Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life

1913 - This year Southend was working hard to gain County status
  • Leigh Joins the Gang
  • The Girls Move to Boston (Ave)
  • Dixon's Arrives in Vic Circus 
  • The Shoebury Palace Opens
  • Kursaal Gets Kinema and Airship
  • Ravens in Westcliff
  • Southchurch PO, KO'd
  • The Mascot in Westcliff Opens
  • Babes in the Wood

Southend by District Railway

The Tube - Posters on the underground were created as lovingly as any other form of art and of course managed to bring the London crowds to the seaside.  This year's poster was created by Norman Wilkinson.

Thanks to the London Transport Museum for this image click the link to see the whole range and purchase copies: Click

Borough Population: 82,000 Rateable Value: £562,574  



The Shoebury Palace Opens - Shoebury would get its very own cinema on 10th May 1913 in Ness Road and prove very popular to the troops based at the garrison.  Unusual for the time the cinema was built with a balcony, it received some modernisation during the 40's.   The Palace Cinema Shoebury by you.The cinema in comparison to others across the Borough had a short life closing on 5th March 1955, forced to close due to the sharp decline in audiences due to the pressure of alternative forms of entertainment including TV although in its infancy still had an impact.  The building is one fo the key buildings in Shoebury that is appreciated by the elder generations that still remember it for its original purpose.  The site due for development received listed status protecting the facade in April 2009.

Old PO Gone - The Old Post Office in Southchurch is demolished to make way for the boulevard.  This building sat close to where the White Horse pub is now.

Pier Struck By Barge - The barge "Basseldon," laden with rubbish for use in connection with the front improvements, parted her cable in the gale of December 4th, and was driven on the piles under the pier breaking four of them, and snapping her mast.  The captain and crew were saved by climbing onto the pier.

Southend's New Tram Boulevard - A tramway extension was opened in August this year between Southchurch Church and Bourne's Green.  The route is to eventually link up the Thorpe Bay line, the whole distance was fgormed into a boulevard planted with trees, and a roadway on either side of the track.  At the time it was considered to be a unique design and nothing like it could be seen other than in Berlin.


Panto Time - The Hippodrome in Southchurch Road had really become the home in Southend for the annual festive treat. This year Harry Elliston produced Babes in the Wood.  This charming rendition combining a nursery story with the exploits of Robin Hood ensured the seats were full for the period the panto stayed.  Comedienne Mabel Osborn took the main lead as Robin Hood, she sang, acted and danced with charming abandon.  she was supported by Winnie Darrell a winsome Maid Marion.  As with every panto there is a need for a dame and this role was ably filled by Harry Elliston, who managed to maintain the humour throughout the production.

Leigh Joins the Gang - Leigh-on-Sea on the 9th November 1913 boosted Southend Borough's population to 82,000 by becoming incorporated.  Elements of independence rightly persisted and a Leigh Town Council was formed in 1996

The Girls Move Out - Southend High School for Girls moves to new premises in Boston Avenue, from the large joint school in Victoria Circus.  The new school opened with a compliment of 300 pupils under the Headship of Miss N E Lewis MA.  To be succeeded in 1918 by Miss F A Swann BA.

Dixons by you.

Dixon's Arrives in Vic Circus - One of the most famous stores to grace Southend's High Street: Dixons opens for the first time.  Surviving in the spot until 1973. The store started off small but as land and opportunity arrived so it expanded to be a substantial department store.  The site today is occupied by WH Smiths.

Kursaal Gets Kinema - Since 1904 the Kursaal had been showing films, in 1913 a purpose built cinema auditorium was opened in the October.  The cinema closed during the war bit reopened not long after.

St Augustine's is Formed - A sign of the extending population and general urban spread was seen with the addition to the collection of Borough churches with the formation of St Augustine's in Thorpe Bay in 1913.  The permanent would be completed in 1935.

St Augustine's Thorpe Bay by you.

Ravens in Westcliff - One of Southend's longest trading retailers expanded into the then much respected Hamlet Court Road, the business was owned and managed by Percy Raven (left).  At the time blossoming as a centre for the discerning shopper.  Ravens survives strong and proud in the town centre today.

All Hail The Mascot - Along the Leigh (London) Road opened a new picture house the Mascot to the public on Tuesday 23rd December.  The first film to welcome in the new Westcliff cinema was The Duke's Talisman.  The cinema itself was located on the junction with Beedell Avenue, and lasted until the mid 60's when an errant firework started a ferocious fire that tore the building down.


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