Timeline
1960 Sickness in Southend July 1960. Whooping Cough 46, Scarlet Fever 11, Tuberculosis 7, Dysentery 7, Measles 7, Pneumonia 4, Erysipelas 3, Jaundice 2. Catholic High School founded. St Thomas More High School was founded in 1960 as an all boys' high school and expanded in 1996 with the introduction of there mixed sixth form. School closes. The development of Victoria Avenue as the gateway to Southend-on-Sea was progressing nicely. The Victoria Avenue School became a casualty sat on the land close to the new Civic Centre and Court Houses. This educational establishment would ring its last bell in July 1960. New college. To advance the educational need within the town the first stage of the Civic Centre Complex was completed with the Technical College, this would ring the changes in the town as the Southend Municipal College in Victoria Circus, would be transferred over (finally knocked down in 1971). Mobile Cinema tour. Southend would go to the ends of the earth, or at least England, to promote itself as a holiday destination. This year would see a Mobile Cinema Tour continue as a key factor in a publicity drive. Taking in major cities around the country, a foray into Birmingham resulted in a staggering response of hotel bookings and enquiries. The tour would continue further north to Leeds and the surrounding towns. I wonder is this tactic would work today? Southend Regatta. For the first post-war Regatta a staggering 3,000 people were estimated turning out to watch the various water themed events in July. National publicity at the time revelled in the event, which would encourage the further development and staging of more in the future. Southend's the hottest. The 'Which' report in 1960 evaluated 64 British holiday resorts for their weather conditions. Southend scored consistently well and came out as number one location for the best weather in August. Southend show. Southend's ability to put on the spectacular event was evident on 2nd September 1960, when the Mayor opened a very active and well organised Southend Show in Priory Park; which included a Military Tattoo with the main stage taken by the Third Air Force Band of the United States Air Force. Show Jumping was also on the menu as well as varying displays from cage birds, floral arrangements and bee-keeping. The event ran across the weekend with the Tattoo striking up on the Friday and Saturday evenings. Airport crash. A planes brakes failed on landing at Southend Airport, Oct 9, a four-engined Hermes airliner crashed off the runway, and ploughed through a field, finishing with its nose on a railway line. None of the 71 passengers and five crew members suffered from more than shock and minor injuries. It is thought that the reason so many escaped serious injuries or worse was due to passenger seats facing backwards. The aircraft was returning holiday makers from two weeks in Majorca. Later one of the passengers said the only effects she felt was being forced back into her seat after a harder bump than usual on touch-down. When the aircraft came to a halt the tail section was only a few feet away from the railway overhead power cables. Rescue workers were rushed into action and the five passengers taken to hospital were allowed to leave after treatment. Two of the crew members were detained but their condition was not serious. A railway crash tender took over two hours to remove the fuselage from the railway tracks. Both lines were blocked and all train services suspended. Other large aircraft due to land at Southend were diverted to Stansted. St Luke's Church. In 1958 the Church Council approved plans for the new Church building, located off Bournemouth Park Road in St Luke's Road; 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. Westcliff Library opens. One of the two Southend libraries which are listed buildings (the other is Leigh). The outside has not changed much, but the inside was refurbished in 1985 and re-carpeted in 2001. This library is to be found at the junction of London Road and Fleetwood Avenue. Keddies do it first. The Essoldo, an old cinema in the then Milton Road (To become Chichester Road), was an ideal size for the Keddie brothers to turn it into a stylised US version of a discount supermarket. Much to the annoyance of smaller local retailers (sounds familiar). The town experienced for the very first time wheeling a wired trolley around a store picking what they wanted from the shelves at much cheaper prices than the corner shop; so much so that Keddies were taken to court, over the issue of loss of