The Royals Shopping Centre Completed - Southend High Street would for now be known as having two book-end shopping centres. The Victoria Plaza (Windy City) to the north and now a new resident to the south, the Royal's Shopping Centre.
This lump of modern brick, plastic and glass consigned many older and much loved buildings into the past. Some of the occupiers, over time, that stood at this location included The Ritz Cinema, Royal Library, Goings Oyster Saloon, Eastern National Coaches and of course the Grand Pier Hotel. The Royal's Shopping Centre was opened on 23rd March 1988 by Neighbour's heart-throb, actor, Jason Donovan. Although, both Boots and Debenhams original residents of the centre opened two weeks prior on the 11th, to accommodate staff training.
Morrissey Video - 1988 saw the release of a new single 'Everyday Is Like Sunday' by the then popular music group Morrissey fronted by the very same named man. The single's video had however a very familiar back drop.
Leigh Lights Up - In 1988, four traders got together and formed the Leigh Traders Association. It attracted a strong membership. From that point they raised £15,000 a year to be spent on the festive lights. Over the years some real stars came to Leigh to switch them on; when the actress Peggy Mount came, 25,000 people turned up. An appearance by David Essex in Library Gardens was packed out and DJ Steve Wright did a live countdown on Radio One.
Girl's Choir Formed - Following the success of the boys, Southend Girls Choir was formed in 1988. Well received on tours in Germany, Australia and the Seychelles.
Furriers Close - Maybe a sign of the times, but a stalwart of the retailing sector closed up shop in 1988. Baum's Furriers which existed on the London Road on junction opposite the Cricketer's Pub.