Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life


Southchurch incorporated into the Borough. Population of the Borough 23,000.  Rateable value £122,911.

Leigh Council Formed - Leigh's importance was formalised in 1897 with the arrival of Leigh Urban District Council.  The first Chairman was Mr T J Watson.  The Council's seal was a boat mounted on a shell.

Wesley Methodist Church Built - On Elm Road a significantb place of worship was completed and opened in 1897 by Mrs Osborne the wife of John Osborne of New Road church who donated the land for this latest project.  Also the Mayor's wife, Mrs Beecroft, was on hand to assist on 28th October.

Photo of our church


Ravens Arrives - One of today's key retailers in the town centre arrived in 1897.  Like today, the 1890s was a decade of regeneration and boom for Southend, which represented a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, such as the young Percy Raven. Although he was only in his  early 20s when he opened the first Ravens store at number 48 High Street in 1897, he had already created a name for himself as a quality draper. In 1900 he expanded the Ravens empire by purchasing an old teabar at number 90 High Street, which he would soon redevelop to create Southend’s first department store. Check out Raven's website: Click

The Queen Vic Arrives - The statue of Queen Victoria, a monumental work by Mr. Joseph William Swynnerton (1848-1910), of the great monarch which created quite a sensation in art circles, was presented by Mayor Bernard Wiltshire Tolhurst, to the town to mark the Queen's diamond jubilee in 1897.  it was produced in studios in Rome and was erected on the occasion of the queen's diamond jubilee. It was originally situated at the top of Pier Hill, in 1962 it was moved to its present position in Clifftown Parade. The statue and pedestal, made of Carrara marble, have an overall height of twenty feet.  The queen, seated on a Gothic chair, holds the royal sceptre in her left hand and with her right points to the sea.  Residents joked that in her original position she pointed to the gent's toilets! In the early 1980's the Borough council had to beat off advances from British Columbia in Canada as they wished to purchase it to sit outside there government offices in Victoria.

New School - A new school was built called Leigh Road School initially later to be known as Hamlet Court County School.  On the junction of Hamlet Court Road and Leigh/London Road.  Today this school has gone replaced by part housing and a car park.

St Clement'sSt Clement's Church -  Leigh's most prominent church received an extension this year with the addition of the South Aisle.  This growing hub of the community kept expaning with Lady Chapel being added in 1913.

Middleton Hotel Planned - Plans were well on the way towards the building of the Middleton Hotel right next door to the Luker Brewery in the High Street.

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