SOUTHEND has a complex and surprisingly interesting history. From 18th-century origins as the 'South End' of Prittlewell Parish, it has grown over 300 years to swallow up six separate parishes: Prittlewell, Southchurch, Leigh, Eastwood,North Shoebury and South Shoebury. The town and wider borough are both now known as 'Southend'. Starting in the Stone Age, it ends in the modern Information Age, covering all points in between. The story of its evolution as a seaside resort, a commuter town and a regional shopping ventre is unterwoven with a multitude of amusing, intriguing and impressive events, incidents and achievements in this very readable narrative. Southend has been unfairly maligned as 'lacking much history'. This new book successfully demolishes that suggestion, revealing a wealth of interest in the town and its past - from Prittlewell's Saxon origins to its important role in two world wars. It will be warmly welcomed throughout Essex.
Ian Yearsley is the author of Rayleigh: A History.