Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life

The Southend Pier Diary.


1802: First Jetty erected.


1828: Proposals for “new” pier announced.


Monday 18th July 1825: Construction on the first wooden pier is started
June 1829: All construction materials for wooden Pier are washed out to sea during a gale.
June 1830: Pier opens it is 600ft (183 meters) long entrance fees are: Two pence daily of Two shillings monthly.
1833: Pier extended to 1500ft (457 meters)


1835: Plans to extend the pier again to the deep-water force the admiralty to mark it on Thames Estuary charts.
1835: Hand propelled Carts used on pier.
1846: Pier extended to 7000ft (2133m) becoming Europe’s Longest, Pier sold for £17,000.

During the next 27-year period the pier changed hands several times.

Monday 25th May 1863: Royal Navy use Southend to practice storming a beachfront.
1875: Pier sold to the borough council for £12.000
1877:  Local Board vote to build new pier.
1877: Yacht race round the UK starts and finishes at the pier.
1881: Barge “West Kent” slices through pier.
1881: Horse drawn tramway closed, horses kept putting hoofs through holes-gaps in planking.
Monday 30th July 1883: Lloyds of London set up a Maritime Signalling Station on the pier head.
1885: New pier proposed built from cast iron piles and wooden decking.
1887: Brick Toll House built.
Tuesday 29th March 1887: Act of Parliament passed for new iron pier

 September 1888: Contract placed with Arrol Brothers, Grimston Works, Glasgow.

1888: Construction starts on new pier
1889: Electric Pier Railway laid.


1889: First 1/3 of the new pier completed and opened to the public.
1890: A welder's torch sets fire to the wooden pier during construction of the Iron pier.


May 1889: Second section of pier completed.
Wednesday 30th July 1890: First test of the electric pier train. 

Friday 2nd August 1890: Pier railway opened.
Saturday 3rd August 1890: First public service runs, using single car 800 people in the first three hours 4:00pm till 7:00pm.
Bank Holiday Monday 5th August 1890: 3000 passengers 10:15am till 7:00pm
Tuesday 6th August 1890: 1500 passengers 10:15am till 7:30pm
Friday 24th August 1890: New Iron pier officially opens to the public.Still incomplete the pier has its own railway, which runs 1.2 kilometers and is the first of it type in the world, “toast-rack” trains, passenger numbers 556,817 people carried.
1891: So popular had the Pier train become that Pier officials employ a plain clothes inspector to catch people making false accident claims against the Pier operators.


 January 1891: Barge “West Kent” blown through 1825 pier during gale


1893: Extra six cars added to fleet allowing two trains of six, one in service the other on stand by, passing loop installed.

1893: Work begins on erecting extra of piles along the east side of the pier.
July 1895:  Pier sliced in two by Thames Lighter Barge during gale.
1897:  Construction of pier extension starts due to silting up of the Thames.
1898: Pier extension completed at the cost of £20,000, pier now 7080ft (2143m)
Saturday 10th December 1898: Ketch “Dolphin” destroys a 100ft section of the pier repairs at a cost of £1000.
Friday 28th July 1899: Passing loop opened

1899: Passing loop extended, 2nd Generator installed on pier.
1902: Watercute opens next to the Pier.

1902: Dedicated Pier Generating Station built in London Road.


1902: Trains re-fitted with 18hp engines.


1902: Four more cars added to fleet total 16 cars making four trains of four cars.
1903: Proposals announced for a “sister” pier at Westcliff.
1907: Permission granted for railway extension & covering of pier head station.
Saturday 14th December 1907: Pier hit by Hay barge "Robert" damaging 60ft of decking and dislodging 12piles.
1908: The Southend Fire Brigade which carried out an exercise on the pier win the National Fire Brigade Championship.
Saturday 25th July 1908: Upper deck of pier extension opened by Mayor Alderman J.C. Ingram.
Monday 23rd November 1908: Pier hit by Thames Conservancy Hulk Marlborough destroying 60ft of decking.
1909: Four more cars added to fleet (4 trains of five cars) all trains upgraded with BTH27hp motors.
Monday 12th July 1909:  Barge “Alzima” strikes pier between 3rd & 4th shelters but causes little damage.
Friday 16th July 1909: Home & Atlantic Fleets muster off the pier for the Grand Fleet Review.
Saturday 17th July 1909: Grand Fleet Review.
The review consisted of 150 ships.
1910: Conductor rails replaced with 45lb/yard steel rails, train pick-ups replaced with iron ones.
1910: GE27 hp motors fitted to trains, more cars added to fleet total 28 four trains of five cars.
1913: Four more cars added total 32 four trains of seven cars, also added two petrol driven cars for winter use each holding 250 people, passenger numbers 844,460 people carried.

