Friday 3rd January: Storms Batter Seafront: With the winter storms continuing the seafront road between Pier Hill and Chalkwell Avenue is closed as gale force winds drive the high tide waves crashing over the seafront.
Friday 17th January: Proposals are shown for an 100 space amphitheatre to be built on Southend Pier Head, the proposals form part of a £1million referbishment scheme for the pier.
Monday 20th January: Lighting the way home: Southend Borough Council announce plans to invest £2.65million replacing all street lights in the borough with LED bulbs, saving energy bills and cutting the carbon footprint,the brighter white light the bulbs produce will also improve the quality of images produced by CCTV and make it easier for drivers to spot potential hazards on roads at night.
Friday 31st January: New Library is a winner: The prestigious National Placemaking Awards ranks the new Forum as highly commended in the category of Best use of arts, culture or sport in placemaking in the awards scheme run by Regeneration and Renewal Magazine.
February: Airport terminal extention opens.
Monday 17th February: Recycling on the up: Between April-August 2013 there was a 64% increase of foodwaste recycling across the Borough, a total of 822tons saving some £200,000 in land fill taxes. The discareded food in placed in bio-degradeable bags these are then placed into blue plastic caddy bins that are collected sepratlly too black bag waste and the other recyclable items, the foodwaste is turn into compost.
March: Tram Stops New Life: Southend Borough Councul agree to lease a formour tram stop to the Tram Stop Project to rebuild it as a space for disabled and community groups.
March: Green Airport: Southend Airports £10 million terminal extension has 496 solar panels fitted to its roof.
Monday 10th March: Bid Boost: A £6million boost to Southend's economy is announced as part of the City Deal scheme.
Wednesday 12th March: Nice Birdy... An eagle excapse from its ownder and spends an hour flying over the town before it is captured.
Thursday 13th March: What Fog: Southend is shrouded in a dense sea fog reducing the teprature by some 8degrees in a short time.
Britannia passing Southend Avro Vulcan XL426 (C) Southend Timeline.
Britannia passing Southend Avro Vulcan XL426 (C) Southend Timeline.
Saturday 29th March: A new era for all: After years of fighting for equal rights the first same sex marrages become legal at mid-night Christian Gilson was one of the first men in the country to take advantage of the change, when he married Steve Hanafin, 46, at Southend Register Office at 11.30am on Saturday.
Line up of classic cars (C) Southend Timeline
Line up of classic cars (C) Southend Timeline
Monday 31st March: Sandbanksy: A series of artisic snad creatons are spotted on the foreshore at Westcliff but soon disapear as the tide washes over them.
Friday 4th April: Southend Pier One of England’s Greatest: Southend Pier was listed as one of England’s 60 greatest attractions.
Saturday 5th April: Happy Happidrome: Eight months after devastating flooding the historic Happidrome amusement arcade re-opens after a £280,000 refurbishment.
Tuesday 8th April: Lights Camera Ice Cream! Chocolate company Cadburys start shooting an advert in Southend for a new ice cream, they set up and get everything ready, the sun shone brightly and then with just a few clouds in the sky it starts raining...!
However this was no ordinary rain it was in fact man made with a large red tanker parked just out of shot, shooting had started the day before but filming was abandoned when it rained for real!
Saturday 12th April: Please Keep Your Shirt On: Adventure Island issues a new rule for everyone to keep their shirts on when in the theme park, the rule copies that of the vast majority of American theme parks, which already have the informal dress code
Thursday 17th April: Goodbye Club House: It is announced that the 130 year old Alexandra Yacht Club House is to be demolished as the building had major structural failings due to subsidence.
Friday 18th April: Take a dip: The quality of Southend seawater was given a seal of approval by The Marine Conservation Society in their Good Beach Guide for 2014.
The beaches at: Shoebury Common, Thorpe Bay, Three Shells, Westcliff and Chalkwell Beach were all listed as recommended.
Whilst Jubilee Beach and Bell Wharf, Leigh passed with satisfactory grading.
