Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life



1952: Polio epidemic strikes the UK with a local source of infection identified as a seafront paddling pool. The hospitals quckly fill with the Isolation Ward at Westcliff Hospital being the main ward for Children suffering from the disease. (Thanks to Mrs Emse Noad)




AUGUST Laurel & Hardy in Southend - The Odeon in the High Street became the venue for one the world's most famous comedy duos.  Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy arrived in town in August 1952 and their performance is still fondly remembered by a legion of fans.  Read a full feature on this event: Click

SEPTEMBER Guinness Time - The Festival of Britain designed to lift the gloom post war had a marvellous exhibition from the famous Irish brewing company, The Guinness Clock. 

This mechanical marvel delighted thousands and in September 1952, two travelling versions toured the country one of which arrived in Southend and stood on the cliff side of Western Esplanade. 


End of an Era - Old Leigh in 1952 lost an iconic building the Constable House, more recently becoming known as Juniper's Cottage due to a much later inhabitant of it.  The house was one of the larger properties in Leigh and renouned due to the occupancy of Thomas Constable, who was the uncle of the famous artist John.  It is well known John would stay in Leigh while his wife was ill and it was thought a good dose of sea air would do her no harm.  The house was built in 1589, but under modern construction standards it was considered unstable and subsequently demolished.  Mike's Boatyard took it's place.


Roots Hall Football ground starts to be built - Not for the first Roots - Players Train Unaware of Burst Pipestime Southend United were due back to the Roots Hall site.  1952 saw the plans put into action to turn the area into a state-of-the-art football ground which at its time would be one of the most advanced in the Football League.




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