For 60 years, Westcliff’s Cliffs Pavilion has played host to thousands of performers from the theatre and music world.

The Cliffs has seen all manner of dance acts, rock groups and theatre shows since 1964, with many of the most memorable nights in the venue’s history being gigs.

Paul McCartney famously brought Southend to a standstill when he came to the Cliffs alongside wife Linda for a secret show in 1991, one of six impromptu shows at the Cliffs.

Work starts on the Cliffs Pavilion in 1939. It opened in 1964Work starts on the Cliffs Pavilion in 1939. It opened in 1964 (Image: Newsquest)

Chas Mumford, director of the Cliffs between 1972 and 2008, reflected on some of this favourite shows.

He said: “We’ve had some fantastic shows, we had Morecambe and Wise perform, we had the Manic Street Preachers.

“Paul McCartney in 1991, Oasis and Blur played around the same time, there were so many stars and artists.

“We used to do six-week summer shows and Leslie Crowther was the first of those, there are so many great memories from then.”

Balcony - Paul McCartneyBalcony - Paul McCartney (Image: Provided)

The Cliffs has had an unusual history, beginning construction as an art deco theatre in the 1930s before having to cease work due to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.

The building remained boarded up until 1959, before being utterly levelled to allow the construction of the theatre anew, which then opened in 1964.

Between July 1991 and December 1992, the Cliffs was closed to be re-developed and enlarged.

Fans - Fans getting excitedFans - Fans getting excited (Image: Provided)

The building had its stairs rebuilt, a new foyer added and a balcony added to the auditorium all with the aim of creating additional seating for big shows.

Mr Mumford said one of his biggest achievements from his time at the Cliffs was securing investment to help create a bigger capacity venue.

He said: “From the mid 80s, it became apparent the Cliffs was just too small.

“One achievement I have is pushing for a larger capacity, this was the highlight and getting the funding to do that led to a renaissance.

“The Cliffs became able to take bigger artists due to the size, it guaranteed the future and now it is coming up to 60.

“I hope it goes from strength to strength.”