Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life


New Hospital Opened - The Victoria Hospital located in far est extremity of Warrior Square was formally opened on 30th May 1888 by Mrs Carne Rasch wife of the local MP.  For the size of the population of Southend and the swelling of numbers by the visitors this 8 bed sanitorium was woefully inadequate, but at least it was a start, providing the town with more than it had before.  The cost of building the hospital and equipping it out came under the planned budget of £2,500.  At a time long before the NHS came into being the hospital needed to survive, through fundrasing and pledges of those goodwilled citizens in the community.  As the hospital established itself within the community it not only provided a 22 bed ward and a children's ward (in 1906) but also provided nursing services into the community.  It was comforting to see that the hospital built on its starting budget, managed to secure funding in full to keep it going for many years.  In 1900 during the Boer War three beds were put at the disposal of the Mayor for the use of wounded troops or those invalided out of the military, fortunately this offer was never taken up.  It was quickly realised the Victoria Hospital would become a key bequeathment from beneficiaries of the hospital's services, as well as those that worked tirelessly within the facility.


Blue Boar Imminent - Building plans were submitted to the Local Board for the Blue Boar Public House on the junction of North Road/West Street.  Followed by a further submission to include stabling for those customers who might end up a little too inebriated to ride their steed home.

Roots Hall - An old house in Prittlewell was having its land broken up as its grounds were cut in to make way for North Road (to become Victoria Ave).  After the house was finally demolished the land became a football ground for Southend United pre World War One.

Railway Washed Away - 1888 saw disaster as heavy rains caused the sea walls to collapse and the L.M.S. Railway was closed for several days, due to the track ballast being swept away.

New Doctor Arrives in Old Leigh -  Dr James Murie something of a celebrity, as a well known explorer who had helped in the expedition to find the source of the Nile, came to live in Old Leigh this year.  He was not a nice man and had wanted and desired solitude as he had many a falling out with his medical peers.  Old Leigh seemed the ideal dwelling and although he managed to hole himself up, he still found himself being recruited to the Kent and Essex Fisheries Committee where his other expertise on natural life was called upon to put together a comprehensive study of the ecology in the Thames Estuary.  This job did not go without issue as this well educated man found it difficult to work with the local Old Leigh fishermen and as a result his promise of two volumes came to only one, a significant piece of work still noted for its quality today, he lived to the ripe old age of 94 and died in 1925.


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