This film is part of Free

A Family Holiday in Southend

Join this happy family on a jolly to Southend - visiting the mile long pier, the replica Golden Hind, a jellied eel stall and lured by posters promising medieval torture

Amateur film 1967 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


We begin at the shore end of Southend's famous mile long pier where Mum, looking very glamorous in dangly earrings and sling-backs, gets weighed on jockey scales. We then get views of boats on the Pavilion Lakes and see Mum buying ice creams. She and her son visit the waxworks on the replica Golden Hind. We get a glimpse onboard the pier railway before seeing the pair walking amongst the many amusements. We end with shots of a beach packed with holiday makers in deck chairs.

This nostalgic film features Southend-on-sea's 1.34 mile long pier which extends into the Thames Estuary. A narrow-gauge railway runs along the pier, shuttling hundreds of passengers every day between the pier’s Shore and Pier Head stations. An electric railway was installed in 1888 which, by the 1930s, had expanded to run the full length of the pier - with four trains running each way on a double track. The train stock featured in this film dates from 1949 and was comprised of seven carriages in a green and cream livery. Each train could transport 260 passengers per trip several times each day and the electric trains ran until 1978. However, trains running on the pier today are powered by diesel engines.