Who remembers Keddies, a staple of life in High Street for generations? 

These pictures from the Echo's archive will evoke fond memories for many.  

Echo: The external facade of KeddiesThe external facade of Keddies

For years, the landmark building attracted generations of shoppers and was a true department store with many different sections. 

The sales were legendary - people queued outside before the doors opened and, on occasions, a band entertained shoppers while they waited. 

Echo: Shoppers queuing for the start of the saleShoppers queuing for the start of the sale

The Keddies store was started by George James Keddie in 1892 at 144-146 High Street as a drapery The store expanded to become a full department store, selling everything from penny lines to high-end goods. 

In the 1980s, Keddies had a refresh and was refitted in anticipation of more business coming to Southend with the opening of the Royals Shopping Centre.

Echo: The queue for the saleThe queue for the sale

Chain stores HMV, Tie Rack (which was an outlet just as you walk in) and Olympus sports opened departments.

However, this new momentum and determination to embrace the future did not last. On February 26, 1996, the store finally closed after 104 years of trading.


It was a huge blow to the town to lose such an icon. 

A number of big-name companies have been based in Keddies since - GAP and Tesco Metro store, to name but a few. 

It will forever be remembered by Southenders as a real icon of Southend.