Timeline
1920 New Cliffs bandstand was erected. Floral Hall was built on the old Happy Valley site near the cliffs bandstand. Kursaal Kinema reopens. Post war and the Kursaal is back in business after being occupied by troops. The cinema opened on 26th January with the film 'In Friendships Name' starring Ruth Clifford. The cinema was to only survive another 20 years closing in 1940. Rivoli opens. Alexandra Street's latest venture open its doors on 31st May 1920. The first movies to be shown were the Swedish silent movie ‘Flame of Life’ and ‘A Little Child Shall Lead Them’. On 26th July 1920 the cinema was hit by a fire when the red curtain to the side of the stage burst into flames. The staff of the cinema managed to extinguish the flames, amazingly the packed audience stayed to watch the action unfold and the orchestra drenched by the actions of the fire fighting played on. The building has moved between being a theatre to a cinema and back again over the years, more recently the New Empire Theatre. This has now closed and the building demolished. Coleman Estate starts. Just south of the A127 a large sweep of houses started to be erected in this year, expanding not only the borough boundaries but also its population. Belsfield acquired for school. Southend's Education Committee decided an intermediate school was needed for boys and girls. Belsfield at 110 Victoria Avenue, a two acre site was purchased at a cost of £7,000. The school was called the Commercial Secondary School and opened on 27th April 1920. Buildings not far away behind the Chelmsford Avenue Congregational church were also brought into use. By 1922 372 children were on the school's roll. By August 1921 the school's name was becoming a little confusing, so was renamed Westclif High School. Frank Matcham dies. Matcham (1854-1920) has been called ‘the most prolific theatre architect of all time. His lavish work can be found throughout the country, his masterpiece being the London Coliseum (1904). However, he also designed pubs, cinemas and hotels, and the glittering County Arcade, Leeds. It seems remarkable, therefore, with such a successful practice Matcham never actually qualified as an architect. Matcham retired to Westcliff-on-Sea with his wife shortly before World War I. He died at home, 28 Westcliff Parade, on 17th May 1920. Priory Park opens. Thanks to the bequeathment of the land around the Prittlewell Priory by R. A. Jones, Priory Park was born. The Refectory and Priory buildings were restored by the Corporation at a cost of £7.500, and the Park was officially opened by HRH the Duke of York, (later King George VI), on 14th July, 1920. Westcliff High School for Boys and Girls was founded. Westcliff-on-Sea Motor Charabanc Company run the first bus service between the High Street and Hamlet Court Road. Pier Hill Cinema closes. Not the most alluring of the town's cinemas. Closing in 1920 after eleven years in business. It was known as the Grove Picture Theatre. It enjoyed a short time as a Bioscope before closure. It became a billiard hall then was taken over by a bus company. Today it does not exist, the footprint having been absorbed into the Royal's Shopping Centre. War Memorial. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, architect. An obelisk of Portland stone standing on a high plinth decorated with a laurel wreath and inscribed was erected on Clifftown Parade in 1920. This memorial is used regularly to remember those who gave their lives in conflicts. Rotary arrives. Southend Rotary Club was founded in 1920 with a healthy membership of 73. N&M opens. To provide a respite environment for veterans of the First World War, the Naval & Military Club in Royal Terrace opened in 1920. A fine facility with superb views over the Estuary. 1921 Leigh bathing station was opened by the Mayor of Southend. Southend Council announce plans for the new Arterial Road (A127). First trams enter Warrior Square as the tracks expand. The last fleet of trams, fully roofed, purchased by the Corporation. Population of Leigh reached 15,031. Victory Sports Ground opens. To honour the sportsmen of the Borough who gave their lives during the Great War, the Victory Sports Ground in Sutton Road was formally opened. A set of ornate gates to the ground were also installed. Presented by honorary Freeman R. A. Jones. Agricultural training. Post war the government provided schemes to help veterans of the last campaign develop new skills and provide for their families. The aerodrome was particularly pulled into service with land taken to provide agricultural training, with pig pens and chicken coops. A significant number of trainees some being amputees were housed in red bricked cottages close to the St Laurence Church. King Visits