A FILM featuring carriages which last trundled along Southend’s landmark pier in the Seventies is to be given a rare screening.
Rolling Along is a 15-minute silent film documenting the arrival of the pier’s iconic electric trains in 1949.
The distinctive green and cream trains carried many thousands of passengers up and down the pier until they were withdrawn in the Seventies.
The film not only captures an important moment in the pier’s history, but also offers a fascinating glimpse into Southend life in the Forties.
PeggyDowie has organised the screening in her role as chairman of the Southend Pier Museum Foundation Trust.
She said: “We’re thrilled to be screening this wonderful film that really captures the excitement around the arrival of the trains.
“There were four of these trains, which had seven carriages carrying 240 passengers.
They replaced the old toast rack trains. People loved the old trains so much that when the new ones were brought in, the council had to hire a private detective to ride on the trains because people were saying they were unsafe.
“They were green and cream and like a caterpillar. The trains carried fivemillion passengers in the first year.”
The film will be shown at Southend Central Museum in Victoria Avenue, Southend, on Tuesday, April 8 at 7.30pm. It will be followed by a talk from special guest Chris Brown, one of the few surviving drivers of the trains. The museum, located in the old workshops under the train station at the shore end of the pier, counts one of the original Forties electric trains among its star attractions.
Ms Dowie added: “We’re especially pleased that Chris Brown will be there to share his personal experiences of driving these beautiful vehicles. If you’ve ever been on the pier, then come along and learn about this fascinating aspect of its history. Everyone is welcome to attend.”