Mystery Photograph

Any ideas?

Mistery photograph.
Nina Humphrey (nee Burton)

Standing on the right of this picture is my Grandfather Henry Devine (Laindon postman for 25 years) who lived in a bungalow called ‘Pendennis’ in Alexandra Road, which was part of the unmade section of King Edward Road, Laindon.  His son Richard (my uncle) is standing in front (later a teacher at Markham’s Chase School).  The two chaps on the left are cousins on a visit from London.  I estimate the photo was taken around 1930 but have no idea where the structure they are standing by was situated.  There were many wells in the area including our own but none had such a substantial cover.  Maybe it was a water inspection cover or even a cesspit.  Any help with identification as to what it was and exactly where would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Hello, This reminds me of the plaque/structure that used to be at the top of One Tree Hill overlooking Stanford-le-hope & Corringham in the 1960s, behind the little visitors centre/cottage adjoined to the small car park.

    By Sheree (16/08/2013)
  • Nina, my guess is that the structure is the concrete lid of a septic tank which may have been the method of drainage for some of the properties. Normally a drain leads from the property into settlement chamber 1, heavy materials sink to form a sludge, grease and light materials float at surface level. Water then disperses to chamber 2 and then outfalls to a soakaway. Covers for both chambers are seen in the photo, thats my best guess. These would be removed when de-sludging the tanks. Others may have different ideas, who’s going next?

    By Richard Haines (04/10/2011)
  • Richard. Thank you for your description which appears to explain the structure perfectly, especially the two covers. That just leaves the mystery of where it was situated exactly. I know the area extremely well, but can’t recall ever seeing it. Perhaps it was removed before my time.

    By Nina Humphrey (nee Burton) (04/10/2011)

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