Postcard View: 1973 Seafront
Thanks to Julieanne Savage for this image
The Cockney Costa Del Sol - Check out this fabulous film made by the BBC and broadcast in 1973. looking at some of the background staff who make this seaside venue tick: Click
DECEMBER Town Demoted - Southend had enjoyed county borough status since 1914. It was with some disappointment therefore that it was demoted to a District status on 12th December 1973.
Dixons Closed - Not to be mistaken for the electrical store, JL Dixons was established in 1913, and really made a mark as a full scale department store in 30's. But it all came to and end in 1973, positioned in the spot currently occupied by WH Smiths.
JANUARY The Cricketer's Haunted - This year saw an interesting episode in the history of the much loved Westcliff pub The Cricketer's. On 2nd January a mentally deranged man set fire to himself in the pub bar, this set off a series of unexplained ghostly happenings in the pub, furniture was found upturned and things found where they shouldn't be. It was thought the trigger event awoke a poltergeist, the pub underwent a redecoration and the spirit disappeared as fast as it arrived and has not been seen or heard of since.
AUGUST Queen's Fire - The Cricketer's was not the only Westcliff venue to suffer a significant fire. The Queen's Hotel a proud building at the bottom of Hamlet Court Road caught alight on 1st August.
Kursaal Amusement Park Closes - Holidaymakers abandoned the traditional seaside destination for warmer climates abroad; as a consequence the famous Kursaal Amusement Park became a victim. In its heyday it was one of the UK's biggest attractions, alas in the 70's with the decline of visitors the park became tired.
One of its last ride operators was a young Helen Mirren who heralds from the town. Although the park closed, the Kursaal buildings remained open, although the offer was limited and somewhat disappointing to the returning daytripper remembering the site in its glory days. they too eventually closed and the whole site was put on the market.
MARCH New Shopping Centre Opens - The Hammerson development, the Victoria Shopping Centre completed in March 1973. The first of the book end shopping centres to arrive in the High Street, replacing the Talmage Buildings and the fondly remembered Talza Arcade.
Kursaal Flyers Formed - A pop and country music band formed in Southend in 1973, who "bridged the gap between pub rock and power pop."
JULY Savage Garden Musician Born - Daniel Jones (born 22nd July 1973 in Southend) is a musician, songwriter, and record producer. He is best known for his part in the hugely popular Australian pop duo Savage Garden, whose international hit singles included the songs "I Want You", "To the Moon and Back", "Truly Madly Deeply". Since Savage Garden, Jones has launched his own production company Meridien Musik and recording studio Level 7 Studios and now works with various new, young Australian artists. Leigh Regatta Revived - Old Leigh received a shot in the arm in 1973 when the Regatta was revived. Originally conceived as an event in 1900, but had flagged over the years. Today it is as strong as ever and attracts international attention. New RC Junior School - St Helen's RC Primary School opened replacing the old school in St Helen's Road, Westcliff.
Leigh Regatta Revived - Old Leigh received a shot in the arm in 1973 when the Regatta was revived. Originally conceived as an event in 1900, but had flagged over the years. Today it is as strong as ever and attracts international attention.
New RC Junior School - St Helen's RC Primary School opened replacing the old school in St Helen's Road, Westcliff.