Auxiliary Territorial Service
The Auxiliary Territorial Service was the women's branch of the British Army during the Second World War. It was formed on 9 September 1938 as a women's voluntary service, existed until 1 February 1949, when it was merged into the Women's Royal Army Corps; the ATS had its roots in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps, formed in 1917 as a voluntary service. During the First World War its members served in a number of jobs including clerks, cooks and waitresses; the WAAC was disbanded after four years in 1921. Prior to the Second World War, the government decided to establish a new Corps for women, an advisory council, which included members of the Territorial Army, a section of the Women's Transport Service and the Women's Legion, was set up; the council decided that the ATS would be attached to the Territorial Army, the women serving would receive two thirds the pay of male soldiers. All women in the army joined the ATS except for nurses, who joined Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, medical and dental officers, who were commissioned directly into the Army and held army ranks, those remaining in the FANY, known as Free FANYs.
The first recruits to the ATS were employed as cooks and storekeepers. At the outbreak of the Second World War, 300 ATS members were billeted to France; as the German Army advanced through France, the British Expeditionary Force was driven back towards the English Channel. This led to the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk in May 1940, some ATS telephonists were among the last British personnel to leave the country; as more men joined the war effort, it was decided to increase the size of the ATS, with numbers reaching 65,000 by September 1941. Women between the ages of 17 and 43 were allowed to join, although these rules were relaxed in order to allow WAAC veterans to join up to the age of 50; the duties of members were expanded, seeing ATS orderlies, postal workers and ammunition inspectors. Over the six-year period of the War, about 500 ATS personnel were trained to operate the Cinetheodolite, with the highest number being in 1943–44, when 305 ATS were in active service using this equipment.
One application of this specialist camera was in gunnery practice, where a pair of Cinetheodolites a known distance apart filmed the shell bursts from anti-aircraft artillery against target drones towed by an aircraft. By comparing the filmed location of the shells' detonation and the target, accurate calculations of their relative position could be made that would reveal any systematic error in the gunsights. In December 1941, Parliament passed the National Service Act, which called up unmarried women between 20 and 30 years old to join one of the auxiliary services; these were the ATS, the Women's Royal Naval Service, the Women's Auxiliary Air Force and the Women's Transport Service. Married women were later called up, although pregnant women and those with young children were exempt. Other options under the Act included joining the Women's Voluntary Service, which supplemented the emergency services at home, or the Women's Land Army, helping on farms. There was provision made in the act for objection to service on moral grounds, as about a third of those on the conscientious objectors list were women.
A number of women were prosecuted as a result of the act, some being imprisoned. Despite this, by 1943 about 9 out of 10 women were taking an active part in the war effort. Women were barred from serving in battle, but due to shortages of men, ATS members, as well as members of the other women's voluntary services, took over many support tasks, such as radar operators, forming part of the crews of anti-aircraft guns and military police. However, these roles were not without risk, there were, according to the Imperial War Museum, 717 casualties during World War II. A secret trial having shown that women were capable of operating heavy searchlight equipment and coping with conditions on the desolate searchlight sites, members of the ATS began training at Rhyl to replace male personnel in searchlight regiments. At first they were employed in searchlight Troop headquarters, but in July 1942 the 26th Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery became the first'Mixed' regiment, with seven Troops of ATS women posted to it, forming the whole of 301 Battery and half of 339 Battery.
In October that year the all-women 301 Battery was transferred to the new 93rd Searchlight Regiment, the last searchlight regiment formed during World War II, which by August 1943 comprised about 1500 women out of an establishment of 1674. Many other searchlight and anti-aircraft regiments on Home Defence followed, freeing men aged under 30 of medical category A1 for transfer to the infantry. Several Heavy Anti-Aircraft regiments deployed to North West Europe with 21st Army Group in 1944–45 were'Mixed' regiments. By VE Day and before demobilization, there were over 190,000 members of the women's Auxiliary Territorial Service. Famous members of the ATS included Mary Churchill, youngest daughter of the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, Princess Elizabeth, eldest daughter of the King, who trained as a lorry driver. After the cessation of hostilities women continued to serve in the ATS, as well as in the WRNS and WAAF, it was succeeded by the Women's Royal Army Corps, which formed on 1 February 1949 under Army Order 6.
