Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life

1956

Ekco Goes Portable -The Ekco factory in Southend produced the very first truly portable televisions, that could run from batteries or the mains.  The Ekcovision is today on display at the Science Museum in London.

'Wedding Cake' bandstand demolished

The Gaumont Goes... - Progress particularly in entertainment would see the picking off of most if not all of the classic cinemas in the town.  

 

On 20th October 1956 it was the turn of the Gaumont in Southchurch Road.  The last film to be shown was Stanley Baker's 'A Hill in Korea' supported by Kenneth More's 'Raising a Riot' Many people today naturally will not give a second glance to the block that takes it's footprint now, right opposite the side entrance to the Victoria Shopping centre, or just down from Barclays Bank, mainly due to its lack of character.  The Gaumont however was full of style and oozed everything you might expect from a cinema of this era.

Peter Pan's Playground - The sunken gardens by 1956 had been converted into the Peter Pan's Playground.  One of the original rides that still exists in the renamed Adventure Island is the Crazy House.

Southend High School for Girls opens

The Last Steam Train Departs Victoria - It was a sad day on 30th December 1956 when the last scheduled steam train left Southend Victoria Station.  It was certainly the end of an era, particularly for a town dominated by no less than 9 rail stations.  The next day New Years Eve the switch was flipped and the line was electrified.

seapatrolSea Rescue Patrol on Patrol - 1956 saw the arrival of a new actiove division of the Southend Police; the Sea Rescue Patrol was a fully equipped life saving service that would patrol the seafront on land and water looking for daytrippers who may get into trouble.

Telephones - The Speaking Clock was introduced to Southend this year as the number of telephones reached 62,553.

FA Cup Match To Remember - January 28th will be remembered long and hard by many Shrimper fans.  The fourth round of the FA Cup and Manchester City made the journey to Roots Hall, the first 1st Division team to play at the stadium since it opened Sepetmebr before.  The game will be remembered not because of the result as Southend did lose 0-1; but the heroic, amazing skills of one particular goalkeeper called Bert Trautmann.  Southend battled and struck at the City defence, but every shot was magnificently saved.  Manchester City went on to win the FA Cup beating Borimingham City 3-1 at Wembley, no doubt thanks to that incredible goalkeeper.

New Manager at Roots Hall - Long term manager Harry Warren left the Blues this year to take up the reigns at Coventry City.  New appointee Eddie Perry would lead the team for four years.

The Cliffs First Slip - The area of the cliffs below the bandstand and the wider area around has been prone to landslips - the earliest happening in 1956 with others following in 1962, 1964 and 1969. None of these being as significant as the slip that finally caused the area to be sealed off in November 2002.  The cause is of great debate but it is hoped to be finally sealed up with the building of the New Museum.

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