The towns and villages on the Thames Estuary are vulnerable to flooding and Grays and Thurrock have certainly experienced their share. Most notably, the wet weather and tide caused severe flooding in 1897,1953 and 1968. The improvements that have been made to the flood defenses as a result of these weather events have meant that Grays and Thurrock have become the subject of rapid development in retail, industry and housing. In September 1906, the weather was so hot that temperatures reached a record 35C and caused fires in nearby woodland.
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Grays Thurrock History
Thurrock, together with neighboring Grays, rests on the north bank of the River Thames. It was once a grazing site for Wooly Mammoths and archaeologists recently unearthed the remains of a large jungle cat. Its position at the mouth of the Thames Estuary means that Grays and Thurrock have always been linked with the sea and the famous diarist, Samuel Pepys, mentions in his diary on 24th September 1665 that Grays was the place where he purchased fish. In 1701, the infamous pirate, Captain Kidd was executed for his crimes and his remains were displayed at Thurrock for twenty years offering a warning against piracy. Thurrock and Grays have also featured in many recent films. Scenes from Who framed Roger Rabbit were shot in the State Cinema Grays, and films such as Batman Begins, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade made use of a variety of locations in the town and surrounding area for filming.
Thurrock's proximity to the M25 and the Dartford Crossing made it ideal as the site of the Lakeside Shopping Centre which is one of the largest retail centers in the UK. Lakeside is also the traditional venue for the annual World Professional Darts Championship. Perhaps the most famous current celebrity to come from the area is comedian and actor Russell Brand who was born in Grays in 1975.