The Railway Cottages

from John Smith
from John Smith
A train passes Railway Cottages
from John Smith

The railway cottages that stood close to the Tilbury Riverside, were a lot of dwellings surrounded by the rail lines into Tilbury Riverside station – the line to Fenchurch Street and the loop to Southend. They were alongside the main engine sheds which housed the steam locomotives which ran on the Southend line. It was said housewives had to be careful when they hung out their washing because bad timing would result in a line full of washing covered in soot. The cottages as they were called were built around the 1860s or after and demolished in the 1970s.

Also as I understand it, Rod Downes lived in them when he was a boy.

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  • Hello Tony yes i see photo of him .He told me some good stories about his younger years .i loved going down to railway cottages in the 60s . Always walked down past coal yard for tea at my nans and grandads and uncle Teds house always on a sunday .,then my cousins the Daltons came round to .my Dads first job was a lamp boy on the railway he said ,then went on to purfleet station and then to powerstation ,then vanden burghs we emigrated to s africa Durban for bit ,on way out we see Alan aka (percy ) at his lovely house that was in 1975 .Last time i see Alan,but see his wife at my uncle teds funeral. They were great times .

    By Deborah harvey (23/02/2023)
  • Hello Deborah, I remember your father from our school days 1948-1952. If you care to look at “St Chads 1948 ” on this site he is seen second row from the top and extreme right side, We were not in the same class but the same years. In those days each year had three separate groups and over 300 boys attended and course roughly the same amount of girls separated by a 1mtr high steel hooped fence. I can truly say they happy times, there was not much to be had so we can not want for much.

    By Anthony (Tony) Duligal (20/02/2023)
  • Hello Percy Dalton i remember visiting my nan and grandads house at railway cottages every sunday with my dad francis george jewell .He sadly passed away sunday 12 febuary 2023 aged 85 .Brian come to visit just before he died .

    By Deborah harvey (17/02/2023)
  • Sad news Terry White formally from no1 railway cottages
    Passed away 31/08/2022
    Terry (harry) was well known in the football scene having played for a number of teams in the Thurrock area
    He will be sadly missed by his family
    RIP Brother 🙏

    By Cliff White (02/09/2022)
  • I remember one of the cottages, known as “number 6” being taken over by teenagers for drinking and parties during the late 1960’s. Out of bounds for me, but heard some pretty hairy stories about the goigns on.

    By Margaret Nyrvana-Jones (24/03/2022)
  • I was reading this thread with interest and thought the following could be of interest……..
    The missing Beck is Evelyn, she was the eldest Beck daughter. She married a Roy Mowforth and they moved from the cottages in the early 1960’s, with their 4 children. I can remember the Penfold, Newport, Carberry and Mowforth families all moved to the same road. I also remember the Sherwood’s often playing football with their son I believe his name is Terry. I am the son of Evelyn and Roy Mowforth.

    By Chas Mowforth (06/04/2021)
  • My Nan Mary Emily Sutton was born at Railway Cottages on 13th December 1905, unfortunately I have no more details other than that.

    By Petra Lipscombe (04/03/2021)
  • George Frederick Hodgkins & his wife, Mary Ann, lived at No. 3 Railway Cottages during 1913. George served in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and I can confirm from his discharge papers (1.1.13) he gave that address as his place of residence.

    By Avril Hodgkins (30/09/2020)
  • I knew it was Rotherham but I wasn’t so confident about a memory from.64 years ago to mention it. If you look back through this thread you’ll see that at one stage I attempted to name all the residents of the Railway Cottages and from that you’ll see we lived at number 7. We moved out in either late 69 or early 70, I don’t recall exactly.
    If you read through the entire thread I’m sure it will jog a lot of old memories.

    By Percy Dalton (20/09/2019)
  • Hi Percy it is great that you remembered me
    We went to live in Yorkshire Rotherham to help look after my grandmother after her husband died.
    When I saw the pictures of the cottages I felt elated.
    I can now show my family where I lived.
    What number did you live at?
    Can you remember the bomb club were we all used to go ?.
    When did you leave the cottages ?.
    Your comment made my day .

    By Linda Allen (Chester) (18/09/2019)
  • Linda Chester I remember you very well and recall when you moved away how upsetting it was for everybody. I suppose it was because we were so young and had never experienced anything like that before. Do l remember correctly you moved up north somewhere?