trade for other businesses but were vindicated in the end. They were happy to hand the supermarket mantle onto other firms in later years, returning to their roots of departmental retail until the late 90s, when Keddies folded completely. University concept. In 1960 Essex County Council asked all councils to approve and support the concept of a University of Essex, and of course once building commenced, they would then need to contribute towards it's ongoing running costs. Southend Council supported the proposal. Today the University has expanded it's facilities into Southend proving this initial vote of confidence was indeed a wise one. Chalkwell Park Zoo. Concerns in 1960 were expressed by a large number of residents as to the conditions of the animals being kept in the 'Pet's Corner', although the variety of animals would indicate they were more than pets. With the advice of London Zoo curators, improvements were recommended to the goat enclosure, an extension of the bear cage, and improvements too to the chimpanzee and monkey accommodation. 1961 Twinned with Calais In February 1961 our Mayor Cllr L. W. Johnson signed a Charter twinning Southend with Calais in the North of France. This all would lead to a week of events in June 1962 Southend-Calais Week. March. Founder of the Beecroft Art Gallery, Mr. Walter G. Beecroft dies aged 76. Steam for Electric on the LTS. The LTS rail line followed Southend Victoria by starting the phasing out of the Steam train. Although the Victoria line had completed their transition in 1956. The milk race. Cycle fans were pleased on 5th June 1961 to see the Milk Race finish the first two days of the nationwide race along Southend seafront, on Western Esplanade. Cricket. 23-25 Aug Essex hosted Australia in a cricket match at Southchurch Park, the Aussies won by 55 runs. Parking metres arrive in Town Centre. The Rivoli closes. One of Southend's most popular cinemas closed on 4th November 1961. Having played to many a full house for over 40 years, it was time for a makeover and a new life in a challenging entertainment world. Unlike others closing at this time, the Rivoli in Alexandra Road was merely having a makeover and modernisation, it would open the following year as the ABC. Excel on the Pier. In July the pier welcomed a new modern concept, opening to the public the Excel 10-pin Bowling Centre, built at the shore end. Workhouse demolished. A bunch of rambling cottages were demolished in 1961 to make way for some new council flats. Some however, may not have known the history of Mill Hill Cottages on the junction of East Street and Sutton Road. As this was the original Prittlewell Workhouse, with its own lock-up for those that could not be controlled appropriately. Home to many a pauper during the late 18th century until the mid 19th century. Southend Population reaches 165,000. Pantomime. The 1961/62 pantomime to be held at the Palace Theatre is Robinson Crusoe, running for 5 weeks. 1962 Southend Hospital welcome four celebs. The Meecham quads were born in Southend Hospital's maternity department on 3rd January 1962 and were hardly out of the national media. They made headlines around the country when they were born. Edward, Christopher, Lucy and Yana who were conceived naturally, made an instant family for Phoebe Meecham, who already had eight-year old Ronnie. The four became overnight celebrities they were asked to open Colchester Zoo, modelled to advertise Cow and Gate baby products and were besieged by press photographers at every birthday. The Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria line was electrified this year. Constabulary's new HQ. Southend Police Headquarters opens for business in Victoria Avenue. Taking over from the original Alexandra Street Police Station which had served the force so well, but had out grown its use. Sir Charles Cunningham cut the ribbon; the Permanent Under Secretary of State at the Home Office on 19th March 1962. Queen Victoria statue is removed from her position on Pier Hill and placed on the cliffs in Clifftown Parade. May. Southend Constabulary gain a Triumph TR4 as a speedy pursuit vehicle designed to chase down speedy or reckless drivers. ABC is born. Out of the Rivoli which closed in 1961 comes the ABC. The new way of viewing films through the medium of cinema. The first film to show in this plush new picture house on Alexandra Road is 'Escape from Zahrain', on 7th June 1962, starring Yul Brynner and Anthony Caruso. 