Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life


Dutch Elm Disease Strikes - As with most places in the UK, Dutch Elm disease would change the landscape of the town forever.  Some 80 elms were disposed of alone in Southchurch Hall gardens.  Across the borough this would reach 2,000.

The Queen's Hotel - 1975 became a significant year as the Queen's Hotel in Hamlet Court Road started on the road towards final demolition.  A good section of the hotel was closed in July 1974 due to new fire safety laws.  Planning Permission was sought to turn the old building into a thriving 300 bed hotel but the costs of doing this were proving to be exorbitant.  The Customs and Excise men were in the hotel during February to claim items that could help settle an outstanding £8,000 VAT bill.  Over a thousand items went up for auction.  The hotel as huge as it is was left with the cocktail bar as a business.  A short ray of hope emerged from Canvey island when successful businessman Jack King had offered to stump up substantial capital to invest in the hotel which would see it totally revamped.  However, the Queen's was owned by the brewery Charringtons who staged a legal battle to retain ownership and block the take over.  This final intervention saw the last chance of long term survival extinguished for good.

Southend's Political Map Changing - Proposals were put forward in 1975 to review and change the wards and representations.  Out would go the likes of St Clements, Pier, Temple Sutton, Southbourne and All Saints; in would come Belfairs, Milton, St Lukes, Chalkwell, Westborough, Leigh, Shoebury, Southchurch, Victoria and Thorpe.  Also the number of councillors per new ward would be the same with a representation of 3 in each.

Panto Time - The festive theatrical fayre for this year would see The Palace Theatre putting on 'Babes in the Woods'; while at the Cliff's Pavilion the star studded production would see TV's Junior Showtime's Bobby Bennett taking the lead role in Aladdin.


 30th August 1975:  I was born!

Old Southend Firm on the Move - A firmly established business in Southchurch Road would up-sticks and move location, a significant for the town as Young and Marten builder's merchants had occupied the corner premises near to Porters for many years, and its signage had become part of the Southend skyline.  This whole section of Southchurch Road, would be going through a physical revamp with subways being built as well as new office blocks.

Bakery Fire but the Bread Run Continues - Garon's bakery in Sutton Road was struck by fire in February.  Starting in a storeroom, the fire soon spread with the fire brigade battling while 30 bakery nightshift workers carried on just yards away.  The fire struck in the middle of the bread run if the workers had stopped many businesses across town would have been affected too.  On a bread run some 8,000 loaves, 24,000 rolls and 17,000 doughnuts are produced.  Although the fire threatened at one time to engulf the whole building the workers stayed by their ovens.

New Pub for the Town - The Guildford on Sutton Road and Guildford Road threw open its doors on 11th February 1975.  More importantly for beer lovers this alehouse is a freehold.  The new landlord Andrew Barthaud, who has had the workings of a pub running through his veins, as his parents run the The Railway in Prittlewell where he grew up.  The corner site was formerly a launderette and three lock up shops.  The job of converting these buildings that measured to be almost 100 years old into on modern pub was arduous and took three years to complete

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