Lost Events

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Southend 999 Emergency Services Spectacular The Southend 999 Emergency Services Spectacular, was held on Western Esplanade and featured all the emergency services taking part in demonstrations of what they do in an emergency. The Ambulance service would demonstrate first aid, the Police would show how they investigate crime and put a show on of police dogs in action fighting crime, whilst the Fire Brigade would demonstrate chip pan fires and how they cut people out of cars. Other services at the spectacular included the St John’s Ambulance, the RNLI, the Coastguard and the RAF with their Air Sea Rescue Sea King helicopter. The grand finale would see the three main services combine in a full scale rescue demonstration of a major incident occurring in the main arena, this was normally a major road traffic accident involving cars, trucks and a bus. The event was first staged on Saturday 20th July 1991, the 1992 event formed part of the town centenary celebrations, sponsors were Pearl Assurance, the same year also saw an appearance from actor Graham Cole who played PC Tony Stamp in The Bill. The 1995 event included another appearance from Graham Cole, the event that year was sponsored by Perrys Car Dealership. Event Dates: 1st Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July 1991. 2nd Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th July 1992. 3rd Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th July 1993. 4th 1994. 5th Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th July 1995. 6th Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July 1996. The 1995 programme ran as: Saturday 15th July 12:00 - 12:15 Essex Ambulance Service 12:15 - 12:30 Essex Fire Service 12:10 - 1:00 MoD Police Dogs 1:00 - 1:45 Becontree Brass Band 2:00 - 2:45 Worthington Civic Band 2:45 - 3:15 Chalkwell Life Guard 3:15 - 3:30 Essex Ambulance Service 3:30 - 3:45 Essex Fire Service 3:45 - 4:15 MoD Police Dogs 4:15 - 4:45 Essex Fire Service 4:45 - 5:00 Essex Ambulance Service 5:00 - 5:30 Sea Rescue (RNLI, Coastguard and RAF Search and Rescue Helicopter) Sunday 16th July 10:30 - 10:45 Essex Fire Service 10:45 - 11:00 Essex Ambulance Service 11:00 - 11:15 South Eastern Working Newfoundlands 11:15 - 11:45 Thundersley Brass band 11:45 - 12:00 Essex Ambulance Service 12:00 - 12:30 Essex Police Dogs 12:30 - 12:45 Essex Fire Service 12:45 - 1:15 Thundersley Brass band 1:15 - 1:30 South Eastern Working Newfoundlands 1:30 - 1:45 Essex Ambulance Service 1:45 - 2:30 Battle Ground High School Jazz Band 2:30 - 3:00 Chalkwell Lifeguards 3:00 - 4:00 Setting up of scenario 4:00 - 5:00 Scenario 5:00 - 5:30 Thanksgiving Service
The Bed Race Little history his to be found about this event, it was held each October, along Western Esplanade, between 20-30 beds would be pushed round several laps of the course with many of participants in fancy dress!
Southend Bus & Transport Rally This event started off as the Southend Vintage Bus Rally in 1974, it was held at Southchurch Park East off Lifstan Way. The event saw a cavalcade of vintage buses actually go on a rally around the town. The designated route saw the buses leave the show ground and travel on these roads: Lifstan Way, Southchurch Road, London Road, Chalkwell Avenue, First Avenue, Station Road, Cifftown Road, Nelson Street, Alexandra Street, Southend High Street, Pier Hill, Sea Front, Thorpe Bay Avenue, Woodgrange Drive, Liftsan Way. The route took approximately 45 minutes to complete. Dates of Event: 1st 1974. 2nd Sunday 1st June 1975. 3rd Sunday 6th June 1976. 4th Sunday 5th June 1977. 5th Sunday 4th June 1978. 6th Sunday 3rd June 1979. 7th 1980. 8th Sunday 7th June 1981. 9th 26th May 1982. 10th 1983. 11th Sunday 3rd June 1984. 12th Sunday 3nd June 1985. 13th 1986. 14th Sunday 7th June 1987. 15th 1988. 16th Sunday 4th June 1989. 17th Sunday 3rd June 1990. 18th Sunday 2nd June 1991. 19th Sunday 7th June 1992. 20th 1993. 21st 1994. 22nd Sunday 4th June 1995. 23rd Sunday 2nd June 1996. 24th 1997. 25th Sunday 7th June 1998. 26th Sunday 6th June 1999. 27th Sunday 4th June 2000. 28th Sunday 3rd June 2001. 29th Sunday 26th May 2002. 30th Sunday 1st June 2003. 31st Sunday 6th June 2004. 32nd Sunday 5th June 2005. 33rd Sunday 4th June 2006. The rally saw the buses competing for a number of awards: The Southend Cup The Norman Richardson Memorial Cup The best double deck The best single deck The best modern vehicle The Allen King Award The best Ex-London vehicle Special Award The best Bristol vehicle The best overall vehicle Travelling the furthest distance under its own power The event proved hugely popular for many years with the rally running for some 33 years before falling numbers of vehicles began to affect the viability of the event, then a hammer blow struck when in 2008 the Eastern National Preservation Group who organised and ran the event collapsed, the event was scrapped.