18th June. Last regular steam train runs (1810 FS to Thorpe Bay). Jazz legend performs. Southend was a major pull for all the mainstream acts, not least in 1962 when Louis Armstrong and his Allstars arrived in town on a national tour. Playing at the Odeon in the High Street alongside 'The Gerry Brown Jazzmen'. Thorpe Bay Yacht Club expands. In 1962, the club gained international fame for its part in running the “Little Americas Cup” for “C” Class catamarans on behalf of the Chapman Sands S. C. as they had neither the waters nor the facilities to run the event. October. Opening of Whittingham House retirement home by His Worshipful the Mayor, Alderman O. A. Moss. Keddies honoured. Long standing in the High Street since 1892, Keddies was given a Civic Trust Award. 1963 Medway Queen paddle steamer sinks but is raised again. The sea freezes. Half a mile out to sea from the shore at Leigh-on-Sea on 22nd January 1963, the estuary turned to ice, boats were frozen solid and launches were held fast. The cockling industry suffered during greatly this winter period. New view from Carby House. Victoria Avenue continued to develop as a major gateway into Southend. Image right was taken from this year's new build, Carby House. 17th Century Samuel's Farm in Shoebury Road, Southchurch is demolished. 007. Sean Connery is filmed for Goldfinger driving his Aston Martin DB5 at Southend Airport, taking it Switzerland via the Carvair service. May. Opening of Delaware House and the Bungalow, Connaught House Old Peoples’ Homes by the Rt Hon Enoch Powell, Minister of Health. Garon's Cinema closed. Since 1911 this central High Street cinema worked well. It tried many a style to keep it's audience coming, including fountains to the side of the stage all alight, updated sound systems to anything suitably modern. Unfortunately these were not to work, and consequently the picture house closed up shop, further breaking up the Garon's empire. It closed on 4th May 1963. The Beatles and Roy Orbison visit Southend. The Odeon on Southend High Street, became the the most popular venue in England on 31st May 1963. The Beatles & Roy Orbison were in town. The Odeon is sadly no more and in its footprint sits the University of Essex - Southend building. Southend hits the parade. Dame Cleo Laine releases her song ‘Southend’. An unusual song from the great jazz singer, a sing-a-long waltz which depicts the seaside holiday of its time. Arabian success at the Ritz. The Ritz cinema recorded one of its most successful seasons thanks to Laurence of Arabia, which ran to almost full houses for nearly ten weeks. The cinema atop of Pier Hill and next to the Palace Hotel, is noted as being a 'Second Run' cinema picking up the films after they had been shown at major picture houses such as The Odeon. To get Laurence of Arabia will have been a good financial shot in the arm to keep the art deco cinema going. Test Cricket. Southchurch Park became the proud host of the Women's Test Cricket match between England and Australia, in July. Regal demolished. Tyler's Avenue was the site of the Regal Cinema, now in its place sits the Job Centre. The Regal in its day was classed as a full variety theatre under the name of the Arcadia or Ambassador. August 1963 the bulldozers went in. 1964 Plastics business fire. Toymaker Gordon Plastics suffered two catastrophic fires within days at their premises in Beach Road not far from the Kursaal, during October. Effectively putting the company out of business and between 70 and 80 people out of work. Earls Hall meets its end. One of many Halls that stood proudly around Southend, but this one finally was demolished this year. It stood opposite the gates of Priory Park, and in its heyday came under the ownership of some revered people such as Sir Arundell Neave, Richard Lord Rich and Daniel, Earl of Nottingham. Although the name 'Earl' came from another family, the de Vere's, Earls of Oxford. Kent Elms arrives. In July Kent Elms to the west of the town and on the A127 received a new branch library and doctors clinic all opened formally by the Mayor, Alderman E. E. Morris. The Cliffs Pavilion Box Office finally opens. After a long wait, some 25 years, the Southend public and beyond could take advantage of all the latest in home grown theatre, and national touring productions on 4th July 1964, at a grand cost of £400,000. In a conscious attempt to raise the cultural offering the first production was the ballet Coppelia. This venue is now one of the largest theatres of its kind this side of the M25. Well known for its annual pantomime which attracts some of the biggest names in show-biz. Currently owned an operated as