Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life



 2012: Rossi Ice Cream celibrates 80 years of trade.


Sunday 1st: 5th Annual Southend Heritage Bus Running Day.  With no bus services scheduled to serve Southend on New Years Day (apart from the Stansted Express & one other service) Regal Busways, Ensignbus & Stephensons combine to lay on a collection of historic buses to various destination across Southend, the event was in aid of the Essex Airambulance with the drivers donating their time.

Leyland Titan PD3/4 424 DCDseen passing through Victoria Gateway.


Friday 6th: Council pass £1.5million Belfairs Park Envioment Visitors centre, it is proposed to act as a base for walking tours, climbing lessons, craft sessions for visting schoolchildren and other activities.

Friday 6th: Short Street Lights, Street lights along the stretch of A127 close to the airport are replaced by shorter lights to meet CAA regulations.

Friday 20th: Six unexploded WW2 shells found on leigh beach, they are taken a mile off shore and destroyed by the Bomb squad.

Friday 20th: Council vote to spend £2.2million on works to stabilise the cliff slip aera                      







Thursday 2nd February: Land sale, The former Ekco & Prittlebrook Industrial Estate is put up for sale by its owner Aviva, the 26 acre site  located off Manners Way covers an area of roughly  105,000sqm, and is barely a mile from the airport.



Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th: Arctic Blast, Southend  had it's first snow fall of the year with up to 9inches falling across the borough, tempratures were so low that parts of the Estuary froze over.


Thursday 9th February: New Library contractor appointed: The company chosen to build Southend new £27million library is announced as Wates Construction of Leatherhead, Surrey, who successfully beat off the other six companies shortlisted for the contract.



Friday 17th February: Fishing boat collides with Southend Pier, damaging piles, bracing and cross members, the pier is immediately closed.

Tuesday 21st February: Easyjet announce they will be sponsoring the 2012 Southend Airshow. 




Monday 5th March: Southend Airport terminal Opens: The Secretary of State for Transport Secretary Justine Greening along with Stobart Group CEO Andrew Tinkler officially open the new £10million terminal at Southend airport.

Wednesday 7th March: The ground breaking ceremony takes place on the site that will become the new £27million library.  Located on the site of the demolished Farringdon Multi-storey car park in Elmer Approach.  The Library funded by Southend Council (£12.5million) the University (£10.4million) and the College finding the remaining £4million.  The Library due to open in August 2013 was been named The Forum will be built by Wates Construction, who promised to recruit locally and provide apprenticeships for Southend students.

Wednesday 14th March: Southend misses out on becoming a Queen's Diamond Jubilee City with, Chelmsford, Perth and St Asaph winning the race.

Wednesday 14th March: Southend Borough Council council of the Year.  Southend Borough Council won the Local Government Chronicle Award for the council iof the year.

Monday 19th March: Southend sorting office closes.   The Royal Mail closes down the sorting office in Short Street redicing it to a "Delivery Office" all post for Southend posted in Southend has to be collected and taken to Boreham bofore being sent back to Southend for delivery. 

Sunday 25th March: New World Record.  Southend set a new world record for the most naked people to play a round the crazy golf in one hour, the record was broken at Adventure Island when some 30 brave souls stripped off on a cold Sunday moring, two members of the gatherd press even joined in! The event was in aid of the Prostate Cancer Charity.


Monday 26th March: Bus Bonus.  Southend Borough Council are awarded £1.6million to help improve bus services across the borough, just 24 out of 50 applications to the Department for Transport’s Better Bus Area Fund were awarded grants, proposals include a smart ticketing scheme where a credit card style chip card is used instead of tickets.



Monday 2nd April:  After decades in decline and the doldrums scheduled passenger flights finally take off again as Easyjet begin operating out of Southend.

Good Friday 6th April 2012: Southend Pier fully reopens after the accident of 17th February 2012.


11th – 15th April: British Juggling Convention comes to Southend to celebrate its 25th Anniversary.  The event scheduled to be held at the Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre, Garon Park,


Wednesday 25th April: Purple Flags Flying High.  Southend becomes the first town in Essex to be granted a putple flag.  The Purple Flag is only awardedto towns offering the best, and safest, places to enjoy a night-out in the UK. Other places flying the flags include Oxford, Manchester and Bristol.


Sunday 29th April: 251 back on the road.  SIXTEEN vintage buses took a nostalgic journey from Southend to London to help raise cash for hi-tech mobile breast screening equipment at Southend Hospital.   A convoy of sixteen classic buses,ranging between 20 and 73 years old arrived at the Seaway Car Park just off the seafront for a nostalgic run to Wood Green following the route of the old 251 bus service.

The charity run was in aid of Bosom Pals appeal to rise funds for a new  for hi-tech mobile breast screening Unit for Southend.   



May 2012: New Era for the Victoria.  DTZ Investment Management take over the running of the Victoria Shopping Centre located at the top of the High Street, they are best known for being the company running the Westfield Stratford, and Bluewater Shopping Centre in kent.   


