Holidaymakers having a holiday in Southend, watching carnivals, relaxing on the beach, swimming and dancing.
Portrait of a Place; Promotional
The film is introduced over shots of Southend's flower gardens. Holidaymakers arrive at Southend by coach and by rail at Southend Victoria Station. An aerial shot of the pier and of the sea front is followed by shots on the pier of the visitors and of the Southend Pier Railway. At the airport a plane takes off destined for France. There are further aerial views showing the airport and the boating pool.
Back on ground level, there are further shots of the boating pool and then of the fairground. At Southchurch Park, a father and son control a model boat on the boating lake. Visitors relax at Cliff Gardens, and enjoy the entertainment at the Victorian bandstand – a talent contest and ‘Miss Lovely’ competition. The inviting activity of holidaymakers continues, at the Westcliff outdoor swimming pool; a ‘Miss Lovely’ finalist arrives at the Cliffs Pavilion entertainment complex; and at the pier visitors play tenpin bowling at The Kursaal, dine in the restaurant, or see a show at The Sundeck Theatre.
Holiday-makers journey the 1.3 miles to the end of the pier, on foot or by Southend Pier Railway. The Royal Daffodil ocean liner docks at the pier to collect passengers, commentary explains that the Royal Daffodil will proceed along the Thames Estuary and then on to France. Visitors sun-bath on deck chairs on the pier, whilst others enjoy lunch and boys fish over the side. There are scenes of motor sports at Southend. There are speed boats and sailing boats, canoes and paddle boats. There are also shots of water skiing.
These are followed by a lengthy sequence showing typical beach and seaside scenes; people bathing, children paddling, people relaxing in deck chairs. Away from the beach land sports are enjoyed including golf, bowls, tennis, Southend County Cricket Week and archery. There are some shots of the Southend Carnival, featuring the Carnival Queen. The next section covers the parks and beauty spots around Southend. There are brief shots of Prittlewell Priory, Southchurch Hall and of the rose garden at Chalkwell Park.
The film concludes by showing Southend at night. The illuminations are shown, including the illuminated models at Never Never Land. Finally there are interior scenes from the Kursaal ballroom. A couple meet on the balcony. He lights a cigarette for the woman and for himself. They sit at a table watching the dancing on the floor below. There is a big band on the stage and a close up shot of some of its members. The couple link arms to take a sip of their drinks. The film finishes with the two of them smiling at the camera.
This film was shot in 1959 but this is a 1964 re-edited version. The film was re-edited into at least four different versions.
The Miss Lovely contest
Southend Pier; Southend Victoria Station; Cliffs Pavilion; Prittlewell Priory; Southchurch Hall; The Kursaal ballroom;