Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life

Southend's Who's Who

This experimental aspect of the site will try and list anyone who has been anyone within Southend in alphabetical order:


David Amess  - Current Conservative Member of Parliament for Southend West.  First took the seat in 1997 replacing (Lord Kelvedon) with a majority of 2,615.  He was more recently returned on 6th May 2010 with a majority of 7,270.

 Sir Edwin Arnold - Resided 1878 - Author of the poem The Light of Asia lived in the Hamlet Court prior to Robert Buchanan. 

Matthew Arnold (1822-88)- A renouned poet and writer who became the first Inspector of Schools.  Who resided in Southend many times.


Trevor Bailey - Born 1923 - In Westcliff-on-Sea, A famous England cricketer. Who holds post war records, still to beaten.


Southend's First Female Councillor -The times were a changing when Westborough Ward elected the Borough's first female Councillor.  Miss Bannester was the Principal of Alexandra College.

E Power Biggs - Born 29th March 1906 in Westcliff-on-Sea, was a prominent concert organist and recording artist of the twentieth century. Many of his recordings are fondly recalled by classical music aficionados, despite the fact that only a handful of them are currently available, such as Bach – The Four Great Toccatas and Fugues.

James Booth, prolific British actorJames Booth - Born David Geeves.  Famous actor who is probably best remembered for his role as Hook in Zulu made in 1964.  James was educated at Southend Grammar School for boys.  He died aged 77 in 2005 in Hadleigh, Essex.


James Bourne - Pop Star Born 1983 - One of the key contributors to the pop band Busted which attained a number of hit records.  James left Busted to pursue a new musical direction and is living in the US currently.

Kevin Bowyer - Born 1961 - A concert organist. One of the world’s hardiest and most formidable virtuosos… probably... Britain’s most formidable organist.

Tim BowlerTim Bowler - is the author of several prize-winning books for children, teenagers and young adults.  His first ever book called 'Midget' is a psychological thriller based in Leigh-on-Sea.

John Rumbelow Brightwell - A key figure in Southend's development holding the position of Mayor twice.  Also a successful businessman who developed the famous department store Brightwells

Robert Buchanan - Born 18th August 1841, Died 10th June 1901 - Buried in St John the Baptist Churchyard.  Buchanan was significant Victorian dramatist, and novelist.  Living in the Hamlet in Hamlet Court Road and in Byculla House on Clifftown Parade.

Lewis De Burgh - The first manager in residence of the Hippodrome that opened in Southchurch Road on Monday 15th November 1909.  Lewis was known in various parts of the world as an actor, manager and artist.  An Irishman by birth and descent, who worked at the famous Passage Theatre in Berlin where he learnt to speak German fluently.  He has had success at other theatres including in London the Alhambra, Hippordrome, Pavilion and Coliseum.

Get the latest sport - the Roger way! Roger Buxton - Starting his Radio career at a tender age recording football commentaries on the terraces of Roots Hall then passing the tapes to Southend Hospital Radio.  Since then Roger has become much loved presenter who has featured on Essex FM and no BBC Essex.


Emma Chambers - born 11 March 1964, in Westcliff-on-Sea is an actress. Her work includes the role Alice Tinker in the BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley and Honey Thacker in the film Notting Hill (1999).

Sir Henry 'Chips' Channon - Elected MP 1935 -an American-born British Conservative politican and diarist. At the 1935 general election, he was returned as Member of Parliament for Southend, the seat previously held by his mother-in-law Gwendolen Guinness, Countess of Iveagh (above).


Paul Channon - Retires as MP 1997 - Another of the political dynasty who became a cabinet minister during Thatcher's government.

Dick Clement - Born 1937 - In Westcliff.  A comedy writer known for hits such as 'The Likely Lads'.


Jonathan Clements - Sci Fi Author Born 1971 - author and scriptwriter. His non-fiction works include biographies of Confucius, Koxinga and Qin Shihuangdi (the First Emperor of China), as well as monthly opinion columns for NEO magazine.

