45 Facts About Southend


Southend-on-Sea, commonly referred to as Southend, is a coastal city and unitary authority area with borough status in southeastern Essex, England.

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Southend redeveloped itself as the home of the Access credit card, due to its having one of the UK's first electronic telephone exchanges.

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On 18 October 2021, it was announced that Southend would be granted city status, as a memorial to the Member of Parliament for Southend West, Sir David Amess, a long-time supporter of city status for the borough, who was fatally stabbed on 15 October 2021.

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Southend was granted city status by letters patent dated 26 January 2022.

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Originally the "south end" of the village of Prittlewell, Southend was home to a few poor fishermens' huts and farms at the southern extremity of Prittlewell Priory land.

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Good rail connections and proximity to London mean that much of the economy has been based on tourism, and that Southend has been a dormitory town for city workers ever since.

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Southend became the home of the Access credit card, as it had one of the UK's first electronic telephone exchanges, with offices based in the former EKCO factory, Maitland House, Victoria Circus and Southchurch Road.

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Preparations, led by Amess, for Southend to enter a competition for city status in 2022 as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee were underway at the time of his death.

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Southend became the second city in the ceremonial county of Essex, after Chelmsford, which was granted city status in 2012.

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Southend-on-Sea was formed as a municipal borough in 1892 with the functions of local government shared with Essex County Council.

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In 1914 the enlarged Southend gained the status of county borough, exempt from county council control and a single-tier of local government.

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On 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, Southend became a district of Essex with borough status and its civil parish was abolished.

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Southend is represented by two Members of Parliament at Westminster.

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MP for Southend West was Sir David Amess, who served from 1997 until his murder in 2021.

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Since 2005 the MP for Rochford and Southend East has been James Duddridge, who replaced Sir Teddy Taylor.

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Southend is the seventh most densely populated area in the United Kingdom outside of the London Boroughs, with 38.

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Southend has the highest percentage of residents receiving housing benefit and the third highest percentage of residents receiving council tax benefit in Essex.

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Southend brought 120 existing jobs from Braintree and announced the intention to create more in the future.

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Southend has industrial parks located at Progress Road, Comet and Aviation Ways in Eastwood and Stock Road in Sutton.

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Firms located in Southend include Olympus Keymed, Hi-Tec Sports and MK Electric.

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Southend has declined as a centre for credit card management with only Royal Bank of Scotland card services still operating in the city.

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London Southend Airport was developed from the military airfield at Rochford; it was opened as a civil airport in 1935.

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Southend has a bus station in Chichester Road, which was developed from a temporary facility added in the 1970s; the previous bus station was located on London Road and was run by Eastern National, but it was demolished in the 1980s to make way for a Sainsbury's supermarket.

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Arriva Southend is the only bus company based in Southend, with their depot located in Short Street; it was previously sited on the corner of London Road and Queensway and a small facility in Tickfield Road.

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Southend is served by two lines on the National Rail network:.

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Main higher education provider in Southend is the University of Essex which has a campus in Elmer Approach on the site of the former Odeon cinema.

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Southend has two football teams, one of professional stature, Southend United.

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Southend was formerly home to the Essex Eels rugby league team.

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Southend was home to the Essex Pirates basketball team that played in the British Basketball League between 2009 and 2011.

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Southend-on-Sea is home to the world's longest pleasure pier, built in 1830 and stretching some 1.

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Southend Carnival has been an annual event since 1906, where it was part of the annual regatta, and was setup to raise funds for the Southend Victoria Cottage Hospital.

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The older Southend Cliff Railway, a short funicular, is a few hundred metres away.

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Southend Shakedown, organised by Ace Cafe, is an annual event featuring motorbikes and scooters.

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Southend-on-Sea Film Festival is an annual event that began in 2009 and is run by the White Bus film and theatrical company based at The Old Waterworks Arts Center located inside a Victorian era Old Water Works plant.

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Southend is home to the largest store in the Waitrose portfolio.

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Southend has various Conservation areas across the borough, with the first being designated in 1968.

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Southend has several small libraries located in Leigh, Westcliff, Kent Elms and Southchurch.

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Southend has one cinema – the Odeon Multiplex at Victoria Circus which has eight screens.

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The borough of Southend had at one time a total of 18 cinema theatres, with the most famous being the Odeon, which as well as showing films hosted live entertainers including the Beatles and Laurel and Hardy.

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Southend has appeared in films over the years, with the New York New York arcade on Marine Parade being used in the British gangsta flick Essex Boys, the premiere of which took place at the Southend Odeon.

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Southend Airport was used for the filming of the James Bond film Goldfinger.

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Southend has three major venues; Chinnerys, the Riga Club at The Dickens, and the Cliffs Pavilion.

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Southend is mentioned in a number of songs including as the end destination in Billy Bragg's "A13, Trunk Road to the sea" where the final line of the chorus is "Southend's the end".

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In 1981, Southend became the home of Essex Radio, which broadcast from studios below Clifftown Road.

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Southend is the seaside vacation place chosen by the John Knightley family in Emma by Jane Austen, published 1816.

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