Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life



Tuesday 2nd January: Ranges Funding: The Ministry of Defence announce a £20million investment into the Shoebury Environmental Test Centre at the new ranges.


Wednesday 3rd January: Pier Closed: Southend Pier is closed due too strong winds as storm Eleanor batters Essex.


Thursday 4th January: Shells on the beach… or are they! The 7th Bomb squad arrive on Westcliff seafront after reports that an artillery shell was found on the foreshore. The object partly buried in sand was found by a metal detectorist, after investigation it turned out to be a metal casket.


9th January: New business boom: Southend is named as one of the best places to set up a new business in the UK, ranking with such places as Sheffield & Newcastle.


11th January: Library expansion: A £19million expansion on the Forum library in the heart of Southend is announced. Southend Council invest £2.7million with the other partners and grants planned to make up the remainder.

It is anticipated there will be contemporary and community art gallery space and associated office, shop, café and project space to expand the existing gallery at the Forum. Plans also include a digital workspace for creative digital industries.

For the college, the new building would house a public and teaching restaurant, performance studios, music rehearsal and performance space including computer music suites and teaching rooms increasing opportunities for students to gain skills in the sector.


Wednesday 24th January: Beecroft Rebirth: Hoardings are erected around the old Beecroft Art Gallery in preparation for works commencing to convert the building in to artists studio.


Sunday 18th February: The Lynn Tait Gallery closed its doors for the very last time.

Tuesday 20th February: Keddies Founder Dies: David Keddie passed away at the age of 88, he was the founder of the legendary Keddies department store that was in Southend High Street.


4th March: Dangerous icicle: A large icicle hanging from a shop close to the Royals had to be removed by firefighters.

5th March: Forum Boost: Southend Council receive £6million from South Essex Local Enterprise Fund, towards a £19million extension to The Forum.

11th March: World First Marathon: The Worlds first ever marathon 26.2 marathon entirely over water is held on Southend Pier.

13th March: Flood Protection plans costing up to £400million are approved in a 100 year program.

22nd March: A Little Bit of History: The Phoenix Caisson a part of the Mulburry Harbour is given recognition by the Institution of Civil Engineers as one of 200 projects that helped shape the world of today.

23rd March: Royals at 30: The Royals Shopping Centre celebrates it’s 30th anniversary of trading. 

28th March: The tall ship Mercedes visits Southend.

31st March: Singing the Final Blues: The American themed café “Simply Blues” closes down after 36 years of trading.


2nd April: Not sea shells: In three separate incidents the Bomb Disposal teams are called out to deal with three different WW2 artillery shells found dotted along the coast line.

2nd April: Tall ship Mercedes departs.

15th April: Classic Cars return to the seafront for the first of the years Classic Car Breakfast meets.

27th April: Marine Plaza takes a step forward with the announcement that a development partner has been secured by the developers the Inner London Group, with the possibility of ground being broken the end of 2018.

30th April: Burst Water Main closes Thorpe Bay Esplanade.


5th May: The historic Raven department store re-opens as a bar and restaurant 

9th May: 42 EU flags are tied to posts on Southend seafront at low tide, the council have to wait until the following high tide to remove them.

12th May: Indoor Crazy Golf: A new restaurant opens that offers diners the chance to play a round of crazy golf whilst they wait for their dinner to be served all without the risk of the weather stopping play. 

17th May: Blue Flags a Flying: Three of Southend’s beaches gain the top blue flag award along with four others attaining Seaside Awards.

18th May: Fire breaks out in a row of derelict buildings on Chalkwell Seafront, crews from Southend x2, Leigh, Rayleigh, Rochford, Basildon and Grays all attend the three story building.

23rd May: It is announced that the long out of use Shoebury gasometer is to be demolished, with the site being decontaminated and given over to housing. 

29th May: A large underground storm drain partly collapses causing the closure of Thorpe Esplanade between The Broadway and Thorpe Hall Avenue.

30th May: OI you can’t park that there! A car is driven off Western Esplanade and onto the beach by the Bastion opposite the Westcliff Arches, it is recovered before the tide comes in. 

31st May: Orange Hotel: Plans are submitted to convert the ten storey former Prudential Finance building into a 108 bedroom hotel, as part of the Easy Hotel brand


9th June: Open top buses return for the summer season.

17th June: Classic car breakfast draws the crowds to Southend City beach.

16th June: Take Away to the Beaches: Fast Food and Restaurant home delivery service Deliveroo run a special weekend service delivering to Southend beaches, customers are encouraged to put their rubbish in special buckets for a discount on their order cost.

16th June: 100mile Rickshaw Ride: Charity champion Dean Ovel takes on the challenge of running 100 miles up and down Southend seafront pulling a rickshaw with a passenger! 

20th June: It is revelled that house prices in Southend have gone up 290% over the last century more than anywhere else in England. 

20th June: Yum Yum Ice Cream: Rossi Ice Cream launch three special new flavours: Bubble-gum surprise Pink bubble gun ice cream with popping candy and rainbow sprinkles, Chocolate Mountain with white chocolate chunks and chocolate beans, Marshmallow Delight Vanilla Ice cream blue raspberry marshmallows chocolate chucks and rainbow sprinkles. 

20th June: A safe home: The Stockvale Group who own and operate Sea Life Adventure announce that they have rescued 18 macaque monkeys from an Italian laboratory.


2nd July: Seafront fire, in tinderbox conditions a fire breaks out on the cliffs just behind the derelict Esplanade Public House, an area of grass and shrubs is damaged. 

10th July: A UK First: The 96 Guatemalan artist Elizabeth Wild has here first ever exhibition in the UK, when two panels are erected on the High Street railway bridge, each is different and represents the history of the town.

13th July: Southend Airport is given the top Very Good rating for disabled access by the CAA one of only 16 airports UK wide to reach the mark and the ONLY one in the London area.

21st July: For the first time in 15 years Southend Pride takes place with a parade up the High Street and into Warrior Square Gardens, for a day of music.

29th July: Raft Race Cancelled: The second of the re-launched Southend Raft Race is cancelled due to heavy rain and winds gusting in excess of 40mph.


1st August: Fair Havens Green Light. The Fair Havens Hospice planned for the former Ekco site is given planning permission from Southend Council.

14th August: Homebase announce it is to close it’s Southend store as part of a restructuring of the company.

18th August: Southend Carnival 

22nd August: Hospital Fire: A fire was discovered in the derelict Shoebury Hospital, it takes several hours to bring under control.

24th August: Airport Wins Again: Southend Airport was named the second best airport in the UK and the BEST within the London Area.

Oops! This site has expired.

If you are the site owner, please renew your premium subscription or contact support.