Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life



The Queen's Gone - Since 1898 the Queen's Hotel at the bottom of Hamlet Court Road stood proud welcoming passengers to Westcliff alighting from the nearby train station.  February however brought the demolishers to rid the area of this noted building.  Many residents were

upset at its demise as for some it had become part and parcel of their lives, either as a regular grand eaterie or even maybe the host of their wedding reception.  The Queen's, of course, was also a valuable live entertainment venue for this end of town, with many big names of the day performing at the Queen's.  Today the site has been replaced after many years as an empty site by the McCarthy Stone retirement homes development.  Even then however, during the new build in 2003-4 they uncovered the basement of the old hotel, it was still clinging on to the very end.

Victoria Not for Sale - There was an unexpected request from Victoria, British Colombia in Canada who wanted to purchase Southend's Queen Victoria Statue, to place outside their own provincial government offices.  Southend Council politely turned down the request. 

New Museum for the Pier - The Mayor of Southend officially opened the Pier Museum on 8th July 1989, heralding the Pier centenary celebrations. At the same time the Pier Museum Trust was formed and the Friends changed its name to Southend Pier Museum Foundation. To view the Pier Museum website: Click

Lifeboat Rescue Goes Wrong - On 21 October 1989, the Percy Garon II launched with Helmsman Robert Fossett and crew members Mark Fossett and Roy Kidwell, in response to a Mayday message from the Sand Barge Margaret G with a crew of two on board. The barge was sinking in the vicinity of the South Shoebury Buoy in the Thames Estuary, in a strong gale and steel heavy seas. Whilst assisting the barge the lifeboats starboard engine stalled and when returning to station the port engine failed. Numerous attempts were made to restart the engines but without success. This was a harrowing experience in which the crew remained very calm despite the stressful weather conditions. A second lifeboat needed to rescue the first crew members John Foster and Clifton Warry in the D class lifeboat went to the assistance of the Southend-on-Sea Atlantic 21 lifeboat Percy Garon II in a south-south-westerly violent storm, steep heavy seas and total darkness in the early hours of the morning of 21 October 1989. The Percy Garon II was on service when both engines failed and was drifting in dangerous waters at Shoebury Sands.




Top Flight Football at Roots - The League Cup came to Roots Hall on  4th Oct 1989, bringing with it the Ist Division giant Tottenham Hotspur.  An amazing game ensued seeing a final result of Southend 3 Spurs  2. Unfortunately for the Shrimpers, this amazing result did not stop the 1st Division side go through on the away goals rule.  A shock for the Spurs team who were ably manned with the likes of Gascoigne and Lineker.  Read a full report on the game here.

Steve Tilson - 1989 would see the start of a long career linked to Southend United by Steve Tilson.  Dave Webb then manager, brought Tilson to Southend from Witham, from  that time Steve established himself as a loyal servant of the club eventually becoming manager and taking the club to two major cup finals at the millenium stadium. 


Southend Airshow -  In 1989 the coco-cola company launched a new brand of drink named "Sprite" The Southend Airshow was selected to be one of the very first places in the UK to showcase the new drink.  The airshow had secured a new sponsor for the event in the shape of the railway company Network Southeast at that time still part of British Rail.  The 1989 Southend Airshow was backing "Charity in Action" it also saw a "Preview" staged the day before this was a small number of the following days main display take to the sky's above Southend preforming fly past's and shorter displays.  Free airshow Gift Packs were also given away included in the bag was a paper hat, poster and a badge. 

The air display for 1989:


The Red Arrows
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Vickers VC10 (RAF)
RN Sea Harrier
Sea Fury
CF-18f Hornet (Royal Canadian Air Force)
F-27 (Royal Netherlands Air Force)      
F-15 (US Air Force)
F-16 (US Air Force)
A-10 (US Air Force)
F-111(US Air Force)
Toyota Pitts Special Team
Yugo Flying Circus Girl on the Wing
Skyhawk Acrobatic Team
YAK 50
Zlin 50
Vought Corsair
Grumman Bearcat
P.T. Pair
Sea Venom 

  Sainsburys Opened in London Road - Threw open its doors for the first in March 1989. A key central location for a major food retailer located a short distance from Victoria Plaza, and most importantly, the retail site included a two tier car park.  The image below shows the retail site beforehand.



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Seedbed Opened - August 1989 saw the arrival of a new innovative style to business in the Borough.  Vanguard Way Industrial Site played host to the Seedbed Centre a modern hub of industry letting new and expanding businesses rent affordable units with back up support, to help the occupiers flourish and move on when they are ready to bigger and better properties.

Seedbed Centre Shoebury by you.

BBC Arrive - Spring 1989 the BBC setup office in Westcliff, just down from the Palace Theatre at the junction with Elderton Road to produce and provide programme material to radio BBC Essex.

Panto Time - This year's festive treat at the Cliff's Pavilion was Dick Whittington, starring Ted Rogers as 'Dick', as well as Suzi Quattro, Linal Haft and Alfred Marks.  While at the Palace Theatre a milder affair was on hand in the shape of 'The Wind in the Willows'.













"Actually, I remember the Queen's being demolished too. Due to my dad working on British Rail, I had a kid's pass. It meant I could get the train from Westcliff to Southend East for 25p. So I used to walk (with friends from Basildon) from Southend High School for Boys, to Westcliff station. I remember the Queens as having really crappy looking wallpaper in the rooms. It looked extremely dated. I'd have loved to have had a look round beforehand though"

JW -

"I remember Sainsburys opening. I was just approaching 16 years of age, and I remember saying to my dad, whilst driving past there "Why do we need a big food store like that in town?". Some six months later, I started working there. 14 hours per week, for £2.04 per hour. I felt rich!"

JW -







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