Southend Timeline

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3rd January: Shoebury Garrison Business park

Plans are announced to build nine commercial units, a retail unit and a vets next to Gunners Park and a primary school in Shoebury covering 3.2-acresdue to meet with homeowners on the estate to gauge their views. 

In 2016 Garrison Developments’ plans for a housing estate on a Shoebury flood plain were approved. 

Controversial plans for 172 homes, office blocks, and a health centre on Old Gunner’s Park, between Barge Pier Road and Ness Road, were given approval at a heated meeting at Southend Council’s development control committee despite fears the homes would be vulnerable to flooding at an earlier meeting. 

3rd January: Tommy statue damaged. AN anti-war campaigner defaced the Tommy statue erected alongside Southend Cenotaph painting it with: "Teach peace. There is no glory in war. No honour in killing. Stop supporting war. One love.” 

The damage was quickly painted out by the Council. 

10th January: IMAX for Southend… possibly, it is announced that the proposed Fossetts Farm development for Southend Uniteds new stadium will include an IMAX cinema. 

10th January: New Pier Trains

It is announced at £3.25m had been set aside to bring in a whole new fleet of trains for Southend Pier, the trains that were bought in to service in 1986 had been given a 20 year life span, but with careful maintenance the life has been extended to 33 years, with another two years of service expected before the new trains come into service.

In total the new budget will mean an extra £6.6million is available for frontline services with the vast majority going on child and adult care.

13th January: Pier Cash Boost: The council announce it will spend £19million over the next four years on a new restaurant, pavilion and general maintenance.

11th January : New Flats: A proposal to build 92 new flats on a former bus garage and collage site alongside Roots Hall is given approval.

16th January: A Café Returns: Seven years after gaining approval, a proposed two floor restaurant/café for Shoebury East Beach is said to begin construction this year… 


5th February: The Queensway development takes a step forward with the announcement that Swan Housing is the preferred build partner. 

5th February: One-hour parking to return to Southend in bid to 'cater perfectly for short-stay shoppers. 

6th February: Controlled explosion on Chalkwell beach after three unexploded shells were discovered.

11th February: 1 million Stobart Air Passengers, 

12th February: Proposals to build a 15 storey tower block comprising 217 flats on the demolished Portcullis House site are passed, 22 are listed as affordable homes. 

17th February: New planters and street furniture are placed in London Road, outside the Sainsbury’s store. 

18th February: Primark announce it is to leave the Royals Shopping centre moving into the vacant BHS store on Southend High Street.

19th February: Sealife Adventure is named one of the best attractions in the country by VisitEngland. 

21st February: The Three Shells Lagoon, gains planning permission to construct a deck to the eastern side of the site. 

22nd February: Plans are announced to build a new multi-storey car park and two new health centres, the car park is proposed for Tylers Avenue where is is just a ground level car park whilst the health centres are proposed for Shoebury and the west of town. 

25th February: Kursaal bowling alley closed down after its operater MFA Bowl go into administration. 

27th February : New car Park proposed: Plans are announced to build a new five-storey car park at Tylers Avenue, it would be used to replace the Seaway Car park. 


1st March: Hope for the Kursaal: A new operating company steps in to take over the Kursaal bowling alley.

The Midlands based nightclub and bar group, Disco Bowl Ltd, announce that they are to acquire nine site from the failed MFA Group.

6th March: New restaurants proposed: The former Santander previously Alliance and Leicester at 114-116 High Street, has 4341sq ft over three floors and a basement 

Southend High Street could be set for two new restaurants

10th March: Southend Pier closed due to strong winds


3rd April: Ryanair launch services from Southend Airport.

3rd April: Cheaper Parking: 50p an hour car parking is approved, in a small purpose built 12 space car park on what was the Tylers Avenue public toilets. 

4th April: Southend Homebase announce plans to reduce the size of its unit by half, with the other half being proposed to become a Lidl supermarket. 

4th April: Southend Pier closed as unexploded Victorian era bomb is found just 30 meters from the pier. 

10th April: Last orders are called at the Foresters Arms pub on Marine Parade as it has to make way for the £100million Marine Plaza development. 

18th April: Operation Heatwave is enacted as weather forecast predict a hot weekend with plenty of sun! 

19th April: FREE car parking on Southend seafront, helps keep people cool in the hot weather

19th April: The café used in Channel 4’s hit show “Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast” opens to the public for the first time serving tea’s and cakes to members of the public. 

21st April: The annual Folk and Ale Festival takes place on Southend Pier.

22nd April: The Southend Shakedown returns with thousands og bikes descending onto the seafront and gasworks car park. 

25th April: Bomb disposal arrive in Leigh to deal with an unexploded shell found at low tide. 

