Sherwin Chase

An appreciation by Susan Yates

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 knew him.

Sherwin Chase, Society Patron