Thundersley


Thundersley

infobox UK place

country = England
official_name= Thundersley
latitude= 51.57
longitude= 0.59
population = 15,600 (2001)
shire_district= Castle Point
shire_county = Essex
region= East of England

constituency_westminster= Castle Point
post_town= BENFLEET
postcode_district= SS7
postcode_area=SS
dial_code= 01268 & 01702
os_grid_reference= TQ800887

Thundersley is a town in the north west of the Castle Point Borough, in south east Essex, England, about 35 miles east of London.

Toponymy

Thundersley derives from the Old English "Þunres lēah" = "grove or meadow [perhaps sacred] belonging to the god Thor".

Geography

The area is relatively hilly and high above sea level for Essex, a typical height for the central and eastern part of (old) Thundersley is c. 200 ft (c.65 metres).The environment is partly rural, with large woods and commons, including The Common, Coombe Wood, Starvelarks Wood, Wyeburns Wood, Tile Wood, Pound Wood, West Wood, Shipwrights Wood, Thundersley Glen, The Chase and borders on The Downs (largely in Hadleigh and South Benfleet), and partly suburban, with large areas of housing and small industrial parks. The area has the highest proportion of owner-occupied homes in Britain at 89%, along with the highest concentration of concrete per capita in the country. The King John School and Sixth Form are situated in Shipwrights Drive.

Governance

Since the Local Government Act 1972, Thundersley, along with Canvey Island, Hadleigh, and South Benfleet, has formed the parliamentary constituency and local government district and borough of Castle Point. As of 2008, the Member of Parliament representing Castle Point is Bob Spink of the United Kingdom Independence Party. Thundersley is represented within Castle Point Borough Council by nine councillors from the wards of Cedar Hall, St. Peter, and St. George. The Parish of Thundersley includes Daws Heath.

Transport

Thundersley is bounded by the A127 road to the north, where it borders Rayleigh, the A130 road to the west where it borders Basildon, the A13 road to the south (bordering the South Benfleet district of Castle Point), it also encompasses Benfleet, plus a triangular salient further southward as far as Benfleet Road and Thundersley Glen, and eastwards beyond the A129 road bordering Daws Heath and Hadleigh, also within the borough. The nearest railway stations are Benfleet railway station and Rayleigh.

Industry

Thundersley Invacar has made the district synonymous with disabled transport.

Greeves motorcycles were produced in a purpose-built factory at Thundersley from 1953 to 1976. Initially the bikes were an offshoot of the Invacar company which produced invalid cars and needed to diversify its products, and the founder of the concern was O.B. (Bert) Greeves MBE.

The bikes were exclusively two-stroke powered, using proprietary engines from Villiers and British Anzani initially and always for the roadsters, but by 1964 they had developed their own engine for competition use. For a few years, Greeves were remarkably successful in competition, with wins in the European Motocross Championship, the Manx Grand Prix, the European Trials Championship and the Scottish Six Days Trial, and with Gold medals in the ISDT and the ACU 250cc Road Race.

Culture

Hart Road contains the county's largest Indian restaurant, among a number of other take-away and fast food outlets.

References

* Terry Babbington. (1993). "Thundersley - A Pictorial History". Phillimore. ISBN 0850338727.
* John Greig. (1818). "Antiquarian and Topographical Cabinet, Containing a Series of Elegant Views of the most interesting objects of curiosity in Great Britain Vol III. [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=eQZNAAAAMAAJ&pg=PT200 Thundersley, Essex] ". Published by J. Murray [etc.] page 202, plate 98.


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