26th April: Over the Easter weekend some 18,461 visited Southend Pier, whilst 5442 attended a teddy bear hunt in Priory Park 

29th April: The council sign on the dotted line with Swan Housing becoming the official enabling partner.


1st May: An arson attack at Roots Hall stadium sees 10 pallets of stored artificial turf destroyed in a £100,00 fire. fire: 10 wooden pallets catch fire beside stadium

1st May: It is announced that the Twenty-One café and exhibition space is to reopen this summer. 

1st May: Rod Stewart rocks Southend's Cliffs Pavilion in a small intermate gig, in preparation for his tour. 

2nd May: CityFibre a specialist in high speed internet access announce it is planning to invest £30million

The Full-fibre technology would boost internet speeds across the borough by 150%, to enable the new service to be launched proposals are submitted to demolish disused industrial and replace them with high tech containers, 12 air conditioning units, generator enclosures and electric meter cabinets. 

6th May: Adventure Island opens the new £1million Axis ride! 

12th May: The Prince Returns Home, the treasures found in a tomb on Priory Crescent in 2003, are exhibited in a new home for the first time.

After 16 years of research and very delicate preservation and stabilisation many of the 110 artefacts are on show to the public for the first time.

Included are gold foil crosses a unique find in the UK and a unique piece if a 1400 year old painted box of which no other examples are known to exist, due to the delicate nature of some pieces, they are kept in constantly monitored temperatures, with humidity below 30 per cent. 

14th May: Longair launch a Southend to Aberdeen passenger service from Southend Airport. 

15th May: Another mine? Bomb disposal are alerted to a bomb on the foreshore at Shoebury, with the area a know weapons testing area a full alert is called, however upon close inspection the “bomb” turns out to be a large upturned ball shaped flower pot, encrusted with barnacles 

20th May: The waters that fall down the waterfall in Never Never Land are turned back on and the fairy tale castle once again has water flowing under it. 

20th May: Southend’s Victoria Shopping Centre’s 

Wimpy restaurant is named the chains best in the UK, for the second time in a row.


3rd June: Summer Heat: With temperatures hitting the high 20’s tens of thousands flock to Southend to enjoy the weather by the sea and having fun at Adventure Island, down the pier and the other attractions Southend has to offer. 

5th June: Salute D-Day. A number of vintage Douglas DC3 Dakota’s take off from Duxford airfield in Cambridgeshire and set course for Normandy in France their route takes them over Colchester and then over Southend.

9th June: F Foresters Arms closes in preparation for its demolition, for the Marine Plaza scheme. 

15th June: Who Ya Going to Call… The Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Ghostbusters rolled up to the Royals


16th July: You Can NOT park there, A confused driver ignored warning signs and drove down a boat launching ramp only to get his car stuck fast in the sand. 

18th July: Steam train Mayflower passes through Southend.

19th July: The new Southend skate park Skatey McSkateface opens

22nd July: A fire breaks out in the H&M store in Southend High Street, the roof and top floor are damaged but quick response by the fire brigade stopped the fire spreading further.


5th August: Demolition starts on the fire ravaged Foresters Arms 

30th August: A giant sculpture of a fish is placed on Jubilee Beach, to act as a deterrent to litter bugs, the open mouth of the fish lets it be used as a bin. 


3rd September: A fire devastates a historic fishmongers on Leigh High Street. 


1st October: Southend Airport announce a new deal with Ensign Bus, that will see a new bus service operate from London Victoria to the airport, making new direct connections to London’s second busiest transport hub.

October: £500million Queensway redevelopment plans on show.

October: Work commences on the Weston Homes Victoria Central residential apartment block. A total of 217 apartments of 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms are to be built on the former site of Portcullis house.

The £60million development will also include 275sqmtrs of retail space and a landscaped courtyard. 

31st October: London Road Renovations: A £1.5 million renovation project is announced that would see the section of London Road between Sainsburys and Victoria Circus to create a café culture quarter, with restaurants, bars and café’s lining both sides of the street, a glass covered canopy covering the pedestrianised road would provide cover for people wanting to eat outside. 


6th November: Forum 2 gets the green light: The second stage of the Forum library and education building of granted planning permission, the £6million stand alone building will see a building dedicated to performing arts students, artists and chefs - built on Elmer Approach.

November: Pier Museum celebrates it’s 30th anniversary 

7th November: The historic Ship pub in Leigh gains planning permission to be converted into a 15 bedroom hotel, the old pub originally opened in the early 1800’s but closed suddenly in 2017.


Major plans to change the Bell junction on the A127 are announced 

23rd December: A new restaurant is announced to open on the seafront, 300degrees announced it is to take over the vacant Bourgee building. 

26th December: Boxing Day Dip: The annual RNLI Boxing Day Dip

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