Southend. King George V raced “Britannia” in the first Southend Yachting Week, held in 1921. This fact resulted in a large number of entries and the King won the race. His visit to the town was welcomed by thousands of people who lined Victoria Circus and the High Street to get a glimpse of their King. Fun at the park. The Kursaal Amusement park reopens. Pier disaster. Concrete Ship Violette collides with pier. Leigh offices opened. A stirring occurred on 29th May 1921 in Elm Road when the Leigh Urban District Offices were formally opened. New Flagstaff. August 1921 saw the erection of a new Flagstaff on Clifftown Parade. Memorial. Shoebury War Memorial unveiled in front of the Palace Cinema in Ness Road. Co-op bakery arrives. Co-operative societies were alive and well in Southend. Sutton Road saw the opening of the bakery and biscuit factory in 1921. The High Street suffers with flood damage on 1st Nov 1921. 27th November. Unveiling of the Southend War Memorial by Lord Lambourne, the Lieutenant of Essex, in the presence of the D Company, 6th Essex Regiment. The War Memorial, which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens R. A. consists of an obelisk of Portland stone, mounted on a podium, and flanked on one side by the Union Jack and on the other by the White Ensign, which are carved in stone. A wreath was carved on the front and on the back of the obelisk. The podium rests on a large square base connected with wing and return walls, two feet thick, enclosing a court which is approached by six steps. The memorial stands 39 feet high. The names of 1,338 men connected with Southend who gave their lives in the Great War, 1914-18, are engraved on a tablet placed in the refectory at Prittlewell Priory. 1922 St. Paul’s ecclesiastical parish was formed from the parishes of St. Mary the Virgin, Prittlewell. Industrial Exhibition. In March the Kursaal hosted the Rotary Industrial Exhibition. This event was a showcase for artisans and industry in general boosting the town's expectations towards better times ahead, post war. Visitors could see a potter at work, fabrics being painted, a full dairy in operation, hosiery making as well as artificial flower making. The exhibition ran from Saturday 18th until Saturday 25th March each day afforded a special guest to open the day's activities the first day saw the Lord Mayor of London Sir John Baddeley doing the honours; the last day of the event Sir George McLaren Brown KBE., opened the exhibition. New Congregation for Westcliff. St Paul's church was consecrated 23rd September 1922 by the Bishop of Chelmsford. Allowing a new flock to worship at a small but finely built church in Summercourt Avenue. The site also housed a natural spring pump which allowed parishioner's an opportunity to drink what was considered to be very healthy water, no doubt to cleanse the soul. The church was originally built with a small spire positioned centrally on top of the tower, this has subsequently been removed. Circus in town. Lord John Sanger's Circus arrived in Chalkwell Park in September 1922. Some of the acts included the Sanger's famous Mammoth Comedians who were performing a mirth making act called: 'Elephant Barbers,' also on the menu were Human Sea Lions, Hindoo Snake Charmers, Lone Face and his North American Indians (apparently the only savage troupe in Europe), not forgetting the most famous circus clown of the time Pimpo. Roadworks. Southend in 1922 was going through a travel plan operation of road building and widening, to cope with the expanding population and throngs of visitors coming to the town. Key projects included the finishing of Prittlewell Chase/Boulevard. The road from Cuckoo Corner to Sutton Road. As well as the widening projects including outside the Hamlet Court Schools on the London Road where the school railings were pulled right back. West Street too underwent widening by the Vicarage (now petrol station). New Manager for the Blues. Ted Birnie took control of team affairs in 1922 and lasted at the club until 1934. Southend in the news. The "Southend Telegraph" newspaper published its first issue on March 31st, 1900. It was renamed the "Southend Pictorial Telegraph" in 1922, and later that same year, was renamed the "Southend & County Pictorial." It provided a revolution within local paper circles by providing for the first time concentrated efforts in each edition of images of around the area and beyond but also local dignitaries, weddings and funerals of the day as well as sporting teams from all over the area. Southend was going through a period of change and this was reflected within the images in the Pictorial. Castle Hotel to be built. The new Castle Hotel is planned in 1922, to be built on the corner of Camper Road and Eastern Esplanade. The original Castle Hotel which was further west, south of Eastern Esplanade towards the Minerva Hotel was not finally demolished until 1925. Panto. The Hippodrome in Southchurch Road was the stage for the annual town's pantomime, this year 1922 the treat would be Dick Whittington. Victoria Carmen took the lead role as "Dick". Audiences were enticed to the show with Dick Whittington's amazing Diamond Ship, composed of a myriad of crystals. 