    By Percy Dalton (17/09/2019)
  • I lived at number 29 railway cottages left in 1955.
    My dad Arthur Chester worked on the railway.
    I remember the family Jelly, Keith and I used to play together.
    My name is Linda and mum was Edna.
    I remember Bonfire nights on the spare ground where all the neighbour’s joined in.
    Also the Coronation day party held with all neighbour’s.
    Does any one else remember these .
    Regards Linda Allen

    By Linda Allen (16/09/2019)
  • I lived at No 32 with my mum Margaret Brown and my dad Bill Brown, and my sisters Karen and Corrine. We were the last to live there before it was demolished.
    I remember Mandy from a few doors down ( must have been 26 reading the posts). I have pictures of us out at Coalhouse Fort. I remember the Ellingfords as we went on a picnic with them and did have a pic of it.
    I remember playing a lot in the ‘bombed buildings’. It is only as an adult that I realise just what they were!
    I remember someone babysitting me from the other row and going out late at night and a bat got stuck in my hair! I bet that was the last time they babysat lol.

    By Sue Forman (was Susan Brown) (05/10/2018)
  • To Audrey Richards, nee Carter’s comment dated 23/10/2014, my uncle was Eddie Taylor the local footballer who you mentioned. My mum was his sister, Carol. They also had a brother Ian, who now lives in Canada. I remember my mum saying she lived in the Railway Cottages, not the terreace of them in Tilbury, but where there were only 2 or 3 cottages. Can you tell me where exactly they were as I believe they were closer to Little Thurrock than Tilbury. Is this correct?

    By Claire Goodacre (23/01/2018)
  • Rose and Pete Webb were my neighbours in Ellerman Road. They were like second parents to me. They took me to all their family parties etc. I am best friends with their daughter Jeannie.

    By susan mccrory nee malthouse (02/05/2016)
  • Cliff, I can’t believe I hadn’t replied to your post from last October, great memories of that holiday in Lloret with John and yes, his parents and older brother being up the coast in the next resort, only forty six years ago, but seems like yesterday. I’m on facebok also (who isn’t these days!) I had a great 23 years at Grays in the Fire Service and nice to be retired, hope your son is enjoying it, Basildon was always a busy station. Regards, Mark.

    By Mark Nunnery (01/03/2016)
  • Thanks for your reply Percy. I never knew a Percy Dalton, I do remember Alan, who was friends with my brother Robert.

    About the cottages again. I remember Mrs. Harman lived at number 11 before the Jelly`s. She used to make us kids some lovely cakes. I believe she was a bit backward. Also I remember an Edie who was a friend or relative who lived with the Jelly`s. I wonder if it was her who then took over number 8. Also the Gregory`s daughter Josephine at no. 26, was known as Toddles. Another memory, the Challis`s at no. 25, Mr. Challis was into electrics, and us kids often found old bits of electrical stuff he had thrown on the rubbish tip.

    Hey Ho. anyone else remember things????

    By Rod Downes (20/12/2015)
  • Rod they were my mistakes not Clifford White’s, now you’ve sorted out the order for Nos. 22 to 25 it suddenly becomes very clear again. Now you mention the Clarkes at 32 I vaguely remember Nobby Clarke and his family living there before the Barends. Can you remember the Christian name of the third Beck girl? Regarding the “car in the front room” that was at No. 30 the Gunner’s and it was the eldest son Ernie that built it in the room and had to dismantle it again to remove it!

    By Percy Dalton (17/12/2015)
  • In reply to Clifford White`s list of people of the cottages:- Here are a few corrections:-  No. 22 The Becks / No. 23 The Newports (my mate Dave lived there, sadly no longer with us) / No. 24 Ellingfords / No. 25 The challis`s no. 32 The Clarkes. / Incidently, does anybody remember the car that used to be in the front room of number 30, 29, or 28. Us kids used to look through the window and wonder how they could have got a car in there. 

    By Rod Downes (16/12/2015)
  • Wow you all have great memories, Ron & Greta Blower did live at no26 with their 4 children Jacqueline, Teresa,Thomas & Mandy.

    Sadly Ron & Greta are no longer with us, Dad was from Norwich & Mum from Cambridge, can’t believe anyone would remember that!!

    The cottages were a great place to play, i remember bonfire nights too. someone put a cast-iron bath on the bonfire and the next morning i burnt both hand on it, haha no health and safety then? And cooking baked potatoes in the fire.

    loved going to manorway school, going over the bridge and getting the bus, but i must only of been 5/6 years old. 

    I also remember playing with a boy next door but can’t remember his name, i think he was the grandson of  the Gregorys? 

