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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19 Southchurch Beach.

This photograph was probably taken from the old Gasworks jetty, erected in 1895 and demolished in 1968. The view is along Eastern Esplanade, and the photograph was taken between 1899 and 1908. Southchurch Beach was noted in the 18th and early 19th centuries for its oysters, and the oyster beds were so successful that Kentish fishermen grew jealous. In 1724 they sent an armada across the Thames and destroyed the beds, though they were later caught and heavily fined.

20 The Kursaal.

Built in 1901 as a rival to Blackpool's Winter Gardens, the Kursaal- named after Ostend's famous pleasure-palace - is one of'Southend's most enduring symbols. A mall, decorated in mock Egyptian style, of indoor sideshows, led through to a 26acre amusement park with a multitude of entertainments, including dodgems, scenic railway and the Wall of Death. A huge restaurant and ballroom were immensely popular, and between the wars, vast crowds paid their sixpences to go through the doors. The farnaus dome and ballroom remain, but the

Kursaal was closed in 1 974 and housing built on the site.

21 Another view ofthe Kursaal.

The amusement park behind the Kursaal was originally Marine Park, a pleasure-garden opened in 1 893. The coat-of-arms on the right was an unofficial one, introduced in 1892, when the town achieved municipal borough status. This unofficial design, though widely reproduced on souvenir china etc., was sa cluttered as to be a laughingstock, until it was replaced with the present official coatof-arms in 1914. The shield depiets Southend Pier, a well - for Prittlewell- and St. Mary's Church, Prittlewell, with the Essex arms in the centre. The crest above repre-

sents Southend's long association with the sea, and the motto, since adopted by Southend High School for Boys, means 'to the brave, nothing is difficult'.

22 The Kursaal by Night,

This view shows the Kursaal lit up during the Illuminations. The Illuminations began in 1935 and, like the Kursaal, they were designed to riyal a similar attraction at Blackpool. On the left, note Gerry's Nosh stall, beloved of a whole post-war generation of Southenders, while the open space in the foreground was the traditional gathering place on Sundays for Salvation Army meetings and other itinerant preachers, most notably 'Happy Harry' (George Wood) who entertained crowds with his homilies for nearly half a century. Ta the right of the Kursaal is the Mi-

nerva, first built in 1790 by Abraham Vandervord, and named after his barge.

23 The Kursaal, Ostend.

By way of contrast, this postcard illustrates the old Kursaal in Ostend, Belgium. The design of'Southend's Kursaal was based on this Ostend original. The Ostend Kursaal was rebuilt in 1 953 and is now a modern concrete building.

24 Warwick's Revolving Tower.

This bizarre structure was Southend's answer to the Blackpool Tower. Opened in Marine park - later Kursaal Park - in 1898, the 126 ft tower was not popular, and was demolished in 1 905. The Kursaal is on the far lefi, with the Britannia public house, advertising Allsopp's Ales, lies in between. This is one of Southend's oldest hostelries. The bathing machines on the beach were an endearing feature of Edwardian Southend. On the right the buildings of Prospect Place, now covered by the Sea Life Centre, can be seen.

25 Marine Park.

A lively scene. The corner of Bow Window House, built in 1797, can be seen on the extreme left. Peter Zanchi's pie and mash shop was a favourite with visiting East Enders for many years. Beyond Zanchi's he the Swiss Restaurant, Clarke's Restaurant; the gabled building is the Borough Arms (now known as the LibertyBelle), built in 1903.Marine Parade was considerably widened in 1910.

26 The Jolly Boys.

There was once a variety of entertainment on the beach itself: donkey rides were offered by the Sharp family; there were coconut shies, palmistry boots, sideshows and freak shows of all kinds, hucksters selling sheUfish and knick-knacks, Punch and Iudy shows, black-face acts and minstrel singers. One of the most popular troupes were the Iolly Boys, seen here about 1922.

27 The Beach, Marine Parade, 1905.

Pleasure boats are tied up in front of their jetties. A trip on the briny was onee a popular pastime for many visitors to Southend.


i r .

28 The Grace Darling lifeboat.


One of the many pleasure boats offering trips out to the end of the pier or round the estuary, is seen here in this

1 9 1 0 posteard.

The ?? Graee Darling" Lifeboat, Winner of tbe Soutbend Regatta, 1905.

C~n"'-in C. GUNDY. S6 Hartineten Raad. SoutbendĀ·an-Sea.

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