Grays

Grays is the largest town in Thurrock and is situated on the north bank of the River Thames, The name Grays originates back from 1195, Henry de Gray a descendant of the Norman knight who was granted the manor of Grays by Richard I.

Grays is located on the Thames Estuary and has a local beach hosting an annual festival to which many local celebrities host some of which include, Stacey Soloman, David Van Day, Russell Brand. Grays beach also has the added bonus housing The Thurrock Yacht Club, this was established in 1946 as a yacht club for the working man. To date it upholds the same reputation as to being one of the least expensive yacht clubs in the British Isles where anyone can enjoy sailing or motor boating.

Grays town centre plays host to one of the most memorable landmarks for its residents – The State Cinema, originally planned and built as the Roxy cinema the state opened on 5th September 1938with the first showing being the 1938 film The Hurricane. Back in its day the State boasted a capacity of 2200 and was one of the largest cinemas in Essex. More recently the State Cinema has been used for various films some of which include the hit film in 1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the music video to Jamiroquai’s video of Deeper Underground for the film Godzilla. In June 2000 the State cinema was reclassified as a Grade II listed building by English Heritage.

Grays also boasts from its fantastic road links being within under 2 miles from the Queen Elizabeth II bridge crossing from Thurrock to Dartford and located within 5 miles fromt the M25 and situated right on top of the A13 the heart of London is just a short journey away. Grays has its own mainline railway station offering the C2C service from Southend On Sea – London Fenchurch Street. The bus services are also located at Grays Station offering journeys to Lakeside, Chelmsford, Bluewater, Southend, Romford and various other destinations.

In sport Grays has the well known Grays Athletic Football Club which is top flight in non league football. Grays Athletic have played at the Recreation Ground, Bridge Road since 1906. They became members of the Athenian League in 1912. They won the Essex Senior Cup in 1914/15, together with the Amateur Division of the London League.

Grays became even stronger after the Second World War, going on to win the Essex Senior Cup in 1945. Grays helped to form the Corinthian League in 1946 and won both the League and Memorial Shield and were Essex Thameside Trophy winners in 1948.

In the 1950's they reached the County Cup final on four occasions, winning once in 1957. They rejoined the Athenian League in 1958 where they remained until 1983.

More recently, In 2005 winning the Double – the league and the FA Trophy. Grays then got promoted to Football Conference. Famously star striker Freddy Eastwood was recently sold to Southend On Sea for a considerable sum, going on to clinch promotion for them.

Off the field, due to the constant success of the club, it has now outgrown its former Bridge Road pitch being located closely to residential development and little off street parking, with poor commuter links the Club has now re-located locally to a larger site. The former playing turf is currently being redeveloped into residential housing.

Thurrock Rugby Club is also located in Grays, the club was originally formed in 1928 originally using changing facilities behind a barn at The Whitmore Arms in Orsett the club has moved on quite dramatically eight decades on now boasting, 2 squash courts, 8 changing rooms, a gym, an on site physio, a conference room and many more fine features. Externally the club boasts 3 rugby pitches and a 150 seater Grandstand. They represent not only the best facilities in Essex but throughout the whole of the South East of England.

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