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CANVEY ISLAND -
THE FEELGOOD AREA

 

Canvey - Leigh - Southend / UK 

The 'Feelgood Area'
- located in the East of
Essex in England
in the Thames Delta

 

Canvey Island,
Leigh-On-Sea,
Westcliff-On-Sea
and
Southend-On-Sea

are very close together
and to pass by car in
about half an hour+
(+ depending on traffic).

Canvey - Leigh - Southend Area
Map received from LYCOS ROADMAPS.

 Map - Location: Grand Records, High Street, Canvey Island / UK 
Map service kindly provided by MultiMap UK

Click the graphic for an interactive map of Canvey Island. The red circle at the graphic shows the former location of Grand Records, 107a High Street. Since 2004 the office moved to the Oysterfleet Hotel at Knightswick Road.
The map will open in a new browser window for routing navigation while the Oysterfleet Hotel web site remains available in the background.

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CANVEY ISLAND DESCRIBED by The  Canvey Island Website

Canvey Island is located at the southern end of the county of Essex, England. Being an Island, one would expect it to be in a river, and indeed this is the case. It is situated in the River Thames, between Southend and Basildon. Canvey is around 35 miles east of London, and is around 5 miles in length, by about 3 miles wide.
There are around 50,000 people living on Canvey, with around 15,000 homes. The population is always growing due the constant building of homes on what is not a very large piece of land! There are two roads that lead off Canvey via two bridges, one goes towards Benfleet, the other towards Basildon. These two routes however go via one roundabout!
Canvey has been around for many years, with recorded information back beyond 1066 and all that. Until relatively recent years it was very rural, with the only access being by boat. Today's Canvey is very different. It is being shaped daily by the residents, a new retail park is just being built and developed.

Also read Christopher Somerville's The Walk (or Just How the Doctor ordered) for a really good descibtion of Canvey Island, including the 'Feelgood Factor'. (Published in Feelin' Good newsletter September 2000).


CANVEY IMPRESSIONS:

 Canvey Beach
Canvey Island sunrise

 View from Canvey to the Oil refineries - May 10th 2001
View from Canvey to the Oil refineries - May 10, 2001

 Clear statement
A clear statement, seen somewhere at Canvey seawall - May 10, 2001

 View to Kent - May 10th 2001
Canvey Island: View to Kent - May 10, 2001

 Canvey Island Terminal - May 10th 2001
Canvey Island Terminal - May 10, 2001

 Gabi at Canvey seawall - May 1996
Gabi at Canvey Island seawall - May 10, 1996
Leigh, Westcliff and Southend in the background

 View to Leigh and Southend - May 10th 2001
View to Leigh and Southend-on-Sea - May 10, 2001

 Canvey Island Yacht Club - May 10th 2001
Canvey Island Yacht Club - May 10, 2001

Many more Canvey photos and historical treasures are collected in the 'History' section of the Oysterfleet Hotel website.

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VARIOUS WAYS TO CANVEY ISLAND:

I suggest to take the following routes if you come to England...

BY SUBWAY AND RAILWAY from...

HEATHROW AIRPORT to CANVEY ISLAND
(Only from memory, it's some years ago I last went to Caney by plane...

1.) At Heathrow Airport go to the Railway Information Desk (at same floor where you fetch your luggage and bags). Tell them you need all subway and train tickets to go to BENFLEET STATION. First you will have to take the subway to FENCHURCH STREET in London city to then change subway line (can't remember to which station, sorry - but the desk keeper will know).

2.) When you reached BENFLEET STATION, which is the closest one to Canvey, you have to take a cab (taxi) to Canvey Island. There are cabs right in front ouside of the station and it will take not much time bring you to Canvey, it's just "around the corner" approx 10-15 minutes.

BY CAR AND FERRY from...
[J13] = Junktion13/Abfahrt13
[+] = Motorway intersection/Autobahnkreuz

Sorry, I had no time for doing all important routes, but try the various internet search engines, there's some good sites available.

Additional help to find your way to Canvey:
Multimap - Interactive Maps of Great Britain (External Link!)
Lycos Roadmaps (External Link!)
The UK Automobile Association - will provide detailed driving directions between places in Britain, Ireland and Europe; it also tells you the total distance and the time it will take. (External Link!)