a HQ Theatre alongside the Palace Theatre. Southend Celebrates its 50th year as a County Borough. The pier in recognition of this charged 'One Penny' for one day only. Southend Central Fire Station in Sutton Road is open. Mr H. M. Smith CBE MIFireE, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Fire Services performed the official opening ceremony on Friday 25th September. The ceremony included a full drill of the Southend Fire personnel accompanied by the Band of the London Fire Brigade. Mascot Cinema destroyed by fire. Located on the junction with Beedell Avenue and London Road, in Westcliff-on-Sea. This huge cinema was devastated by fire on 27th October; started due to gross vandalism by a group of teenagers letting off fireworks inside the cinema. One of which went behind the screen and smouldered there. The building being very dry caught light and it did not take long before it was fully alight. The footprint of this cinema is now taken by retail units and little is left to remind today's shoppers of the site's history. New Civic offices. The Civic Quarter was taking shape, the main tower block of the Civic Centre was finished and offices were being occupied, although the conference centre around the ground floor was still yet to be complete. A world first. Southend became home to the worlds first completely pre-cast multi-storey building. Baryta House in Victoria Avenue went up a storey a week in 1964. 1965 Inflatable inshore lifeboats were sent to Southend in 1965 The Rolling Stones in town. During their sixth British tour, the Rolling Stones made two performances in Southend in March 1965. Dominic arrives. Local celebrity Dominic Littlewood is born on on 29th March 1965. Well known for fronting TV shows such as 'Faking It' and taking part in Strictly Come Dancing. He is also well travelled as a location reporter for the Holiday programme. The Cliffs Pavilion Restaurant opens. The first stage of the new Lifstan Boys Club in Lifstan Way is built. Southend Constabulary celebrate its Golden Jubilee. Southend's youngest ever Mayor at the age of 32, Kenneth Mackinnon, takes office; also being the first Liberal Mayor, and the first to have the Mayor's Banquet held at the Cliffs Pavilion. May-July. King's Hall off Hamlet Court Road is demolished to make way for the new Ceylon Road Car Park, which opened in the July. The Shorehouse opens on Ness Road, Sir Steven McAdden pulls the first pint. Coliseum closes in Leigh. Another casualty of the Silver Screen came about on 22nd May 1965, when the Coliseum Cinema in Elm Road, Leigh closed as a Picture House. Business was not in this direction and more money could be made from Bingo, so it converted until the 1980's. The building became a nightclub in 1999, for a very short period then reverted to retail. Pier celebrates. Never far away from the town's attention the Pier grabbed the headlines; celebrating 75 years of the Pier Railway. The Mayor did the honours and unveiled a suitable plaque to mark the occasion. The Westward Ho! Hotel on Westcliff Parade is severely damaged by fire. It was a failing building at this time and up for auction. The corporation at the time were considering it for requisition but the fire changed this proposal which eventually led to it being finally demolished. Williams becomes Blues Manager. Alvan Williams after a spell at Hartlepool took over the reigns at Southend United in June 1965. He was well known for having an explosive temper and foul mouth. In the summer of 1965 he invited the public for the first time to attend a 'Blue's Open Day' at Roots Hall, a tradition that has stayed to current times. Unfortunately he presided over the clubs first ever relegation to the 4th Division, in the 1965-66 campaign. A topping out ceremony was marked at the new luxurious block of flats The Tower Court on Westcliff Parade, on the cliffs. Southend's Cinemas were showing the latest blockbuster Dr Who and the Daleks starring Peter Cushing and Roy Castle in glorious Technicolor Techniscope. For three nights only the Odeon played host to the latest pop sensation Cliff Richard and the Shadows. BBC's Songs of Praise was filmed from Crowstone Congregational Church in Westcliff. New Queen for Southend. The Carnival Court for 1965 took there place in the annual August Torchlight parade. place of honour was reserved for Queen Jane from Westcliff. New Library for Thorpedene. Thorpedene library was opened in August 1965 and is located near the junction of Station Road and Maplin Way. It replaced the old Shoebury Branch library previously in