Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life


 Sickness in Southend - July 1960


 Whooping Cough


 Scarlet Fever 11
 Tuberculosis 7
 Dysentery 7
 Measles 7
 Pneumonia 4
 Erysipelas 3



Catholic High School Founded - St Thomas More High School was founded in 1960 as an all boys' high school and expanded in 1996 with the introduction of there mixed sixth form.  Check out the school website: Click      

St Thomas More High School




School Closes - The development of Victoria Avenue as the gateway to Southend-on-Sea was progressing nicely.  The Victoria Avenue School became a casualty sat on the land close to the new Civic Centre and Court Houses.  This educational establishment would ring its last bell in July 1960.



New College - To advance the educational need within the town the first stage of the Civic Centre Complex was completed with the Technical College, this would ring the changes in the town as the Southend Municpal College in Victoria Circus, would be transferred over (finally knocked down in 1971).  The 'New' College is indeed today the victim of advancement and sits abandoned in Caernarvon Road, awaiting redevelopment into flats.

Mobile Cinema Tour - Southend would go to the ends of the earth, or at least England, to promote itself as a holiday destination.  This year would see a Mobile Cinema Tour continue as a key factor in a publicity drive.  Taking in major cities around the country, a foray into Birmingham resulted in a staggering response of hotel bookings and enquiries.  The tour would continue further north to Leeds and the surrounding towns.  i wonder is this tactic would work today?

Southend Regatta - For the first post-war Regatta a staggering 3,000 people were estimated turning out to watch the various water themed events in July.  National publicity at the time revelled in the event, which would encourage the further development and staging of more in the future.

Southend's the Hottest - The 'Which' report in 1960 evaluated 64 British holiday resorts for their weather conditions.  Southend scored consistently well and came out as number one location for the best weather in August.




St Luke's Church - In 1958 the Church Council approved plans for the new Church building, located off Bournemouth Park Road in St Luke's Road; and in September 1959 the foundation stone for the new Church was laid. On Saturday 15th October 1960 the new church was Consecrated, and the First Communion took place on Sunday 16th October 1960 at 8am.






The Standard Guide -

Produced by local newspaper 'The Southend Standard'. Pocket sized and ideal for the visitor wanting to know more about the area.






Westcliff Library Opens - One of the two Southend libraries which are listed buildings (the other is Leigh). The outside has not changed much, but the inside was refurbished in 1985 and re-carpeted in 2001. This library is to be found at the junction of London Road and Fleetwood Avenue.

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Keddies do it First - The Essoldo, an old cinema in the then Milton Road (To become Chichester Road), was an ideal size for the Keddie brothers to turn it into a styalised US version of a discount supermarket.  Much to the annoyance of smaller local retailers (sounds familiar). The town experienced for the very first time wheeling a wired trolley around a store picking what they wanted from the shelves at much cheaper prices than the corner shop; so much so that Keddies were taken to court, over the issue of loss of trade for other businesses but were vindicated in the end.  They were happy to hand the supermarket mantle onto other firms in later years, returning to their roots of departmental retail until the late 90's, when Keddies folded completely. 

University Concept - In 1960 Essex County Council asked all councils to approve and support the concept of a University of Essex, and of course once building commenced, they would then need to contribute towards it's ongoing running costs.  Southend Council supported the proposal.  Today the University has expanded it's facilities into Southend proving this initial vote of confidence was indeed a wise one.

Southend Show -  Southend's ability to put on the spectacular event was evident on 2nd September 1960, when the Mayor opened a very active and well organised Southend Show in Priory Park; which included a Military Tattoo with the main stage taken by the Third Air Force Band of the United States Air Force. Show Jumping was also on the menu as well as varying displays from Cage Birds, Floral Arrangements and Bee-Keeping.  The event ran across the weekend with the Tattoo striking up on the Friday and Saturday evenings.

Airport Crash - A planes brakes failed on landing at Southend Airport, Oct 9, a four-engined Hermes airliner crashed off the runway, and ploughed through a field, finishing with its nose on a railway line. None of the 71 passengers and five crew members suffered from more than shock and minor injuries. It is thought that the reason so many escaped serious injuries or worse was due to passenger seats facing backwards. The aircraft was returning holiday makers from two weeks in Majorca. Later one of the passengers said the only effects she felt was being forced back into her seat after a harder bump than usual on touch-down. When the aircraft came to a halt the tail section was only a few feet away from the railway overhead power cables. Rescue workers were rushed into action and the five passengers taken to hospital were allowed to leave after treatment. Two of the crew members were detained but their condition was not serious. A railway crash tender took over two hours to remove the fuselage from the railway tracks. Both lines were blocked and all train services suspended. Other large aircraft due to land at Southend were diverted to Stansted.

Chalkwell Park Zoo - Concerns in 1960 were expressed by a large number of residents as to the conditions of the animals being kept in the 'Pet's Corner', although the variety of animals would indicate they were more than pets.  With the advice of London Zoo curators, improvements were recommended to the goat enclosure, an extension of the bear cage, and improvements too to the chimpanzee and monkey accommodation.

Where to now?

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