Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life



Royal Visit to Carnival Gardens - The Duchess of Kent opens the new bungalows, in Leigh-on-Sea, for the elderly on 17th May 1955.

Funded through the Southend Carnival Association.

New Lifeboat - The Royal visit extended when HRH The Duchess of Kent came to name the new lifeboat.  Another generous gift of the Civil Service Lifeboat Fund, "Greater London II (Civil Service No. 30)" was a 46ft, 9in. Watson cabin lifeboat, built by Groves & Gutteridge at Cowes.  She cost £32,163.

General Election

26th May 1955 

Southend West                               Majority 18,460

  • Henry Channon Con 27,326
  • Victor Marcheal Lab 8,866
  • Miss Heather Harvey Lib 6,375


Southend East                       Majority 6,758            

  • Sir Stephen McAdden Con 23,958
  • W Harold Clough Labour 17,200



Southend United move into Roots Hall -The Shrimpers this year returned to their original home at Roots Hall. But during the early 50's they were keen to move from their Grainger Road site.  The council now owned Roots Hall, which had become a bit of a rubbish tip, but with the help of the Blue's loyal supporters, Roots Hall was soon to become a superb stadium that Roots Hall (1955 to date)shone above many others at that time.  Today the team still play there but with planning permission sealed a new stadium complex at Fossetts Farm is on the cards.  The Roots Hall site will become home to another form of sport in the shape of trolley dashing, as a major superstore has secured the site.

Shoebury Lose Cinema - 5th March 1955 became a significant date for Shoebury residents as the Palace Cinema on Ness Road closed for good.  A sign of the times with the increase of home entertainment on the rise and so many cinemas competing for an ever decreasing audience.  The Palace however did in its heyday provide suitable cinematic facilities not only for the residents but also the troops based at the nearby barracks.  The building is still in place but due for redevelopment, although the facade is listed and should be protected.

The New Strand in Warrior Square becomes The Essoldo

Education-on-Sea - At 4pm On Friday 18th March 1955, the Minister of Education, The Rt. Hon. Sir David McAdam Eccles, P.C., K.C.V.O., M.P., joined local dignitaries at Belfairs High School to open eight schools in the County Borough of Southend-On-Sea.

Like Father Like Son - Edward Cecil Jones, MBE, MC, JP gained another accolade on 20th April, when he was made a Freeman of the Borough.  His father, Robert A Jones was made a Freeman in 1919.  Cecil as he preferred to be known carried on the family line as a Philanthropist.  He was submerged within the local community leading many organisations from the South East Essex Branch of the NSPCC, Chairman of the Southend Branch of the Royal British Legion as well as working with the youth of the town, and this is just a flavour of the amount of work he offered to the communty.  He is still remembered today specifically with the naming of a local school in his honour Cecil Jones College.  When he died the Jones family line came to an end, and again he was honoured by being buried by his Father in the grounds of Prittlewell Priory in Priory Park

New Southend Football Team - This year would see the formation of a new football team in the town.  Southend Manor FC was born, courtesy of the hard work and dedication of Gil and Doris Medcalf, who started the club up for teams aged 10-11.  Today the club plays in the Essex Senior League and its home ground is in Southchurch Park. 

Southend Airport Opens Terminal Building - The ongoing rise of Southend Airport as a commercial venture demanded a civil style Terminal Building; moving the airpoirt away from its not too distant past as a Battle Station.  MP John Profumo did the honours in opening the building.  But a mere two years later the facility due to the upturn in air travel had become too small for its original purpose.


Actor Celebrated - AE Matthews an actor who is today fondly remembered for being able to smoothily move his leading man character from the silver screen to the English stage.  On 1st March 1955, the Palace Theatre in Westcliff celebrated the actor's longevity with the traditional Hollywood style of imprinting a hand and foot print in cement. 

New Mayor's a Woman - Constance Leyland takes the role of Mayor in 1955 and in doing so becomes a noteworthy person in Southend's Civic history, as the first woman to do so.

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