Borough of Thurrock Essex Coordinates: Country United Kingdom Constituent Country England Region East Ceremonial County Essex Government – Body Thurrock Council – Leadership Leader & Cabinet – Executive Labour Administration, (Council NOC) – MPs Jackie Doyle-Price (C)
Stephen Metcalfe (C)
– Leader of the Council Cllr John Kent (L) – Mayor of Thurrock Cllr Anne Cheale, Thurrock Concerned Conservative Area – Total 163.38 km2 (63.1 sq mi) Population – Total Ranked 114th
– Density 978/km2 (2,533/sq mi) – Ethnicity 91.0% White
1.5% Mixed Race
1.0% Chinese or other
Time zone GMT – Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC) Twin Cities – Sopot Poland Grid reference ONS code 00KG Website www.thurrock.gov.uk
Thurrock is a unitary authority with borough status in the English ceremonial county of Essex. It is part of the London commuter belt and an area of regeneration within the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The local authority is Thurrock Council.
- 1 The borough
- 2 History
- 3 Culture and film
- 4 Education
- 5 Transport
- 6 Economy
- 7 List of places in the borough
- 8 References
- 9 External links
It lies on the River Thames just to the east of London. With over 18 miles (29 km) of riverfront it covers an area of 64 square miles (166 km²), with more than half defined as Green Belt. With Greater London to the west and the river to the south, the county of Essex abuts the Borough to the north and east, and across the river lies Kent.
Thurrock is covered by two parliamentary constituencies. Thurrock includes most of the borough while South Basildon and East Thurrock includes some wards in the east of the borough. Both seats were Conservative gains from Labour at the 2010 general election.
The Council is led by Cllr John Kent (Lab) who took over from Cllr Garry Hague in May 2010. This changed the administration from Conservative to Labour, the first time in 6 years. The Mayor is Cllr Charles Curtis.
Thurrock has a population of 300,000 people living in 90,500 homes. The Metropolitan Green Belt covers 70% of the borough. There are 494 acres (200 ha) of land available for industrial use. There are seven conservation areas, 19 scheduled ancient monuments and 239 listed buildings.
The borough contains ten sites of special scientific interest:
- Globe Pit, Grays
- Grays Chalk Pit
- Lion Pit, Grays
- Purfleet Chalk Pits
- West Thurrock Lagoon and Marshes
- Inner Thames Marshes
- Vange and Fobbing Marshes
- Basildon Meadows
- Mucking Flats and Marshes
- Hangman's Wood and Deneholes
Despite much of the borough being protected Green Belt land, Thurrock provides localised opportunities for further industrial and commercial development. The borough forms part of the Thames Gateway regeneration area, a corridor of opportunity that has been identified by central government as the area with greatest development and commercial potential in the country. A Thurrock Development Corporation was recently imposed and took over much of the borough's planning functions in 2005. Much of the population and commercial activity is centred along the riverfront. This includes many large and important industrial sites, including two large oil refineries, manufacturing industries, a container port, cruise liner terminal, distribution warehousing and one of Britain's largest refuse disposal sites at the appropriately named settlement of Mucking. Thurrock is also home to the Lakeside Shopping Centre.
There are two multiplex cinemas attached to the Lakeside Shopping Centre, and the Thameside Theatre in Grays. Live shows are held at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet. Open space includes Chafford Gorges Nature Park, Langdon Hills Country Park and Grove House Wood, managed by Essex Wildlife Trust. Museums and historic buildings include Coalhouse Fort at East Tilbury, Tilbury Fort in Tilbury, Purfleet Heritage and Military Centre, High House, Purfleet, Thurrock Museum and Walton Hall Farm Museum.
Next to Lakeside Shopping Centre is Arena Essex, a motor sports complex, where speedway, banger and stock car racing takes place.
Thurrock in Bloom
Thurrock in Bloom is a voluntary group that works in partnership with Thurrock Council and co-sponsors such as Sandown Nursery and Elm Horticulture to promote floral displays. It is part of a more general "in bloom" initiative organised by the Royal Horticultural Society. The Thurrock initiative includes an annual competition and sponsorship of roundabouts. Award winners include Woodside Primary School which has received silver and gold awards for its wildlife garden.