Ness Road. Prittlewell dig. An archaeological dig started in 1965 on the site of the Prittlewell Priory in Priory Park, this project would last for about three years and would lead to some interesting historical data needed to establish the origins of the area. It is worth noting these digs were part of the Prittlewell Priory Improvement project approved as far back as 1938. The dig unearthed pottery which dated settlements going back as far as the Romans. Social housing programme. Sites across the town were reaching completion with the Earl's Hall development of 77 flats with the first flat planned to be handed over in October 1965. The East Street-Sutton Road development handed over August 1965. Prittlewell Street was seeing some four blocks going up finishing Feb-May 66. The first self-service petrol station in the town opened at Enterprise Motors, London Road, Leigh-on-Sea. Panto time. The Palace Theatre in Westcliff was once again host to the town's pantomime. Aladdin, in 1965 on 27th Dec the doors opened to an eager audience. The bill for this annual festive fun included Clarkson Rose, Alexander Bridge and recording star Russ Sainty who played Wishee Washee. 1966 The Hotel Victoria was demolished. Eric Cole dies aged 65 in St. Kitts, Barbados (EKCO Company). The new Court House in Victoria Avenue is opened. Another member to the new buildings club in Victoria Avenue opened on 14th February 1966. Opened by the Rt Hon Lord Parker of Waddington, the Lord Chief Justice of England. Dowsett High School open. This school for girls on Southchurch Boulevard came into use in April, but was not formally opened until 1968. The planning of the school departed from the traditional style build providing an open plan style so unique that over a hundred official visitors toured the new facilities. Many of the ideas from the 'Newsom Report' were applied here. Miss B. FitzSimons was the first Headmistress of this new school. Today it is known as Southend High School for Girls and is one of the four grammars in the town. New youth centre. Teenagers across the borough were brought together without the need to use school as a reason to challenge, but to recognise for themselves they too have somewhere to go and enjoy themselves and improve themselves in a very positive way. The new build became known as the Focus Youth Centre and for many adults driving past will probably never know the 'brick on stilts' also has a sizeable gym area suitable for 5-a-side as well as a theatre. The centre opened in April, the first warden was Mr E. J. Board. Chelsea Flower Show. Southend's entry this year achieved a creditable silver gilt Banksian medal. Telephones. The exchanges serving the town were at full pelt as the number of telephone lines increased to 124,723. Taxing employment arrives. To prevent Southend turning into simply a dormitory town MP James Callaghan (future PM) came to Southend to open the HM Customs and Tax office Portcullis House close to the newly remodelled Victoria Circus. The building cost £800,000 and at the time would house one of the most expensive computers in the country valued then around £500,000. The building would employ close to 1,000 people. Churchill Gardens opens. Located between East Street and Victoria Avenue; Mr Frank Scheerboom developed the gardens from a derelict sandpit in 1950. After his death the Corporation acquired and renovated the gardens and they were opened to the public on 4th May 1966. Steve Tilson born. Southend United's manager (2009) was born on 27th July 1966. Arguably the most successful manager the Shrimpers have ever had, taking the team to cup finals in the Johnstone Paint Competition and promotion to the Championship form the 2006/07 season. Eastwood Infants School open. Miss V. E. Simmons led the charge as a new school threw open its doors for 240 infants in Snakes Lane. The school was sited and planned to eliminate vehicular traffic from its immediate vicinity. New Eastwood Church. This year saw the consecration of St David's Parish Church. The church was modern in design with a free standing altar amidst the congregation. Priory Special School open. Mr H. P. Hayton the new Head for a school designed for 50 emotionally disturbed children, opened in November in Burr Hill Chase. Built to design and to provide easy use and movement between areas for staff and students, always designed for small family sized groupings of students rather than full sized classes. New flavour hits town. Southend succumbed to the flavours of the East when a new style of restaurant opened. The