Britain on FilmBritish HeritageSouthend: The Way We Were
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This new DVD presents a fascinating look back at bygone Southend. It explores Southend’s extraordinary growth from an insignificant fishing hamlet to a fashionable Regency resort, and then its transformation into what was described as, ‘a matchless Cockney paradise’ all in the space of a century. It recalls many of the memorable events from the town’s past including, the coming of the railway, the opening of the Pier, the inauguration of the electric trams, and the visit of the Queen Mother to open the Civic Centre.
The DVD also looks back at Southend’s role during wartime: The First World War when the town was attacked by German airships, and the Second World War when paddle-steamers took part in the Dunkirk evacuation, and Southend Pier was commandeered by the Royal Navy. We also discover why some residents were unhappy at the invasion of Londoners; how the Southend railway once earned the reputation as the worst running out of London; and why objections to the Pier meant that it might never have been built. This remarkable period in Southend’s past is brought to life with a selection of old photos and a unique collection of archive film, which captures many aspects of old Southend; the heyday of the town as a holiday resort in the 1930s, 40s and 50s; the Mayor’s parade in 1920; Southend’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 1964; and many views of the town that will bring memories flooding back for those who remember the Southend of old and surprise and intrigue those who don’t. Many of the events featured in the DVD are brought to life with first-hand accounts from the archives of the Southend Standard.
This engaging journey through time is produced exclusively for the Standard and is narrated by award winning actor, Howard Ellison.
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