Facts about the future town of Southend
he Queen agreed to Southend being granted city status after the death of local campaigning MP Sir David Amess.
Here are some facts about the region:
– It has the longest pleasure pier in the world
In 1829, the foundation stone for the first section of the pier was laid, and the following year a 600-foot wooden pier was opened.
In 1848, it was the longest pier in Europe at 7,000 feet, and today boasts of being the longest pleasure pier in the world at 1.34 miles, according to its official website.
There have been a number of fires over the years causing damage to the structure jutting out into the Thames Estuary, the most recent in October 2005.
A narrow gauge railway runs 1.25 miles along the pier with tickets available for one-way or round-trip.
In 2009, a new station platform and a new office were officially opened, and in 2012, a new cultural center was erected on the structure.
– It was once home to the only five-star hotel on the south-east coast of England
The Palace Hotel – originally named the Metropole – was built in 1901. The property had 200 rooms, a billiard room, and a ballroom and, according to the Southend-On-Sea Borough Council, during World War I it had been temporarily converted to Queen Mary’s Royal Naval Hospital.
– It is twinned with a city in Poland
In 1999, Sopot officially became the sister city of Southend-on-Sea.
Sopot, on the Baltic coast, was previously known as the Polish Riviera, with its hotels, beaches, pubs and restaurants, making it a popular spot for vacationers.
– He follows another Essex neighbor into becoming a town
The last time the list of UK towns was expanded was in 2012, when Chelmsford in Essex, Perth in Scotland and St Asaph in Denbighshire won the right to be called towns as a result of the Diamond competition Jubilee Civic Honors.
There are currently 69 official towns in the UK: 51 in England, six in Wales, seven in Scotland and five in Northern Ireland.
– It has links to famous faces
Dame Helen Mirren was born in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, and in her youth previously worked at Kursaal Amusement Park in Southend.
Bishop Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, is from Leigh-on-Sea and grew up in Southend.
Former UK No.1 tennis player John Lloyd attended Southend High School for Boys.
Game Of Thrones actress Nathalie Emmanuel, who played Missandei in the HBO fantasy series, grew up in Southend where she attended Westcliff High School for Girls.
Southend Pier was the home of Channel Four’s cooking show Jamie And Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, hosted by Chef Jamie Oliver.
Countdown star Rachel Riley paid tribute to Sir David Amess for helping support his mother’s local charitable work, and tweeted that Southend becoming a town was a “very fitting” tribute to the late MP.
Actor and singer Lee Mead, who described himself as’ born and raised in Southend ‘, said town status would be part of Sir David’s legacy, after the MP’ fought tirelessly for many years’ to make it happen.