Wartime service:

1914: Passenger Steamer traffic at 10 a day.
1914: Admiralty takes over the Piers Signal Station.
March 1915:  Captured German U-Boat exhibited at Pier Head.
March 1916:  Zeppelin L15 shot down East of Pier.
1917: passenger numbers 466,492 people carried.
August 1917: Plane crash lands on pier causing damage to hand rails.
May 1918: Diving demonstrations given from pier.
1919: Track survey find it is in poor condition new running rails installed along with new conductor rail, passenger numbers 1,524,120 people carried.
Thursday 17th July 1919: 1st & 2nd Battle Squadrons & Battle Cruiser Squadron of the Pacific Fleet muster off the Grand Fleet review.
Tuesday 25th March 1919: The first of the German Merchant Fleet arrives.
The ships were to be surrounded to the allied forces in accordance with the armistice, it takes three weeks for the fleet to gather.
Saturday 19th July 1919: Grand Fleet Review.
September 1919:  German Submarine “Deutschland” 10 day visit.
Tuesday 18th January 1921: Pier broken in two when the Concrete ship Violette smashes straight through.

The ship left an 180ft gap sinking on the west side settling on some of the shattered piles dislodged piles by 55yards, causing £5554 of damage, forced closure of pier railway.
Thursday 14th July 1921: King George V visits for Southend Yachting Week Pier re-opened.
1923: Magnetic Breaking System fitted to one train for evaluation.
1924: Magnetic Breaking System abandoned, all trains have running wheels replaced with Bessemer Steel wheels.
September 1926: Steamer Service top 25 a day.


1927: Upper deck extended. 

1928: Midway passing loop extended by 150 yards, new loops at North (shore) station and South (head) station installed


Thursday 20th September 1928: Pier train crash.
At around 4:00pm the shore bound train was passing the entrance to the midway loop when the last two cars were struck by the leading (drive) car on the head bound train. The two cars were both knocked off the rails being forced upon to the handrails separating the railway from the walkway, both cars receiving considerable damage to such an extent that they were both written off.  A unique safety feature of Southend Pier was the Automatic Electricity cut off in event of an accident.  In all seven cars were damaged twenty feet of handrails needed replacing the main water supply to the pier head was ruptured.  An emergency rail service was up and running within three hours there were no serious injures.
Friday 7th July 1929: King George extension opens at the cost of £50,000, passing loops joined to form double track the length of the pier.
Whitsun 1930: Double track laid.
1931: Semi-automatic colour light manually operated signalling begins operation.
1931: Louis Tussauds waxworks opened.
Friday 7th June 1931:  Mr. Ernest Turner fell from and was run over by one of the electric trams on the railway. He was killed instantly.
Mr. Turner, who was 38 at the time, was one of a party of over 500 workers and family members on the annual works outing from Ansell's brewery in Birmingham, where he worked as a Brewer's Drayman. The party had arrived at the pier having traveled down the River Thames from Tower Pier in London where they had arrived earlier that day. It was whilst traveling from the pier head that the accident occurred. At the inquest, which was held two days later, the Southend-on-Sea Coroner, Mr. H. J. Jefferies, determined that there were no extenuating circumstances and the jury returned a verdict of accidental death. At the time of his death Mr. Turner was married to Elsie and was father to their daughter Ivy who was just 4 years old.
1932: Further extension work carried out making the pier the worlds longest at 2.4 kilometres
Friday 17th March 1933: Pier damaged by Upton Ipswich barge "Matilda" 75ton, dragged anchor during gale colliding with pier destroying 20 yards & damaging a further section after being battered against it until sinking along side.
Sunday 16th April 1933: Pier railway re-opens as two singular tracks until it could be re-laid that winter.
1935: New Pier Head lifeboat station opens.
The new lifeboat house was located on a raised platform on a spur to the east of the pier, the lifeboat is launched into the sea via a slipway.  The lifeboat house would serve until it was damaged beyond repair by the Kingsabbey accident.
1935: 100 years of Pier Railway.
May 1935: Home Fleet visit for King George V Silver Jubilee
(Saturday) 1937: Man fell over board from train landing on sand below taken to hospital with bruising and shock.
May 1937: Visit of the Home Fleet for the Coronation of King George IV.
Friday 25th August 1939: Southend pier is taken over by the Admiralty and becomes HMS Leigh.
Despite the admiralty taking over the Pier it remained open to the public.
Friday 9th September 1939: Pier is closed to the public.
Wednesday 22nd November 1939: Southend Pier attacked by German Bombers 14 magnetic mines recovered.
August 1940: 21 Heinkel He111’s “stick” bomb the pier.
Stick bombing was when the bombers flew in line-a-stern and dropped their bombs in one long line.
“Tuesday” February 1941: Pier station hit by bomb light damage.
Monday 3rd February 1941: German Bomber crashes 1mile from pier.
Sunday 20th August 1944: USS Richard Montgomery grounds on Sheerness Middle Sands.
October 1944: V2 rocket falls 60 yards west of the pier.
Saturday 24th November 1944: 1st Antwerp convoy departs.
Wartime service: Trains travelled 300,000 miles, 1.5million servicemen travelled down pier, 3367 Convoys dispatched consisting of 84,297ships.
Date Unknown: V2 rocket scores direct hit on the pier pavilion passing through the roof then the floor before embedding its self in the mud below without exploding.
1945: The pier is de-recuisend.
1946: Passenger numbers 2,750,000 people carried.
June—October 1946: British & American battleships visit.
1947: Passenger numbers 3,310,922 People carried, trains in service for a solid 45years.
June—October 1947: British & American battleships visit.
1949: Inspection of pier trains finds that the “toast-racks” are in a poor condition and retired, the toast racks had clocked up in-excess of 3million miles carrying 65 million people.
March 1949: First of twenty-eight new AC cars delivered
Wednesday 13th April 1949: Railway Inauguration Day.
1949/1950 Season: the pier sees some 4,713,000+ people use the train with a further 1million+ down the walkway.

