Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life


New Library Opens -  20th March 1974 saw John Ruggles-Brise the Lord Lieutenant of Essex opening the new Central Library in Victoria Avenue.  This excellent modern new facility joined a string of buildings that would transform the area into a gateway for the town.  The cost to the public purse was £670,000 for the building and £90,000 in furniture and equipment.

General Election

28th February 1974 





Southend West                                       Majority 3,595

  • Paul Channon Con 23,480
  • W Greaves Lib 19,885
  • A N Wright Labour 8,720




Southend East                                        Majority 4,952

  • Sir Stephen McAdden Con 19,600  
  • M Burstin Labour 14,648
  • JWJ Curry Liberal 9,979



10th October 1974 


Southend West                                  Majority 7,071

  • Paul Channon Con 23,480
  • W Greaves Lib 16,409
  • A N Wright Labour 9,451



Southend East                                         Majority 4,603


  • Sir Stephen McAdden Con 18,083
  • Ward Labour 13,480
  • JWJ Curry Liberal 7,856




Plane Crash - In October a near miss for 100 passengers and crew occurred when a DC6B aircraft crashed on take-off at Southend Airport.  The four engined airliner skidded along the runway after the nose-wheel collapsed.  The plane was taking day shoppers back to Antwerp when the accident occurred; fire fighters across South Essex converged on the site, just 30 feet from Eastwoodbury Lane, covering the plane in foam to prevent it from exploding..

Southend Status Change - Southend lost its County Borough status at the end of 1973.  The town demoted to District status on 1st April 1974.  Libraries, Education, the Police and some other services were taken over by Essex County Council

Belfairs Park Hosts Royal - HRH Princess Anne visited in December Belfair's Park to open the new Riding School.

Maplins Airport Not Popular - Southend Council had been considering for a number of years the benefits of developing an airport on Maplin Sands.  1974 saw them decry the enormous environmental issues that could result from such a project.

Alan Sorrell Dies - Southend  lost one of its truly inspiring historical artists in December.  Alan Sorrell had his work featured in many guides across the UK as well as postcards.  His work is recognised on a national basis and he has featured regularly in the Tate, Royal Academy and Imperial War Museum.Sorrell in his 70's was travelling in a car in Westcliff when it was involved in a road traffic accident.


Levi and the Rockatts - Levi Dexter a Southend superstar stretched his legs into the world of fame in America during 1974. Once known in Southend as Little Elvis, and something of a Teddy Boy while living in Shoebury. But more importantly lead singer of the group Levi and the Rockatts.  Who toured the States and appearing on Coast to Coast TV.





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