Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life


New Library for Leigh - Leigh-on-Sea was provided a new Library on 9th October 1928.  

A Grade 2 Listed Building - An early C19 red brick house with blue brick headers, built in 1838 in ‘Tudor’ style as a rectory to St Clements Church and is now used as a library. Two storeys and attics. The north front has four window range, casements with lattice leaded lights. A central brick porch projects on the front, with corner turrets and a stepped and gabled parapet with a stone coat of arms. The south front has three window range, mullioned and transomed casements with leaded lights, and moulded brick hood moulds. There are three gables with cut and shaped bargeboards. The end bays, of one window range each, break forward slightly and there is a central brick bay window with a gabled parapet bearing a coat of arms and Leigh Library by you.the date 1838. On the east side there are two gabled projections, each of one window range and one window between and on the west side there is one gabled projection and a bay window. On the south west corner there is an octagonal turret with a swept tiles spirelet terminated by a finial. Roof tiled, with four brick gabled dormers on the north front and two 6-shafted chimney stacks with octagonal shafts, moulded caps and bases on rectangular bases.

Garon's Expands - Garon's Banqueting Suite in Victoria Circus underwent a 25% expansion in 1928 and became a key location for the town's many functions; the first event to take advantge of the new luxurious facilities was the Southend Rugby Club Ball.

New Strand Opens - A fire caused the original Strand theatre to be destroyed in 1927.  One year a number of civic guests were invited along to witness the formal opening of the New Strand Cinema by the Mayor.  The new cinema was certainly plush with the capability of entertaining an audience of 1,640.  the first film to be shown was 'The Seventh Heaven'.  One of the amusing tales from this building came from the resident cat.  In the old Strand "Old Bill" as the cat was known made the place his home, even while the reconstruction went ahead he refused to leave and it could be said the New Strand was built around the cat.

First Mayoress Dies - On 1st April 1928, Clarissa Dowsett died wife of the first Mayor of Southend Thomas Dowsett.  A service was held at Crowstone Church attended by the great and the good of the town followed by the body being laid to rest in the family plot in St John the Baptist Churchyard.

New Bridge - Construction started on the rail bridge going over the Southend Victoria rail line between Cuckoo Corner and Sutton Road.  It would be many years later that this particular spot would unearth the ancient remains of a Saxon prince.

New Bowling Clubs Open - 1928 was a good year for the town's bowlers, the Leigh Bowling Club was formerly opened in Tycklefield, Rectory Grove by the Mayor (Councillor A Bockett).  He also threw the first jack on a new bowling green at Priory Park.

Art Gallery? - Southend's cultural side was beginning to take route this year with the setting up of the Art Gallery Sub-Committee of the Public Libraries & Museum Committee.  The aim to start a gallery in the town, although nothing came to fruition until 1947. 

Tourist Info on Hand - Southend Corporation realised a definite need to maximise the visitors enjoyment of the town by providing in a central place an information bureau.  On 14th June 1928 the Inquiry Bureau at the western extremities of Pier Hill was opened.  The facility provided a large map of the town for visitors to get their bearings, along with a clock which would provide useful tidal information.

The Tube Posters - The art on the LonSouthend-on-Seadon Underground was fabulous when it came to advertising Southend to the millions of London travellers.  Many of whom were very familiar with this east coast resort, and simply needed their memories jogging as to how relaxing it could be away from the congested city.

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

Culture Rubber-Stamped - Southend as it grew naturally upsized its cultural offer.  This was recognised in 1928 with the forming of Art Gallery Sub-Committee, reporting to the Public Libraries & Museum Committee. 

New Synagogue - Southend's diversity was celebrated in 1928 with the opening of a new synagogue in Ceylon Road, Westcliff-on-Sea. 

Tram Windscreens - Since the trams ran in the town the drivers had to suffer the elements all year round while the passengers were reasonably covered. 1928 saw the trialling of new windscreens.

New Trolley Trialled - New forms of public transport were appearing on the roads of Britain all the time, Southend was no different in 1928 the first double decked, trackless trolley bus was trialled along Prittlewell route.

This Year's Carnival Queen:

Southend Crown's it's First Carnival Queen -  Although the Southend Carnival had been in action since 1906, the tradition of crowning the carnival queen, which continues to this day, dates back to 1928 when Ena Bone became the first to be crowned at the Floral Hall on Western Esplanade.






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