 Eric Kirkham Cole - Born 1901 - A key businessman for the town with his development of Ekco; in the 50's employing more than 5,000 people.


Sir Peter Cook - Born 1936 - Renowned architect currently working on the London 2012 project.


Matthew Cutler - Wins Strictly Come Dancing 2007 - Matthew has been part of the programme since 2005, and has had a sparkling career in dance since he started in a church hall in Southend at the age of 8.-


 Basil Deardon - Born 1911 born Basil Dear in Westcliff-on-Sea.  Dearden graduated from theatre direction to film, working as an assistant to Basil Dean.  He first co-directed films at Ealing Studios starring the likes of Will Hay.


George Warwick Deeping - Dies 1950 - A prolific author who has a memorial dedicated to him in St John the Baptist Church



Thomas Dowsett - 1892 - Southend's first Mayor - Not only gaining the accolade of first Mayor, his family also gave Southchurch Hall to the people of Southend.

Sam Duckworth - Singer Born 1986 - Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly is the stage name of Southend artist Sam Duckworth and his band.  Sam was signed to Atlantic Records in March 2006.

James Dudderidge MP - James is a Conservative Member of Parliament representing the seat of Rochford and Southend East.  He took over the reigns from a very popular Sir Teddy Taylor in 2005 with a majority of 5,490.  He more recently was re-elected to the seat on 6th May 2010 with an increased majority of 11,050.

Mr NL Durnan - Swam the Channel 1926 - Lived in Southend and carried out his feat at a time when doing so would make you a national superstar.



Mary Ellis - died on 3rd June 1609; a well known and much loved resident of Old Leigh who lived to the remarkable age of 119.  Her tomb in a block shape with a plinth on top was used by the press gangs to sharpen their sabres prior to conscripting the young lads in the church congregation,  it is thought the actions of these swords on the top of the tomb are still visible. Warren Ellis - Author Born 1968 -  Author of comics, novels and television, well known for sociocultural commentary, both through his online presence and his writing.


Digby Fairweather - Born 1946 - 'Digby is one of our most articulate jazzmen in both his words and his music. Whatever he says or whatever he plays is of great interest to the world of jazz'.John Farley Leith, by Sir Leslie Ward, published in Vanity Fair 21 June 1879 - NPG 4725 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

John Farley QC MP - Died 1887 - MP for Aberdeen. Lived in the Priory in Prittlewell and is buried In St Mary's Churchyard

Mark Foster - Olympic Swimmer Born 1970 - Carried the Team GB flag at the Beijing Olympics.  He has also gained celebrity status after starring in Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC, as well as an ambassador for sport encouraging our athletes for the London 2012 Olympics.


John Fowles - Born 1926 - In Leigh-on-Sea, a novelist probably best known for writing 'A French Lieutenant's Woman'.

Ald. Joseph Francis JP - Born 1849 -A Mayor of the town with some repute having held the position throughout the Great War.  However, at a small price as he became lampooned by the local press for being too old.  He also endured a near miss with a bomb landing yards from the Civic Office in 1917, with himself being thrown to the floor.


Harry Garon - Born 1863 - Prominent businessman in the town as well as finding time to become a Councillor for the then North Ward.  His business empire was one of the largest in the east and included numerous grocery shops, restaurants and cinemas. 

Dee Gordon - Local Author, who moved to live in Southend in 1984.  Her works include real stories around Southend and the wider Essex county. Her latest book Southend at War is available from 4th July.



Leon Greene (actor/opera singer) - Leon was well known in the 50's as he was educated at the Southend Art College, for his baritone voice often booming out on the bus heading for the Kursaal.  He went on to become known for his singing as well as his acting, appearing in a number of Carry On movies and also for a role in Mel Brook's 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum' (1966).

Dora Greenwood (GBR) on 8th June 1933 broke the Women's High Jump World Record hitting a height of 1.65m.

Marcia Gresham - Born in Westcliff-on-Sea.  Most noted as a casting director, but also mother of Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter).

