c1965 Southend-on-Sea Corporation publication to promote modernisation of the town

The Changing Face of Southend
The new image… 170,000 people now live in the County Borough of Southend-on-Sea. They can reach London or the Continent of Europe in approximately an hour. They can be by the sea in minutes. Southend’s “Golden Mile” is well known-cockles, amusements, illuminations, the longest pleasure pier in the world. Alas, not so the remaining seven miles of delightful coast with safe waters for bathing and sailing. There are two excellent golf courses in the Borough. Each residential district has its own distinctive local centre, but the heart of Southend itself is more than this; it is the regional focus of an area planned for a third of a million people. Southend is a town where industries grow; it is also a key office decentralisation town for the London region.
Southend is planning… Things are happening fast in Southend. Great office blocks are going up; new shops and stores are being built; older housing areas are being redeveloped and new ones are planned. The Development Plan provides for improved facilities for the present population, and it also makes provision for the building of homes for 1,500 more people each year. “Newcomers” will be well catered for. New housing areas will be planned so that people may walk to their shopping centre, parks and schools, meeting as little traffic as possible. Careful provision has also been made for the motor car and the town’s traffic problem can and will be solved. Southend is a good place to live in and in future will be even better. The town centre ring road starts this year and before very long the whole of the high Street will become a pedestrian way. It will then be possible to shop and window shop in Southend centre without any traffic worries. Good bus services will be close by as will a number of car parks at least 4,500 parking spaces will be available in a few years. Plans for the central area will separate the traffic and there will be much improved facilities, separate service roads for goods deliveries, quick access to car parks and pedestrian areas, all creating good trading conditions with space for growth.
Redevelopment Area - Prittlewell Street The first central area redevelopment scheme is the construction of a group of four sixteen storey blocks of flats containing 444 dwelling together with major local authority health centre in the form of a multi-storey block with a double deck car park. Footpaths at first floor level above traffic will link these buildings with the new shopping centre about to be built at Victoria Circus.
Central Area Redevelopment - Victoria Circus Proposal by the Hammerson Group of Companies for a new two level shopping area with offices over at Victoria Circus. This proposal will come at the northern end of the main pedestrian shopping area.
Southend is building… OFFICE DEVELOPMENT The Council’s general policy is to encourage office development. A new Civic Centre, including a sixteen storey Municipal Office now occupied, is being constructed and will be completed by 1967. In the near future there will be a very considerable amount of office floor space ready for business occupation. 226,000 square feet is completed, 695,200 square feet is under construction, 556,000 square feet has received planning approval but is not yet started. Decentralised undertakings can be linked to London Headquarters by “Mufax”, “Telex” and other modern means of communication, already adopted by some industrial organisations, e.g., The Eden Fisher Printing Group. Other organisations, such as insurance companies, have already installed accounting and typing departments at Southend with great success, daily working contact being easily maintained by various means with the head office. Typical rents of office buildings are 13/6d. to 17/6d. per square foot, plus rates of 5/3d. to 6/3d. per square foot. HOUSING The numbers of dwellings produced by private enterprise in 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964 were 848, 502, 493 and 598. This rate is expected to rise again if review proposals to release more land are approved. Typical selling prices are £3,000 to £5,000 for a 2- bedroom flat, depending on type and location, £4,500 to £5,500 for a 3-bedroom semi-detached house with garage, and £7,000 for a 4-bedroom detached house with garage. The Council make generous loans for house purchases. INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE There are a number of well-developed industrial estates within the County Borough. Five more are proposed in the amended development plan for the County Borough. There are a large number of established industries producing: Colour and black and white printing; nucleonics, electronics and electrical equipment; television and radio; light engineering covering a wide field; precision optical equipment; glass mouldings; plastics (extrusion and thermosetting); refrigeration equipment; surgical appliances and instruments; store fitting; shoes; paints, enamels and building materials; boats and sails; furniture; chemicals; aircraft conversion and servicing; clothing and leather goods; photographic apparatus; food and confectionery. A large percentage of the locally employed population are concerned with service industries distributive trades, building, transport, public administration and professional and technical services. Southend is the most important shopping centre in south-east Essex. There has been an extensive modernisation of stores and shops during the past decade, including prestige stores, and the goods and facilities compare favourably in standard with those of London.
