Sunday, 3 February 2013

Canvey: Oil City

Oil Refining at Coryton glimpsed from across the  West Canvey Marsh
Yesterday residents of coastal towns throughout the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands commemorated the sixtieth anniversary of North Sea Flood of 1953. Of the 307 people killed on land in the United Kingdom 58 died during flooding at Canvey Island in the Thames Estuary. Canvey Island is the site of my final student project for the University of Greenwich.

This alluvial island- separated from the mainland by a network of narrow, tidal creeks- has been occupied since pre-Roman times and has an average elevation approximately three metres below mean high water level.. 

The marina  at low tide

Presently it is home to some 34,000 people, with 14 miles of sea defences and a weekly flood alarm protecting them from the rising tide.  A concrete wall surrounds the entire island: though it is only separated from the South Essex mainland by less than 100 metres, this structure (and the fact that it only two roads connect the land mass to the South Essex coat) reinforce the sense of separateness and isolation.

...the sea defence: a 3 metre high wall surrounding the island's perimeter

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