16 facts about Southend-on-Sea!

Southend –on-Sea is the home town of Alan Blunden Insurance Brokers and the Team here are all very proud of our wonderful beaches and the sea air!

The town has attracted day trippers from London for tens of decades – since the Georgian times in fact – to enjoy the sea breezes and sunshine.

There is much more to our town though, than our lovely beaches – here are 16 things you may not know about Southend-on-Sea;

  1. Southend Pier is the world’s longest iron pleasure pier, at 2.158km long – that’s just over a mile;
  2. the Pier was originally a wooden structure built in 1830. It has been rebuilt several times over the years;
  3. in May 1915, Southend was a one of the first air raid victims of the First World War. Bombs were dropped by hand from giant Zeppelins LZ38 airships;
  4. Southend-on-Sea covers an area of 41.76 km squared;
  5. it is the largest town in Essex;
  6. the town has its very own airport flying to places like Poland, Geneva, Barcelona, Edinburgh and Berlin;
  7. Southend-on-Sea is officially the warmest and driest place in the UK ;
  8. in the 1860’s steamers used to cross the Estuary from Southend to Rochester, Sheerness and Gravesend in Kent;
  9. it has seven miles of seafront, a mix of family-friendly pebbly and sandy beaches;

10. in the Domesday book, Southend as we know it today was referred to as the the south end of Prittlewell (the original settlement). During the 18th century,  Southend started to become a recognised name as a “bathing town”;

11. parts of the town, in particular the route to the airport, were featured in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, when James Bond followed Goldfinger  to Southend Airport for a flight out to Zurich;

12. the Pier was taken over by the Navy during World War Two to act as a departure point for convoys;

13. day passes are available that allow you to go fishing off the Pier. You may be lucky and catch a plaice, mackerel or flounder!

14. the town was sealed off during the same war and was renamed HMS Westcliff. It was out of bounds to all except the military and those residents who had not been compulsorily relocated for the duration of the conflict;

15. a former member of the Rat Pack, Buddy Greco, said that Southend is the best place he has ever lived;

16. bare-chested men are banned from the Adventure Island, the town’s theme park. New rules say they need to keep their tops on in line with American theme parts, where being bare-chested isn’t deemed to be family-friendly.

This is just a snapshot of some of the things you may not have known about Southend. While it has lots of fish and chip shops, amusements parks and activities to do, we shouldn’t forget that it also has an amazing history and was very important during the two great wars.



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