Southend Competition and Classic Bike Show The Southend Competition and Classic Bike Show was first run in 1987, it was held at Southchurch Park East. The event was open to any competition motor cycle and to pre-1975 classics, however, interesting and rare bikes outside the criteria would be permitted to enter at the organisers’ discretion. A road rally was held as well as a static line up in the park, alongside a auto-jumble sale would attract bike owners to find spares for their bikes, kiddie rides were installed for the show to amuse the younger members of the family. The event ran until the final event on 23rd August 1992. Later Southend was host to a motorbike rally in the shape of the Southend Shakedown, a run for motorbikes of any type to travel from the Ace Café in London to Western Esplanade. It regularly attracted over 10,000 motorbikes. Dates of Events: 1987, 1988, Sunday 20th August 1989, 1990, Sunday 18th August 1991, Sunday 13th September 1992.
Southend Cricket Festival The Southend Cricket Festival had been a fixture in the Southend Events calendar for 105 years. It was started in 1906, and was staged at Southchurch Park every year except for the war years until 2004. The 2005 festival was staged at Garon Park and continued there until 2011 when on Tuesday 27th September the member’s board voted to scrap festival cricket in the south of the county concentrating all cricket at Chelmsford or Colchester. The Southend Cricket Festival drew 4800 people to the three day event whilst the Chelmsford Festival drew only 3000, the Southend Cricket Festival made a clear profit of £60,000 between 2008—2011 whilst Colchester made a loss over the same period. Over the years the cricket festival saw the first visit after the war of the mighty Australian team lead by the legendary Sir Don Bradman, the team racked up a world record on Saturday 15th May 1948 when they smacked Essex for a staggering 721 in just one day. The three day match ran over 15th, 16th and 17th May with Australia winning by an innings and 451 runs. In the Essex team that day was the late Trevor Bailey who also captained England. The Australians were to return to Southend for another three day match in 1964, the match was on Saturday 22nd, Sunday 24th and Monday 25th August, this time Essex were the victors winning by six wickets.
Design Front Design Front was only ever held in 2004, it was a showcase for designers and artists to promote their creative flair at a venue outside London or any of the countries major cities. Design Front 04 was held at the Cliffs Pavilion between 17th - 20th June. The event was a joint venture between the Arts Council of England, Southend Borough Council and the East London Design Show, the event was backed by "one" the railway company operating the Shoebury to Liverpool Street railway line. As well as acting as a showcase for the artists work much of it was up for sale. Ticket prices were: Adult £4.00 Senior/Student/ES40 £2.00 Child (under 14) Free
Lambretta Rally The Lambretta Rally was an event where fans of the classic scooter built by Lambretta could get together and show off their bikes, buy spares or take part in challenges such as an off road obstacle course, one was a slow race where you had to finish last if you put your foot down you were disqualified, also a competition was held for best bike or most modified, there was also demonstrations of synchronised riding. The rally was held a various venues across Southend including the sea front, Leigh marshes and Southchurch Park East. Lambretta Rally Dates: 14th and 15th September 1963 Southchurch Park East. September 1964. 4th and 5th September 1965. 3rd and 4th September 1966. 10th and 11th September 1977. 1979.
Morris Minor Rally The small Morris Minor Rally was held for a couple of years at the former site of the Cliffs Bandstand. Event dates: Sunday 15th September 1991. Sunday 23rd August 1992.
Police Safety Day The annual Police Safety Day was held in Southchurch Park East, the event focused on the work of the police but also included other emergency services. The event had sideshows also an arena display, these included the British Army's white helmets motorcycle display team and some very bizarre acts... Nick Skinner attended the event when he was 6 in August 1981.