1950: Dolphin Restaurant built.
The resturant building was put together from the scrap timber left by the Royal Navy.

1950: The seasons facilitys include the Dolphin resturant, Sundeck, Theatre, Solurium Cafe, amusments & hall of mirrors

Saturday 20th May 1950: Pier Railway Jubilee Season.
June 1951: Swedish Naval Training Squadron visit.
Tuesday 10th—Sunday 15th July 1951: The Colossus class light fleet aircraft carrier HMS Vengeance visits the pier for the Festival of Britain over 15000 people visit the ship.
HMS Vengeance was visited by more than 15000 people over the weeklong stay, she was moored just off the pier.  The Colossus class carrier was loaned to the Royal Australian Navy between 1952—1955 because of delays during the modifications to the Australian carrier HMAS Melbourne, once the work on the Melbourne were completed Vengeance was returned to the Royal Navy.  Vengeance was sold to Brazil in 1956 becoming the “Minas Gerais” in 2000 the new Brazilian carrier NAe Sao Paulo entered service the cost of operating two carriers and the fact that Vengeance could only accommodate 12 modern jet fighter saw the aging Vengeance offered to the Argentine Navy however the cost of bringing the carrier up to standard to fly jets again was too high, she was converted into a helicopter support ship.  Vengeance was finally decommissioned on 16th October 2001 bringing to an end the era of the Colossus class aircraft carrier.  In 2002 Vengeance was auctioned off the highest bid was from Hong Kong who wanted to anchor her in Zhoushan China and convert her into a floating museum however the deal fell through in October 2003, Vengeance went for scrapping some time later,
1953: HMS Vanguard visits Southend.
October 1959: Fire destroys Pier Pavilion.
September 1963:  Last visit by the Medway Queen paddle steamer.
1964: Pier Bowling Alley built,

1964: 1949 rolling stock celebrates 15th year of operation with its 45millionth passenger
Friday 8th August 1969: Dolphin Restaurant Fire Pier Head
1969: Regular Steamboat service from the Pier head is suspended.

1970: A £12.5million offer is made by a Californian Consortium to buy and move the pier to the USA.
1971: A child falls through the decking prompting the start of a total rebuild of the deck.
Wednesday 11th August 1971: Storeroom & Disused restaurant Fire Pier Head.
1972:  Mitchell Ropeways propose to replace the train with the Swiss designed Aerobus suspended monorail.
The proposal would have seen pylons placed alongside the pier linked by a steel cable two 100seater “Aerobuses” would have been hung from the cable like a cable car.
1973:  The Save Southend Pier Action Group is set up.