Ranks were different from those of the army, but used the same rank insignia, although the crown was replaced by a laurel wreath. Members were required to salute their own superior officers, but not other organisations' officers, although it was considered courteous to d
Essex is a county in the south-east of England, north-east of London. One of the home counties, it borders Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent across the estuary of the River Thames to the south, London to the south-west; the county town is the only city in the county. For government statistical purposes Essex is placed in the East of England region. Essex occupies the eastern part of the ancient Kingdom of Essex, which united with the other Anglian and Saxon kingdoms to make England a single nation state; as well as rural areas, the county includes London Stansted Airport, the new towns of Basildon and Harlow, Lakeside Shopping Centre, the port of Tilbury and the borough of Southend-on-Sea. The name Essex originates in the Anglo-Saxon period of the Early Middle Ages and has its root in the Anglo-Saxon name Ēastseaxe, the eastern kingdom of the Saxons who had come from the continent and settled in Britain during the Heptarchy. Recorded in AD 527, Essex occupied territory to the north of the River Thames, incorporating all of what became Middlesex and most of what became Hertfordshire.
Its territory was restricted to lands east of the River Lea. Colchester in the north-east of the county is Britain's oldest recorded town, dating from before the Roman conquest, when it was known as Camulodunum and was sufficiently well-developed to have its own mint. In AD 824, following the Battle of Ellandun, the kingdoms of the East Saxons, the South Saxons and the Jutes of Kent were absorbed into the kingdom of the West Saxons, uniting Saxland under King Alfred's grandfather Ecgberht. Before the Norman conquest the East Saxons were subsumed into the Kingdom of England. After the Norman conquest, Essex became a county. During the medieval period, much of the area was designated a Royal forest, including the entire county in a period to 1204, when the area "north of the Stanestreet" was disafforested; the areas subject to forest law diminished, but at various times they included the forests of Becontree, Epping, Hatfield and Waltham. Essex County Council was formed in 1889. However, County Boroughs of West Ham, Southend-on-Sea and East Ham formed part of the county but were unitary authorities.
12 boroughs and districts provide more localised services such as rubbish and recycling collections and planning, as shown in the map on the right. A few Essex parishes have been transferred to other counties. Before 1889, small areas were transferred to Hertfordshire near Bishops Stortford and Sawbridgeworth. At the time of the main changes around 1900, parts of Helions Bumpstead, Sturmer and Ballingdon-with-Brundon were transferred to Suffolk. Part of Hadstock, part of Ashton and part of Chrishall were transferred to Cambridgeshire and part of Great Horkesley went to Suffolk; the boundary with Greater London was established in 1965, when East Ham and West Ham county boroughs and the Barking, Dagenham, Ilford, Romford and Wanstead and Woodford districts were transferred to form the London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Waltham Forest. Essex became part of the East of England Government Office Region in 1994 and was statistically counted as part of that region from 1999, having been part of the South East England region.
In 1998, the boroughs of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock were granted autonomy from the administrative county of Essex after successful requests to become unitary authorities. Essex Police covers the two unitary authorities; the county council chamber and main headquarters is at the County Hall in Chelmsford. Before 1938, the council met in London near Moorgate, which with significant parts of the county close to that point and the dominance of railway travel had been more convenient than any place in the county, it has 75 elected councillors. Before 1965, the number of councillors reached over 100; the County Hall, made a listed building in 2007, dates from the mid-1930s and is decorated with fine artworks of that period the gift of the family who owned the textile firm Courtaulds. The highest point of the county of Essex is Chrishall Common near the village of Langley, close to the Hertfordshire border, which reaches 482 feet; the ceremonial county of Essex is bounded to the south by its estuary.
The pattern of settlement in the county is diverse. The Metropolitan Green Belt has prevented the further sprawl of London into the county, although it contains the new towns of Basildon and Harlow developed to resettle Londoners after the destruction of London housing in the Second World War, since which they have been developed and expanded. Epping Forest prevents the further spread of the Greater London Urban Area; as it is not far from London with its economic magnetism, many of Essex's settlements those near or within short driving distance of railway stations, function as dormitory towns or villages where London workers raise their families. Part of the s
Blue Flag beach
The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education that a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its stringent standards. The Blue Flag is a trademark owned by FEE, a not-for-profit non-governmental organisation consisting of 65 organisations in 60 member countries. FEE's Blue Flag criteria include standards for quality, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria; the Blue Flag is sought for beaches and sustainable boating tourism operators as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards. Certificates, which FEE refers to as awards, are issued on an annual basis to beaches and marinas of FEE member countries; the awards are announced yearly on 5 June for Europe, Morocco and other countries in a similar geographic location, on 1 November for the Caribbean, New Zealand, South Africa, other countries in the southern hemisphere. In the European Union, the water quality standards are incorporated in the EC Water Framework Directive.