Rupert Guinness - 1918 - 2nd Earl of Iveagh - Elected Southend's Member of Parliament in 1918 with a majority of nearly 8,000.  

Gwendoline Guinness - 1927 - Countess of Iveagh - Elected Southend's Member of Parliament in 1927 keeping it in the family as wife of Rupert (above).


Chester Moor Hall - born Dec. 9, 1703, Leigh; was a British lawyer who produced the first achromatic lenses in 1729.  He used the achromatic lens to build the first refracting telescope free from chromatic aberration (colour distortion).

Julia Harnett-Harvey - born in Essex, England. After graduating from the Southend-on-sea College of Art, she worked in varied art forms in the commercial field in England and Canada. It was during these years that Julia first became involved with the motion picture industry, joining the Hanna-Barbera studios in Hollywood.

Maurice Harvey -  Residing in Carmel Valley, California for the past eighteen years, Maurice Harvey can look back on a varied and rewarding career in the arts. Born in England and educated from the Southend College of Art,

Sir William Heygate -  Born 24th June 1782 in Southend - Became Lord Mayor of London in 1823. He was mainly responsible for the promotion and passing of the Southend Pier Bill in 1829.

John Hodge - Born in Leigh-on-Sea 1929 - aerospace engineer. He worked for the Avro Arrow project in Canada; when it was cancelled in 1959, he became a member of NASA's Space Task Group. During his NASA career, he worked as a flight director and as a manager on the cancelled Space Station Freedom project. He also served as an administrator at the United States Department of Transportation. Horrors - Southend band formed in 2005 - This band is in it's prime in the big league of popular mainstream music and is made up of a group of lads from Southend and South Essex.  They formed over a beer in the Royal Hotel.

The Legacy Of Reginald Perrin. Image of Doc Morrissey (John Horsley).John Horsley - Born Westcliff-on-Sea - A prolific actor who is probably best known for his role of Doc Morrisey in the BBC TV Comedy The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. 

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Bob JackBob Jack - Dies 1943 - A prolific manager of Southend United in there early years.


A J Jackson - Aviation Author - A teacher who lived and taught in  Southend.  His primary love was flying and became and still is a notable Aviation Author of his time.  Through his exploits in the air he produced a unique library of images that are still under the safe keeping of his family today.

Daniel Jones - Musician Born in Southend 1973 - One part of of world famous group Savage Garden.


Edward Cecil Jones, MBE, MC, JP - Given the Freedom of the Town - 1955>


Frank Keenan - Former headteacher of St Thomas More High School was awarded an OBE for services to education in 2006.

 Coulson Kernahan - Died 1943 - Writer of local history and novels

Chief Constable Kerslake - A notable policeman in the history of Southend Police who started in the force at a time when it was under staffed and under equiped, retiring at the highest level in 1935, leaving the force in a much better position.

Capt Kirkwood - Conservative Member of Parliament for Southend.  Voted in against Rowland Whitehead in 1910.

Kursaal Flyers - The Kursaal Flyers first assembled in Southend in October 1973.


Freddie Laker - Set up business 1949 - Well know at Southend Airport for his flight businesses 

Sir Michael Levey - Art Critic Dies 2008 - Although born in London Sir Michael was brought up in Leigh-on-Sea, where his father commuted to London. Not only becoming a notable Art Historian, but also Director of the National Gallery for 13 years.

Constance Leyland - First female Mayor 1955

Dominic Littlewood - Born in Southend 1965 - A TV Celebrity who regularly fronts modern living style programmes

John Lloyd - Born 1954 in Leigh-on-Sea - Tennis player; one of three brothers who have achieved the highest of standards in British tennis, formerly married to Chris Evert. 

Robert Lloyd - Born 1940 - Opera Singer who has developed a freelance operatic and concert career which has brought him to work with all the major Opera Houses and Orchestras throughout the world. Awarded the CBE.


Stephen McAdden - Elected MP - 1950 - Southend East had its first MP, who lasted until 1979 when he died in office.