Brother Andy and Nick Skinner (short sleeves) next to a giant Buzby Bird the old mascot for British Telecom
One of the arena events featured giant inflatable dinosaurs battling it out
The Raft Race The Southend Raft Race was a charity event organised and run by the crews of the Southend RNLI, the event was a major fund raising event in aid of the lifeboat. The first Raft Race was in 1976, those taking part included companies supporting their own staff, as well as independent members of the public. Each team would design and build their own raft, and race along the sea front from Thorpe Esplanade to Southend Pier and back again about half a mile out from the shoreline. Many would make it the length of the course, however, many would not and would either capsize or sink midway through the race or just break apart! Once out and “sailing” a war upon the waves would break out with water bombs and flour bombs being thrown by the crews. There were a number of trophies up for grabs in various different classes these consisted of: Speed raft, Fun Raft, All Ladies Crew, Most Original, Best Fancy Dress and Most Money Raised (Essex Police being a regular winner). The 6th annual Raft Race in 1981 saw some 80 rafts taking part including entries from Marks and Spencer, Southend Hospital, various Essex Police Services, various Essex Fire Brigades and the HM Prison Service. The 7th annual Raft Race was held on Saturday 26th June and Sunday 27th June 1982 the event saw Saturday 26th being a sailing raft race whilst Sunday 27th was the paddling raft race. At the end of the 1982 Raft Race the grand total collected from the very first event had passed £35,000. The Sunday of the 1982 event also saw a special charity event launched to co-inside with the Southend Raft Race. Canvey Police’s “The Old (Steamboat) Bill” was crewed by a team from Canvey Police for the Raft race, to deliver the boat to Southend for the race it was decided not to transport the raft by road but to by sea! The raft was paddled from Canvey Island to the Westcliff Leisure Centre. The paddle was to raise money for the South Atlantic Fund. Six of the eight man crew were members of the Royal Navy and the Merchant Service. All those taking part had returned from the Falklands war, the money was raised to aid those who had returned injured, they also undertook a street collection along the seafront and beaches between Leigh-on-Sea and Westcliff-on-Sea, the street collection was undertaken by off duty Police Officers. The 10th anniversary Raft Race1 was held in July 1985, this saw some 110 rafts taking to the water, the 14th Raft Race was held on Sunday 9th July 1989. The 16th and last Raft Race was held in 1991, in the 16 years that the raft race was held it raised enough money to buy three D-Class inshore semi-ridged inflatable lifeboats.
South Trek (See Also Southend Timeline Orion Group History) South Trek was a convention for Star Trek and Sci-Fi fans. The event was arranged by the Southend based Sci-Fi club "Orion" who began life in June 1982. The first South Trek event was held in 1995, it was held on 2nd September at the Jolly Fisherman Pub on the Southend Pier Head, the event started at 10:30am and closed at 11:00pm. The day included showings of Classic Star Trek, Star Trek Next generation, Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Star Trek Voyager, as well as the showing of the programs there was also make up demonstrations, dealers tables and "shore leave" where group visits were made to the Sealife centre and Peter Pans. The next South Trek event was held in 1997, in the time since the previous South Trek the event had grown to last three days and had a new venue, moving to the hexagonal pavilion on Southend Pier Head. South Trek 97 started on Friday 5th September and had the UK premiers of "Before and After" and "Displaced" from the 3rd season of Star Trek Voyager. A convention book was sold for £1.50 with all proceeds going to the RNLI. Video Program Friday 5th September 1997: 10:00 Intro to South Trek 97 10:15 The committee intro 10:30 Star Trek cartoon "Yesteryear" 11:00 Star Trek Classic "Metamorphosis" 12:00 Star Trek TNG "Yesterdays Enterprise" 12:45 Star Trek Spoofs 1:00 Star Trek Voyager "Before and After" 1:46 The Movie Show 2:00 Star Trek DS9 "Children of Time" 3:00 Live Stage Event 4:00 The life and times of Gene Roddenberry 5:00 The Making of First Contact, Sci Fi Channel E! Doc First Contact 6:00 Star Trek DS9 (episode tbc) 7:00 Star Trek TNG "The High Ground" uncut version 7:45 Star Trek DS9 behind the scenes with Terry Farrel 8:35 Closedown Video Program Saturday 6th September 1997: 10:00 Intro to South Trek 97 10:15 The stage intro 10:30 Star trek Voyager US Pilot episode with intro by Gene Roddenberry 11:00 Star Trek Classic "The Trouble with Tribbles" 11:50 Star Trek DS9 "Trials and Tribble-actions" 12:30 Inside Star Trek Voyager intro by Robert D McNeil (Tom Paris in Voyager) 1:30 To boldly go where no quiz has been before 2:00 Main stage event 3:00 Star Trek TNG "A Fist Full of Datas" 4:00 Star Trek Voyager "Scorpion" 5:30 MTV Star Trek Big Picture Program 6:00 Babylon 5 "War Without End" parts 1 and 2 7:45 Visitors choice 9:35 Closedown Video Program Sunday 7th September 1997: 10:00 Intro to South Trek 97 10:15 The stage intro 10:30 Star Trek Classic "The Cage" intro by Patrick Stewart 12:00 Star Trek Voyager "Displaced" 1:00 E! Doc Inside Star Trek UK premier 2:00 main stage event 3:00 The X Files "Small Potatoes" 3:45 the future of Multi-media 4:00 Star Trek 30 Years & Beyond 5:00 Star Trek TNG (pilot episode) Encounter at Farpoint 6:30 Star Trek DS9 "Call to Arms" 7:15 South Trek 97 Closing Ceremony