Monday 21st April: Shakedown roars in to town: The 16th annual Southend Shakedown hits town bringing the sun with it, thousands of bikes and bikers ride into town with thousands more drawn to the seaside thanks to the warm sunny weather, car parks fill up quickly and some shops run out of ice cream with emergency supplies having to be ordered.
Wednesday 30th April: Celebrity in his restaurant: Celebrity chief Mark Baumann announced plans to open one of his Bourgee Luxe Lounge restaurants on Southend Seafront.
The building chosen was the historic Britannia public house most recently used as an Indian restaurant.
He said: “Southend has had a massive amount of investment put into it and I believe it’s going to be.
May Day Bank Holiday Weekend: Sunshine on Sea: The sun shines brightly, the sea is blue the crowds flock into town and set the tills a jingling. Rossi’s Ice Cream keep the factory open longer to keep the seafront traders supplied with all the ice cream they need.
Thursday 2nd May: WORLD PREMIERE: Southend plays host to the World premiere of two lost Peter Sellers films, the two films Dearth of a Salesman and Insomnia is Good For You, were lost for 60 years before they were found in a skip, during the renovation of the offices of the defunct Park Lanes Films.
The films form the start attraction of the annual Southend Film Festival and draws a celebrity audience including: Mackenzie Crook, Lisa Stansfield, Helen Lederer, Joely Collins and Vicki Michelle.
Sunday 4th May : Free Concerts in the Park: The ever popular Concerts in the Park start up with a concert held every Sunday throughout May, they start at 3:00pm and run until 5:00pm, a Jazz concert is held on both the Monday bank Holidays.
Sunday 4th May: Southend Wind Orchestra takes to the podium at the bandstand in Priory Park, Victoria Avenue,
Monday 5th May: Just John – a solo singer fundraising for Southend Hospital followed by Southend Jazz Cooperative,
Sunday 11th May: Avanti Jazz Ensemble
Sunday 18th May: Whirlwind Quintet
Sunday 25th May: Tilbury Brass Academy
Monday 26th May: Carol Braithwaite Jazz Crew.
Other concerts are held on selected Sundays throughout June, July, August & September
Friday 9th May: 94th Mayor Inaugurated: The 94th mayor of Southend was officially inaugurated at the Civic Centre. Mr Chris Walker who is a retired funeral director, represents Eastwood Park Ward, he was first elected to the Council in May 1997
Tuesday 20th May: Cromwellian Shipwreck to give up its Secrets: A major two year dive and recovery begins on the 17TH century shipwreck of Oliver Cromwell’s flagship the “London”
The ship that sank in March 1665 had lain unknown for 340 until it was discovered in 2005, during survey work in preparation for the dredging of a deep water channel for the new London Gateway port in Thurrock.
The two year dive programme being undertaken by Cotswold Archaeology, a charitable trust, with funding from English Heritage, the work on the rapidly deteriorating vessel is aiming to salvage any artefacts that can be found in and around the wreck.
These will be passed to Southend Museums Service who secured a grant from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to develop a community project recording the finds, a permanent display and publication about the wreck.
The exact location of the wreck is being kept secret to prevent anyone diving the protected site without permission.
Thursday 22nd May: Return of the Red & Cream: To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Westcliff Motor Services the current company First Bus bought a Dennis Trident double decker bus and painted in the resplendent cream and red colours that were carried by the Westcliff Motor Services busses up until the 1960’s when they were absorbed in to Eastern National and the green and cream livery took over.
Thursday 22nd May: Breaking Ground for Hotel: The first diggers started digging prior to the laying of the foundations for a new Premier Inn hotel on the long vacant gasworks site, the 81 bedroom hotel is expected to create 65 jobs, with other jobs being created in a Brewers Fayre restaurant in Southend.
Sunday 25th May: Classic Car Breakfast 2: The second Classic Vehicle Breakfast takes place 31 classic cars are parked on City Beach.