Kyhber Pass Restaurant in London Road next to the Palace Theatre became the town's first truly Indian Restaurant. New market opens. Southend United realise with debts looming in the 4th Division Football League, they need to build their business acumen and with the land Roots Hall provides, it would be folly not to make the most of it. October 1966 saw the launch of the first market on the football ground. Multi-Storey car park. Farringdon multi-storey car park just off the High Street commenced building in August. Pedestrians hit the High Street. December saw the first stage of pedestrianising the High Street, created between Queens Road and Warrior Square. Talza and Talmage buildings close. Central Southend is changing, and the time has come in December to say goodbye to some old friends. The Talza Arcade particularly is remembered well, for it's many unique shops. The Talmage Buildings also housed a huge Chinese Restaurant and a Theatre/Cinema called at that time the New Vic. All being replaced by a much newer Victoria Shopping Centre/Victoria Plaza. 1967 Power down. The Eastern Electricity Board ran the London Road Power Station located behind the old Southend Transport Depot/Tram Sheds. Now the destination for Homebase. On 15th March 1967, the Mayor visited the site and the workers there to say farewell as the station finally closed. Labour in town. On 17th May 1967, The Labour Women's Conference was in town. This major conference was held at the Cliffs Pavilion attended by Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Other noted delegates included James Callaghan and Barbara Castle. Southend's Harum. Gary Brooker fresh from disbanding The Paramounts who had a moderate success since forming in 1964, set about putting together a whole new musical sound with Procol Harum. Southend based the band went onto record an iconic anthem 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' as their debut single which shot to Number One in the charts. Laying the ground to the groups phenomenal success across the world. Prisoner in town. The Kursaal Amusement Park became the backdrop to a popular TV series The Prisoner. Starring Patrick McGoohan, the show featuring the park was called 'The Girl Who Was Death'. Remember these roads, Campbell Road, Eastwick Road, Newlands Road. They certainly do not exist on today's map of Southend Borough. These roads formed a network between North Road and Balmoral Road in Westcliff. These entire streets were bulldozed to make way for 3 new tower blocks and Milton Hall School. Most of the houses were purchased where necessary by the Local Authority with the occupiers given alternative accommodation, where necessary Compulsory Purchase Orders were available. Most of the footprint was residential, accept the Telephone Exchange but this remained in place as did St Paul's Church. Although a fruit 'n' veg market that existed between Eastwick Road and Campbell Road succumbed to the development. Today Summercourt Road still runs off London Road, but now comes to a dead end at the school; the rest of the road beyond this point was renamed Salisbury Avenue which then runs down to West Road. New school opens. The eastern area of the town welcomed a new school to take care of the younger students in the community. Bournes Green Junior School opened with a flourish in September, Mr D. J. Borrie led the way as the first Headmaster for 320 boys and girls aged between 7 and 11 years. The infants opened for the younger cohort in 1972. Rossi's factory opens. Southend is famous for its Rossi Ice cream. It was no surprise therefore in 1967 the family opened a factory in Lucy Road conveniently situated just behind the main seafront parade. The ice cream is still made from the same traditional recipe first introduced by Pietro Rossi in 1932. Queen Mum opens Civic Centre. It took a while to get there, since 1958 when the council agreed to embark on a quest to build a new home for itself; but on 31st October 1967 HRH the Queen Mother did the honours and formally opened the spanking new Civic Centre. During its build Southend was classed as being in the top ten in the country for full employment, due to this workers were hard to come by and bus loads of workers were brought in to complete this and the many other projects shooting up along Victoria Avenue at the same time. This rare image on the right, shows the Queen Mother meeting PC Gandy of the Southend on Sea Borough Constabulary. Cllr Beryl Scholfield commented later on the day: "The Queen Mother opened the Civic Centre in 