 DSCF6988 by you.Johnny Mckenna - Lives in Southend - 1950's and 60's was a prolific boxer of national fame reaching professional status at an early age and fighting at all the major boxing venues in the country.

Pamela Mason - Author/Actress Dies 1996 - Born in Southend, she hosted her own TV series in 1965, "The Pamela Mason Show." Among her motion picture appearances are "I Met a Murderer" (1939), "Charade" (1953), and "The Sandpiper" (1965). She is also known for her numerous game-show appearances. Married to director/producer Roy Kellino, and later to actor James Mason.

Frank Matcham - Died 1920 - A famous theatre architect who built the London Palladium among others, lived in Westcliff Parade.

Lee Mead - West End Star Born 1981 - Winner of BBC's Any Dream Will Do.  Recently married Denise Van Outen. 

Jon Miller - Born in Southend-on-Sea, in 1921, John Miller (he later used the spelling Jon) was the cousin of the violinist Yehudi Menuhin. His mother, Edie, was a concert pianist and his father, Jack, established a London chain of kiosks and shops selling tobacco, sweets and fishing tackle.  Became famous as the boffin on children TV's programme "How" alongside Fred Dineage.

Phillip Miller, Awarded MBE 2003 - Owner of Adventure Island and local man born and bred, was awarded his MBE for his charitable work around the town.

Bobby Moore - SUFC Manager 1984 - This soccer hero took the reigns of Southend United to mixed outcomes.  

Peggy Mount - Born in 1915, in Leigh-on-Sea.  Became famous for her battleaxe style characters in TV and film.


Dame Helen Mirren - Born 1945 - Helen herself was born Ilyena Lydia Mironoff on the 27th of July, 1945, two months after the end of the war. She was born at Queen Charlotte's Maternity Hospital on Goldhawk Road, Hammersmith, originally an isolation unit for women suffering from puerperal fever but in 1940 combining with the Queen's Lying-In Hospital, which had been in Marylebone. The birth would last an amazingly sdhort 20 minutes. Katherine was older, by two years, and there'd be a younger brother, Peter, born in 1948. When Peter was born the family would move out to Westcliff-On-Sea, then on to Leigh-On-Sea, both part of Southend on the end of the Thames estuary. From the age of 6, Helen recalls wanting to be an actress. And not just any old actress. She wanted to act in an “old-fashioned and traditional sense”. She performed onstage at school, making a debut as the Virgin Mary as Hamlet Court primary school in Westcliff, then at 8 was disappointed to be merely a blackbird, sitting resentfully in a giant pie in a production of Four And Twenty Blackbirds for an end-of-year show. She'd later attend St Bernard’s Convent High School for Girls in Westcliff, set up by Bernardine Sisters on Milton Road, and dreamt of being a Shakespearean heroine. She says she was obsessed with the Bard by the age of 13, having been drawn to him by the character of Joan Of Arc in Henry VI. “She was portrayed as the wicked witch,” she recalled later “I loved her for that”. Strangely, Helen was not a big fan of the movies - the stage was her thing.

Life at home was marked by lack of money but the Mirrens still maintained a middle-class Bohemian existence. Kit, who'd left school at 14, was constantly encouraging Kate and Helen to work hard, get qualifications, go to university, become economically independent of men. Kit certainly lived to her own beat, staying in bed till 10 and hoovering at one in the morning if she hoovered at all. She would, though, make all her kids clothes. Luxury for the kids would be a scoop of Rossi's ice cream in a glass of cherryade. As she moved through her teens, Helen would work as a blagger at Southend's Kursaal amusement park, urging people to go on the rides. In her spare time she'd hang out at a coffee-bar called The Shrubbery at 15, Royal Terrace near the sea-front (it's now a restaurant called The Terrace). There'd be no heavy dating as her strict Catholic parents did not approve, though she did go out with one Jean-Louis, A French kid in Southend to learn English. she'd also sleep with a self-portrait of her hero, Goya, under her pillow



Sir Charles Nicholson - Dies 1949 - Southend's most significant architect, having lived at Porters prior to the local authority acquiring the tudor house.  His architectural skills are known throughout the country and his name is stamped on many a church building, naturally built to last, so his notoriety will live on.


