After two years in the Conference, Canvey Island accepted voluntary demotion to Isthmian League Division One North in 2006. It had seemed only a matter of time before the Gulls rose up into the Conference. Three seasons on the trot, they came second in the Isthmian League; twice scoring 100 goals doing so. Finally, however, they secured their elusive title – yet the cash ran out as Jeff King pulled back his investment.
Canvey Island’s charm is hard to accept if you’re on the end of a shallacking at Park Lane (Not that one? Ed.) in the middle of winter; solace found only in counting the tankers sailing out of the Thames Estuary. Boro’ aren’t alone, though. The Gulls have been around since 1926 and have probably handed out plenty of hidings in their coastal corner of Essex. And it was in and around this corner they stayed for much of their first 35-odd years.
It wasn’t ’til 1963 and Canvey’s decision to join the London League that put ’em on the wider footballing radar. A couple of mergers between leagues during this time means this part of their history is a bit patchy. Or, it’s a bit patchy as we’re not digging any deeper. So, we’re picking up the tale once more in 1975 and their switch to the Essex Senior League. It was a 19-year stay, earning them two titles and an FA Vase semi-final outing.
After joining the Diadora (Isthmian) League in 1994, Canvey Island started to make themselves into a force to be reckoned with. There were two straight promotions in their first two seasons. Their debut crack at Division One ended badly and it was back to Division Two, but it was a blip. They bounced right back up, going straight through Division One on the way to wind up in the Premier Division in 1999. The Conference was in sight.
How to get to Canvey Island – Travel Information – Distance: 64 miles
The quickest way to get to Canvey Island from Stevenage is to take the M25 eastbound until you reach Junction 29 – the A127 turnoff. Head along the A127 towards Southend and – after 12 miles – you’ll reach the junction for the A1245 for Chelmsford, Wickford and the A130 among others.
Come off the A127 here and take the third exit at the roundabout for the A1245. In a very short distance, keep left to join the A130. In about one-and-a-half miles, stay in the left two lanes to stay with the A130 down towards Canvey Island.
Make sure you’re in the right lane for the A130 as you approach the roundabout. You’re going (more or less) straight across here. As you near the island itself, you’ll come to a roundabout. At this point, take the second exit for Somnes Avenue (B1014). Keep going for 2.8 miles after this.
At the roundabout with Park Lane just after passing the transport museum, it’s a right turn (second exit) and the ground is down here.
The car park at the ground itself is pretty big and can cope with a modest sized crowd, while also free of charge. If a bigger crowd is expected, you may be wise to aim for the seafront (Eastern Esplanade) or the other side of Point Road.
Services to: LONDON FENCHURCH STREET
When you leave the station, we suggest you catch either #3 or #151 bus services and ask for the stop after the Admiral Jellico pub.
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