1967, when my husband was chairman of the town hall committee, and we had lunch with her at Porters. We were presented to her when she came in. There were no more than about 30 of us there. It was a most exciting day. She was as natural as you see her on the television." Bus strike. Bus strikes in the town were few and far between but one significant period of industrial action occurred in 1967. Lasting 5 weeks and demanding the facilitation of the bus routes through private operators. The all out strike started on Monday 7th November 1967, the crews eventually agreed to return to work and the strike ended on Sunday 17th December 1967. The streets of Southend were awash with independent bus companies from all over Essex trying to cover the routes for 5 weeks. High street fire. A significant fire in Southend High Street on 28th November 1967 did severe damage to Smart's Furnishing Store. The store was located at no 197, which was up to recently Boots. 1968 St Nicholas Special School open. January welcomed the opening of St Nicholas Special School led by Mr H. Howe, who would welcome 120 children aged 7 to 16 years who in general had learning difficulties. This school in design became unique for its ability to provide a multi faceted educative environment for its students including horticultural activity, cooking, sewing and many craft- work activities. Warren Ellis born. Author of comics and novels as well as appearances on TV. Warren, born on 16th February 1968, is well known for sociocultural commentary, both through his online presence and his writing, he is currently a resident of Southend. Keddies ahead in fashion. On 14th March 1968 Keddies, well known for its trend setting in fashion, hosted a fashion show of some note in Southend. Notably engaging the services of TV celebrity Katie Boyle. The entire proceeds of the show were donated to the Salvation Army. New schools. After years of building, planning and upheaval the town formally welcomed 10 Schools and Youth facilities to the fold. The Right Honourable Patrick Walker, PC, MP Secretary of State for Education and Science performed the opening of the Schools on Friday 29th March. The joint opening involved: Barons Court Infant School, Bournes Green Junior School, Dowsett High School for Girls, Eastwood Infant School, Eastwood Junior School, Priory Special School, St Nicholas Special School, Southend Youth Centre, Youth Sports Hall, Youth Theatre. The Dome on fire. During the early hours of Friday 24th April, a fire engulfed the Dome Garage, at 11 Southchurch Avenue. The building, workshop and several cars were severely damaged by fire. The site today is clear and used as a car park opposite the Kursaal. Barons Court Infants School. Miss M. A. Allardyce became the first headmistress of this school located in an interesting part of Southend. In a previous life the land underneath formed the first park in the town hence the road names surrounding the school. In some ways it is admirable that where possible the original trees from this park have been maintained and featured as part of the new school. As an Infant School the children would expect to feed to Hamlet Court Road Junior School. North Shoebury Hall burnt down June 1968. Eastwood Junior School. Having opened originally in 1963 as a joint Junior and Infant school north of the Arterial Road in the Kent Elms area, this year celebrated a split that saw the school under the Headship of Mr J. Negus provide just junior education for 320 boys and girls aged 7 to 11. A swimming pool opened in July 1966 to offer excellent facilities for this new school. Clifftown is conserved. The Clifftown area of Southend gained protection in 1968. At a time when the town had undergone and was still receiving some significant architectural change. The area would include the Georgian Royal Terrace, Clifftown Parade and further in to Nelson Street and Cambridge Road area. Today this area is very well preserved and does enable this young town to attribute some historical heritage through this much admired area. At a later date the boundaries of the conservation area would be extended. Pier Hill is Alive to the Sound of Music. The Ritz cinema recorded one of its most successful seasons thanks to the Sound of Music, which ran to almost full houses for nearly sixteen weeks. The cinema atop of Pier Hill and next to the Palace Hotel, is noted as being a 'Second Run' cinema picking up the films after they had been shown at major picture houses such as The Odeon. To get the Julie Andrews musical will have been a good financial