History

The Lease on the land for the Tram Stop Shelter was first dated on the 2nd July 1914. It stated that the building could only be used for the benefit of the public.

A strict covenant preserving the character of the Burges Estate is still enforced.

There is no record of when the Shelter was actually built but photographs taken in 1914 show the building in place.

image-112

Taken in 1938 the shelter is just visible at the rear of the tram in the picture.

A tram system covered the whole of Southend and was extended to Thorpe Bay when the seafront became popular and the residential area started to grow.

history-02
image-113

Dated 1914 this tram is known as a “Toast Rack” as the passengers sat across the width in long rows and seats moved so the people could face in the opposite direction.

These took trippers from outside the Kursaal at the cost of one penny for a circular ride along the seafront, “out into the Essex countryside”, up Thorpe Hall Avenue (seen here), through Southchurch Boulevard and Southchurch Road, then down Southchurch Avenue back to the Kursaal.
The buildings to the top left of the photograph is believed to be Thorpe Hall Farm now Thorpe Hall Golf Club.

history-03
image-114

This shows a tram coming out of Thorpe Hall Avenue at Bournes Green and preparing to turn left into Southchurch Boulevard in 1921.

history-04
image-115

1938 and perhaps the earliest clear photo we have of our Shelter.

history-05
image-116

1929 a tram all decorated for the Southend Carnival.

Just like in those days our project is about community spirit, celebrating our heritage and joining with others to enjoy our cultural and valuable history.

Our Heritage Teams will be generating interest and giving talks and presentations on our past to schools and community groups either at the Shelter, on walking tours or at the groups own premises.

Our thanks go to the Mansfield Press for allowing us to use these photographs.