Mammoths once grazed in the Thurrock area and archaeologists recently unearthed the remains of a jungle cat. Man has been in the area since prehistoric times and the land has been farmed by the Romans and Anglo-Saxons Thurrock has numerous archaeological sites including the major excavation at Mucking.
Horndon-on-the-Hill was the site of an 11th century mint as well as the 15th century woolmarket which gives an indication of the area's wealth in the 15th century. The narrowing of the river where Tilbury now stands meant it was important in the defence of London, and Henry VIII built three blockhouses, two on the Tilbury side and another on the Gravesend side of the river, following the end of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
Later, in 1588 Elizabeth I addressed her troops not far from the Tilbury blockhouse as the Spanish Armada sailed up the English Channel. Between 1670 and 1682, the Tilbury blockhouse was substantially rebuilt in to a much larger fortification (Tilbury Fort) and Coalhouse Fort was built further down river, close to the second blockhouse. The importance of the forts in defending the country continued through Napoleonic times and into the two world wars. The land where Tilbury Town now stands was farmland and marsh grazing until the building of the docks in the 1890s. Thurrock includes the Bata village, built for workers of the shoe company in 1933. Eight homes and the factory are listed.
Historically, the area was renowned for mineral extraction, including clay, aggregates and notably the digging of huge amounts of chalk from the West Thurrock area for use in the now defunct cement industries. When chalk extraction ceased one of the disused pits was redeveloped as Lakeside Shopping Centre. A number of former pits have been used to form the Chafford Gorges Nature Reserve, managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust.
The present-day borough of Thurrock was created in 1974 from the former area of Thurrock Urban District. The Local Government Act 1972 left the boundaries mostly untouched, although part of it, in Basildon New Town, was ceded to the Basildon district and the district gained borough status.
It was given administrative independence from Essex County Council on 1 April 1998 by The Essex (Boroughs of Colchester, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock and District of Tendring) (Structural, Boundary and Electoral Changes) Order 1996. It remains part of Essex for ceremonial purposes such as Lord-Lieutenancy.
The body of Captain Kidd was displayed in Thurrock. He had been convicted of piracy and hanged on May 23, 1701, at 'Execution Dock', Wapping. His body was gibbeted — left to hang in an iron cage over the Thames at Tilbury Point — as a warning to future would-be pirates for twenty years. Some sources give the location that his body was exhibited as Tilbury Ness, but this may be an alternative name for the same place. There is some uncertainty as to whether his body was displayed at what is now called Coalhouse Point or at a site a few hundred yards up stream, close to the present Tilbury Docks.
On 31 January 1953, the low lying areas of Thurrock were innundated by the North Sea flood of 1953. The Van den Berghs and Jurgens margarine factory, which manufactured Stork margarine, was forced to stop production for many months. Since the output of this factory constituted one third of the country's ration allocation, this led to a severe strain on the supply of margarine in the UK. Most schools in Thurrock were closed, either as a direct result of the flooding or in order to use them to help the relief effort. More than 1300 people in Tilbury and other low lying areas were evacuated to schools on the higher ground. Chadwell St Mary Primary school was used as the main welfare centre for the homeless. By the 15th February, most schools had returned to normal. The last to resume were the Landsdowne school in Tilbury and the newly opened Woodside Primary School - then called Tyrell Heath School. On Friday February 13, the flooded areas were visited by the young Queen Elizabeth II Despite severe loss of life in nearby Canvey Island, only one person in Thurrock died as a result of the floods.
In 2002, a partnership between Thurrock Council, Thurrock Heritage Forum and the Thurrock Local History Society began an initiative to place heritage plaques marking the famous people, events and organisations associated with Thurrock. By September 2010 there were plaques to:
- Joseph Conrad
- Alice Diehl
- Dracula's connection to Purfleet
- The arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury on 21 June 1948.