shot in the arm to keep the art deco cinema going. Photographer born. Dean Chalkley born and schooled in Westcliff has become one of the most noted British photographers of the modern age. His works today include many of the most prolific celebrities including Amy Winehouse and Simon Cowell. A long way from his early school days at Fairfax High School. He is well known for his album cover artwork and has even ventured into the world of short films and DJ-ing. Gasworks Jetty demolished. The gasworks as functional as it was, became an iconic symbol along Eastern Esplanade. The Jetty disappeared in 1968. Darlinghurst Primary School opens for September Term. Leigh Fire Station. The Borough's fire cover was enhanced on 1st October when the Mountdale Garden's station was occupied for the first time. Fire in London Road. An electrical fault caused a severe fire at Sharpe's Electrical 313 London Road. Due to the many lampshades suspended from the ceiling the fire spread rapidly causing serious damage to the shop and the first floor flat. Westcliff Synagogue built. Finchley Road in Westcliff-on-Sea saw the building of a brand new synagogue to cope with the expanding Jewish population in the area. Established synagogue's in Alexandra Road and Ceylon Road were in some respects rivals but later joined together. 1969 Victoria Arcade in the High Street was gone. Formal opening. Leigh Fire Station was formally opened on Friday 28th March, performed by Mr A. J. Frame MBE, Her Majesty's Inspector of Fire Services. The site was formally the 18th-19th century Brickhouse Farm. A location that was deemed suitable for preservation in 1961, but was turned down. This long awaited modern fire station would serve the west side of the borough replacing the old fire station in Elm Road. Southend Constabulary Joins Essex Police on 1st April 1969. A Cricketer born. Alan Mullaly was born in Southend, but emigrated to Australia at an early age where he honed his cricketing skills, particularly as a bowler. He returned to the UK to play county cricket for Hampshire and Leicestershire. He also represented England from 1996-2001. Westcliff open air pool closes. These swimming facilities had been in the town since 1915. Providing a venue for school competitions and visitors a much needed swimming point when the tide is out. The new Southend Swimming Pool, Warrior Square is opened by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent. The swimmers of the town braced themselves for this Royal opening on 20th May 1969. A centre of late that has had its physical problems around the build which has resulted in the need for a new swimming pool to be developed at the Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre. The Olympic Dive Centre opened in October 2010. Cecil Jones High School opens. A new type of school arrived to the county borough in the shape of a 'Comprehensive'. Cecil Jones named after one of the town's most famous benefactors and servants occupies a site off Eastern Avenue. British Home Stores opens in Southend. Modern retail landed firmly in Southend High Street this year with the opening of a new purpose built BHS. The store building stood out against its older peers in the road, and probably at the time BHS was considered as some young upstart. Changes were happening too at the Victoria Plaza end of the High Street, and soon the buildings south of BHS would eventually succumb to modern development to the north of the town. I hear an echo. The Evening Echo made its first appearance on Southend's streets on 29th September 1969. Its front-page deplored the cost of spending £3,000 on murals decorating the outside of Southend Hospital. New Pub. The Golden Goblet entered the Southend pub trail by opening on the northern outskirts of the town on the junction of Eastern Avenue and Hamstel Road. A new fresh design almost in a church like style for those who worship the enjoyment of a beer. The pub changed names to the Invisible Man, but became a victim of social life and is no more, replaced by a pre-packed, pre-made dropped in McDonalds.

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

1960 - 1969
Mill Hill Cottages
Thorpe Bay Yacht Club
1963 Victoria Avenue
The Beatles
The Regal
Earls Hall
Cliffs Pavilion
Rolling Stones
The Shore House
Prittlewell Priory
Portcullis House
St David’s Parish Church
Khyber Pass
High Street
Harold Wilson
Kursaal Amusement Park
Smarts Store 1913
Warren Ellis
Prittlewell Square
Warrior Square Swimming Pool
British Home Stores
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