Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life


Tudor Present - Southchurch Hall and gardens were presented to the County Borough of Southend-on-Sea in 1927. The building and  Southchurch Hallgardens were restored soon after and have been under local authority management since.  The Hall and gardens provide a tranquil green lung within a very urban area.  The moated hall annually provides a very popular Tudor Day.

Southchurch Park Completed - It took a few years but finally in 1927 Southchurch Park was ready.  The lake is the only remnant of the Great Western Mere, which was reclaimed in 1870.   Southchurch ParkToday it is split into two and used for pleasure, the end bowl is a great spot for model boat enthusiasts. The park up until recently formed a major part of the cricket scene in the town providing a perfect venue for county cricket.  A purpose built football pitch now provides a home for Southend Manor Football Club.  The kids playground recently updated is now the most used in the town.

Tammy's Swimming Record - Edward Temme (known as Tammy) took to the dangerous waters of the English Channel and became the first to be recorded in the Guinness Book of Records to swim across both ways non-stop, on 5th August; for his time he could have been known as an 'extreme swimmer', breaking other records including crossing the Bristol Channel.  Tammy lodged in Leigh and used Leigh Creek to build up his stamina and strength.

By-Election - Rupert Guinness needed to stand down as Southend MP due to his inheritance of the Guinness empire.  A natural choice therefore to carry on the family legacy would be his wife Gwendoline who succeeded at the ballot box on 19th November 1927 to maintian the dynasty.  Politically there was more to come from this family and for Southend in the future.  Gwendoline remained in the seat until 1935 when she handed on the MP's mantel to son-in-law Chips Channon.

Rugby - Amateur clubs were popular in the town, this year the prestigious Dowsett Cup competition was inaugurated.


Belfairs Park Opens - This Leigh wood has been an important area for the economy since medieval times, not only for the purpose of fire wood, but also for building materials.  TimbeBelfairs Squirrelr from these woods can be found in St Paul's Cathedral and in Dover Castle.  The park element of this area was opened in 1927.  The nature reserve is home to 400 types of vegetation ranging from moss to trees.    There are also more than 30 species of butterfly and 35 bird species. Moths and mammals have also made the reserve their home.

Treasure Trove - Roper's Farm, an ancient farm near the River Roach at Barling, 1,000 yds north west of the church, partly incljudewd in the Southend sewerage works.  In its yard was found in 1927 a leaden bull - or sealed edict - issued by Pope Urbanus VI (1378-89).  

Leigh House Demolished - A fine structure with some noted history met the demolishers in this year.  It sat at the top of Church Hill and inconveniently in the way of the desired extension of Leigh Broadway.  The house was also known as Black House, occasional resident was the emminent Sir Anthony Deane a renouned Naval architect, and acquaintance of Samuel Pepys, he sold the house on 1670.  Although the house no longer exists two cedar trees planted in the grounds still can be seen today.

Jones Memorial Ground - The 10.5 acres of ground was doJones Memorialnated to the town in May 1927 by Cecil Jones, a town councillor who is buried in Priory Park. It was given for sporting youngsters, aged 15 to 20, and is dedicated to the memory of local soldiers who fell in the Great War


Shorefield Shows - Gordon Marsh and the Marshmallows was a popular draw at this time at the Shorefields Pavilion.





Panto Time - The Ambassadors Theatre put on the town's pantomime with a rendition of 'The Land of the Christmas Stocking'.  A production enjoyed my big audiences but particulalrly the children.

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