1923 The parish of St. Michael and All Angels is formed out of the parish of St. Saviour. Eagle's new look. The Spread Eagle was part of the original hamlet of Prittlewell in Victoria Avenue. 1923 saw a reconstruction making the building more recognisable to today. King George V visited Southend (Yachting Week) again in 1923 and was just as memorable as his 1921 visit, but for all the wrong reasons, “Britannia” ran aground just inside the West Shoebury Buoy and right in front of the “London Belle” who was carrying a large number of spectators many of them local yachtsmen who were not racing that day and were no doubt saying to themselves “for goodness sake tack!” contrary to what some feared this event was not the end of Southend Yachting Week which thrived for many more years to come. Saxon Finds. During the building of Cuckoo Corner, the junction joining principally Prince's Avenue with Victoria Avenue, excavations were carried out uncovering a number of Saxon relics, something future years would prove fruitful for around this area. The Overcliff Hotel opened. Fire at Deluxe. Centrally located just off Victoria Circus, this cinema caught fire mid performance spilling its audience on to the street on 7th August 1923. Much of the building was not insured the loss borne by the owner. The cinema never reopened, it did however, provide a venue for indoor golf, and prior to demolition in 1936, a fund collection centre for Southend Hospital. Dixons extended there store into the rebuild, much later to become W. H. Smiths. A cricketer born. Trevor Edward Bailey (born 3 December 1923 in Westcliff-on-Sea) became an English Test Cricketer. He was educated at Alleyn Court School in Westcliff-on-Sea before going to Dulwich College and Cambridge University. He is the only player since the Second World War to score more than 2,000 runs in a season and take 100 wickets, a feat he achieved in 1959, and he achieved the all-rounders' double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in a season eight times, a post-WWII record he shares with Fred Titmus. He was selected as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1950. 1924 Southend Britannia pleasure boat is built. Marine Parade was widened. Bronze Age man found. Excitement hit the brickfields of Thorpe Hall as a skull of a Bronze Age man was found on 20th February 1924. Pleasure steamer Medway Queen makes her maiden voyage. St Mary's Church Tower restored. The most prominent church in Southend, or more appropriately Prittlewell, for its age has under gone a number of benchmark repairs and restorations. After all there is evidence the building goes right back to when Christianity was first introduced to the England. 1924 saw the start of work on the tower which completed in 1925. A large fire destroyed a number of properties in Tyler's Avenue, Southend on 4th July 1924. Starting at Hamcock's Furniture Depository and spreading along to engulf Southend Fire Station which too was completely destroyed. Law Court opens. Southend's growing size demanded a more suitable localised legal system; 1924 saw the opening of the new Southend Police Court which is built in place of the old one in Alexandra Street at a cost of £6,000. The Building was opened by Mayor W. Miles. Westcliff High School for Boys established. Since 1920 Westcliff High School was accommodated for boys and girls in the Belsfield site on Victoria Avenue. However, plans were a foot by the Town Planners to turn the Victoria Avenue area into civic buildings so there was always going to be a need for the school to find a new home. The foundation stone for the new Westcliff High School for Boys on Eastwood Lane was put down in 1924, the school then followed at a cost of £58,510 and opened for boys in the summer term of 1926. The girls were left behind at Belsfield for a further five years, but eventually did move over to buildings adjacent to the boys. Corporation Pier built. A tiny pier in comparison to its much longer brother appeared this year. Opposite the gasworks and alongside a gas jetty off Eastern Esplanade. In later years it became a hot battle for development as a platform for a high quality restaurant. It was finally cleared from the seafront in 2007. 