CASTLE Point has been ranked the most “English” place in the UK.

Latest figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, have shown 77.5 per cent of residents in the borough consider themselves to be English through and through.

Castle Point topped the poll ahead of Knowsley in Merseyside, Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, Cannock Chase in Staffordshire and Hartlepool in County Durham.

According to statisticians people are more likely to describe themselves as English in areas with an older, white, working class population.

Robert Hallman, a local historian, said one of the reasons for the borough’s high rating of “Englishness” is its settled population.

He said: “In Castle Point we have one of the highest levels of house ownership in the country.

“There was a large influx of people here in the early 1900s when the Salvation Army bought quite a few farms.

“They brought people in from places like the East End of London and once they came here they tended to stay.

“There are also places like Canvey, which until the 1930s was completely cut-off from the mainland. The island has a very strong sense of community spirit.

“In the present day people are fighting very hard to protect the green belt to keep that sense of community.”

The figures, taken from the 2011 census, was the first to ask people to describe their national identity and so no comparisons can be made with previous years.

Scott Roberts, of Tarpots Newsagent in London Road, Benfleet, said he he feels patriotism is undoubtedly strong in the area – that was clear by how Castle Point celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

He said: “We had flags on the shop and we sold a lot of jubilee products.

“People were really patriotic, I think they enjoyed getting into the jubilee spirit.

“This is a patriotic area, you see people as you drive around with flagpoles in their gardens.

“I think they must think it is important to be patriotic.”

STEVE Lant, landlord of
the Haystack Pub on
Canvey, said: “I think
what makes England so
great is that even though
we are such a small
country, our history is
second to none. We have
achieved a lot of things
to be proud of. The
Olympics and the Jubilee
last year really showed
that and it gave everyone
that feel good factor. I
wouldn’t want to live
anywhere else.
“I think people in Castle
Point are very protective
of where they live and
very proud of where they
live and don’t want it to
change. I’ve had
business on the outskirts
of London and their
identities just get
swallowed up, but I
think in our borough,
particularly on Canvey,
because it is such a
small place we still have
those British values.
“We have carnivals and
we do things for charity
and have that
community spirit. Maybe
that is why people here
are patriotic.”