Spain has held the 1st position for nearly three decades since the awards began in 1987. As a result of the 2015 awards, a total of 4,154 Blue Flags are waving around the world; the table below lists the Blue Flags awarded and in force in 2015. The table can be sorted to show the total number of Blue Flags per country and the number of Blue Flags per population, per area or per the length of the coastline of each country. Note: Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have always been treated as individual countries e.g. in 2015 Northern Ireland had 10 Blue Flag beaches and marinas, England had 61, Wales had 41 and Scotland 1. The Blue Flag was created in France in 1985, as a pilot scheme from the Office of the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe where French coastal municipalities were awarded the Blue Flag on the basis of criteria covering sewage treatment and bathing water quality. 11 French municipalities got the award in 1985. 1987 was the "European Year of the Environment" and the European Commission was responsible for developing the European Community activities of that year.
The Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe presented the concept of the Blue Flag to the Commission, it was agreed to launch the Blue Flag Programme as one of several "European Year of the Environment" activities in the Community. The French concept of the Blue Flag was developed on European level to include other areas of environmental management, such as waste management and coastal planning and protection. Besides beaches marinas became eligible for the Blue Flag. In 1987, 244 beaches and 208 marinas from 10 countries were awarded the Blue Flag. There have been increases in the numbers of Blue Flags awarded each year; the criteria have during these years been changed to more strict criteria. As an example, in 1992 the Programme started using the restrictive guideline values in the EEC Bathing Water Directive as imperative criteria, this was the year where all Blue Flag criteria became the same in all participating countries. In 2001, FEEE rules were changed to allow non-European national organisations, sharing the objectives of FEEE, to become members, changed its name by dropping Europe from its name, becoming the Foundation for Environmental Education.
Several organisations and authorities outside the European Union have joined FEE. In 2001, South Africa and several Caribbean countries joined. FEE has been cooperating with UN WTO on extending the Programme to areas outside Europe. South Africa, Morocco, New Zealand and four countries in the Caribbean region are members of FEE. Aruba and Brazil are in the pilot phase of the Programme and Jordan, Turks & Caicos Islands and United Arab Emirates have started the implementation of the Blue Flag Programme. FEE standards allow for regional variations in beach criteria to reflect specific environmental conditions of a region; as of 2006 an international set of criteria is being used with some variations. In 2016, Blue Flag extended its programme boat-based tourism activities like nature watching, recreational fishing and crewed charter tours. Certified tour operators have to comply with criteria regarding the sustainable operation of their boats and their business as a whole. In 2015 over 4,154 beaches and marinas globally were awarded the Blue Flag.47 countries are participating in the Blue Flag Programme: Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Jordan, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Poland, Puerto Rico, Serbia, Sint Marteen, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Tunisia and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, US Virgin Islands and Wales.
Information relating to coastal zone ecosystems and natural, sensitive areas in the coastal zone must be displayed Information about bathing water quality must be displayed Information about the Blue Flag Programme must be displayed Code of conduct for the beach area must be displayed and the laws governing beach use must be available to the public upon request A minimum of 5 environmental education activities must be offered Compliance with the requirements and standards for excellent bathing water quality No industrial or sewage related discharges may affect the beach area Monitoring on the health of coral reefs located in the vicinity of
The Shoeburyness Boom refers to two defensive barriers erected across the Thames Estuary in the mid-20th century. The first example was built in 1939 during the Second World War to protect shipping from attack by submarines and surface vessels, with the second being built between 1950 and 1953 to prevent access to the estuary by Soviet submarines during the Cold War. Both booms ran from Shoeburyness in Essex to Sheerness in a distance of 5.6 miles. The first boom consisted of wooden piles driven into the estuary bed at either end with the deep water channel protected by an anti-submarine net; the second boom was formed of concrete piles at either end with the gap in the channel to be closed by moored Royal Navy vessels. The development of nuclear missiles, jet bombers and the hydrogen bomb rendered the Cold War boom obsolete and it was demolished in the 1960s. A 2 km stretch of the boom remains at the Essex side, it has been designated a scheduled monument and forms the boundary of the restricted area of the MoD Shoeburyness firing range.
