Alec White
One of the outstanding personalities of both pre-war and post-war years on Southend Council was Freeman of the Borough the late Ald. Alec Hemsley White, born Rochford 1891 - died Southend 1972. He was for many years chairman of the Pier and Foreshore Committee, and under his jurisdiction the pier was kept spick and span. His daily inspections were a routine in which nothing was missed. He pioneered the development of the old Dolphin restaurant on the pier head, which was built from scrap and timber left by the Navy after the war. He built it into a profit making venture. For years he campaigned for the pier head to be fully licensed, and there were many who felt that had the council agreed to his suggestions made constantly throughout the post- war years, the pier would not have been in such a poor financial state. He also played a leading role in building a theatre at the pier head which was developed year by year from profits made by the Zip-A-Hoy Summer show. But it was his vision and tireless work for Southend which earned him a proud place in our history. He pleaded, urged and finally got the Cliffs Pavilion open; before the war he was urging the council to adopt a scheme which would bring a yacht marina to the foreshore at no cost to the town; it would have been capable of mooring the big ocean racing yachts so popular at the time. Had the town gone ahead, it seems likely Southend would have been today the yachting centre of the South-East.
Dolphin Restaurant Pier Head
Cliffs Pavilion

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