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THE FEELGOOD PILGRIMAGE (better known as ''The Canvey Walk''):

Like planned there was a Dr Feelgood Sightseeing Tour at Friday 12th of June 1998, the morning after the 5th Lee Brilleaux Memorial show. About 20 fans from various countries including Finland, Germany and Australia (hi Shane!) took off in a big bus for a cruise around Canvey Island. John Butterfield, editor of the Dr Feelgood newsletter 'Feelin' Good' routed us to several places of the Dr Feelgood history and later Chris Fenwick, Dr Feelgoods manager, joined us and had to tell few interesting stories of the '(feel) good old days'!

Chris Fenwick - July 1998
Chris Fenwick at the Dr Feelgood office in Canvey
- surrounded by various Feelgood memorabilia.
(Many thanks to Shane Johns from Australia for this photo!)

We didn't visit all the places which I've listed below as "the Sightseeing Tour", so I afterwards took some interested people for an encore to some more Feelgood related places (marked in red). Unfortunately we had to stop the extra-tour because most of the people suffered from lack of sleep after the Memorial (I would say, it obviously were too many drinks, folks!), also No.1 Feelgood fan from Finland, Teppo, had a date in London. Anyway, Teppo and me made plans to do another Feelgood tour next time we meet in Canvey.

Teppo and Shane - July 1998
June 12, 1998: Finland meets Australia to feel good on Canvey Island!
"Radiomafioso" Teppo and Shane in front of Oysterfleet Hotel.
Note the blue plaque for Lee Brilleaux at left side of the house.
(Many thanks to Shane Johns from Australia for this photo!)

In Feelin' Good Issue 15 / April 1999 our newsletter editor John Butterfield gives a review.
For some more photos of the Feelgood sightseeing tour 1998 visit Shane Johns Dr Feelgood pages.

Some places I would suggest for a FEELGOOD SIGHTSEEING TOUR:

GRAND RECORDS - The office of Dr Feelgood is located at Canvey's High Street. (NOTE: Since 2005 Grand Records' office is at the Oysterfleet Hotel.)
.Canvey Island - High Street.Canvey, High Street
(May 2001 - Photo by Bernie Beginn, Cologne / Germany)

The ADMIRAL JELLICOE - Was the Feelgood's favourite pub on Canvey in the early days and was the location for the cover shots of the "Be Seeing You" album. Unfortunately the pub unfortunately got a refreshed outfit in the meantime and looks totally different inside.

The CANVEY CLUB - The motiv of the cover shot of the "Sneakin' Suspicion" album.

The LABWORTH BUILDING - Location of few early Feelgood photos (Gypie era); built on top of the seawall of Canvey's amusement zone.
.Labworth Building.The Labworth Building

The MONICO pub - At the corner of Canvey's "Golden Mile"; once was THE meeting place for musicians of the area. Before she married Lee, Shirley Brilleaux worked here. Some few houses further on the same road is the club (now called "Club Astairs") where Dr Feelgood hit the stage the very first time.
.Part of Canvey's Golden Mile.Club Astairs at the "Golden Mile"

FEELGOOD HOUSE - A legendary place of the early Feelgood days just around the corner of the Haystack Pub. Well remembered for parties and various other pleasures (like doing races on lawnmovers in the night!). Frequently visited in those days by the local police. The backside cover shot of the "Let It Roll" album was taken at the bar (which was built by Sparko) in the Feelgood House.
.Feelgood House.Feelgood House at Long Road

DR FEELGOOD MUSIC BAR / The OYSTERFLEET HOTEL - The ground where the (hardly missed) Dr Feelgood Music Bar was located (it became tored down in July 1995) now is the area of the Oysterfleet Hotel, which also became the regular place for the Lee Brilleaux Memorial Concerts. [External link: Oysterfleet Hotel WebSite]
.Dr Feelgood Music Bar.Dr Feelgood Music Bar

.Oysterfleet Hotel.Oysterfleet Hotel

The LOBSTER SMACK pub - The cover shot of Down By The Jetty was taken outside at the beach.
.The Lobster Smack.The Lobster Smack

The JETTY - A must see on Canvey Island to be able to feel the Down By The Jetty Blues.
.Down by the Jetty....Down by the Jetty
(May 10th, 2001 - Both Photos by Ute Beginn, Cologne / Germany)
.Down by the Jetty.