Father Norgate - The first incumbant of All Saints Church in Southchurch Road to set up a mission.


Bill Pertwee - Lived in Westcliff 1946 - With his mother residing next to the Queen's Hotel in Hamlet Court Road. He remembers fondly his time in Southend and has written a letter recalling his time here.  Click HereAnnabel Port - Born 1975 - A Radio Presenter currently on Absolute Radio, and previously Virgin Radio.  Born in Southend-on-Sea and a former Westcliff High School for Girls student.  Annabel is well known for her radio creativity which has seen her develop such memorable items as the 'Dirty Book at Bedtime' and 'Annabel versus the Internet', not forgetting of course 'Annabel's Friday Song'.


 Percy Raven - One of Southend's key business retailers, who owned managed at the time (c, 1913) branches of Ravens in the Borough.  The store still exists today in the town centre.

Rachel Riley - 2008 - Former pupil of Southend High School for Girls, was awarded the job as glamorous maths queen on Channel 4's Countdown.


Monsieur M Salmet - A Frenchman finds his way onto the Southend Who's Who, by being the very first visitor to the town to arrive by fixed winged aircraft.  From Priory Farm Meadow Mons. Salmet, in 1912, entertained crowds of Southenders to what could be considered to be the very first Southend 'Air Show'.  He provided a show of flight never seen first hand by the locals before.

Peter Sargent - Born Southend-on-Sea, April 1916, died June 2001; A film cameraman was one of the gifted but unsung technical artists who gave distinction to the British pre-war film and post-war television industries.  The shows on which he worked are a roll-call of British television's first golden age, including documentary and current affairs programmes such as Monitor and the early Panorama with Richard Dimbleby; children's programmes such as The Flowerpot Men; series including Z-Cars and Doctor Who; serials including Kidnapped, Huntingtower, The Railway Children and the ground-breaking Jesus of Nazareth (1956); natural history programmes (though his comedy Chimpantics would be frowned on by wildlife purists now); and comedy including the 1976 Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special.

Reginal Sharland - Born 19th November 1886 - Probably one of Southend's oldest recorded actors who appeared on the silver screen and topped off a memorable career with an appearance at the Royal Variety Performance at the London Hippodrome on 25th November 1921, in front of His Majesty King George V.  His last recorded movie was "Shock" (1934) where he played Captain Peabody.

Maisie Smith - First appeared as Tiffany Dean in Eastenders; Maisie is a SouthMaisie Smithend girl and goes to Chalkwell Junior School.  She has become a popular and funny character that could certainly grow with the soap. 

Kenny Solomons - Actor/Dancer Born 1987 - Recently taking a major role in the 2008/9 movie Rapture and will be appearing in a new project called Destiny.

 Lady Olivia Sparrow - A stalwart of her time who ensured the young of borough no matter their standing gained an education.  She was instrumental in the development of one of the first schools in 1835 to exist in Leigh.

Anne Stallybrass - was born in December 1938 in Leigh-on-Sea.  During the late 1970s and 1980s Anne appeared frequently on British television.  Of particular note were Granada’s thirteen part This Year Next Year, the BBC children’s series The Peppermint Pig (both 1977), The Mayor of Casterbridge
(1978), Dark Secret for LWT’s Sunday Night Thriller (1981), two series of Flying Lady for Yorkshire TV (1987 and 1989), and the sci-fi series Knights of God (1987).  More recently, Anne’s TV appearances have been mainly guest and one-off roles such as The Queen in Diana:  Her True Story, as well, of course, as playing Eileen Reynolds in Heartbeat for 2½ years.