December 1973:  Department of the Environment list the pier.
Mid 1970’s: Pier railway crossovers & signalling removed.
This saw two trains permanently dedicated to one track each cars 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7 operate on the East track (water) whilst cars 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28 (re-numbered 8-14) serve on the West track (walkway). The two other seven car trains are permanently withdrawn from use these being Cars 8,9,10,11,12,13,14, and cars 15,16,18,19,20,21,26.  However car 8 was re-built as a flat works wagon, whilst cars 11,14,15,20,21 were retired and placed in store at the Councils Camper Road Dept the rest were scrapped pier head facilities leased out to private leisure & catering firm.
1974: Pier Railway West track closed to passenger traffic.
Thursday 25th March 1976: RNLI lifeboat "Greater London" retired and all sea going lifeboat operations are ceased due to the silting up of the River Thames around the lifeboat slip-way.
Thursday 29th July 1976: Fire destroys the Pier head
Fighting the fire saw some 50,000 gallons of water was pumped on to the fire by two fire tugs, these were later joined by five more, Ladi Mormol dive bombed the pier with his crop spraying aircraft dumping 400 gallons of water at a time on the inferno swooping down to 100ft, the flames were at time leaping 100+ foot into the air, 500 people had to be rescued by the pier trains, from all the people on the pier at the time of the blaze only two fire-fighters were injured when the jumped from a single sortie building to get out of the way of the rife range bullets that were spontaneously going off in the heat.

1977: A number of ornamental railings are removed from the pier and sold to the owner of the orginal London bridge in the USA.

May 1977: Remaining Pier Head shops re-open.

May 1977: The 100 passenger "James Cook" undertakes a daily service from Gravesend, Kent.

May 1977: The Belgian Shopper ferry service resumes on the Swanage Queen via Daganam.

July 1977: Six day a week service from London Tower Pier starts.

November 1977:  Bowling Alley fire.
Damage was confined to the roof area.
Monday 1st October 1978:  Pier trains withdrawn from use after track is deemed unsafe life-ex.
Thursday 31st July 1980: Southend Council hold a full council meeting to vote on an emergency budget.
The marathon session starts in the early evening and concludes at 2:20am, the result of the vote saw the announcement that the pier would close with the resulting loss of 11 jobs.  The closure would be from the bowling alley, however the closre never happens.

1980: Lecorgne Amusements take over operating the pier.
1982: All railway-related equipment sold as scrap.
November 1984: Restoration Project begins.
1985: Re-construction of pier railway begins.
1986: Brent Walker take over running the pier.
Tuesday 11th March 1986: The first of the new diesel powered pier trains are delivered.
Wednesday 12th March 1986: The last of the new diesel powered pier trains are delivered.
Friday 2nd May 1986: Pier trains start to run again opened by H.R.H Princess Anne.
Monday 30th June 1986:  Pier sliced in two by the sugar tanker Kingsabby destroying the boat house.
The Kingsabby was a sugar tanker weighing 833tons & 56.7 meters long its was 1.5 miles off cause this bought the number of ship collisions to Nine.
Monday 11th August 1986:  Bridge re-connecting the Pier head to the main Pier installed.
The process of bridging the gap left by the Kingsabby took just one hour.
Wednesday 12th—Tuesday 18th August 1987: HMS opportune visits Southend
HMS Opportune was a Oberon class submarine she was laid down on 26th October 1962 at the Scotts Greenock Yard, Scotland.  She was launched on 14th February 1964 and entered service on 29th December 1964, The Opportune had a surfaced displacement of 2030tons with a submerged displacement of 2410tons, her length was 295ft 3in, with a beam of 26ft 6in.  She remained in service until paid off on 2nd June 1993.   Opportune remained at the Pounds Scrapyard, Portsmouth for a number of years before it was finally scrapped.
1988: Brent Walker relinquish the operating of the pier.
1989: Pier Centenary (iron pier)
(Up to this date Southend has had a Pier for 156 years)
1989: Pier Museum opened.
Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th June 1991: Southend Pier Punch & Judy Festival.
17th August – 26th August 1991: Dancing Waters.
Dancing waters was a show set up at the pier head a large water tank with a single all back wall at the back of the tank was built, the tank housed 2000 different jets of water illuminated by coloured lights, the water jets would shoot water columns into the air in time with music being played.
Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th July 1993: Southend Pier Punch & Judy Festival.
Wednesday 7th June 1995: Fire destroys the Bowling alley.

