BTP start? Below is a feature length documentary that we have produced for our third birthday special. With 7 hours editing, 6 hours rending and even longer uploading to Beyond the Point TV, we hope you enjoy it. We show some old clips to remind you of us three years ago (something we don’t mind forgetting) as well as ourselves talking about how we set up the site, what the ‘BTP room is’ and also answering the questions that you’ve asked us on Facebook/Twitter. It’s been strange looking back at some of the visits that we don’t remember quite as well and even more strange to see them in videos!

Thinking back that today was actually the day we set up this site 3 years ago (if that makes sense!) is quite surreal, I can remember setting up the site with our first page/post being the about us one. We’ve met many great people and have also had the chance to experience many things that we wouldn’t have normally so we would like to thank everyone for supporting us, and we look forward to the years to come.

Hello Beyond the Point readers, and many thanks for reading this blog post now and my, what an exclusive one it is! A week today Beyond the Point will proudly be celebrating two years of exploring, blogging and filming and it’s been an amazing couple of years! Starting off as just a .wordpress.com blog we have come so far now having a proper domain name, YouTube channel with over 6 hours worth of videos, very strong links within the community and most of all we have promoted local history. We are most excited about our recent news which we have had to keep secret for a few months however we can now reveal all.

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Last year we submitted a nomination to the Community Archives and Heritage Group for their annual awards. They describe themselves as “a national group which aims to support and promote community archives in the UK & Ireland. We bring together bodies and organisations concerned with Community Archives, and provide a forum for the regular exchange of views and information.” We were absolutely over the moon to be told that we have won the title for ‘Best Online Website 2012’. This is an amazing achievement in which we can now say we’re an award winning website however that’s not the only thing we won! We also won the biggest award of ‘Community Archive of the Year‘ The original email stated:

Congratulations on Beyond the Point being the overall winner of the CAHG awards for this year.  When we wrote to you initially we mentioned  how impressed we were with what you have done and that we would like you to speak at our annual conference on 10 July. If you can get half as much enthusiasm across in your talk as you did in your awards submission they’ll love you.  Everyone just loved the idea of you going off and doing something practical.

The event today was extremely lovely with many fantastic comments such as “You are inspirational” and many more. Comments from TV Presenter, Nick Barratt, were particularly reassuring. You can following the Twitter Trend from today’s event here. We are extremely proud of today and have met some amazing people. A video will be going on Beyond the Point TV next week, combined with clips from our local celebratory event next week.

Watch our speech here:

Thursday 31st January 2013 marks 60 long years since Canvey Island was hit by an abnormal storm causing mass flooding and damage to many many people’s property and lives. The horrific event terrorised Canvey however the whole of the Essex coast was affected as well as other places.

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Saturday 31st January 1953 began in Essex like any other mid-winter Saturday, however the outcome was a surprising revelation for everyone… On Canvey the new memorial hall, gaily bedecked with bunting, was publicly dedicated in the afternoon to the memory of local men who lost their lives in the Second World War. On the mainland opposite Canvey, caretakers and cleaners gave the new Benfleet secondary school in Shipwrights Drive, sometimes referred to locally as ‘The Palace’, the final polish for its official opening. At 11pm at Tewkes Creek the wind was fresh, cold and fierce. Shortly before midnight, one or two nightfarers, who was a Roman Catholic Priest who was old visiting a sick parishioner. In the bright moonlight he saw the tide lapping the top of the wall. In the Sunken Marsh a river board employee who lived nearby realised that the tide was rising rapidly. At might night, the chilling water was closing in on the whole of the Essex coast. Flooding in varying degrees had begun, and was spreading as the tide continued its inexorable rise and overwhelmed the defences on an ever-lengthening front which the weight, height and duration of its attack.  At this time, just before 1am, dykes were starting to overflow and the electricity board has received a report of a fault on Canvey due to flooding. At 12:50am, the water was at the top of the wall at Smallgains, this section in fact has recently been raised and thickened and was about a foot and a half higher that the wall at Tewkes Creek. One of the river board’s men was blowing his whistle, which echoed in the howling wind. This was just gone 1am. A few minutes after this, the chairman had rung the police station to tell the sergeant that the flood boards at Canvey Bridge had been overtopped. The Police sergeant met a constable out on a bicycle patrol who was about to telephone the police station because although the tide the water was still a foot below the top of the wall, it was extremely high for the stage of the tide.

1am February 1st – Meanwhile, at the Newlands, the 2 river board men and a group of gathered dedicated citizens tried to rouse the elderly and the young. Stumbling in the moonlight across the muddy rutty unmade roads, up and down garden paths then went knocking, shouting and even one screeching at his whistle as a last attempt to save fellow Islanders. With the howling noise of the wind, corrugated roofs, wrought iron gates and loose shed doors it was a difficult task to stir residents.  However many people had no warning and were awakened by the sudden roar as the wall burst, by the swish of the water as it rushed past, by the clatter and crash of the debris striking the house, by the noise of splitting timber and smashing glass. Half-awake, dazed and bewildered, as they struggled to escape from this violent, engulfing nightmare, to reach the outdoor staircases to their lofts, or to fight their way through the tumult outside, to go to the aid of elderly relatives or neighbours living nearby, successive waves charging through the walls swept them off the feet, breathless and numb from the icy impact. The margin between life and death was a matter of seconds as the water gushed through shattered windows and doors, and, impounded as it was in the Sunken Marsh by the inland counter wall, with no means of dispersal; it rose rapidly to a lethal depth.

Many who clambered on chairs, tables, cookers, mangled-tables and step-ladders, to keep their heads above the water or to make holes in the flimsy ceilings in order to escape into the roof space or out onto the roof, found their supports swept away from under their feet, leaving them fighting in the dark with floating furniture, clutching desperately at fanlights and the tops of doors and wardrobes, and trying to hold children up above the suffocating water. The Sunken Marsh was well described as a ‘basin of death’… By 1:25am the water was above windowsill level at the Newlands end of the Sunken Marsh, and, over topping the counter wall, was already pouring over it into the low ground between the counter wall and the High Street.

Have lessons been learnt though?

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This is just a little bit of what happened on that awful night. Liam and I are in the process of filming a documentary DVD to commemorate those that died and also the people that were affected by the floods. We are attending several events to pay our respects and also to film. If you have a story on the floods or know someone that does, we would be greatful if you would share it with us.