Wednesday 28th May : High Street Change: The discount retailer Discount UK closed for a refit and rebrand becoming a Bargain Buys store.
Monday 2nd June: Any landing you can walk away from… A Cessna light aircraft made a heavy landing at Southend Airport resulting it is skidding off the runway ending up on the grass alongside with minor damage to the aircraft, the pilot walked away.
Monday 9th June: New Pub: The Saxon King Public House opens its doors for the first time, the pub built on the site of a long closed car sales building is a short distance from the grave site of the Saxon King that was found on Priory Crescent.
Wednesday 11th June: See even more Sea life! The Sealife Adventure on Eastern Esplanade is given planning permission to expand its buildings almost doubling in size, the new addition will provide space for crocodiles and seals.
Friday 13th June: Shelter to Shine: An old and underused sun shelter on Westcliff seafront was given planning permission to be converted into a café/bar creating 12 jobs and opening from 8am to 11pm from Monday to Saturday. The conversion and preservation scheme will see the glass fronted facade restored and an open ir seating area out the front. The entire café could cater for up to 42 people at a time.
About 42 people would be accommodated in the new cafe at any one time.
Sunday 22nd June: Breakfast Classics: The third Vintage cars on Sea Breakfast takes place at City beach.
Tuesday 24th June: Beach Re-Opens: Shoebury East Beach re-opens to the public after being closed for over a month following the discovery of a dozen WW2 shells and a number of WW2 machine guns.
Wednesday 25th June: Greener Gateway: Plans are announced to alter the Victoria gateway road junction, plans show raised green spaces and more trees, whilst further along Queensway a “Pocket Park” is proposed at the junction on Queens Way and Boston Avenue taking in a small green island.
Thursday 26th June: Sailing on the deep blue sea: 84 traditional sailing boats take part in the Nore Race, from Southend Pier to the Kent coast and back Southend sailing race, the race has been taking place every year except the war years since 1922. The 2014 race was won by Simon Boygle, of Thorpe Bay Yacht Club, finishing in three hours and 26 minutes in his multi-hull dinghy Fat Cat. All 84 boats finished the course, the last one coming in just two minutes inside the six-hour time limit.
Thursday 26th June: Gunners Park Alert: Four WW2 bombs were found on the foreshore close to Gunners Park forcing the closure of the park whilst they were dealt with by controlled explosion. The four bombs were close to the derelict Barge Pier.
Friday 27th June: Kids Boost: The Better Start scheme a National Lottery scheme awards Southend £40million to redesign services to improve young children’s social and emotional development, nutrition, and language and communication development.
Saturday 28th June: The Concert Returns: The ever popular Concert in Priory Park returns after a two year break, the music spectacular organised by the Rotary Club of Rayleigh Mill. Played host to the English Pops Orchestra, under the direction of Louis Clark, playing a mix of hits from the legendary Hooked On Classics album series, plus some additional music from films, the Beatles and a very special ELO hit arranged specially for the concert.
The concert ended with a “Last Night of the Proms” section with fireworks lighting up the night sky.
Tuesday 1st July: Arts Boost: Southend’s huge arts and culture scene is given a boost when the Arts Council for England award arts group Metal £1.693m and a further £550,000 for the Focal Point Gallery in Southend.
Monday 7th July: Roads Boost: The Government agree to a £155million road improvement package for South Essex.
Thursday 10th July: On Your Bike: A new cycling scheme is launched at Southend Victoria Railway Station by Abellio Greater Anglia (the railway operating company).
Saturday 12th July: 50 years of the Cliffs Pavilion: Southend’s main theatre celebrated 50 years of entertaining the public (it was officially opened on 4th July 1964)
Sunday 13th July: Libraries Golden Anniversary: Kent Elms Library, in Eastwood, celebrated its Golden Anniversary a calibration took place on Saturday 19th July. The library was officially opened by Alderman Everard Ernest Morris.
