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Southend On Sea

Updated on January 28, 2016

Hi and thank you for visiting this article of mine, what do you know about Southend On Sea, did you know it is the home place to the world longest pier and the home place to the first ever theme park in the world. Well if you find that interesting, then I can guarantee you will find this article very interesting. I can guarantee you that you will learn something. Southend is the town I was born in and I still live here today so I have been here for 21 years, to totally be honest with you I kind of like it.

Southend Pier

Southend Pier is the longest leisure pier in the world its stretches out 1.34 miles out in to the Thames Estuary, The end of the pier is Home to the RNLI lifeboat station; It has two shuttle trains on it which operates in the daytime or you could simply walk. Southend Pier opened in 1830 and in 1889 it was an iron pier. It has gone through many stages of its lifetime like being extended to the length it is today. It has lived through World War 1 and 2, seen off bad weather condition including when the river froze over in February 1927 and It has also survived two fires one quite recent. On October 10th 2005 Southend Pier was set alight and part of the head was destroyed. the entertainment part was completely destroyed, luckily the new lifeboat station which opened in 2001 survived however it now had no supply of water, electricity and most of all nobody could get to it as the walkway was burnt down. On Wednesday the 16th may 2012, a £3m culture centre was lifted onto Southend pier, originally built in Tilbury; The centre was carried down the Thames and hoisted on to the end of the pier. the centre was lifted at 2mm a minute to prevent any damage to the 100 year old pier structure. This is the first addition to the pier since the lifeboat station in 2000. The Culture centre which is due to open in the summer will be home to evening events, will have a cafe and toilets. one of its aims is to make the pier one of Southend biggest attractions.

The Kursaal

You may see the Kursaal as a building with a dome and used for bowling but there is a lot you dont know about the kursaal; firstly a long time ago the kursaal was the first ever Theme park and was actually quite a big Theme park, it was opened in 1889 and people came down from everywhere, they were told that they could experience sea sickness without even leaving dry land. In 1934 their biggest ride arrived; it was called the cyclone roller-coaster and in 1921 saw the arrival of the water shoot, there was normally quite a big queue for this ride. During World War 2 the theme park closed and the water chute basin was tarred and used to store water. In 1998 the kursaal had a multi - million pound renovation and was used for ball room dances. It was decided in 1973 to be shut down. Today it is used for bowling and the ballroom dance floor is used for weddings and dances. The site behind the kursaal is all housing estates and only left history of the theme park is the kursaal building itself.

Adventure Island

Adventure Island is a free entry amusement park in Southend on sea. Originally called Peter Pans when only the west side of the pier was owned however it extended to the east side and that changed the name to Peter Pans Adventure Island; over time the name has change to just Adventure Island. The amusement park has 34 rides overall this includes 5 roller coasters and 1 water ride. In February 2007 the park saw the arrival of a ride called rage it's the biggest investment the park had ever made. Rage cost £3 million and it is 75ft high, it has a 97degree drop as well. Rage was very popular when it came out and people came to just to see the ride up close.

Southend United

Along with all these great attractions Southend also has its own football team, The Southend ground is called roots hall and it is located on Victoria Avenue and it holds 12,000 people there are plans for the team to move to the 22,000 seats at Fossets Farm. the stadium took ten years to build and after this period there was complications such as there found that the pitch was laid on rubbish and it got waterlogged , so the pitch had to be completely re-laid and have drainage installed, this drainage is still there today.

Southend Radio AKA Radio Essex

In march 2008 Southend Radio was launched on the radio, the frequency was 105.1 however it can only be picked up in Southend and towns around Southend, it can be received in some parts of Kent and maybe East of London. The radio station is based next to Adventure Island. The type of music played on southend radio is 60s music to today's music. Southend radio serves a sister station, Chelmsford radio. southend radio recently changed its name to Radio Essex.

Priory park

Priory Park is one of the biggest and best parks in Southend On Sea, it is roughly 14 hectares so you can say it is pretty large, it is home to the Bandstand where there is regular performances going on. There is the secret gardenwhich is a nice place to go and chill out if you can find it, in the secret garden there is a small pond and it is spoilt with flowers, in Priory Park there Is also a very big pond where sometime there are ducks you can feed. There is a play park for the kids and 4 Tennis courts; there are two fields one larger than the other which can be used for playing football. There is a café there so you can get some refreshments. Priory Park is next to the A127 and is on the back of Priory Crescent. So if you're in southend for a holiday, I suggest going to this park for the day as it's a great place and suits a grand day out.

Films that feature Southend

One film that a lot of people may notice is James Bond gold finger. When James has placed the tracker in the car you get shown a map and this is Southend airport this also shows the plane taking off from Southend airport. Southend has recently been the set to Eastenders as you may of heard one of the actors had an accident and was airlifted to hospital, Eastenders has filmed in Southend many times before this may be either because it is a popular seaside resort or it's the closest. In series 2 episode 4 of Gavin and Stacy, Gavin, Stacey, Nessa, and Smithy all go bowling at the kursaal bowling. It shows them inside the kursaal on the bowling alley and finally in the car park. The film "bloody kids" was a 1979 film which was set in south east England and this include Southend, Westcliff, and Leigh on sea. A scene from "bloody kids" was filmed at Southend football ground where a teenage kid gets stabbed.

London Southend Airport

Southend Airport officially opened as an airport on the 18th of September; before this it was used in World War 1 as the only airport in Essex, it was called RAF Rochford back then. On the 2nd of December 2008 London Southend airport was bought by Stobart group for 21 million pound. Ever since Stobart has been in charge there has been dramatic improvements for starters in march 2011 a new control tower had opened, the airport has also been given the go ahead to extend to runway and this will lead to more planes being able to land, the runway will be extended by 300m, in order for this to happen Eastwoodbury lane would have to be rerouted and some building demolished. There is also a new terminal currently being built and the new train station has recently opened. In March 2011 Aer Arann which is Irish airline signed a contract to let two planes to come to the airport, one from Galway and the other from Waterford. The biggest achievement was to come in June 2011 when It was announced that EasyJet were to have 70 flights from southend airport to ten European locations this will mean that 3 airbus A319 will be based at southend airport.

Southend Airport Station

On July 18th a new train station opened next to Southend Airport; Southend Airport Station. It will soon be linked to the new terminal that is being built so people can get straight on the train after getting off the plane. It's on the London to Southend line and trains are the 321 Class. The train stops at Southend, Prittlewell, Southend Airport, Rochford, Hockley, Rayleigh, Wickford, Billericay, Shenfield, Stratford and London Liverpool Street. The new station is roughly 40 miles away from central London and it takes you around 53 minutes to get to London Liverpool street from southend airport station. The class 321 train which operate the Southend to London line are limited to 80 mph but have a top speed of 100mph.

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