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Report - - Occidental Jetty, Canvey Island, Essex, 24th February 2012 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Occidental Jetty, Canvey Island, Essex, 24th February 2012


The_Construct

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The History

Between 1971 and 1975 Occidental Refineries Limited partially built an oil refinery on marshland at Canvey Island, Essex. The local authorities had originally refused planning permission but after appealing to the Department of the Environment, the refinery was given the go ahead by the Secretary of State in 1971.

Via a 1.5 kilometer deep water jetty, the refinery was to take delivery of crude oil for processing.

In 1975, after sinking around £55 million pounds into the build, it was determined that the site would not be economically viable due to an increase in the cost of oil and reduced demand for oil based products. No oil products were ever stored or processed on the site.

The site was mostly demolished in 1996 and 1997 - the surrounding area shows signs of where the storage tanks once were - all that now remains are the jetty and the bases for the storage tanks.

The Explore

A cold and misty February morning, myself and my fellow explorer buddy set off to Canvey to see if we could access the jetty. We only live around 15 minutes away, so not much lost if unsuccessful.

It did not look promising when we first saw the access structure, boarding and wire had been placed around the bottom to stop the steps being accessed. After a few minutes we found some metal pipes in the undergrowth which we were able to use to scale the bottom of the structure, then we were then able to access the steps.

Even though the day was misty and overcast, this added to the atmosphere - especially as you could hear the ships horns booming in the Thames Estuary. We also came across a few folks stripping the wiring and metal from the structure - how they got on without the pipework or a ladder eludes me. Better upper body strength I guess!

Not much graffiti. Found a few structures on the jetty which I believe would have housed a red and green light to indicate port and starboard sides to passing shipping. Other than that, not much there.

From the very far end of the structure we were able to see the Shell Haven oil refineries (Mobil and Shell). My Dad had worked at Mobil on various units over the years including the jetties. One of the stories he recounts is when he was walking back to shore after connecting up an oil tanker for loading or unloading. Some of his smoker colleagues used to stock up on cheap cigarettes sold by the oil tanker crews. One night one of his colleagues comes running down the jetty and hands my Dad the stash of cigarettes saying he needs to hide them as the inland revenue have turned up and are searching everyone. My Dad just thinks, sod that, I ain't getting caught with dodgy cigarettes, so he throws them over the side into the Thames. His colleague, astonished, says "what d'you do that for!? I was only joking!". My Dad had the last laugh there.

The photos

The structure is very imposing, especially looming out of the mist. Looks like something out of the futuristic battle scenes in The Terminator - I can just imagine some HK flying by:

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We are on:

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We allowed ourselves a brief, low-key celebration:

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The structures which I believe would have housed the port (red) and starboard (green) lights:

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At a certain point the gravity is much reduced out in the Thames Estuary:

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Just across the expanse, we could glimpse the Shell Haven oil refineries:

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Jl.urbex

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I am originally a canvey boy, grew up playing on that jetty and in the surrounding land.

Wondered how long it would take before I saw it on here, gets windy at the end doesnt it haha
 

lpphevs

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member
Nice work good to see a classic explore of this place. Practically grew up on this jetty and the rest of the Occidental site ruins, it gave some great views at night. Shame they demolished the dodgy step tower a few years back, got to have some gigantic balls to climb it now
 

The_Construct

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice work good to see a classic explore of this place. Practically grew up on this jetty and the rest of the Occidental site ruins, it gave some great views at night. Shame they demolished the dodgy step tower a few years back, got to have some gigantic balls to climb it now
Ah I was not aware the access structure has been removed, I will need to swing by again and take a look - I like a challenge.
 

Jl.urbex

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
As it happens I do recall it getting a little blustery.
The main thing I remember about the end was all the dead seagulls, was basically walking in bones back then. I am talking like 2005 lol.

You would have noticed the big gap in the stairs, about 3 missing steps, usually some sort of ladder across, my friend tom fell through those as a kid, I cant beleive it's still standing at all
 

lpphevs

Wasteland Wanderer
28DL Full Member
The main thing I remember about the end was all the dead seagulls, was basically walking in bones back then. I am talking like 2005 lol.

You would have noticed the big gap in the stairs, about 3 missing steps, usually some sort of ladder across, my friend tom fell through those as a kid, I cant beleive it's still standing at all
I remember it clearly. Took me a few goes to pluck up the courage for that as a kid. Can't imagine falling through that would be good, it was basically a ladder cable tied on at 45 degrees!
 

Jl.urbex

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I remember it clearly. Took me a few goes to pluck up the courage for that as a kid. Can't imagine falling through that would be good, it was basically a ladder cable tied on at 45 degrees!

He fell through the original steps, he is the reason that ladder is there now lol, left him a nasty scar. And yeah that's it, its been so many different ladders/bits of wood over the yeara
 

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