- The training ship Exmouth
- The Kynoch factory in the Corringham marshes
- The shooting down of Zeppelin L15 at Purfleet in 1916
- Philip Vincent
- Alfred Russel Wallace and his house at the Dell
- Arthur Young
- The establishment of the town of Tilbury in 1912
Culture and film
Thurrock has been the scene of several major films. St Clement's Church and street scenes at West Thurrock were used in the making of the film Four Weddings and a Funeral. Thurrock can also be seen in 28 Days Later. Scenes from the films Alfie (2004), and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were shot at Tilbury docks. The opening scenes from Batman Begins (2005) were shot at Coalhouse Fort in East Tilbury. Some filming also took place for the film Essex Boys in and around the Bata estate at East Tilbury. The State Cinema where Eddie met Roger in the classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit can be found in Grays.
Art Deco architecture in Thurrock
There are a number of examples of Art Deco architecture in Thurrock. The baggage hall at Tilbury was opened in 1930. It has an art deco interior, designed by Sir Edwin Cooper and is a grade II listed building. The State cinema is also a listed building and dates from 1938. It is one of the few surviving examples of thirties cinema architecture. It has the original cinema organ which can still be played, however, the building is disused and faces dereliction. Building of the Bata estate in East Tilbury was begun in 1933 and it is now a conservation area. Chadwell St Mary has one of the few examples of a "Sunspan" house designed by the architect Wells Coates. Although built in the 1950s the Woodside Primary school's architecture has been described as the slightly earlier "Ocean Liner Style" of Art Deco. The building features a number of bricked curves and circular windows while the wrought iron banisters on the stairs are deliberately set to lean out at an angle.
Schools in Thurrock include; The Ockendon School, Chafford Hundred Campus,Gable Hall School , Gateway Academy, Grays Convent High School, William Edwards School & Sports College, Grays School Media Arts College, Deneholm Primary, Little Thurrock Primary, Quarry Hill Infant and Junior, St Thomas Of Canterbury Catholic Primary, Stifford Clays Infant and Junior, Stifford Primary, Thameside Infant and Junior School, Tudor Court Primary School, Warren Primary School, Chafford Hundred Primary School, Woodside Primary School (which was opened in 1952 as Tyrell's Infant and Junior Schools, the names being changed to avoid confusion with the neighbouring Torell's Secondary School; the schools were later amalgamated into one primary school) and Treetops School.
The local sixth form college is Palmer's College, whilst other colleges in Thurrock include South Essex College (Thurrock Campus) and Thurrock Adult Community College, and recently the Stanford and Corringham Sixth Form Center was opened, as a joint Sixth Form College between Gable Hall School, Hassenbrook Specialist Technology College and St-Clere's School.
The Tilbury and Chadwell St Mary Excellence Cluster. brings together Chadwell St Mary Primary School, Corringham Primary School, Grays Convent High School, Hassenbrooks Specialist Technology College, Herringham Primary School, Landsdowne Primary School, Manor Infant School, Manor Junior School, St Mary's RC Primary School, Woodside Primary School and The Gateway Academy. Senior members of the schools councils also sit on the cluster's student council.
National Rail in ThurrockLegend to Southend Stanford-le-Hope East Tilbury Tilbury Town Grays Chafford Hundred Ockendon West Horndon M25 motorway Purfleet to London
Being both on the river and close to London, Thurrock is served with good communication links. The M25 London Orbital Motorway, the railway line between Southend and London Fenchurch Street which provides direct access to Central London and, eventually, Stratford International Station, the Port of Tilbury and the nearby London City Airport make Thurrock an important international trade centre. There is a grass airstrip south of Bulphan village. A ferry for passengers on foot connects Tilbury with Gravesend on the southern bank of the River Thames.
Rail transport in the borough is provided by c2c with stations at:
- Chafford Hundred railway station
- East Tilbury railway station
- Grays railway station
- Ockendon railway station
- Purfleet railway station
- Stanford-le-Hope railway station
- Tilbury Town railway station
- West Horndon railway station (on northern boundary)
Bus services within the Thurrock urban area are mostly provided by Ensignbus.
