Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life




JUNE Opening of Schools -  Education in Southend became wider and more modernised than ever before with the opening of Southend High School for Girls and St Christopher's School on Friday 14th June.  The formalities presided over by Sir Edward Boyle Bt., MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Ministry of Education.

Opening of Pantile House home for elder people

Bandstand Toppled -  The Wedding Cake Bandstand that had sat on the cliffs since 1907 was demolished this year.  It was felt the style of entertainment this mode of stand provided was not akin to today's entertainment offer.  In its place was built a Band Stage a more conventional podium for entertainments and of course the much enjoyed Miss Lovely Competition.  In later years however this decision was reversed and the traditional bandstand returned until the cliff slip of 2003, where upon it was moved to Priory Park

Top Town - Long before 'Britain's Got Talent', the BBC ran during the 50's a TV show called 'Top Town'.  Southend was very much involved and during the early part of 1957, the council advertised for acts in the town to come forward for auditions; these could tumbling acts, dance duo's and acrobats those thought good enough would go forward for the main TV show in the September. 

College Extension Built - A new building appeared in London Road in 1957; a £175,000 contemporary building providing a four storey block with workshops to the rear. The need for more educative services was to accommodate the extending offer from the Municipal College in Victoria Circus and would allow a department of engineering as well a a lecture theatre and technical laboratories.


JUNE Dairy Farm - On 1st June 1957 Southend Town Centre hosted a Dairy Farm set up just off the High Street and organised by the National Milk Publicity Council.  Designed to encourage the use of more British dairy products in everyday diets.  To promote the event further celebrity Sabrina was invited to attend.

Southend United beat Liverpool 2-1 in a 3rd Round FA Cup tie, but lose to Birmingham City in the next round.

AUGUST Celebrity Carnival Attendance - Southend Carnival was and is always respected across the country as one of the most enjoyed and well attended events.  It is of no surprise therefore that through the years it managed to acquire celebrity patronage.  In 1957 Miss Patti Lewis did the honours at the balloon release, her credits include TV appearances on '6.5 Special', 'The Jack Jackson Show', and 'A Show Called Fred'.

Pier Pavilion Up for Discussion - The pier, home to a large pavilion near the shore end was becmoing the hot topic of discussion in 1957.  the buildings were in a bad staet of repair and now was the opportunity for the Council to consider a modern approach for a new generation of day trippers.  The first consideration was to turn the area into an Ice Rink which was gathering much favour among the public, and formed many an agenda item at council meetings during the year.  As we know the outcome was to be a bowling alley.

Channon's Knighthood -  The New Year's Honours list delivered a knighthood for Henry 'Chips' Channon, in recognition for his 21 years service as an MP for Southend West.  At the time Sir Henry considered the award more applicable to Southend.  His political career has seen him in high position assisting Rab C Butler then Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

Civic Site Being Planned - This year the council spent many hours discussing the way forward for the development of the Civic site in Victoria Avenue.  To include a new Town Hall, Municipal College, Police Station and Courts.  one decision was made and that was to start on the college area first at a cost of £145,000.

AUGUST County Championship, 1957
Essex v Nottinghamshire
Southchurch Park, Southend-on-Sea
14,15,16 August 1957 (3-day match)

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