    I love reading all the stories on this page, please keep them coming xx

    By Mandy Dean (04/11/2015)
  • Mark of course I remember your Mum and Dad when your mum sung Sally everybody listened when your dad got up all the men in the hall through metal trays on the floor and walked out into the bar my dad always laughed about this I have often spoke to your Brother Paul about the old days but I have retired now 

     Yes it was so sad about John passing he never changed in all the years I knew him regarding the holiday you mentioned in Spain 1970 I remember you and John went to Lloret and Edie Vic my mum and dad me Terry and Derek went to Calella the next town when we got back Terry got Engaged he has just become a Great Granddad how time flies I remember you being in the Fire Service at Grays my son is a Fireman at Basildon been there for 10 years now nice to her from you

    Percy I think you were right about our dads regarding the football team 

    As I am writing this some Fireworks have gone off which reminds me of Bonfire night at the Cottages as I recall people used to save all of there old furniture and newspapers some of us went over the bridge to the hospital ground and sawed some branches of for the Fire one year I sat on a branch sawing but I was sitting the wrong side of the cut so when the branch fell so did I straight into the Ditch Mum wasn’t pleased when the fire was built it stood about 10 foot high after we all had lit our Fireworks the men cooked Bangers on the embers happy days


    By Cliff White (13/10/2015)
  • Clifford I must be 6 or 7 years older than you but I have no recollection of our Dads going to Darlington – I suppose it was something to do with setting up the BRSA football club. Regarding the “Bomb Crater” Mark I remember your Dad sitting quietly drinking his Bass (or was it Ben Truman?) and his pal Paddy Drum with his Guinness. I remember a few of the regulars Joe Williams, Georgie Hewitt, Colonel Harris, Bill Downward, Ginger Stowers and the doorman Alf Davies and on the occasional Saturday night your Mum belting out a fairly respectable rendition of Sally.

    I can still remember the house you lived in, next to the Woolleys, in Peninsula Road with the big tree in the garden, you also had a brother called Ginger a couple of younger sisters and as I recall two older brothers who were away at sea.

    Big families were the order of the day then with the Palmers and the Hoyles in the Dwellngs – I remember us all mixing as kids.

    It will be good to hear of your memories of those far off days.

    By Percy Dalton (05/10/2015)
  • Cliff White, nice to hear you are still active mate, your memory is certainly in good nick. Perhaps you recall my dad, (Sandy as he was known, virtually lived in the Bomb crater) I like the list of tenants of the cottages. In fact a school mate of mine at St Chads was Peter, the adopted son of the Junipers in  No 10. On a similar site on facebook, ‘Tilbury memories’ somebody told me that John Smith had sadly died last year..  I have to say that really shocked me as he was my age, nice lad and a good mate of mine at school. Hope you are well Cliff.


    By Mark Nunnery (03/10/2015)
  • Percy

    looks like your memory is good to me Re the Blowers I think Ron was from Norwich and his wife was from Cambridge they had 4 Children 

    i was thinking about the old Bomb Crater the other day I think your dad and my dad went to Darlington to start the club of one was the Secratary and the other was the Tresurer many many happy days spent in that place 

    cliff White

    By Cliff White (17/09/2015)
  • I do believe you have missed Francis Jewel who is shown in the “St Chads 1948 thread” this site, 3rd photo down, extreme right hand, 2nd row down and on the end, he was also in the same year as myself and Jack Priest was his form master.

    By Tony Duligal (16/09/2015)
  • Tony,

    Yes I’ve seen the photo and his name is Francis George Alexander Jewell and I’ve used his preferred name George. He is my late mother’s brother and obviously my uncle.

    By Percy Dalton (16/09/2015)
  • On second thoughts I think the Blowers were from Norwich.

    By Percy Dalton (13/09/2015)
  • I was just reading through this thread again and decided to try to remember all the residents during my 20 odd years at the Cottages. So here goes…….

    No. 1   Bill and Edna White and their sons Terry & Clifford.

    No. 2   Mr and Mrs Jewell and their children Evelyn, Ted & George. (My maternal grandparents).

    No. 3   Ida Crane and her Mother then PC Ron Gladwell and his wife.

    No. 4   Roland aka Ben and Nelly Ellingford and their 4? kids.

    No. 5   Vic and Edie Smith and their sons Derek & John.

    No. 6   John and Marie Carberry then Peter and Rose? Webb – who moved from No. 21.

    No. 7   The Daltons

    No. 8   Eddie and Mrs Jones – Edie Smiths parents.

    No. 9   Cecil and June Gregory and their kids.

    No. 10  Mr and Jesse Juniper and their son Peter.

    No. 11  Wally and Mary Jelly and their sons Brian & Keith.

    No. 12  The Downes’ then Fred and Thelma Sherwood & kids.

    No. 21  The Webbs who moved to No. 6 then Jumbo Distin.

