Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life


Southend Invaded - Some 25,000 people took advantage of the new train link to Southend on the August Bank Holiday, and invaded this youthful seaside resort; enjoying their experience so much a huge number of them missed their trains back to London forcing an amazing mass beach sleepover, the scale of which has never been seen since.

Act of Parliament - This year saw the arrival of an important milestone in Southend's history; an act of parliament arrived decreeing the right for an iron pier to be built into the Thames Estuary.

Royal Yachting - The Alexandra Yacht Club based along the Western Esplanade was responsible for a number of the town's key yachting races.  In 1887, Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, word had spread about Southend's ability in this field that the Prince of Wales attended.

Prittlewell - was described as "An ancient and agreeable village, consisting of two streets and right angles to one another".

New Hospital for Southend - The Victoria Hospital opened in 1887.  Adequate for the time but as the town expanded in size and became an increaslingly popular seaside resort so the need was for more.  This hospital existed in Warrior Square.

Salvation Army - This religious movement has a large movement in Southend; it built its first 'barracks' in Clarence Street in 1887, only ten years after the foundation of the Salvation Army.  In 1890 it acquired 3,000 acres of farming land in Hadleigh


Town Centre Expands - The streets between the railway station and Alexandra Street, ie, Clarence Street, Weston Road, and Clarence Road, were completed in 1887.

John Farley Leith QC MP - An interesting character in the nation's politics, who died on 4th April 1887.  He is represented iJohn Farley Leith, by Sir Leslie Ward, published in Vanity Fair 21 June 1879 - NPG 4725 - © National Portrait Gallery, Londonn the National Portrait Gallery with this caricature:

He lived in the Priory in Prittlewell, and was well known for being the MP for Aberdeen.  This bit of text refers to his time there:

Aberdeen was represented in Parliament by a Liberal, John Farley Leith.  He was an English barrister who on one occasion took the chair at the AGM of Bon Accord Swimming Club.  He was by no means renowned as an orator, but on that occasion it is reported that he brought the house down by reciting the Shakespearean passage in which Cassius recalls how his swimming prowess saved the life of Julius Caesar.

Brewery Controversy - The Luker Brewery was quite an iconic building in Southend's Whitegate Road, later to become the extension of the High Street.  However this year saw some issues when raw sewage washed off the street became mixed with the beer making process.  Doing the reputation of the brewery which fed a majority of the pubs in the town no good at all, lets say the Special Brew this year was not one to be taken down lightly.


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