SCENES like these were not a rare occurrence in Southend during the Seventies and Eighties.

Southend’s family friendly seafront would regularly be invaded by groups of skinheads from London on bank holiday weekends.

The photos in our gallery are all from the early 1980s and show a heavy police presence in the town as the crowds descended.

The groups of teenagers would pile onto the seafront and police were out in force in an attempt to defuse tension and prevent skirmishes.

They weren’t always successful however. Local papers were full of criticism for the groups who would intimidate day trippers and holiday makers.

“Whenever they come people scatter and windows shatter” was the well known saying at the time.

In August 1982 police arrested 21 rampaging skinheads in one day.

In 1980 a skinhead from London was fined £450 for urinating in front of families on the seafront. He bemoaned the fine in court, saying it was too much and he couldn’t afford to pay.

“Up my way people bash old ladies over the head and don’t get fined that much,” he said in court.

Astonishingly Southend Magistrates’ actually lowered the fine to £350.

As well as Southend, other seaside towns were a big draw for skinheads in the 1980’s including Brighton, Paignton and the Isle of Wight