Southend is on the map… BY RAIL Two fast and frequent modern electric services connect Southend with two London termini (Fenchurch Street and Liverpool Street); the journey time to Fenchurch Street is three quarters of an hour and to Liverpool Street one hour. There are nine railway stations within the Borough. Peak services by both routes offer a total of 14 trains an hour to London, 25 an hour from London. Off-peak services, 7 trains an hour to London, 7 an hour from London, also 2 trains an hour to and from Tilbury Docks. BY ROAD Southend can be reached from London by two arterial roads, the A127 via Ilford and the A13 via Barking. From the South there is direct access through the recently opened Dartford/Purfleet Tunnel under the Thames, one of the most modern in Britain. BY SEA The Corporation Loading Pier provides a convenient small port avoiding the congestion of London traffic. Accommodating overseas and coastwise craft, it is equipped with electric loco-cranes. Local labour is available for discharging cargoes. Southend is within easy reach of the port facilities of Tilbury, 20 miles distant. BY AIR Southend Airport, which is municipally owned and managed, is a public licensed Civil Customs Airport with the next largest number of movements after London Airport. It is 2 miles from the town centre and can be reached in five minutes by road or rail. In 1964 the Airport accommodated 36,240 aircraft movements, involving over 542,000 passengers and over 70,000 tons of freight. THE AIRPORTS FACILITIES INCLUDE: Two tarmac runways with latest runway and approach lighting systems employing both high and low intensity illumination. Air traffic control, radio navigational aids, and meteorological forecast services available on a twenty-four hours basis. Air control tower providing aerodrome and approach control service. Surveillance radar; Aerodrome radar approach aid. Cathode ray direction finding equipment and a non-directional medium frequency beacon. Car ferry unit, the largest of its type in the world with full facilities for vehicle and passenger handling, customs, immigration, A.A. and R.A.C.
Other Services include: Full Customs (category B); bonded duty free store; bonded ware-houses with full handling facilities for exports and imports. Comprehensive aircraft servicing and repair facilities. Health facilities, including aircraft disinfecting. Dispensation of fuels and oils. V.I.P. Lounge; transit and passenger lounges. Licensed restaurant; cocktail bar; buffet and grill. Bank and exchange bureau; postal and telephone facilities. Passenger insurance facilities. Day passport photographic machine. A.A. and R.A.C. bureaux. Short and long term car parking; short term coach parking. Taxi, car hire and self-drive facilities; petrol pumps. Airport information bureau. Public enclosure and waving-off terrace. Pleasure flights by municipal aircraft. RESIDENT OPERATING COMPANIES BRITISH UNITED AIR FERRIES LTD. all-year car and passenger services by Carvairs and Bristol Freighters to Basle, Geneva, Strasbourg, Rotterdam, Calais and Ostend; inclusive tours and charter flights to all European centres. B.K.S. AIR TRANSPORT LTD. operate inclusive tour flights to European centres. CHANNEL AIRWAYS. operate all-year services by Viscount DC4, DC3, Bristol Freighter, Viking, Dakota and Dove aircraft to Rotterdam, Ostend, Channel Islands, and summer services to Paris, Le Touquet. TRADAIR LTD. operate inclusive tours by Viscount and Viking aircraft and are licensed for scheduled services to Maastricht. AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE is undertaken by the operating companies. There are 3 resident aircraft engineering companies who undertake the maintenance of other companies’ aircraft. There are 20 international and national handling and forwarding agents resident at the Airport.