The boom was erected at the start of the Second World War. The primary intention was to prevent any incursion of enemy submarines up the estuary where they might be able to attack merchant shipping. Secondary benefits included protection against floating mines, enemy surface vessels and as an anti-invasion measure; the boom ran from the East Beach at Shoeburyness, Essex to Royal Oak Point in Sheerness, Kent a distance of some 5.6 miles. In the shallow water at either end, closest to the land, the boom was formed of wooden piles driven into the sandy seabed and reinforced with concrete – on the Essex side of the boom these extended over 1 mile into the estuary. Where the boom met the deep water channel it transitioned into an anti-submarine net. At intervals along the net 200-ton lighters were stationed armed with anti-aircraft guns and searchlights. Two gates were included within the net to allow for access by shipping, one towards the north for access to the Thames and one towards the south for the River Medway ports.
These closed overnight. The boom was backed up by a coastal battery at Shoeburyness; the latter housed two 6" search-light emplacements protected by landward defences. A second boom was placed across the Thames at Canvey Island and similar protections were installed at the Solent and at Plymouth; the remains of the coastal artillery emplacement at Shoeburyness, together with its magazines and search-light emplacements are visible but lie within the grounds of MoD Shoeburyness with no public access. There are no visible remains of the boom at the Shoebury end but a line of piles and wrecked boats is visible on the Kent side at East End, close to Minster Beach. A replacement boom was constructed some 15–60 m west of the Second World War boom between 1950 and 1953 by the Admiralty; the boom comprised two off-set rows of concrete piles, linked by angle-iron straps. The boom at the Essex-side had two changes of direction along its length before meeting the deep water channel. There was a corresponding boom at the Sheerness side of the estuary.
In times of emergency the gap between the two was intended to be closed by moored Royal Navy vessels. By this time the nature of the threat was shifting from submarines to nuclear-armed bombers against which the boom would have served little defence. With the coming of nuclear-armed rockets, jet-powered bombers and the hydrogen bomb in the mid-1950s the boom became obsolete, it is the only known anti-submarine boom constructed during the Cold War. In the 1960s the piles at the Kent side were removed and those at the Essex side shortened by 600 m, leaving 2.01 km projecting from the shore. The Essex-side boom is intact, with only a few gaps due to the loss of a small number of piles; the post that marked the transition from the boom to the deep water anti-submarine net remains in place on the Essex side. The boom is a landmark on this stretch of coast and is the most visible remnants of an anti-submarine boom in the country; the structure marks the boundary of the firing range at the MoD property and access is not permitted to the beach beyond.
It was granted scheduled monument status in 2004. The remains of the boom and deep channel post are noted as potential hazards on shipping charts of the area. A modern navigation light with accompanying mooring bollards and accessway is located at the southern end of the boom. On 25 July 2015 the boom was struck by an drifting fishing vessel. Media related to Thames Boom at Wikimedia Commons
Pig's Bay is a coastal area in East Shoebury, a small beachland area in Shoeburyness. The main entrance to the site is at Blackgate Road, Shoeburyness; this is the gateway to the island of Foulness, the fourth largest island off the coast of England. The bay is the site of MoD Shoeburyness, a military installation established in 1849 and, still used as a firing range. One of the other uses of the site is the scrapping of old railway vehicles, it has its own private railway network, stretching for around six miles, linked to one of the sidings at Network Rail's Shoeburyness c2c electrical multiple unit depot by means of two unmanned level crossings across Shoeburyness High Street and Blackgate Road, respectively. The site has featured in a few episodes of the Channel 4 series Scrapheap Challenge; the front locomotive of the passenger train involved in the 1997 Southall rail crash – when an InterCity 125 train collided with a freight train, killing seven people – was scrapped here, being cut up by Serco three years after the incident once the inquiry had been completed
County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control. They were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales, but continue in use for lieutenancy and shrievalty in Northern Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland they remain in existence but have been renamed cities under the provisions of the Local Government Act 2001; the Local Government Act 1994 re-introduced the term for certain "principal areas" in Wales. Scotland did not have county boroughs but instead counties of cities; these were abolished on 16 May 1975. All four Scottish cities of the time — Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow — were included in this category. There was an additional category of large burgh in the Scottish system, which were responsible for all services apart from police and fire; when county councils were first created in 1889, it was decided that to let them have authority over large towns or cities would be impractical, so any large incorporated place would have the right to be a county borough, thus independent from the administrative county it would otherwise come under.
