The Golden Hind
In 1902 a water chute was built alongside the Eastern side of the pier pavilion, riders would leave the launch platform located on top of the pier pavilion and dive into a specially built sea water basin, the water was changed with every high tide.

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The start of the Second World War saw Southend seafront closed to civilians. When peace returned a major refurbishment of the pier was undertaken, new trains were ordered, and the old pool along side was also given a new lease of life. A Southend based company were contracted to build a new attraction, a stipulation of the contract stated that all employees working on the new attraction must be unemployed Southend seamen. Construction started in 1947 and continued through to 1948 with work being completed before the start of the 1949 season. The new attraction was a full size replica of the Golden Hind sailing ship used by Sir Frances Drake to sail round the world.
Two views of the the Golden Hind photographed in the early 1990s
The replica ship housed a waxworks exhibition, the attraction proved popular but by 1992 visitor numbers had dropped, also the wooden structure was beginning to deteriorate and was in need of renovation, this brought the whole future of the landmark into question, a proposal to demolish the ship and replace it with a "Waikiki Wave" white knuckle thrill ride were proposed but nothing ever became of the plans and they quietly washed away. In 1997 the Golden Hind closed. The ship was then bought by the operators of Peter Pans/Adventure Island. After a structural survey, it was found the ship needed a major rebuilding program to safely re-open again, the cost of restoration was so high, the ship was scrapped. A replacement ship was built, the “Queen Anne’s Revenge” which this time was a replica of the ship used by the notorious English pirate Blackbeard, it formed the centre piece of the Blackbeard Revenge attraction. On Tuesday 8th January 2013 the replica pirate ship the Queen Anne's Revenge was demolished, this brought an end of the era of a "tall ship" being based on Southend Seafront. The site was redeveloped as a part of Southend’s Adventure Island.
Sir Francies Drake and the Golden Hind Drake wished to reach the Pacific and attack Spain in waters where she never expected to find hostile ships. Queen Elizabeth secretly supported him and contributed 1,000 crowns to the expedition, but the Peace party of the day were hostile to his plans and one of their number, Thomas Doughty, a sort of Elizabethan saboteur, joined the expedition with the express purpose of wrecking it. Drake dealt with him, however, and beheaded him at Port St. Julian, in sight of the gibbet where Magellan had ended a mutiny nearly sixty years before. In mid-December, 1577, the Golden Hind left Plymouth on her great adventure. In company with her were the Elizabeth, 80 tons, 16 guns, commanded by John Winter: the Marigold, 30 tons, and a victualling ship of 50 tons named the Swan, commanded by John Thomas. The smallest vessel in the flotilla was the Benedict pinnace, 15 tons, commanded by carpenter, Thomas Moone. There were 164 men and boys in the squadron, the Golden Hind herself having a complement of 80 men and 8 boys. Before a year was out her company was reduced by the appalling conditions experienced by everyone who ventured to sea in those adventurous days to a total of 59. Only three vessels won through the Strait of Magellan to the Pacific, the Hind, the Elizabeth and the Marigold. Shortly after the Marigold was lost with all hands in a great Storm, and the Elizabeth, believing that Drake was lost, sailed back to England. But Drake was far from being dead. He had reached his appointed scene of operations. He began a series of raids on Spanish towns, and captured ship after ship, until his name became a word of terror on the whole western seaboard of South America. His crowning achievement was the capture of the great treasure ship Cacafuego. Drake had raised such a hornet’s nest in his rear that he gave up all idea of returning to England by way of the Magellan Strait, and decided instead to cross the Vast Pacific. But before this was possible he had to find a safe harbour in which to careen his travel-worn vessel. He sailed as far north as Vancouver endeavouring to find such a haven, and with the idea of discovering the Western outlet of the North West Passage, in which all seamen believed implicitly for many centuries, but the cold weather he encountered had a bad effect on his crew. So he turned south again, and finally anchored in what is to-day the great harbour of San Francisco. Here he was met with awe and worship by the natives. It is curious to reflect that Drake probably walked over the ground which is now Hollywood, and was entertained by the local inhabitants to spectacles which would look very like Wild Westerns to our modern eyes. He took over the land in the name of Queen Elizabeth and named it New Albion, and a brass plate which he left behind him to commemorate this event is still preserved. So even California was once an English Possession. Then came the long voyage across the vast Western Ocean, in a ship laden with treasure later to be valued at eight hundred thousand pounds. The intrepid voyagers reached the East Indies safely and then headed for Java. Being fearful of interception and the loss of their cargo, they then set sail on one of the longest non-stop trips ever attempted in a sailing ship, right across the Indian Ocean, round the Cape of Good Hope and up the West African coast until they reached Sierra Leone, where they stopped for the first fresh water they had had for many months. Drake landed at Plymouth on 3rd November 1580, three long years after setting out on this perilous adventure, to be greeted with amazement by people who had long given him up for dead. Naturally, the Queen wanted to see Drake, and the Golden Hind sailed to the Thames and anchored at Deptford. Here the Queen knighted him in the great after cabin. For many years after this proud vessel rode the waters of the Thames until she finally fell to pieces and was lost for ever.
1902 Water Chute next to the Pier
Later as a Boating Pool
Another view as a Boating Pool
However, the venture only last for a few years, the chute was removed and the basin became a boating pool for a short time, which after became sea water pool for swimming.
Map of Drakes Travels
Leaflet for the Attraction
24th March 2012 Queen Anne’s Revenge
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