Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life

2003

New Honorary Freeman - The Right Honourable The Lord Kelvedon was awarded the freedom of the town on 26th November 2003.  Probably better know as Paul Channon, who served the town as MP for Southend West from 1959-1997. 

Hail the King of Bling - A normal road widening scheme, the obligatory archaelogical survey, a chance laying of a small ditch and low and behold the King of Bling is unearthed.  The burial chamber located off Priory Crescent between the road and rail line contained an amazing myriad of treasures that date back to 610AD.  The deceased is still yet to be formally identified, but not for the want of trying.  Is he a King? Maybe a Prince? Of high order that can be certain due to the significant artefacts discovered. A new museum awaits the treasures, and soon we hope.

 RBSRBS Complete - The Royal Bank of Scotland completed their buildings just off Nestuda Way in July 2003, continuing the towns more recent employment focus towards the financial industry.  RBS had previously occupied the old Ekco building facing onto Priory Crescent, with the need for nearly 3,000 staff it was plain they needed a new office block.

The Palace Theatre Re-Opens - The Palace re-opened on 1 April 2003 under newly formed Southend Theatres, formed by merging the Cliffs Pavilion and The Palace Theatre. The Palace will no longer be a theatre. The new format for The Palace is one of receiving smaller scale national tours, big name major productions, and intimate one-night shows featuring prominent performers.

Foundation stone for the new college is laid (SEEC)

No Nudes in Southend - Southend hit the national news in a curious turn of events.  The Cliffs Pavilion were due to host a national touring production of 'The Graduate' starring Glynis Barber.  The tour had taken in many towns and had had many leading ladies in the role of Mrs Robinson, which requires for one of the scenes for the character to be completely nude.  However, Ms Barber on arriving in Southend announced she would not be defrocking under no circumstances, much to the disgust of local theatre goers who were looking forwards to a full rendition of the play.  The Cliffs Pavilion Management on behalf of the production came under fire in the press for not making it clear to the audience that Ms Barber would not be nude.

 

 

Wednesday 9th April: The Ukrainian Tall Ship Khersones departs Southend Pier after a week long visit.

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SEPTEMBER New School -  A successful amalgamation on 1st September of Bournemouth Park Infant School and the Junior School, gave forth a new Bournemouth Park Primary School.


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Taylor Centre Opened - The Queensway Health Centre took a major step towards supporting mental health needs and people needing support with substance misuse with the opening of the Taylor Centre, Named after one of Southend's much respected MP's Sir Teddy Taylor.  The second floor facility is purpose built and provides patients and staff with the respect and privacy they deserve.

Hamlet Court Road Makeover Starts - Westcliff's prime shopping road started a major makeover in October 2003.  The whole road from pavement to CCTV to crossing points and new street lights were planned.  A process that would take nearly two years to complete fully.  During this period of change a Community Information Shop at 116 Hamlet Court Road help direct the scheme and keep residents and traders at bay through the running of Community events including a Festive Light Switch, an Irish Festival plus many more that kept the focus on the road and placated the traders as new business was developed.

Pier Entrance by you.

New Pier Entrance Opens - May 2003 continued a busy year for the town with the opening of the futuristic Pier Entrance.  Key to this development was the raising of the bridge which had claimed many a tall vehicle in its time no matter how clear the signage.  The new pier entrance provided the visiting public a clean stylish start to their Pier experience an provided a level of synergy between shore side and pier hed and the Lifeboat station design.

 Steve Tilson Takes the Helm - In the wake of the sacking of Steve Wignall, and the Shrimpers staring non-league football square in the face.  Steve Tilson took on the role of Caretaker Manager.  Not only did he steer them clear of danger but took them to the Football League Trophy final at the Millenium Stadium.  It was not long before the 'Caretaker' aspect of his job title was removed.

 

Opera Singer Awarded a Tony - A former Westcliff High School for Girls pupil who made Hugh Grant cry picked up a Tony Award for theatrical excellence at a star-studded ceremony in New York in November 2003.

Opera singer Chloe Wright, scooped the award for her performance in Baz Lurhmann's Broadway production of La Bohemme. She wowed critics and the public playing Musetta, a 1950s Parisian prostitute, during the opera's New York and San Francisco run.

Sir Bernard Williams Dies - (born Sept. 21, 1929, Westcliff,.—died June 10, 2003, Rome, Italy) English philosopher, noted especially for his writings on ethics and the history of Western philosophy, both ancient and modern.

Tuesday 23rd September: A very unusual view trundled through the streets of Southend, when Boeing 727 (G-BNNI) was loaded on to a low loader and trucked out of the airport for a new home in Denmark as an office block!

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