    No. 22 The Newports and their son David and later a lodger called Tommy Wall.

    No. 23 The Becks with 3 daughters – Rosa, Charlotte and ?

    No. 24 The Challis’ and I think a son called Peter.

    No. 25 The Ellingfords parents of Roland at No. 4 and Malcolm at No. 31, and their other kids Alec and Tina.

    No. 26 Jimmy and ? Stowers and their daughter Marion then the Blowers (who came from Ipswich I think).

    No. 27 The Gregorys and their daughters Maureen and Josephine – also parents of Cecil at No. 9.

    No. 28 Jack and Kitty Grinney and their daughter Brenda.

    No. 29 The Chesters then Tom and Dolly Webb and their 2 sons.

    No. 30 The Gunners with sons Ernie and Morris.

    No. 31 Archie and Mary Penfold then Malcolm and Cathy Ellingford then the Moforths.

    No. 32 The Barends with 2 daughters Sylvia and Rosemary then the Browns.

    Hopefully this will jog some memories and I’m looking forward to some feedback regarding the accuracy of my diminishing memory.



    By Percy Dalton (11/09/2015)
  • just been looking at the photo of the cottages bought back a few  memories our house was Number one can see our Dads 2 sheds which housed about 50 Birds which Dad showed me and Terry both went on to work on the Railway both now Retired 

    cliff white





    By Cliff white (08/09/2015)
  • Denise,

    Your Grandfather was also known as Harry or Bill White and if you go to Sport and the Tilbury Firemans Football Team-Drivers page you’ll find him in the photograph.

    By Percy Dalton (09/07/2015)
  • My grandad and nan lived at number 1 railway cottages with their two children    Terry and Edna white.  Their kids were terry and Clifford    

    By Denise George (06/07/2015)
  • Tom Henson Webb! Mate!! Are you about 55 years old as of 2015? Did you go to Landsdowne school and do you recall me? For some weird reason I remember your name as clear as day, as a kid at least on at least one occasion I went round to your house in the Railway cottages and had tea, maybe more frequently, we were mates. I can’t remember whether your Mum was friends with mine or something, but I have a very vague recollection of my Mum taking me to your house, but for all I know I may have gone round to yours on my own it was the 1960’s! You then left school and moved in 69, never to be seen again, but I still remember you as my mate from school that lived in the Railway Cottages!!

    Dave Thompson.

    By Dave Thompson (29/03/2015)
  • I remember as a very young boy visiting the Downwards at the cottages near the Dock Junction (between Grays and Tilbury Town) walking beside the track from the town station and having to move down the bank when a train came along…very happy days. Health and safety would have a field day now.

    Also used to go to allotments just along the track from Town station towards the cottages but the opposite side of the track with my Grandfather. His allotment was right alongside the outer home signal going in Grays direction so l was in heaven watching the steam Locomotives whilst Grandfather (Felton) worked on his ground. All the allotments were always kept in pristine condition.

    By Alan Gibson (09/12/2014)
  • I remember them Percy had lovely Victoria plum trees in the garden

    By andy reynolds (03/12/2014)
  • I have been trying to find details regarding as my father was born at 2 Railway Cottages, Chadwell st Mary in August 1895 His father Arthur Batcheldor was a gas smeller and was working at Whitechapel, London in1899 and took an overdose of gas and died.  His wife Harriet married later andgot married in 1901 then moved to Northfleet, Kent.

    By Keith Batcheldor (23/10/2014)
  • I remember those cottages there were 2 or 3 . I used to walk past them when I walked from my house in Maple Road to my Nanna’s in Tilbury. Eddie Taylor the local footballer lived in one off them he was mates with my brother Sammy Carter

    By Audrey Richards nee Carter (23/10/2014)
  • Does anybody remember the other Railway Cottages that were about a third to halfway between Tilbury Town and Grays station? I think there were two of them and the Downwards lived in one before they moved to Dock Road just under the Hairpin Bridge next to Skinners. They must have moved there in 1957-8.

    By Percy Dalton (22/10/2014)
  • Hi Percy, or should I say Alan Dalton. My brother Robert Downes was friends with you when we lived at number 12.

    If you read my memoirs on the site, I do mention that One of the Women was killed on the Hairpin Bridge. I didn`t mention who, in case it upset anyone.

    Robert would like to get in touch with you.

    [Note from administrator: Telephone number removed; we do not normally allow personal contact details in public posts.]

    By Rod Downes (14/09/2014)
  • The Dalton’s lived at no.7 and the children’s maternal grandparents, the Jewell’s, lived at no.2.

