December 2011, and it looks like it’s going to be a mild Christmas for most of us. Some hardy types will probably get out for a sail on the Crouch, but in the coldest of winters ice may stop play.
The first icy panorama is probably from the winter of 1947. Still in situ is the pier built for the Royal Navy’s operations on the Crouch during WW2. The gable of Anchor Cottage (now gone) stands out clearly from between Stebbings’ quayside shed and the Anchor Hotel.
The second photo may be from 1895, another very cold winter. The coastguard vessel HMS Kangeroo is visible in the background alongside the London Sailing Club. As well as freezing in the boats of the local oyster merchants, the severe cold also had the power to devastate the river’s oyster population.