Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life


Pedestrians Hit the High Street  - December saw the first stage of pedestrianising the High Street, created between Queens Road and Warrior Square.






 General Election


Southend West                                Majority 11,857

  • Paul Channon Con 25,713
  • Motel Burstin Labour 13,856
  • GC Hoyer-Millar (L) 10958


Southend East                                 Majority 517

  • Sir Stephen McAdden Con 19,125
  • Peter Clyne Labour 18,608
  • K W Baynes Liberal 4,495

The new Court House in Victoria Avenue is opened. - Another member to the new buildings club in Victoria Avenue opened on 14th February 1966. Opened by the Rt Hon Lord Parker of Waddington, the Lord Chief Justice of England.

Chelsea Flower Show - Southend's entry this year achieved a creditable silver gilt Banksian medal.

Telephones - The exchanges serving the town were at full pelt as the number of telephone lines increased to 124,723

New Market Opens - Southend United realise with debts looming in the 4th Division Football League, they need to build their business acumen and with the land Roots Hall provides, it would be folly not to make the most of it.   October 1966 saw the launch of the first market on the football ground, still running today.




Portcullis House by you.Taxing Employment Arrives - To prevent Southend turning into simply a dormitory town MP James Callaghan (future PM) came to Southend to open the HM Customs and Tax office Portcullis House close to the newly remodelled Victoria Circus.  The building cost £800,000 and at the time would house one of the most expensive computers in the country valued then around £500,000.  the building would employ close to 1,000 people.



Dowsett High School Open - This school for girls on Southchurch Boulevard came into use in April, but was not formally opened until 1968.  The planning of the school departed from the traditional style build providing an open plan style so unique that over a hundred official visitors toured the new facilities.  Many of the ideas from the 'Newsom Report' were applied here.  Miss B FitzSimons was the first Headmistress of this new school.  Today it is known as Southend High School for Girls and is one of the four grammars in the town.


Eastwood Infants School Open - Miss V E Simmons led the charge as a new scholl threw open its doors for 240 infants in Snakes Lane.  The school was sited and planned to eliminate vehicular traffic from its immediate vicinity.

New Eastwood Church -  This year saw the consecration of St David's Parish Church.  The church was modern in design with a free standing altar amidst the congregation.

Priory Special School Open - Mr H P Hayton the new Head for a school designed for 50 emotionally disturbed children and opened in November in Burr Hill Chase.  Built to design and to provide easy use and movement between areas for staff and students, always designed for small family sized groupings of students rather than full sized classes.

New Youth Centre - Teenagers across the borough were brought together without the need to use school as a reason to challenge, but to recognise for themselves they too have somewhere to go and enjoy themselves and improve themselves in a very positive way.  The new build became known as the Focus Youth Centre and for many adults driving  past will probably never know the 'brick on stilts' also has a sizeable gym area suitable for 5-a-side as well as a theatre. The centre opened in April, the first warden was Mr E J Board.

Talza and Talmage Buildings Depart  -  Central Southend is changing, and the time has come in December to say goodbye to some old friends.  The Talza Arcade particularly is remembered well, for it's many unique shops.  The Talmage Buildings also housed a huge Chinese Restaurant and a Theatre/Cinema called at that time the New Vic.  All being replaced by a much newer Vic, the Victoria Plaza.

The Khyber Pass by you.New Flavour Hits Town - Southend succumbed to the flavours of the East when a new style of restaurant opened.  The Kyhber Pass Restaurant in London Road next to the Palace Theatre became the town's first truly Indian Restaurant.

Churchill GardensChurchill Gardens Opens - Located between East Street and Victoria Avenue; Mr Frank Scheerboom developed the Gardens from a derelict sandpit in 1950.   After his death the Corporation acquired and renovated the Gardens and they were opened to the public on 4th May 1966.

Steve Tilson Born - Southend United's current manager (2009) was born on 27th July 1966.  Arguably the most successful manager the Shrimpers have ever had, taking the team to cup finals in the Johnstone Paint Competition and promotion to the Championship form the 2006/07 season.

Multi-Storey Car Park - Farringdon Multi-Storey Car Park just off the High Street commenced building in August.  Proposals today show the site will soon be demolished to make way for an extension of the University Campus.


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