Some cities and towns were independent counties corporate, most were to become county boroughs. Ten county boroughs were proposed; the Local Government Act 1888 as passed required a population of over 50,000 except in the case of existing counties corporate. This resulted in 61 county boroughs in two in Wales. Several exceptions were allowed for historic towns: Bath and Oxford were all under the 50,000 limit in the 1901 census; some of the smaller counties corporate—Berwick upon Tweed, Lincoln, Poole and Haverfordwest—did not become county boroughs, although Canterbury, with a population under 25,000, did. Various new county boroughs were constituted in the following decades as more boroughs reached the 50,000 minimum and promoted Acts to constitute them county boroughs; the granting of county borough status was the subject of much disagreement between the large municipal boroughs and the county councils. The population limit provided county councils with a disincentive to allow mergers or boundary amendments to districts that would create authorities with large populations, as this would allow them to seek county borough status and remove the tax base from the administrative county.
County boroughs to be constituted in this era were a mixed bag, including some towns that would continue to expand such as Bournemouth and Southend-on-Sea. Other towns such as Burton upon Trent and Dewsbury were not to increase in population much past 50,000. 1913 saw the attempts of Luton and Cambridge to gain county borough status defeated in the House of Commons, despite the approval of the Local Government Board — the removal of Cambridge from Cambridgeshire would have reduced the income of Cambridgeshire County Council by over half. Upon recommendation of a commission chaired by the Earl of Onslow, the population threshold was raised to 75,000 in 1926, by the Local Government Act 1926, which made it much harder to expand boundaries; the threshold was raised to 100,000 by the Local Government Act 1958. The viability of the county borough of Merthyr Tydfil came into question in the 1930s. Due to a decline in the heavy industries of the town, by 1932 more than half the male population was unemployed, resulting in high municipal rates in order to make public assistance payments.
At the same time the population of the borough was lower than when it had been created in 1908. A royal commission was appointed in May 1935 to "investigate whether the existing status of Merthyr Tydfil as a county borough should be continued, if not, what other arrangements should be made"; the commission reported the following November, recommended that Merthyr should revert to the status of a non-county borough, that public assistance should be taken over by central government. In the event county borough status was retained by the town, with the chairman of the Welsh Board of Health appointed as administrative adviser in 1936. After the Second World War the creation of new county boroughs in England and Wales was suspended, pending a local government review. A government white paper published in 1945 stated that "it is expected that there will be a number of Bills for extending or creating county boroughs" and proposed the creation of a boundary commission to bring coordination to local government reform.
The policy in the paper ruled out the creation of new county boroughs in Middlesex "owing to its special problems". The Local Government Boundary Commission was appointed on 26 October 1945, under the chairmanship of Sir Malcolm Trustram Eve, delivering its report in 1947; the Commission recommended that towns with a population of 200,000 or more should become one-tier "new counties", with "new county boroughs" having a population of 60,000 - 200,000 being "most-purpose authorities", with the county council of the administrative county providing certain limited services. The report envisaged the creation of 47 two-tiered "new counties", 21 one-tiered "new counties" and 63 "new county boroughs"; the recommendations of the Commission extended to a review of the division of functions between different tiers of local government, thus fell outside its terms of reference, its report was not acted upon. The next attempt at reform was by the Local Government Act 1958, which established the Local Government Commission for England and the Local Government
London, Tilbury and Southend Railway
The London and Southend Railway known as Essex Thameside, is a commuter railway line on the British railway system which connects Fenchurch Street station in central London with destinations in east London and Essex, including Barking, Basildon, Tilbury and Shoeburyness. Its main users are commuters travelling to and from London the City of London, served by Fenchurch Street, areas in east London including the Docklands financial district via London Underground and Docklands Light Railway connections at Limehouse and West Ham; the line is heavily used by leisure travellers, as it and its branches serve a number of seaside resorts, shopping areas and countryside destinations. Additionally the route provides an artery for freight traffic to and from the port of Tilbury; the railway was authorised in 1852 and the first section was opened in 1854 by the London and Southend Railway Company, a joint venture between the London and Blackwall Railway and the Eastern Counties Railway companies. The route was extended in phases and partnerships were formed with the Midland Railway and District Railway to provide through-services.
