Thomas Reade
In the 1800s Mr Thomas Reade rented over eight acres of seafront land with greenhouses and fruit trees near what is now the Seaway car park. Reade grew strawberries, grapes, peaches and other fruit, samples of which could be seen at Mr Myall’s refreshment rooms, 18 Marine Parade next to the Ivy House. Mr George Myall who also owned a lodging house at the foot of Pier Hill and was a Lloyd’s agent took orders for fruit as well as selling oysters, ham, boiled beef and block ice. Visitors were thrilled to buy fresh strawberries grown within a stone’s throw of the seafront. In 1879 Thomas died aged 57, the property was sold and seafront strawberries were no longer an attraction of Southend.
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