1925 Southend’s first trolley bus service started with route from Victoria Circus to the Blue Boar. Nobles Chemist was established, it expanded to incorporate a newsagents and later developed into a large electrical store. 25th March. A new arterial road to London, constructed by the Ministry of Transport at a cost of over £1,000,000, was formally opened by HRH Prince Henry K.G., P.C., G.C.V.O., the road, which is 30 miles long and 100 feet wide, took about three years to complete. c1925. Children’s playground opens in the Sunken Garden. Southchurch Hall and grounds are given to the town by the family of the late Alderman Dowsett, the first mayor of the borough. The Hall is a medieval house, surrounded on three sides by a moat and earthworks, parts of the building date back to the 14th century. A Footballer born. Welcome Frank Dudley on 9th May, a prolific centre forward who wore Southend United's shirt before moving on to the heady clubs of Leeds United and Southampton. After retiring Frank became Southend's Youth Coach. The Castle goes. A common pub on Marine Parade was removed permanently from the seafront in 1925. Workmen demolished the Castle Club. Leigh Horticultural Society formed. From a meeting of gardeners on Thursday 4th June 1925, came the forming of the Leigh Horticultural Society, at Elm Hall in Elm Road. Over the years the society became well known for it's flower shows in Chalkwell Park and the affiliation of the Manchester Drive Allotment Society. They celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2000 at the Chalkwell Park Rooms. Southend's Father dies. Robert Arthur Jones dies on 23rd May 1925, and was buried with the full respect of the whole town. Scenes of mourning were unprecedented for this statesman who was instrumental to the creation of this town. He was buried in the grounds of Priory Park, the place he donated to the town for the benefit of the town's people forever. A jeweller by trade who's premises stood out on the High Street and even today can be recognised with the clock protruding from the façade. St Luke's Church. The foundation stone was laid for the temporary St Luke's Church building (now used as one of the Church Halls) in November 1925. The church is located on St Luke's Road off Bournemouth Park Road. Records show the first Parochial meeting was held on 26th January 1927. At this time St Luke's was part of the Parish of St Mary's Prittlewell. The District of St Luke was separated from St Mary's and the Reverend C. N. Wardle-Harpur appointed as the first Vicar at St Luke's on 20th November 1931. In 1958 the Church Council approved plans for the new Church building, and in September 1959 the foundation stone for the new Church was laid. On Saturday 15th October 1960 the new church was Consecrated, and the First Communion took place on Sunday 16th October 1960 at 8am. December. Mr Reginald Blackall, a distinguished scientist who lived at Marine Avenue, Leigh, was regarded as an X-ray martyr when he died aged 44. He was a pioneer and while radiographer to London Hospital, carried out much valuable research into the rays but in so doing lost his hands. 1926 Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff, bridge was widened and rebuilt. February. Viscount Elveden, the Conservative M.P. for the Borough, announced his gift of the site at Prittlewell for a new hospital, plus a gift of £20,000. Southchurch Library opens in the ancient Southchurch Hall. Talza Arcade (Victoria Arcade) opens. This was an important site within Southend's retail history. One of the first arcades of it's kind providing shops and shoppers a covered retail experience. The concept is not lost today, the same site as the newly revamped Victoria's Shopping Centre/Plaza provides the modern day version. An Author born. John Robert Fowles was born March 31, 1926 in Leigh-on-Sea. He recalls the English suburban culture of the 1930s as oppressively conformist and his family life as intensely conventional. Of his childhood, Fowles says "I have tried to escape ever since." The most commercially successful of Fowles' novels, The French Lieutenant's Woman, appeared in 1969. It resembles a Victorian novel in structure and detail, while pushing the traditional boundaries of narrative in a very modern manner. Winner of several awards and made into a well-received film starring Meryl Streep in the title role, it is the book that today's casual readers seem to most associate with Fowles. Southend man swims the channel. Crowds waited expectantly on the French shores knowing a new Channel Swimmer was imminent. After 13 hours 56 minutes Mr N. L. Durnan from Southend completes the distance between England and France to a heroes welcome. Paraded around the streets and headlined in the main press of the time. 14 Nov 1926. The