The main line runs from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness via Basildon over a distance of 39 miles 40 chains. A loop line between Barking and Pitsea provides an alternative route via Grays and Tilbury, there is a short branch line connecting the two via Ockendon; the line has a maximum speed limit of 75 mph, although the Class 357 electric trains which run on it are capable of a speed of 100 mph. The line forms part of Network Rail's strategic route 6, it is classified as a South East commuter line. Passenger services form the Essex Thameside franchise, operated by train operating company c2c; the construction of the London and Southend Railway line was authorised by Parliament on 17 June 1852. The first section, built by Peto and Grissell, was opened between Forest Gate Junction on the Eastern Counties Railway line and Tilbury, via Barking and Grays on 13 April 1854. Services ran from Fenchurch Street and Bishopsgate stations over existing lines to Stratford and Forest Gate Junction. Further extensions opened in late 1854 to Horndon, to Leigh-on-Sea on 1 July 1855 and to Southend on 1 March 1856.
In 1858 a more direct route from Barking to London was constructed through Bromley and East Ham, connecting with the London and Blackwall Extension Railway at Bow, the service from Bishopsgate was withdrawn. Under the management of civil engineer Arthur Lewis Stride, the line was extended from Southend to Shoeburyness in 1884. A more direct route from Barking to Pitsea via Upminster was built between 1885 and 1888, completing the current main route. A single-track branch was constructed between Romford and Grays via Upminster in 1892-93. In 1902 the Whitechapel and Bow Railway was constructed as a joint venture with the District Railway, connecting the London and Southend Railway at Bow with the District Railway at Whitechapel; the connection allowed through-running of District Railway trains from the tunnels under central London to provide local services to Upminster from 2 June 1902. When the Metropolitan and Whitechapel & Bow Railway lines were electrified, an additional pair of tracks was installed between Bow and East Ham and the service was cut back to there from 30 September 1905.
The electrified tracks were extended to Barking and that section opened on 1 April 1908. Delayed by World War I, the electric tracks were extended to Upminster and District line services started to and from there on 12 September 1932; the London Plan Working Party Report of 1949 envisaged as its Route G the LTSR electrified and diverted away from Fenchurch Street to Bank and onward through the Waterloo & City line tunnels to Waterloo and its suburban lines. Of course, the Waterloo & City tunnels would have had to be bored out to main-line size for this proposal to succeed. However, electrification went ahead from 1961 to 1962 under British Railways and direct passenger services from Bromley, Upton Park, East Ham, Becontree and Hornchurch to Fenchurch Street were withdrawn; the line was re-signalled between 1958 and 1961, starting in the Barking area in April 1958 and completed in August 1961 with the section between Purfleet and West Thurrock junction. Semaphore signals were replaced with 3- and 4-aspect searchlight signals.
In 1972 the British Railways Board proposed to construct a 1-mile freight-only spur line from the railway at Bowers Gifford between Pitsea and Benfleet to East Haven creek and thence to the proposed oil refineries on Canvey Island, to allow petroleum products to be exported from the refineries. Once the layout of the proposed refineries had been established, in early 1974 the BRB sought powers to extend the spur line a further mile from the creek to the site of the refineries through the British Railways Bill 1974; the Bill was subject to considerable opposition in parliament, furthermore a public inquiry proposed to revoke planning permission for one of the refineries. The proposal was abandoned and the BRB removed the spur line proposal from the 1974 Bill. In 1974 a station was opened to serve the new town of Basildon and in 1995 a station was built at Chafford Hundred to serve the new community there as well as Lakeside Shopping Centre. Platforms were re-established and opened at West Ham in 1999 to provide interchange with the extended Jubilee line.
The following stations were once served by the London and Southend Railway, its predecessors and successors. Electrification of the line and the connecting branches, under various system of traction current, took place in stages as follows: November 1949 Fenchurch