AS Southend beaches won coveted Blue Flags this week, we take a trip back in time with these amazing images.

Pictures remind us of long summer holidays on the legendary seafront.


Just like today, there were rides for thrill-seekers and seaside treats.


East Beach Shoebury, Shoebury Common, Thorpe Bay, Three Shells Beach, and Westcliff Bay have all been awarded international Blue Flag awards, and it is easy to see why.

The world-famous Southend Pier and rides have always drawn crowds of visitors.

Echo: The Kursaal in its heydayThe Kursaal in its heyday (Image: Newsquest)

From spinning rides to water rides, Southend seafront really had something for everyone.

Echo: The much-enjoyed water attractions in 1996The much-enjoyed water attractions in 1996 (Image: Newsquest)

As far back as the Victorian era the now-city attracted families, daytrippers and plenty of tourists.

The iconic Kursaal, which become a known feature on the skyline, was home to various rides, attractions, a zoo and events with its ballroom.


The attraction, which as the poster dating back to 1932 shows, was dubbed “the greatest amusement centre in the south” thanks to its huge selection of rides including rollercoasters, water slides, bumper cars and waltzers.

Echo: Families on Southend PierFamilies on Southend Pier (Image: Newsquest)

In 1916, a zoo, which was home to bears, tigers and wolves, opened at the four-acre site, but this closed when the Second World War broke out.

Echo: Visitors at Southend Pier in the distant pastVisitors at Southend Pier in the distant past (Image: Newsquest)

Echo: Families on an old seafront rideFamilies on an old seafront ride (Image: Newsquest)