Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life


The Ritz is No More - Another former cinema was demolished in January. This time the Top Rank Bingo venue, once the Ritz, on Pier Hill gave way to the fresh new development of the Royals Shopping Centre.  The Ritz would have been a popular venue during the 50's and 60's nestled close to the Palace Hotel and the Queen Victoria Statue pointing out to the estuary just outside

Essex Radio Makes Southend its Home - Clifftown Road became the new HQ for Essex's commercial radio station in 1981.  Allowing Southend to piggy back on the station and its popularity.  Some 20 years later, to provide a fairer focus on the county the station repositioned itself in Chelmsford.  Southend gained sole status on the airwaves with the launching of Southend Radion 105.1FM, in March 2008.

Clarence Road Baptist Church - Formed in May 1882 by Rev. J.G. Wilson and 45 members, all of whom had split from Southend Baptist Tabernacle. Services were held in the Public Hall in Alexandra Street until 1883 when an iron building was erected in Clarence Street. A permanent building opened on 17 May 1889 adjoining the iron building which was thereafter used as a lecture hall. The church was demolished in 1981 and new premises were erected c .1982

Part of Shoebury Garrison and the adjacent High Street were designated a Conservation Area in 1981

Shorefields - was designated a Conservation Area in 1981.  due to its special architectural and historic interest and a character which needs to be preserved and enhanced.  The area contains the town's oldest surviving hotel - the Westcliff Hotel Westcliff Hotelbuilt in 1890 as a temperance hotel.  The area was designed for mixed use of residential and guest house as still can be seen in Trinity Avenue.  One notable resident was Frank Matcham, who designed the London Palladium, who lived at 28 Westcliff Parade.

Central Museum Opens - Since 1906 this proud building existed for the benefit of the community as a Library.   It was apparent however as the town grew in size there would be a need to record its history and for it to have a sanctuary.  The museum service in Southend is noted as being one of the oldest in the UK, but lacked a museum of stature to call its own.  April 1981 therefore saw the town's Mayor Cllr WF Bowyer perform an official opening ceremony.  Little did the people of the town then realise the significance of the Saxon finds discovered in 2003, would become, spurring on a project to build a state-of-the-art museum on the seafront by 2013.  This listed building on Victoria Avenue will hopefully by then have a new lodger.

Asda Arrives - The North Shoebury Road gained a major retailer in Asda in 1981, to the detriment of the rest of the retailers in that area.

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New High School Formed - Dowsett High School for Girls and Southchurch Hall High School for Boys amalgamated to form Thorpe Bay High School. Dowsett High premises became eventually St Mary's Primary School and the former Southchurch Hall School premises are now used as an Adult Education Centre.

Lee Mead is Born -Musical theatre actor, best known for playing the male lead in the 2007 London West End revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. The show's composer/co-producer Andrew Lloyd Webber cast Mead in the role because Lee won the BBC reality talent show Any Dream Will Do.  Lee has struck a relationship with Denise Van Outen a judge from the same show and they are due to marry in 2009.

Shrimpers Victorious - After last years relegation gloom, manager Dave Smith remained in the hot seat to guide his squad to win the Division 4 Championship and much needed promotion.









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