Southend-on-Sea in old picture postcards

Southend-on-Sea in old picture postcards

:   Stephen Pewsey
:   Essex
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-6195-4
:   144
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Southend-on-Sea in old picture postcards'

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89 West Cliff Hotel.

Another fine building, the West Cliff Hotel still thrives along Westcliff Parade,

though its façade is now painted white. In this 1907 postcard, the hotel patriotically flies the St. George Cross and a cyclist pedals past a carriage in which a lady shades herselfwith a parasol. Note the ornate gas lamp and standard on the left.

90 Westward Ho! Hotel.

es1wara Ho r Hotel r We~cllff - on - Sea.

On a smaller scale, but still an imposing ediflce, was the Westward Hol, which stood on Clifftown Parade.

91 WestdiffBaths, 1902.

Southend began life as a resart for sea bathing (and drinking sea water. thought in the 18th century to be a eure for many diseasesl). but the first swimming baths were owned by the Absalom family. 'Absaloms Floating Baths' was moored offWestern Esplanade near the Pier. However, in 1 91 5, they were superseded by Westeliff Baths, built by the Couneil.

92 WestdiffBaths.

Anather view of the baths, which were enarmausly papular with residents and visitors alike. A sun deck on the seaward side was also papular. Althaugh originally a seawater baths, water was filtered and heated from 1 936. The baths were taken over by Plaistaw entrepreneur and exboxer George Walker in the 197 Os and turned inta a leisure club.

93 The Bandstand, Clifftown Parade.

Another important focus for sociallife was the bandstand. There were other bandstands. on the Pier, opposite the Kursaal, and one in Chalkwell Park. However, the main one was on Clifftown Parade. A wooden bandstand built in 1902 was such a popular venue for evening eoneert-goers that traffle jams ofbathehairs built up along the Parade, and an bye-law had to be passed banning their use after 6 p.m.l This first bandstand was transferred to Happy Valley on the Cliffs and a new iron bands tand built in 1 909. This

ornate structure, seen in this posteard from about 1950, was nicknamed the 'Wedding Cake'. It was demolished in

1 957 for a more utilitarian stage, but a new bands tand in the tradition of the 'Wedding

Cake' was ereeted for the barough eentenary celebrations in 1992.

94 Southchurch Park about 1950.

Mueh ofthe area now occupied by the attraetive estates ofThorpe Bay consisted of marshland until about 1870, when two large salt-lakes were drained. These onee stretehed from the Gasworks to Bournes Green, but two ponds were retained as ornamental features in Southehureh Park, opened to the publie in 1895, following the presentation of the land to the borough by Messrs. Baxter, Dowsett and Ingram.

95 Chalkwell Park

Another of Southend's valuable 'green lungs' is Chalkwell Park, bought for ;(20,000 in 1901, and covering 26 acres. This postcard view can hardly do justice to the beauty of its rose gardens.

96 Donkey Stand.

Donkey rides were onee an essential part of the Golden Mile experienee for holidaymakers. partieularly for children.

OQnK~ Stand,-5outhend-on- Sea.


97 Exhibition of Blind and Crippled Girls'Work.

This rare and poignant postcard recalls the time when Southend was an important resort for convalescence. The Shaftesbury Society had a 'Cripples' Holiday Home' at Southchurch Beach, opened in 1895;a 1907 appealfor funds begged: 'Over 4,000 of Lenden's afflicted children have been sheltered within its hospitabie walls during these twelve years; many of them have returned with straightened limbs and benefited bodies, besides having received moral and spiritual lessons which doubtless will remain as an abiding influence: 12/6 will give a crippled

child a fortnight's holiday ... contributions will be gratefully welcomed.' Another home, the St. Mary's Holdiay Home, was founded by Reverend Thomas Given- Wilson (t 1 91 6), the energetic vicar

of Plaistow, before 1891, where both needy wamen and children gained relief from slum conditions.

[ ,. SOutf.end <& Weslclitf Grap/u·c."


98 Caruival Queen.Tê Sß.

The Carnival is an enduring and mueh-loved Southend institution. The annual parade of floats and faney dress raises large amounts of money for worthy eauses and farms the high point of the tewn's tourist ealendar. It began life in 1926 as part of a fund-raising drive to help build a new Southend General Hospital, but after this was opened in Prittlewell Chase in 1 932, the Carnival, happily, eontinued. Older visitors and residents will reeall the best-loved float, the Kursaal Flyer, a mocktrain whieh led the proeession from Chalkwell Park to Southehureh Park for many years.



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