1998: Bowling alley site re-decked by French Kier Anglia Ltd.


Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th August 1998: Southend Pier Punch & Judy Festival.
Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd August 1998:  STS Sedov visit.
The Murmansk based four masted Sedov has a hull that is made from steel, she has a crew of 240 and stands 190ft (58m) tall, has a length of 386ft (117.5m) the beam is 49ft (14.80m) with a draft of 21ft (6.5m ), a displacement of 3,476 tons the sail area is 13,616sqft (4,150 m²) two diesel engines are fitted giving a top speed of 8kts under engine power but 18kts when the sails are in use.
Friday 9th April 1999:  Paramine snagged in fishing boat “The Gannet” nets 1/2 mile from pier.
Tuesday 22nd June 1999:  Ross Revenge (Radio Caroline) visit.
Friday 27th August – Monday 30th August 1999: SS Sedov visit the pier.
Sunday 10th October 1999:  Whales spotted swimming by pier.
Friday 17th November 2000: New pier illuminations switched on.
2001: Construction of new lifeboat house begins.
2001:  Southend Pier replaces Mayfair as the most expensive square on the new Essex Edition of Monopoly.
Monday 11th June 2001:  Paramine snagged by fishing boat “Freya” 1 mile from pier.
Monday 13th August 2001:  20 Hurt as double decker bus hits pier bridge.


October 2001: New Pier Sewerage Disposal System.
The Sewerage Disposal System installed will pump effluent ashore where it will be discharged into the onshore drainage system and treated at the normal Works in Eastern Avenue. 


October 2001: Proposals to scrap the trains and replace them with a monorail.


October 2001: New Fire main
The Pier’s fire-fighting facilities substantially upgraded and powerful submersible pumps supply the new facilities with seawater.
2002: The Pier Bridge was removed and the Front Entrance demolished
2002: New lifeboat house opens.
2002: Toast-rack train is gifted to Southend Pier Museum by Volks Railway at Brighton.
2002: Proposals to remove trains from pier and re-place them with cable-cars or monorails.
2002: The re-decking of last remaining section of 1976 fire damage begins.
2002: Sundeck rebuilt.
Sunday 26th January 2003: Stored timbers for pier head restoration catch fire,
February 2003: Sailing yacht collides with pier head crew climb up pier supports as the yacht is pounded against the piers iron piles eventually the boat sinks in the heavy seas.
May 2003:  New Pier Entrance constructed including a new higher Pier Bridge is constructed.
May 2003:  Installation of CCTV and refurbishment of the Shelters and Toilets on the Pier
Wednesday 16th June 2004: Three hurt as speed boat hits pier and sinks.
The people on board the speed boat were suspected to have been drinking at the time of the accident.
Wednesday 18th—Monday 23rd August 2004: The tall ship Albatross visits the pier.
Built in 1899 in The Netherlands, the Albatross is a Steel hulled (welded below waterline & riveted above waterline) twin master she is 98ft (29.78 meters) long with a gross tonnage of 119tons a 160hp Hundested engine can propel the ship at up to 6 knots.  Members of the public were offered the opportunity to go out sailing on The Albatross however the sailing trips were cut short after a member of the public died in a fall from the rigging.
Friday 3rd—Sunday 5th September 2004: The Ukrainian tall ship the Khersones visits the Pier.
The Khersones is a full rigged three mast tall ship, the keel was laid down in 1987 and the completed ship was launched in 1989 the hull is made from Steel the ship is 356 ft (108.6 metres) long has a beam of 46ft (14 meters) is 162ft (49.5 meters) tall and has a sail area of 29,800 sq ft (2,770 square metres) and a crew of 40.



2005:  Pier trains re-painted from red to blue.

One of the carages midway through the re-paint. 

2005: Semi Tropical Rainbow Wrasse caught from the pier.
2005: Hexagonal Pier Head pavilion demolished.
Thursday 2nd—Sunday 5th June 2005: Khersones visits the pier.
Tuesday 2nd—Saturday 6th August 2005: The tall Brig Mercedes visits the pier.
The  two-masted square-rigged sailing ship was launched in April 2005. Passenger Operated out of her home port of  Amsterdam 164.05ft (50.00 m) long with a beam of 24ft (7.60 m) the draft of the ship is  12ft (3.60m) she displaces 400tons of water and stands 115ft (35.00 m) tall, top speed is 14 knots provided by a MWM V16, 720 hp engine
Sunday 9th October 2005: Old Pier Head destroyed by fire.
The fire destroyed the railway station, pub, shell shop, snack bar and ice-cream shop, a 100ft section of the decking collapsed into the sea as did the giftshop.  Much of the wooden planking was destroyed, but the main iron structure was largely undamaged. Heat from the fire was so intense that the Pier Railway tracks buckled 