Thursday 3rd May: 4th Southend Fim Festival.

 Thursday 17th: New landmark building lands.

The new £3million Southend Pier Head Cultural Centre is placed on the Pier Head, the 200tone structure began construction at Tilbury docks 17 miles upriver in February.  Once the structure was completed it was lifted on to a barge and floated down river.  The 3767sqft steel framed building was lifted into place by a 400tone marine crane, the sea conditions had to meet strict conditions on height of the tide, the sea swell and wind speed and direction.  All shipping using the estuary were put under strict operating restrictions limiting the speed they were permitted to pass to cut on the wakes they create.  The building was lowered at 2mm a minute before it was finally locked in place.  It is due to open in July.


Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th: Southend Airshow reaches 27 years old



June: Feelgoods Restaurant opens at Adventure Island Theme Park, the new eatary costs £2million and creates 50 new jobs.  Every 20 minutes visitors are treated to live performances from the singing staff. Songs include anything from the soft melodies of Eva Cassidy, to soulful and anthemic hits by Beyonce.

Friday 1st June - Tuesday 5th June: The tallship Atlantis visits Southend


Monday 4th June: High Street Cycling Crack Down: A large scale crack down on cyclists riding through the High Street is launched anyone over the age of 16 stopped is to be fined.  Police will stop the bike riders and take their name and address, this is then passed on to the Council who then sent out a fine.


Monday 11th June: Small Ships Race: The 2012 Small Ships race starts from Southend Pier, the London to Portland race is for Sail Training Ships crewed by 12 to 25-year-olds, many of whom have never sailed before.  Two classes of ships take part the first batch head off at 5.40pm with the second batch at 5.50pm, in total the 15 ships take part.


Saturday 16th June: Prittlewell Priory Re-opens: After two years and £2million the 900year old Priory in the heart of Priory park is re-opened to the public.  The opening by comedian Phill Jupitus, also features the public sponsored paving stones and new visitor centre.

Watch our exclusive video here:




Saturday 16th June: Steam back in time: The Class 8 Pacific Loco Duke of Gloucester (71000) visits Southend.



Friday 6th: Olympic Torch to pass through Southend. 


Wednesday 18th: Cliffs Museum Approved.
Southend Borough Council approve plans to build a £35-£40million museum into the area of the Cliff Slip.


Monday 23rd: Pier Cultural Centre Opens.  The new £3million
The centre, which is made of 200 tonnes of steel, wood and glass, was built in Tilbury Docks before being transported down the Thames on a barge.



Friday 3rd: Team GB divers stay in Southend:
The TeamGB Olympic diving team make the new Southend Diving Centre their home in the lead up to the 2012 London Games.


Monday 6th: Adventure Island Excellence.
The world renowned travel website TripAdvisor awards Adventure Island a certificate of excellence reviews from people who visited the park and rated its restaurants and attractions gave it an average of 4.5 out of 5.


Wednesday 8th: Fishing Boat Court Verdict
Fisherman John William Smith who's boat collided with Southend Pier is found guilty of failing to keep a proper look out he is fined £13.000 Fisherman fined after crashing boat into Southend Pier
A FISHERMAN who crashed his boat into Southend Pier on February 17th 2012, has been ordered to pay almost £13,000 in costs and fines.



 Monday 3rd: The last parts of the Bandstand are removed from the Cliffs in preperation for the stabilization and restoriartion to begin, the domed roofs and shelters are placed into store at a secret location.



Thursday 13th: Hollywood Glamour.  Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow visits Southend Pier to film scenes for a new Channel 4 TV show alongside celibrity chef Jamie Oliver & celibrity farmer Jimmy Doherty.

Wednesday 19th: Shells on the beach.  Six World War Two shells were discoverd on the foreshore at Westcliff th Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Unit detonate the shells.

Wednesday 19th: Bus investment. Southend Borough Council are sucsessful in winning a grant of £2.1million for improvements to the bus network across Southend. proposals include,
Southend Travel Centre bus station overhaul including stops moved or altered and an Oyster card-style system

Thursday 20th: A busy year.  Southend RNLI are nammed they busiest coastal lifeboat station in the UK for the 2011 summer season launching a total of 71 times between 1 June and August 31 - an increase of 40 per cent compared to 2011.

Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd: 2nd Southend Pier busking festival. Local and national musicians descended on the town for the second Busking Festival.



Saturday 6th: Tornado storms through Southend. The A1 Peppercorn class steam loco "Tornado" visited Southend fro a day trip to Canterbury Kent, this was to be her last passenger carrying service in her green livery, she was re-painted blue







Wednesday 5th: Southend recieves it's first snow fall of winter, only a light dusting this time!

 St Marys Church seen from Victoria Avenue.




 Saturday 8th: Tornado's return: The Peppercorn A1 Pacific class Tornado (60163) steam train returns to Southend in her striking new blue colour scheme for a day trip to Oxford.

Friday 21st: Submarine HNLMS Brunvis Walrus class of the Royal Netherlands Navy sailed past the pier.





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