Tuesday 15th July: Puccini at the Forum: Puccini’s La Boheme was shown on the big screen outside Southend’s Forum (library) it is the second of three screenings planned will be shown on the screen outside the Forum (the first was Verdi’s La Traviata in May) 200+ attend the screening with some setting up more than an hour before it was due to start.
Sunday 20th July: Deluge: Heavy rains cause roads to flood across Southend, trains are stopped in their tracks by flooding on the lines and a lightning strike on signalling at Billericay whilst Southend Hospital is forced to evacuate the A&E Department after water cover the floor.
August: Chocolate & Ice Cream Heaven: Creams Cafe a specialist in ice cream opens its door in London Road.
Saturday 16th August: The Beecroft Galleries first exhibition since relocating from its old site opens, the Beauty and the Beach features swimsuits through the ages which form part of the towns collection of costumes.
Saturday 16th August: Spurs in Southend: Tottenham Hotspur Football Club launch a pop up shop on Southend High Street
Saturday 17th August: Merlin’s Purr: Southend Airport is bought to a standstill as the sky is filled with the noise of Rolls Royce Merlin’s as the words last two airworthy Avro Lancaster’s fly into the airport along with two Spitfire and a DC3 Dakota.
One of the Lancaster bombers called "Vera" had flown in stages to the UK from its home in Canada the other was the Battle of Britain Memorial Flights "Thumper"
Thursday 22nd August: The Lancaster’s Return: Southend Airport would be become the base for the two Lancaster’s a Sprfire and a Hurricane they depart on Saturday 23rd August, but not before a unique photo opportunity.
Vera Vulcan & Thumper (C) Southend Timeline
Saturday 23rd August: Adrenaline Rush: The Animal WD-40 Action Sports Tour hits Southends City beach. The BMX and MTB bikes put on a show of skills with half pipes and jumps wowing families gathered to watch the skills.
Saturday 23rd August: Historic Yacht Club Fire: The 130 year old building that was home to the Alexandra Yacht Club was destroyed by fire.
Sunday 24th August: The classic Thames Barge Match sees 11 of the majestic barges take part, the biggest number for many years.
September: The Esplanade is Sold: The Esplanade public house which has stood on Western Esplanade for more than 100 years is sold for redevelopment. The new owners Swedish firm Redab Properties announce that they are looking forward to bringing the building back to life. The pub is due to continue to operate until Autumn 2015 after which it faces demolition due to a 8mmwide crack across the length of the building.
September: The Aussies are coming: The Royals Shopping Centre welcomes the Australian plus size clothing store Taking Shape, it is the first if the drand to open in Essex and the 20th in the UK.
Tuesday 2nd September: Sinking Airport: Southend and North Kent breathe a huge sigh of relief as the airport commission announce they will not progress with a proposal for a four runway super hub airport on the Isle of Grain it is branded too expensive and too economically the £100billion for the airport with a further £15billion on roads and £25billion on railway infrastructure torpedo the plan, supporters however call for further reconsideration.
Wednesday 10th September: Beecroft Opens (officially): The grand official opening of the relocated Beecroft Art Gallery takes place with speeches from Martin Huxter the artist who created The New Potato Eaters based on Van Gogh’s original work, Martin Huxter was able to track down descendents of van Gogh original sitters.
Opening Evening of the new Beecroft Gallery(C) Southend Timeline
Wednesday 10th September: High Visibility Lobster: A rare albino lobster sets up home at the Southend Sealife Adventure after being caught in fishermans nets off Dorset.
Saturday 13th September: The Russians Arrive: A replica of an 18th century Russian tall ship moored up at Southend Pier the 112ft-long frigate “Shtandart” held an open ship over the weekend for people to explore the ship.
Saturday 13th September: Dining with the Stars: Star Chef mark Baumann open his Bourgee restaurant in the former Tiffins restaurant, the £1million make over brings celebrities such as former rugby player Thom Evans Celebrity Big Brother contestant Casey Batchelor, celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, TOWIE star Ferne McCann and her boyfriend Charlie Sims to the opening night.