Vivian Stanshall - Vivian Stanshall (born Victor Anthony Stanshall; 21 March 1943 – 5 March 1995) was a singer songwriterm painter, musician, author, poet and wit, best known for his work with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, for his surreal exploration of the upper classes in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, and for narrating mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells.  The Stanshall family moved to Leigh-on-Sea.  Vivian managed to earn some money doing various odd jobs at the Kursaal fun fair. These included working as a bingo caller and spending the winter painting the fairground attractions.

Geoff Stephens - Moves to Westcliff 1945 - he is the eighty second most successful songwriter in U.K. chart history based on weeks that his compositions have spent on the chart


Arthur Lewis Stride - 1884 - The General Manager of the London, Tilbury Southend line who through his dynamic and efficent leadership would oversee the building of the line extension to Shoeburyness.  Today his name is remembered on one of the C2C trains.






Peter Taylor - Born 1953 - Former caretaker England Manager and player, who started his career in South Essex.  Became a significant player for both Crystal Palace and Spurs. 

Sir Teddy Taylor - Elected 1980 - A much respected  and outspoken local MP who came up through Thatcher's ranks.  First achieving the Southend West seat fro Sir Stephen McAdden in 1983.  He retired from politics at the 2005 election handing his seat to James Dudderidge.

Steve Tilson - SUFC Manager Born 1966 -Current manager of Southend United and arguably the most successful yet.  Although the 2009/10 season will probably be ranked as the toughest to date with relegation to Division 2, due to a depleted squad and financial woes off the pitch.Recycling local money locally – Southend chief executive Rob Tinlin is concerned with getting the council to utilise more businesses in the SS postal district

Rob Tinlin - Current Chief Executive of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.  Arrived in 2004 from Northamptonshire County Council.  Since in post has achieved great success by moving the Local Authority from one that was moving towards Government intervention, to a 'Three Star' Authority that is Improving Strongly.

Kara Tointon - 2005 - Lived in Southend and joined Eastenders as Dawn Swan.  Recently leaving the soap.  However still maintiaining a high profile appearing in The Bill, and also becoming the face 'Michelle' of the George (Asda) Underwear line.

Neil Toon has already appeared in Les Miserables and HairsprayNeil Toon - A Southend actor, who went to Shoeburyness High School who is starting to land some major roles in both film and TV.  Recently appearing in BBC TV's Worrid About the Boy, also now playing Kyle on teen soap Hollyoaks

Alfred Tolhurst - A well known resident and businessman of Southend who was one time owner of the Palace Hotel; who did not heistate in providing the whole building for the war effort which became famous as the Queen Mary Military Hospital during Word War One.


 royullRoy Ullyett - Cartoonist Died 2001 - A nationally acclaimed and awarded cartoonist who provided many a chuckle within the national newspapers.  Well known around Southend having had associations with the town for some 80 years, died and cremated in the town.


Rev Benjamin Waugh - Founder of the NSPCC, who retired to Southend in 1905, living in Runwell Terrace, he was buried in Sutton Road Cemetery 1908.


Alec White - The White family are well known in the town for being publicans indeed the Cricketers was their base being in the family for over a century.  However Alec White became quite instrumental in the development of the Southend Fire Service providing the first base at the rear of the Cricketers.  It was no surprise when he died in 1915, he was given full fire service honours.

Rowland Whitehead - This man has the notoriety of being the only Member of Parliament for Southend not to be Conservative in the history of the town.  The first and last Liberal to be ever voted in during the 1906 General Election.  He stayed for only one term of parliament.


Michael Wilding - Born in Leigh-on-Sea 1912 - Became a proilifc actor whose best friend was Stewart Grainger.  His film career ran from 1933-1972.



Sir Bernard Williams - Philosopher Dies 2003 - Most brilliant and most important British moral philosopher of his time.


Michael Woodford - Keymed Chief Executive Awarded MBE 2001 -


Mr W H Worwood - Became Town Clerk in 1930, after a short period serving as deputy Town Clerk at the age of 30.  He had previous experience in the role from Blackburn and also in a solicitors position in Coventry.

ChöeChloe Wright - Opera Singer Awarded a Tony 2003 - Westcliff girl gained international recognition with the Tony accolade.

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