Southend Water Festival The Southend Water Festival was originally set up to become an event to rival the airshow. The event hosted lots if different sea based events from power boats to dragon boats. The 1996 event programme: Saturday 15th June 1996 10:30 - 3:00 Outdoor Education Centre 11:00 - 3:00 Dragon Boats (west of pier) 11:00 - 2:00 “Toppers” Yacht racing 11:00 - 3:00 Fishing from the Pier 11:00 - 4:00 Windsurfing 11:30 RAF Sea King Helicopter 12:00 - 2:00 Brunt UK Skiff Racing 12:00 - 3:00 Power Boats 3:00 Parade of Boats Sunday 16th June 10:30 - 3:00 Outdoor Education Centre 11:00 - 3:00 Fishing from the Pier 11:00 - 4:00 Windsurfing 11:30 - 3:00 Dragon Boats (west of pier) 12:45 - 3:15 Offshore Circuit Power Boat Racing Round 5 of OCR National Championships Helicopter Joy Flights (Thorpe Esplanade) The 1997 programme: Saturday 21st June 11:00 - 4:00 Static display of Power Boats 11:00 - 4:00 Dragon Boat Racing (by the Three Shells) 11:00 - 4:00 Exhibitions & Ground Entertainment opens 12:15 Race One UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix 1:15 Race Two UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix 2:15 Race Three UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix 2:30 Toppers Race 3:00 Town Cup Sunday 22nd June 11:00 - 4:00 Dragon Boats 11:00 - 4:00 Exhibitions and Ground Entertainment opens 12:45 Race Four UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix 1:00 RAF Sea King SaR Demo 1:45 Race Five UK 18ft Skiff UK Grand Prix 2:00 - 4:30 Round Five OCR National Championship 2:45 Race Six UK 18ft Skiff UK Grand Prix 3:45 Race Seven UK 18ft Skiff UK Grand Prix The 1999 event saw the final of the English Grand Prix Powerboat Racing televised, there were also 18ft skiff competitions, the ever- popular Thames sailing barges, dragon boat racing and yacht and windsurfing competitions feature, however, the star of the show was the world's largest tall ship the Sedov moored at the end of the pier. The 2000 Programme: Saturday 2nd September 2000 11:00 - 5:00 Exhibition and Ground Entertainment opens 2:00 Veterans Cup (Thorpe Bay Yacht Club) 2:30 Sailsail.com 18ft Skiff Grand Prix (3 races) 2:45 Offshore Power Boat fly past 3:00 Offshore Power Boat Racing rounds 9 and 10 British Championships and Nations Cup 4:00 Powerboat prize giving Sunday 3rd September 2000 11:00 - 5:00 Exhibition and Ground Entertainment opens 3:00 Sailsail,com 18ft Skiff Grand Prix (3 races) 3:00 Thames Estuary Yacht Club (Interclub series) 3:15 Offshore Power Boat fly past 3:30 Offshore Power Boat Racing rounds 9 and 10 British Championships and Nations Cup 4:00 Halfway Yacht Club Racing 4:30 Powerboat prize giving 2001 During the 2001 event one of the power boats collided at 70 mph with the moored fishing boat “Kestrel,” the crew of the power boat were thrown out, the power boat sunk rapidly, whilst the “Kestrel” slowly sunk off the loading pier.
Southend has seen many different special events over the years, from the airshow to the classic car rally. But what about the 999 Spectacular, the Water Festival or Raft Race... No not heard of them or only just remember a little something about them. We are always looking to fill the gaps in some of our pages, so if you are able to help with information on any of these events please contact us.
1995 999 Programme
1992 999 Programme
Daytime Carnival Procession The first day time carnival procession took place in 1906, it was in aid of the Southend Victoria Cottage Hospital in Warrior Square. When the new General Hospital was proposed in 1930 the carnival begun to raise funds for the new hospital, the daytime procession was held every year apart from the war years. The death of one of the participants in the early 1990s saw a ban on a number of the large flat-bed floats, this coupled with a decline in interest and rising costs in staging the event saw the daytime procession dropped around 1993/1994. It was decided to concentrate on boosting the torchlight procession, this remains hugely popular as does the carnival fair and other events held around the town during carnival week.
1958 Carnival Programme
Design Front Programme
Brother Andy and Nick Skinner (short sleeves) with a CHiPs cop
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