On 8th August 2012
Thurrock Local History Society lost one of its
patrons, Sherwin Chase, who sadly passed away
after surgery in Basildon Hospital.
Sherwin was born on 25th October
1927 in Grays where he lived all of his life and
spent most of his working life as a Local
Government Officer. He was married to wife Betty,
who predeceased him, and had one son, Malcolm. He
was a long time member of Thurrock Local History
Society and one time Vice Chairman. A quiet and
modest man, Sherwin could always be relied upon
to give a talk on anything nautical. He had his
own museum in his back garden, which contained an
extensive collection of naval artefacts and I was
privileged to visit his home to view it. He wrote
many articles for Panorama specializing in Thames
barges and the training ships moored off Grays.
His lectures and guided tours have enhanced the
local knowledge of members.
Not surprisingly Sherwin
was heavily involved with the R.N.L.I. He was one
of the Founders of the Thurrock Branch in the
1950s, later becoming its long-time Chairman and
President. In 1999, he was made an Honorary Life
Governor after more than 45 years service. His
award, the highest possible with the R.N.L.I.,
was presented by HRH the Duke of Kent, President
of the R.N.L.I. Sherwin Chase held all the badges
awarded to volunteers by the R.N.L.I., including
the Gold Badge and Bar.
Sherwin could make, alter
and repair anything, and that led him to be one
of a small group who built a one-third size copy
of a lifeboat. It was correct down to the
smallest detail. Sherwin helped build another
boat. The two boats were named the Henry de Grey
and the Catherine de Grey after the de Grey
family who were Lords of the Manor of the area in
the 12th century and gave their name to the town
of Grays Thurrock.
Sherwin was also a keen
Rotarian joining Corringham Thameside Rotary Club
in 1990 he became Rotary Club President in 1995
serving the club with distinction.
His quiet manner and keen
sense of humour will be sorely missed by all who
Chase, Society Patron