- Ensignbus operates routes X80 (Chafford Hundred-Bluewater)- Mon-Sat only, 20 (Lakeside-Stifford Clays)- Mon-Sat only, 22 (Grays-Aveley), 22A (Aveley-Stifford Clays)- Mon-Sat eves only, 33 (Grays-Chafford Hundred-Lakeside) - Mon Sat only, 44 (Lakeside-Grays), 66 (Lakeside-Tilbury-Chadwell St Mary) - Mon-Sat only, 73/C (Lakeside-Tilbury), 83 (Lakeside-Sockets Heath-Chadwell St Mary)- Mon-Sat only, 373 (Grays-Stanford Le Hope) - Mon-Sat only, 374 (Grays-Basildon)- Mon-Sat only. 373/4 are Thurrock Council contracted.
- Arriva has a depot at West Thurrock, but all of its work is Transport for London contracts, and its only route actually running into Thurrock is the 370 (Lakeside-Romford).
- On Sundays/public holidays, Arriva Southend depot runs routes 44 (Lakeside-Grays) and 150 (Grays-Basildon)and on Mondays-Saturdays Arriva operated the 'Basildon Direct' route 5 , from Lakeside to Southend. (5 was cut back to Basildon from 2/11).
- First operates two services, (100, 200) between Lakeside/Grays and Basildon. 200 is Mon-Sat only.
- Stagecoach (East London Bus) runs Transport for London route 372 from Lakeside to Hornchurch.
- Blue Triangle run route 575 between Epping and Lakeside via Debden , Havering Atte Bower and non-stop to Lakeside From Romford. Mon-Fri,One Return Journey.
- First London operate route 265 between Brentwood and Lakeside , Mon-Fri 4 Return Journeys (More journeys on non school days)
- Imperial Bus Company runs 269 (Grays-Brentwood). This is Mon-Sat only on Essex CC contract.
- Clintona of Brentwood operates 374 (Grays-Bulphan) - Mon-Sat only and route 11 (Aveley-Basildon) - Mon-Sat only. (Route 11 has since been replaced by Ensignbus 373/4).
- A coach service to Stansted Airport is provided by Excel Passenger Logistics. (Since withdrawn).
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Thurrock at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
Year Regional gross value added Agriculture Industry Services 1995 1,406 8 657 741 2000 1,737 4 677 1,056 2003 1,995 5 664 1,327
List of places in the borough
- Chadwell St Mary
- Chafford Hundred
- Coryton Refinery
- East Tilbury
- Little Thurrock
- Shell Haven
- South Ockendon
- West Thurrock
- Coalhouse Fort
- St Clement's Church
- The State Cinema
- Tilbury Fort
- The Woolmarket, Horndon
- Palmer's College
- Orsett Hall
- ^ Lead View Table
- ^ Thurrock Council
- ^ http://www.thurrock.gov.uk/i-know/profile/pdf/our_thurrock_200906.pdf
- ^ http://www.thurrock.gov.uk/planning/strategic/content.php?page=factsheet_01
- ^ Britain in Bloom
- ^ Thurrock in Bloom
- ^ Roundabout sponsorship
- ^ a b c d Catton, Jonathan, A Short History of Thurrock in Christopher Harrold, ed (2008). Exploring Thurrock. Thurrock Local History Society.
- ^ The Geology of Essex
- ^ http://www.thurrock.gov.uk/museum/content.php?page=crest
- ^ A brief history of piracy
- ^ Captain Kidd - the Tilbury connection
- ^ Grieve, Hilda (1959). The Great Tide. Essex County Council. p. 466.
- ^ a b 1953 Floods
- ^ Grieve, 1959, page 600
- ^ Grieve, 1959, page 616
- ^ Grieve, 1959, page 568
- ^ Plaque scheme
- ^ Thurrock Heritage Fact File
- ^ British Listed Buildings
- ^ Tilbury and Chadwell St Mary Excellence Cluster
- ^ Gorkha Learning for Life
- ^ http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_economy/RegionalGVA.pdf
- ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
- ^ includes hunting and forestry
- ^ includes energy and construction
- ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
- Thurrock Borough Council
- Thurrock Gazette
- Thurrock Local History Society
- Thurrock Rotaract Club - Social and fundraising activities for 18-30 age group in Thurrock
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