Wednesday 17th September: Riggoletto: The third and final live opera event is screened.
Friday 19th September: Storm Strike: Southend was hit by a large storm resulting in flooding across the town, the seafront was one of the worst hit with the happidrome and Las Vegas arcades being swamped with rain water, nine people had to be rescued from cars and flooded basement flats. More than 100 calls for help were recorded between 9:30pm – 1130pm with up to 4 inches of rain falling.
Sunday 21st September: Salute the Few: Past servicemen and women and local dignitaries gather to remember the Battle of Britain with a church service and march past from St John’s Church to the Royal Navy and Military Club
Sunday 21st September: The fourth and final Classic cars on Sea event takes place.
Wednesday 1st October: £6million gamble: The Grosvenor casino opens at the Park Inn Palace Hotel in Southend costing some £6million to set up. It is the third casino in Southend. Over 100 jobs are created by the 24hours casino. The new casino features an Essex sports bar, games tables, slots, electronic roulette, a poker room, with a hall of fame for the most successful players, and a high stakes Gold Room and learn-to-play tables where customers can be walked step-by-step through the games.
Wednesday 1st October: A Fishy Business: Proposals to set up a sole fish farm in the Thames estuary are announced in an attempt to revive dwindling fish stocks.
Tuesday 14th October: Marine Plaza Plans Revealed: Plans for the redevelopment of the land between Marine Parade, Southchurch Avenue and Pleasant Road are revealed comprising of 282 flats over six blocks of flats one of them 14 stories tall, restaurants, shops and bars and a public plaza, also featuring an underground car park with space for 318 cars and 449 residents’ cycle racks.
The redevelopment site includes the derelict “Dizzyland” site, Foresters Arms pub, several empty derelict houses and other houses currently occupied but owned by the developers.
Tuesday 21st October: Gonzalo Storm in: The tailend of Hurricane Gonzalo storms in over Southend with more of a whimper than the predicted storms, high winds and battering rain that was aid to be on it’s way.
Tuesday 21st October: Seaway Car Park Redevelopment : proposals are announced for major redevelopment of the Seaway Car Park just behind the seafront, a range of restaurants and a multiplex cinema are planned with such food outlets as Chiquitos, Coast 2 Coast, and Frankie and Benny’s all named as being interested in taking units in the development.
Friday 24th October: Fishermans Wharf Plans: The popular seafront restaurant Fishermans Wharf announces plans for a complete transformation costing £1.8million, proposals include the total demolition and rebuilding of the site, from a single storey to two storey including more glazing and an outside eating area.
Monday 27th October: High and Dry Boat: A large motorboat being transported from Southend to a boat yard becomes wedged on railings at Cuckoo Corner.
Tuesday 28th October: FIRE ON PIER: The fire alarm was sounded as fire broke out on Southend Pier once again, the fire on the shore end walkway was thankfully only small and was quickly put out using backpacks of water, however the call was responded too by four fire engines which is the pre-determined response due to the nature of the pier and that people could be cut off by the fire.
Thursday 30th October: Purr on You Blues: Three kittens are found under a stairwell at Southend United Roots Hall stadium, the three named Shrimp, Bluesy and Ronnie were thought to be the off spring of Scarlett a stray who has made the stadium her home.
Thursday 30th October: Skyworks start work: Swiss airline Skyworks pull their services out of London City Airport and relocated to Southend Airport flying into Bern. The service runs twice daily during the week with a single flight on Sundays.
Thursday 30th October: Work started on a tidy up of the seabed area around Southend Pier Head, this was to help anglers stop snagging their lines on under water obstructions, the clean up produced: 140 lead weights and end tackle, a tonne of nylon, electrical waste and wooden items, a fire extinguisher, a five-gallon container full of chain and a 50m length of steel cable.