Strand Cinema destroyed by fire, in Warrior Square. Starting at 5am, the fire only left standing the box office and the projection room. Next EKCO chapter. Eric Cole already had a presence in Leigh during 1925, but more significantly in 1926, he set up operations just across the road from the Elms pub on London Road. Manufacturing radios he employed some 50 people, it wasn't long before new premises were needed and so the factory upped sticks and moved to Priory Crescent in 1930. Belfair's Woods Golf Course opens. The inaugural shot by Mayor Alderman H. Dowsett formally opened the golf course on 11th September 1926. Some 500 people turned up for the opening which also involved exhibitions by a couple of professional players. The course covered 266 acres. Westcliff High School for Boys opens. Westcliff High School for Boys is a selective Grammar School. It was founded in 1920 and moved to its present and very spacious site in 1926. School Website 1927 David Lloyd George, the Liberal leader, and his daughter Megan Lloyd George, visit Southend. The Central Library, Victoria Avenue, extension was opened. Tammy's swimming record. Edward Temme (known as Tammy) took to the dangerous waters of the English Channel and became the first to be recorded in the Guinness Book of Records to swim across both ways non-stop, on 5th August; for his time he could have been known as an 'extreme swimmer', breaking other records including crossing the Bristol Channel. Tammy lodged in Leigh and used Leigh Creek to build up his stamina and strength. Rugby. Amateur clubs were popular in the town, this year the prestigious Dowsett Cup competition was inaugurated. Southchurch Park completed. It took a few years but finally in 1927 Southchurch Park was ready. The lake is the only remnant of the Great Western Mere, which was reclaimed in 1870. Today it is split into two and used for pleasure, the end bowl is a great spot for model boat enthusiasts. The park up until recently formed a major part of the cricket scene in the town providing a perfect venue for county cricket. A purpose built football pitch now provides a home for Southend Manor Football Club. The kids playground recently updated is now the most used in the town. Tudor present. Southchurch Hall and gardens were presented to the County Borough of Southend-on-Sea in 1927. The building and gardens were restored soon after and have been under local authority management since. The Hall and gardens provide a tranquil green lung within a very urban area. Belfairs Park opens. This Leigh wood has been an important area for the economy since medieval times, not only for the purpose of fire wood, but also for building materials. Timber from these woods can be found in St Paul's Cathedral and in Dover Castle. The park element of this area was opened in 1927. The nature reserve is home to 400 types of vegetation ranging from moss to trees. There are also more than 30 species of butterfly and 35 bird species. Moths and mammals have also made the reserve their home. Treasure trove. Roper's Farm, an ancient farm near the River Roach at Barling, 1,000 yds north west of the church, partly included in the Southend sewerage works. In its yard was found in 1927 a leaden bull - or sealed edict - issued by Pope Urbanus VI (1378-89). Leigh house demolished. A fine structure with some noted history met the demolisher’s in this year. It sat at the top of Church Hill and inconveniently in the way of the desired extension of Leigh Broadway. The house was also known as Black House, occasional resident was the eminent Sir Anthony Deane a renowned Naval architect, and acquaintance of Samuel Pepys, he sold the house on 1670. Although the house no longer exists two cedar trees planted in the grounds still can be seen today. Shorefield shows. Gordon Marsh and the Marshmallows was a popular draw at this time at the Shorefields Pavilion. By-Election. Rupert Guinness needed to stand down as Southend MP due to his inheritance of the Guinness empire. A natural choice therefore to carry on the family legacy would be his wife Gwendoline who succeeded at the ballot box on 19th November 1927 to maintain the dynasty. Politically there was more to come from this family and for Southend in the future. Gwendoline remained in the seat until 1935 when she handed on the MP's mantel to son-in-law Chips Channon. Panto time. The Ambassadors Theatre put on the town's pantomime with a rendition of 'The Land of the Christmas Stocking'. A production enjoyed my big audiences but particularly the children. 