Relegation Beckons - Southend United had a bad year, being relegated to the basement league Division 4 along with Wimbledon, Bury and Mansfield. Dave Smith saw them down as Manager and remained in the hot seat to see them bounce back in 1981.
Dixon Arrives at the Palace - The famous Palace Theatre expanded it's offer in 1980 with the Studio Theatre, the "Dixon", in which small scale productions are mounted to compliment the main auditorium. It would also be made available for community use and private hire.
ABC Goes Multi - Formerly the Rivoli, the ABC cinema, on Alexandra Road, decided it would make business sense to build into the structure a second cinema. On 22nd May 1980, ABC 1 and 2 opened showing 'Life of Brian' in 1 and 'Mission Gallactica' in 2.
Royal Visit - Visit to the district by the Duchess of Kent on 30th September 1980, taking in Kingsdown School, The Royal Hotel, The Brambles and Rochford Hospital.
Bloody Kids - Southend became the backdrop for a new film released this year: Bloody Kids, written by Stephen Poliakoff and directed by Stephen Frears. A disturbing and powerful piece following the youthful exploits of two lads in the late 70's in an English seaside town. Follow this link for a full review: Link
Teddy Wins Southend Seat - Teddy Taylor becomes MP for Southend East following the death of Sir Stephen McAdden. Famously a close confident of Margaret Thatcher, who lost his Scottish seat in 1979, (the only Tory to do so), if he hadn't he was destined for a Cabinet position. His victory in Southend however was not as convincing as some may think with a majority of 430 votes of 35,637 cast. He claimed victory in the Civic Centre but had to endure loud boos and catcalls during his victory speech in which he managed to state: "I hope that everyone here would at least accept this is a democracy." Teddy however served his constituency well in his final General Election in 2001 he achieved an amazing 53.6% of the vote. He retired in 2005, leaving a relatively safe seat in the hands of James Dudderidge.