Southend is a live community… Administered by a go-ahead Council, Southend-on-Sea has well-developed services and amenities. Salient details are summarised below: Area of the County Borough: 10,284 acres. The status of a County Borough was attained on 1st April, 1914. Rateable value (1965); £7,904,630. Rate 1965/6: 10s. 11d. Combining all the amenities of town, seaside and country, the residential areas of Southend, Westcliff, Leigh, Thorpe Bay and Shoeburyness are specially attractive. Many thousands of business men and women live here and journey to London daily. EDUCATION There are good primary, secondary and further educational facilities. At primary level there are 39 schools with 15,000 places and at secondary level 17 schools with 12,000 places. The latter total is made up of five grammar schools 4,500 places, one technical 600 places and 11 secondary modern 6,900 places. There are in the area 14 private schools 6 preparatory and 8 secondary. The College of Technology provides facilities for architecture, surveying, building, art, commerce, engineering, science, adult education, music and dramatic art. There are upwards of 6,000 enrolments comprising full time, part time and evening courses. LABOUR SUPPLY School leavers up to 1965 average 2,300. Of these, 200 boys and 300 girls are likely to be suitable for and want clerical employment, but more commercial courses in local schools may result in an increase in the future. Probably only a quarter of these school leavers will be required to meet the demands of existing employers; some of the remainder will seek clerical work in London. Clerical vacancies for women are generally for shorthand and copy typists and clerks for routine work, and, for men, generally for audit, accounts and ledger clerks and clerks for routine work. It is likely that, of the estimated 28,000 persons who travel daily to London to work, quite a number would take local employment if it were available. CULTURAL AND SOCIAL AMENITIES There are approximately 300 clubs and associations in the area embracing a very wide range of activities. Details are available. There are 77 parks, pleasure grounds and open spaces, totalling 907 acres, including cliffs, gardens and shrubbery on the sea-front and 318 acres Belfairs Woods and nature sanctuary. Cricket – many amateur clubs; County Cricket weeks. Association Football – Southend United (3rd Div.) and many amateur clubs. Rugby Football – several local clubs. Hockey – several local clubs. Golf Two 18-hole courses within the Borough (including Belfairs Municipal woodland course) and several others within close reach. Bowls – 14 municipal greens and many private clubs with their own greens. Tennis – 55 municipal courts and many private clubs with their own courts. Yachting 6 local clubs. Approximately 2,500 yachts are based at Southend with 1,800 Corporation moorings. International and national yachting championships held here annually. Deep water anchorages are available. Swimming open air heated and filtered seawater swimming bath on Westcliff seafront. A number of local clubs. An indoor swimming pool will shortly be built. Other sports facilities include angling, archery, roller skating, ten pin bowling, greyhound racing, riding (there is a riding school and trotting track at Belfairs Woods.) Public Libraries – central library and 6 branch libraries within the Borough. Prittlewell Priory – founded A.D. 1110. Maintained as a museum by the Corporation. Beecroft Art Gallery maintained by the Corporation with 9 galleries of paintings and art treasures including frequently changing loan exhibitions of wide interest. Churches and Chapels of most denominations exist within the Borough. Many old churches and historic buildings are open to the public both within the Borough and in the surrounding are of East Anglia. Cliffs Pavilion modern £350,000 entertainment centre opened by the Corporation in 1964, seating 1,200 with fine auditorium, restaurant, cloakrooms, car park and ancillary facilities; venue for prestige entertainments including international and national orchestras, celebrity artistes, film festivals, exhibitions, conferences and trade shows, dances, banquets, etc. Palace Theatre – (Repertory) with a well-supported theatre club. Several thriving local amateur operatic and dramatic societies. Cliffs Bandstage and Pier Sun Deck Theatre – summer shows and orchestras in season. Cinemas – 5 in various parts of the Borough. Dancing – several good dance halls, also dancing schools and studios. Southend Pier- One and a third miles long, modern electric railway, 18-lane bowls pavilion, theatre, exhibition hall, licensed restaurant, 3 cafés, tropical aquarium, pleasure steamers, speed boats, puppets, sun decks, lounges and promenades, deck games during winter. Kursaal Amusement Park – largest amusement centre in Southern England.

Feature from a c1965 Southend-on-Sea Corporation publication to promote modernisation of the town

The Municipal Offices forming part of the new Civic Centre in Victoria Avenue
New Development in Victoria Avenue
Modern Police Headquarters, forming part of the Civic Centre in Victoria Avenue
The Excel Ten-pin Bowling Pavilion on the Pier
Offices over Keddies Department Store, Warrior Square, in the Town Centre
Temple Court, Pantile Avenue, 11 storey block of flats for the Southend Council
Belfairs Woods, golf course and nature sanctuary
The Cliffs Pavilion
Cliffs and gardens, Westcliff
The Pier
Yachting - a popular sport
The beach at Westcliff
COLMAN HOUSE. Facing new Civic Centre. Approx. 170,000 sq. ft. To be Let Equipped with all Modern Amenities including ample Car Parking
MAITLAND HOUSE. Civic Trust Award, Central Position Just off the High St. 44,00 sq. ft. To be Let Equipped with all Modern Amenities including ample Car Parking. Immediate Possession
145 - 7 - 9 HIGH STREET. Key position between Central & Victoria Stations. New Offices, 57,000 sq. ft. To be Let Modern Amenities Ample Car Parking nearby. A Hammerson Group Development
METROPOLITAN HOUSE. Centrally situated in new office development area, opposite new Civic Centre and Magistrates and County Court. Comprehensive Specification includes: Five High Speed Lifts. Full Central Heating. Ample Parking Space. Thermal Insulation. Floor Area about 120,000 sq. ft. To be leased in whole or in parts

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