The naval fleet visits Southend-on-Sea.
The film opens with crowd scenes in the decorated streets of Southend-on-Sea, both on the Front and in the town centre. There are many sailors evident. In the town centre a group are walking along the street with their kit bags over their shoulders. The crowd scenes in the town centre also show the transition period between horse-drawn vehicles and motor vehicles, both of which are evident. Following a shot of Southend Pier, the fleet is visible in the distance. There follows close-up scenes of the fleet, including battleships and a submarine. However, emphasising the festive nature of the event, there are paddle steamers laden with passengers and sailing boats. There are some shots from on board, including the guns.
150 ships from the Home and Atlantic Fleets visited Southend-on-Sea. The Home Fleet was commanded by Rear Admiral Sir William May aboard the battleship 'Dreadnought' and Sir Charles Briggs in the 'Lord Nelson.' At one stage, the pier had to close because of overcrowding. The Pier made £3,000 profit. Special trains ran from London and the local newspaper reported that 10,000 cycled from the Capital. Visitors to Southend included the Lord Mayor of London and the Japanese Royal Family, although they are not recognisable in this film.
The Royal Navy
The visit of the fleet to Southend-on-Sea 1909