Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TGNEWS to 80360 or you can email us Click here for details »
Thurrock link to Amazing Grace
12:33pm Wednesday 29th February 2012 in Memory Lane
THIS week in Down Memory Lane we take a look at an “amazing” fact about Aveley and Purfleet which we will be celebrating on Saturday, March 10.
Local historians working with Thurrock Museum have unearthed and confirmed the link with the Rev John Newton (1725-1807) who wrote the hymn that we know as a most popular song Amazing Grace.
It turns out John lived at Marsh Foot House, now under industrial buildings on the Purfleet marshes and wandered around Aveley village and the marshes as a young boy. He had two near death encounters at this time, once he was almost involved in a drowning, the other time his horse bolted and he feared he would be thrown off – he survived both.
His father, a sea captain, ensured John’s sea faring career and arranged for his first voyage, catching a ship in Long Reach opposite Purfleet.
Everybody is welcome to witness the unveiling of the next Thurrock Heritage Plaque by the mayor of Thurrock Charlie Curtis on March 10 at the Children’s Centre at Purfleet – on the green between the Royal Hotel and No.5 Gunpowder magazine – at 10.30am for 11am.
The event is supported by a grant from the Veolia Mardyke Trust.
This will include a chance to view an exhibition prepared by the John Newton Project and a chance to discover more of Purfleet’s heritage, including a plaque to its Dracula connection.
My featured engraving is of a ship lying off the Royal Hotel, dated to a similar time to John’s connection at Aveley.