Wednesday 12th October 2005:  Pier Head fire re-ignie

The fire is quickly spotted and kept to just a small section of the decking

Thursday 1st December 2005: First mile of pier re-opens but visitors are limited to 48 at a time at the temporary viewing platform.
2006: Winter weekday pier train service suspended.
Friday 20th January 2006: Northern Bottle-Nosed Whale spotted by pier.
Saturday 5th August 2006:  Pier fully re-opens.
Thursday 19th—Sunday 22nd October 2006: STS Sedov visits.
2007:  Southend Pier voted Pier of the Year by the National Pier Society
Thursday 12th—Monday 16th July 2007: The Grand Turk visits the pier.
A full-size replica of a 1780s Royal Navy 40-gun frigate, used in the ITV series about Horatio Hornblower (re-named ‘Indefatigable’) With all the features of a true Man’ O War – including cannon, she is fully rigged with a length of 154ft (47m) a beam of 34ft (10.4m) weighing 314tons with a draft of 10ft (3.1m) the sail area covers 3445 sqft (1050sqm) two 450hp diesel engines are fitted.
Friday 19th September 2008: Lesser Octopus caught off the pier.
Friday 2nd—Monday 5th May 2008: Artemis visits the pier.
Artemis was launched in 1926 and was used as a trading vessel around the world until she was retired in the 1950’s and was laid up in a Netherlands shipyard.  She was rescued from the yard in a poor condition and a complete rebuild undertaken.  The square rigged ship is used for corporate entertaining and group travel in Europe.


The new luxury ship includes a saloon with and dance floor at the rear of the ship, with luxury cabins for up to 35 passengers.  The Artemis is 149ft (45.5m) long with a beam of 23ft (7M) the weight is 400tons giving a draft of 11.5ft (3.5M) the sail area covers 3445 sqft (1050sqm)
Saturday 25th—Sunday 26th October 2008: The Rainbow Warrior visits the pier.
The Rainbow Warrior (sometimes unofficially Rainbow Warrior II) is a three-masted schooner operated by environmental protection organization Greenpeace. The ship was built up from the hull of the deep sea fishing ship Grampian Fameoriginaly launched in 1957.



The original ship was 144ft (44m) long this was extended 181ft 1in (55.20 m) the steam powered engines were removed and a cleaner more efficient one installed, a number of other environmentally friendly systems were also installed the rebuilt ship was launched on Monday 10th July 1989 exactly four years to the day of the sinking by French Special Forces of the original Rainbow Warrior.

The new Rainbow Warrior is classed as a Motor assisted schooner with a weight of 555 tons, her beam is 28ft (9m) with a draft of 15ft 1in (4.6m), the sail area is 2132sqft (650sqm)she is fitted with Two Diesel Deutz M.W.M giving a maximum speed of 13kts or a cruising speed of 10kts. She can stay at sea for 30days at a time.  
Friday 28th August – Monday 2nd September 2009: Artemis visits the pier.


13th September 2009: Le Grand Bleu passes the pier.

Le Grand Bleu is one of the largest private yachts in the world at 104 m (341 ft) in length, owned by Roman Abramovich owner of Chelsea Football Club.  The tall mast towards the back of the boat is the on board sailing yacht, on the rear deck is the helicoptor also on board is a swimming pool!

July 2010: Atlantis visits the pier


Thursday 17th September 2009: Pier train (Sir John Betjeman) derails, on its way to the opening of the ne wpier head station.


Thursday 17th September 2009: New  £2.4million Pier Head station opened by Mayor and Mayoress, Brian and Lyn Smith.


Saturday 18th  – Sunday 19th September 2010: Artemis visits the pier.
Friday 24th December 2010: Pier closed due to damage caused by adverse weather conditions.
Thursday 30th December 2010: Pier re-opens after emergency repairs.


Saturday 4th June 2011: The World passes the pier.

The World is a ship serving as a residential community owned by its residents, the residents, from about 40 different countries, live on board as the ship slowly circumnavigates the globe 




Friday 3rd - Monday 6th June 2011: Tall ship Atlantis visits Southend.





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