BENFLEET STATION - This is where the loads of young guitarists from all over the UK left the train to go to the auditions of Dr Feelgood after Gypie Mayo left the band many years ago.

THE CROOKED BILLET in Old Leigh - One of Lee's favourite pubs.

LEE's MEMORIAL BENCH - Located at the seaside near Seaview Road in Leigh-on-Sea. Unfortunately Lee's bench was victim of vandalism in early summer 1998. The bench was replaced later.

ST. CLEMENTS CHURCH in Leigh-on-Sea - Where Lee's funeral was held.

THE GRAND (formerly the Grand Hotel) in Leigh-On-Sea - Here is where Lee spent quite some time when he was at not touring. It gave the name to the Feelgoods own record label.

THE KURSAAL in Southend-On-Sea - The Feelgoods No.1 live album "Stupidity" was recorded here in the early 70's.
.

.Gabi on Canvey - June 12, 1998.
Many go to Las Palmas, others prefer Canvey Island:..
Gabi and her 19 years old Feelgood car (Audi 80) after
the official sightseeing tour 1998 - ready to take off for an
additional Feelgood trip with Teppo and some other fans.
(Many thanks to Shane Johns from Australia for this photo!)

Well, I know there are few more places to add! Even today many of the Feelgood members, friends and countless musicians live in this area and there a loads of interesting things and places to visit. Since oI was on Canvey Island the first time in January 1994 I regularly return and anytime fully enjoy stepping through the history of Dr Feelgood and meet good friends. In fact, my greatest wish is to live there forever and to set up a a Dr Feelgood Museum in the old Feelgood House!

Check out The (Feelgood) History of Canvey Island - an out take from Susan Whites book "Five Generations" published by The Bookshop, Canvey Island in 1994 (ISBN 0 9520002 02). [Out of print now.]

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CANVEY ISLAND AREA ACCOMMODATION INFO:

Oysterfleet Hotel & Restaurant - Tel. ++44 - (0)1268 510111 (Formerly place of the Dr Feelgood Music Bar)
Aabervale Lodge Guest House - Tel. ++44 - (0)1268 - 680077
Aarndale Lodge Guest House - Tel. ++44 - (0)1268 - 692599
Pandoras Box - Tel. ++44 - (0)1268 683745
Endeavour Hotel - Tel. ++44 - (0)1268 514280

Recommended from Grand Records, Dr Feelgoods record label, especially for the visitors of the Lee Brilleaux Memorials (in case the Oysterfleet Hotel is fully booked):

The Haywain - Tel. ++44 - (0)1268 - 554500
Holiday Inn, Rayleigh - Tel. ++44 - (0)1268 - 775001
Travel Lodge, Basildon - Tel. ++44 - (0)1268 - 524703
? Hotel, Basildon - Tel. ++44 - (0)1268 - 554500
Kevin Morris also recommends the Hotel at the Airport in Southend-on-Sea (have no tel no available, sorry).

Usually it is very easy to find a guest house, b&b or hotel in Westcliff or Southend, which is quite close to Canvey, so don't worry!

To your notice: The Kings Camp has mutated to an ''elderly residence'' now. If you are 50 years or older you can buy (not rent!) a chalet or caravan there...

Also you can check out the following websites:
UK Hotel & Guest House Directory (External Link!)

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Knowhere Guide to Canvey Island (Dr Feelgood's birthplace)
Knowhere Guide to Leigh-On-Sea (was Lee Brilleaux's hometown)
Knowhere Guide to Southend-On-Sea (Feelgood 'area no.3')
Knowhere Noticeboard for Canvey Island
Knowhere Noticeboard for Leigh-On-Sea
Knowhere Noticeboard for Southend-On-Sea
Official Canvey Island Website
The Canvey Concrete Barge - Seriously collected info, partly also very funny [Thanks & HATS OFF to Andrew Jackson & Co. for this!]
Southend Online
Southend News - by the Evening Echo
Southend on Sea - Where the magic starts!
The Kursaal Estate
Sealife Adventure (comes up in my NS-4.7-browser as a very very small flash file, but looks and sounds very interesting nevertheless! I should better install the latest release of Netscape [I HATE the Internet Explorer] but didn't like version 6, do de.installed it to return to my beloved Netscape 4.7...)
Southend Pier

STARVING?
Chinese Takeaways in England (Search for Canvey or Southend...)
 

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