1928 Garon's expands. Garon's Banqueting Suite in Victoria Circus underwent a 25% expansion in 1928 and became a key location for the town's many functions; the first event to take advantage of the new luxurious facilities was the Southend Rugby Club Ball. New Strand opens. A fire caused the original Strand theatre to be destroyed in 1927. This year a number of civic guests were invited along to witness the formal opening of the New Strand Cinema by the Mayor. The new cinema was certainly plush with the capability of entertaining an audience of 1,640. the first film to be shown was 'The Seventh Heaven'. One of the amusing tales from this building came from the resident cat. In the old Strand "Old Bill" as the cat was known made the place his home, even while the reconstruction went ahead he refused to leave and it could be said the New Strand was built around the cat. First Mayoress dies. On 1st April 1928, Clarissa Dowsett died wife of the first Mayor of Southend Thomas Dowsett. A service was held at Crowstone Church attended by the great and the good of the town followed by the body being laid to rest in the family plot in St John the Baptist Churchyard. New bridge. Construction started on the rail bridge going over the Southend Victoria rail line between Cuckoo Corner and Sutton Road. It would be many years later that this particular spot would unearth the ancient remains of a Saxon prince. New Bowling Clubs open. 1928 was a good year for the town's bowlers, the Leigh Bowling Club was formerly opened in Tycklefield, Rectory Grove by the Mayor (Councillor A. Bockett). He also threw the first jack on a new bowling green at Priory Park. Tram windscreens. Since the trams ran in the town the drivers had to suffer the elements all year round while the passengers were reasonably covered. 1928 saw the trialling of new windscreens. Art Gallery? Southend's cultural side was beginning to take route this year with the setting up of the Art Gallery Sub-Committee of the Public Libraries & Museum Committee. The aim to start a gallery in the town, although nothing came to fruition until 1947. Tourist info on hand. Southend Corporation realised a definite need to maximise the visitors enjoyment of the town by providing in a central place an information bureau. On 14th June 1928 the Inquiry Bureau at the western extremities of Pier Hill was opened. The facility provided a large map of the town for visitors to get their bearings, along with a clock which would provide useful tidal information. The tube posters. The art on the London Underground was fabulous when it came to advertising Southend to the millions of London travellers. Many of whom were very familiar with this east coast resort, and simply needed their memories jogging as to how relaxing it could be away from the congested city. Culture rubber-stamped. Southend as it grew naturally up-sized its cultural offer. This was recognised in 1928 with the forming of Art Gallery Sub-Committee, reporting to the Public Libraries & Museum Committee. New Synagogue. Southend's diversity was celebrated in 1928 with the opening of a new synagogue in Ceylon Road, Westcliff-on-Sea. New trolley trialled. New forms of public transport were appearing on the roads of Britain all the time, Southend was no different in 1928 the first double decked, trackless trolley bus was trialled along Prittlewell route. Southend Crown's it's First Carnival Queen. Although the Southend Carnival had been in action since 1906, the tradition of crowning the carnival queen, Ena Bone became the first to be crowned at the Floral Hall on Western Esplanade. Frederick Ramuz starts the first speedboat service off Southend Pier. New Library for Leigh. Leigh-on-Sea was provided a new library on 9th October 1928. A Grade 2 listed building. An early C19 red brick house with blue brick headers, built in 1838 in ‘Tudor’ style as a rectory to St Clements Church and is now used as a library. Two storeys and attics. The north front has four window range, casements with lattice leaded lights. A central brick porch projects on the front, with corner turrets and a stepped and gabled parapet with a stone coat of arms. The south front has three window range, mullioned and transomed casements with leaded lights, and moulded brick hood moulds. There are three gables with cut and shaped barge-boards. The end bays, of one window range each, break forward slightly and there is a central brick bay window with a gabled parapet bearing a coat of arms and the date 1838. On the east side there are two gabled projections, each of one window range and one window between and on the west side there is one gabled projection and a bay window. On the south west corner there is an octagonal turret with a swept tiles spire-let terminated by a finial. Roof tiled, with four brick gabled dormers on the north front and two 6-shafted chimney stacks with octagonal shafts, moulded caps and bases on rectangular bases. November. The British Legion’s new Headquarters in Victoria Avenue was opened by Admiral of the Fleet Earl Jellicoe. 