Sunday 9th November: Plane Lands on Pier: A full size replica of a WW1 Sopwith Pup was due to “land” on Southend Pier, however a strong gusting wind prevents it from being exhibited on the pier on Saturday 8th so it arrives the following day, it carries the markings of, 37 Home Defence Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, who flew the aircraft over Southend on July 7, 1917, when intercepting a German raid making its way back along the Thames from London.
ABOVE: Sopwith Pup on the Pier. (C) Southend Timeline
ABOVE: Sopwith Pup on the Pier. (C) Southend Timeline
Monday 10 November: Jobs Bonanza Move Closer: The long awaited announcement that a development partner had been chosen for a major new business park.
Henry Boot Developments are the chosen group to forge ahead with the airport business park, which is actually in the District of Rochford but built on land owned by Southend Borough Council.
A planning application is due to be submitted in 2015 with a determined aim to start work on site during 2016.
Wednesday 12th November: Airport Alert: A light aircraft ran off the runway damaging its propeller, No-one was injured and n flights were delayed.
Saturday 15th November: Let there be light: The Southend Christmas lights are switched by by pop star Olly Murs
Monday 17th November: The Greener Way to Fly: Southend Airport’s £10million terminal extension is awarded a “Very Good” rating from BREEAM the world's leading design and assessment method for sustainable buildings.
The building achieved a 57.9 per cent after being assessed on ten criteria, including land use, water and minerals, 10% of the buildings energy consumption comes from onsite renewable with solar panels on the roof and air source heat pumps to supply heating throughout the building. A wildflower garden adds to the biodiversity of the site.
Saturday 29th November: Beecroft Exhibition: A new exhibition opens at the Beecroft Gallery showing the works of Alan Sorrell, featuring local landscapes, historical reconstructions and preparatory sketches for murals belonging to the Beecroft Art Gallery.
Saturday 22nd November – Sunday 23rd November: Victoria and the Elephants: Victoria Shopping Centre store Teddy Station throws its weight behind The Elephant Parade charity and secures the exhibition of three special elephants, The store has Zooey Elephant, by artist Emma Kemp, and Baku, by artist Pelle Moeller Schiodt, and Ice Creamy, by artist Katrina.
ABOVE: Elephants on Parade (C) Southend Timeline
Christmas Nativity with Henry vacuum cleaners in the window of Sale Appliances 531 London Road, Westcliff on Sea
(C) Southend Timeline
Tuesday 9th December: Corsa you can film: Vauxhall drive into Southend to shoot their new advert for the Corsa crews are spotted at various locations throughout the town including Southend
The Corsa was painted banana yellow and sported the number plate “LYV 2II.”
Wednesday 10th December: Weather Bomb: The MET Office issue a severe weather warning with a warning of heavy rain and 70mph winds predicted to batter Southend, luckily t he worst of the weather misses Southend.
Thursday 11th December: Seaway Leisure Park Proposed: The first images of a proposed £50million leisure complex are revealed, the proposals include a ten-screen cinema, 11 restaurants, a 480-space multi-storey car park (the current car park has 453), and 99 apartments. Proposals include the demolition and re-location of the council owned Rossi Ice Cream factory so that a pubic open space can be included in the plan.
Friday 12th December: No Flights Permitted: A computer outage at the main UK Air Traffic Control Centre in Swanwick, Hampshire closes all of Londons airspace to all departing flights whilst some arrivals are permitted to enter and land, the closure lasts several hours before flights return to normal.
Monday 15th December: Restaurant Fire: A fire broke out on the roof of the Old Vienna restaurant on Eastwood Road, Leigh, the quick reactions of fire crews saved the building.
Saturday 20th December: The TRUE meaning of Christmas: What seemed like a perfectly normal shopping Saturday in Southend High Street suddenly changed as a “flash mob” broke cover.
The band of the Salvation Army who had disguised themselves as buskers were joined by “shoppers” who were in-fact a team from The Show Choir who broke into a round of Christmas carols, as they sung Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the S shepherds, an angel and the Three Wise Men walked from the crowd that had gathered and formed themselves in to living nativity scene.