    The Dalton’s moved from Dwellings in St. Andrews Rd in 1949 and remained in the Railway Cottages until 1970 when they moved to 3 Marisco Close in Chadwell St Mary.

    The mother of the five Dalton children (Pat, Alan aka Percy, Brian aka Dinky, Brenda and Margaret) was killed when an articulated lorry turned over at the top of the Hairpin bridge in August 1959.

    By Percy Dalton (09/07/2014)
  • I remember visiting Brenda Dalton in Railway Cottages when we were both at Manorway School.

    By Susan Levermore (20/06/2014)
  • In reply to Ivor Foster`s comment made on 16.7.2013. I am Rod (Roderick) Downes  Robert is my younger brother. We all live up in Chelmsford now and have done for a number of years. Robert was very friendly with Alan Dalton of the cottages.

    By Rod (Roderick) Downes (21/05/2014)
  • We lived at no31 and Archie Penfold worked on the coal stage loading coal for the engines.Archie was born in the dwellings and I lived there with my inlaws after we married we are still going strong living in Lincs

    By mary penfold (14/08/2013)
  • I remember living in the railway cottages I must have been about three or four my father worked on the railway and he tells me about the time I was chased a round the cottages by a policeman for picking some ones flowers and the neighbours telling him off for chasing me

    By linda penfold (13/08/2013)
  • does anyone remember a young girl called April who i think lived in these in the 1960s i think her brother died in one of the storm drains near tilbury fort.

    By susan mccrory nee Malthouse (01/08/2013)
  • hello rod.

    im ivor foster and i think i remember you as robert downes from railway cottages. also marian stowers lived there. also we went to manorway school. but i think you moved away before we went to senior school. I have a group school photo of us at manor way school,we were there from 1953-1959.


    Ivor foster

    By Ivor Foster (16/07/2013)
  • hello mark. your comments on the railway cottages are wonderful and I thank you, but i am another john smith, not the one you know, who lives in tilbury (born there, left and came back in the eightes). In answer to your question about the old hairpin bridge i do have one or two photos and will put them on the web later for you.

    By John Smith (06/07/2013)
  • Hello John, that’s great news..i’d love to see anything on the old bridge of course, growing up there I’ve got hold of some old photos over the last few years but i’m very untidy when it comes to filing. So I shall start digging around for them. Thanks again,

    By Mark Nunnery (06/07/2013)
  • I’ve just re-read some of the above letters and one form Elaine back in April is about my mate John Smiths family. Remember them first foreign holiday with them in Sept 1970..Lloret de Mar. I recall two weeks costing the princely sum of £45 !

    By Mark Nunnery (05/07/2013)
  • As I was born and raised in nearby Peninsula Road, I’m very familiar with the above photos, bring back lots of memories (all happy)i’m wondering if the John Smith that they’re attributed to, is the same one who lived there and went to St Chads school during the 60’s with me. Happy days indeed.

    By Mark Nunnery (04/07/2013)
  • Its great to see these old pictures. I am Tom & Dolly Webb’s son and we lived at 29 until 1969. There were origionally four buildings on the site. The wasteland at the North end (a kids paradise), was referred to as “the bombed buildings” and I remember uncovering an old tiled floor when we were digging for buried treasure. The South end was called “The long grass” and there was a concrete base, so I think this must have been sheds or something previously. That picture of the bridge brings back some memories too as it was amazing how as kids we had strict rules about going on it. Up to that first landing was fine as we used that as our fort for shooting baddies from bt going to the top was being brave and you never went to the other end except when we helped Ted the milkman hump the milk over. Happy days!

    By Tom Henson-Webb (19/06/2013)
  • Our family lived at no 26 Railway cottages, I was the youngest of 4 children, my memory’s of living there are happy. Thinking back I can’t be leave we had no bathroom only a tin bath and an outside toilet, and only two bedrooms for 6 of us, my brother sleeped down stairs in the back room. We left the cottages in the 70’s as they were being demolished

    By Mandy Dean (22/05/2013)
  • My sister and her husband..Pat & Bernard Coote, shared a house there with Tommy & Dolly Webb in late 50’s early sixties. Both Bernard and Tommy worked on the railways at the time. I remember visiting them and having to cross over on the little pedestrian bridge.

    By kathryn opie (18/05/2013)
  • Can anyone remember Ron & Greta Blower liver with there four children at no26?

    By Mandy Dean (17/05/2013)
  • Vic and Edie Smith lived at the cottages with there two son’s Derek and John .

    By Elaine Holmes (04/04/2013)
  • I remember the Dalton’s living there Percy Dalton and his brother Dinky Dalton as we used to call them think they had a sister named Maggie.

    By andy reynolds (02/04/2013)

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