1929 Sea freezes off Marine Parade Southend. The church, in Mount Avenue, was erected to replace a former temporary church in Leigh Road. Southchurch Plaza. 6th March 1929, Southchurch gains it's very own cinema the Plaza. Brewery brews no more. Not many people are aware of the huge brewery that existed just off the High Street. The footprint today is taken by the South East Essex College and University of Essex buildings. The Lukers Brewery ceased trading between 1929-30. Luker’s Brewery was sold to Mann Crossman and Paulin for £65,000. Wall of Death introduced. The Kursaal Amusement Park took a bold step in June 1929 when the Wall of Death was introduced. This amazing attraction would capture the imaginations of millions of visitors for the next 50 years. Prince opens pier extension. 8 July 1929, The Prince George Extension was officially opened by HRH Prince George, Duke of Kent, bringing the pier up to its present record length. He also named a new lifeboat the 'Greater London'. The Avenue closes. Starting as Princes Hall in 1908, then the Princes Picturedome, this cinema on Tyler's Avenue just behind 'The London Pub' was to close in 1929. It became known as 'The Avenue' in 1921, and by 1925 renamed 'The Lyric'. Lady MP. For the first time since 1895 the General Election this year was held in the summer. Saving the populace from battling the elements to cast their vote. The results returned Lady Iveagh, but with a much reduced majority. Clubhouse built. Southend Cricket club further established themselves in Southchurch Park by building a long-standing clubhouse. The Hamlet Court is demolished. The Hamlet Court on Hamlet Court Road is demolished, this landmark house was the home to Robert Buchanan, it existed north of Canewdon Road, its land stretching up to Ditton Court Road. It is rumoured the gardens of this property contained a brick maze, made out of all the varieties of brick made in the local area. Some small parts of this maze are visible still in some of the back gardens of the current houses that face onto Ditton Court Road. There are not many images of the Hamlet Court available, but it certainly did provide the name to the current Hamlet Court Road, a well known shopping street. 16th September English Channel swimmer. Norman Leslie Derham becomes the first Southender to swim the English Channel in a time of 13 hours 56 minutes, 35 minutes. The feat was in challenge of Lord George Riddell owner of the News of the World who had offered £1,000 to any English person that would swim the channel beating a time set by an American swimmer. Mr Derham was paraded around the football pitch at the Southend United Vs Aberdare Athletic game on the 18th September where all the fans, players and officials stood and applauded he’s successful swim. Corona opens. Cinema's were king at this time and another venture opened in Leigh on 25th October 1929 in Leigh Road. It was classed as a community cinema and could sit 1,530 in it's blue and gold auditorium. It was home for many years to it's own orchestra, and in 1954 as per the Coliseum was absorbed into the Essoldo Group. The cinema finally closed on 4th April 1959. Hospital Foundation Stone laid. A new hospital worthy of this growing town became closer on November 12, 1929 when the Queen Mother, then Duchess of York, laid the foundation stone of Southend Hospital. Sylvia Kirby, was a patrol leader in the 3rd Westcliff (St Andrews) Guides when she was picked to join an extra special guard of honour. She said: "I remember very clearly having to wait what seemed like hours until finally the car drew up and this lady descended. "I remember being struck by how tiny she seemed - I was a tall girl. But as she passed me she had the most amazing blue eyes and lovely smile. "She was quite striking but it was her blue eyes which hit me most." Former PM in town. Stanley Baldwin just ousted by Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald was guest of honour at the Southend Conservative Association. Telephone Exchange opens. An automatic exchange opened this year in London Road to cope with the increasing demand for telephones across the town.

Southend Timeline Southend-on-Sea © 2009 - 2021 All Rights Reserved

1920 - 1929
Rivoli
Park Gates Priory Park
King George V
Co-op Sutton Road
St Paul’s Church
Spread Eagle
Trevor Bailey
St Mary’s Church Tower
Corporation Loading Pier
R. A. Jones Clock
Robert Fowles
Westcliff High School for Boys
Southchurch Hall & Gardens
Shorefields Shows
Tram with Windscreen
Leigh Library
Plaza Southchurch
Hamlet Court
Corona as Riley’s Super Bowl
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