Old Images of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

Old photo postcard of the old town Leigh-on-Sea Essex

Glimpse history through old images of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, England.

Leigh-on-Sea in 1933

A 1933 newsreel about whitebait fishing opens with a lovely view of the settlement, taken from above.

We are told Mr Young’s family had been fishing for whiteboait for centuries.

The catch would was landed at Canvey Island, and arrive in London within two hours. Most of the produce would end up in the big restaurants and clubs.

Whitebait Winners (1933) – British Pathé on YouTube

Leigh-on-Sea in 1946

A three minute 1946 newsreel about the cockle industry in Leigh-on-Sea starts with a lovely shot of the buildings down at the waterfront.

Raking for cockles on the sand banks of the Thames estuary had been done for about 600 years when this newsreel was recorded.

The Osbourne family are shown on their boat The Renown II. Their family had been working in this industry for the past 80 years. The original Renown had answered the call to rescue soliders at Dunkirk, and never came back.

At the end, we see the Osbourne’s shop, selling jellied eels, whelks, cockles, and oysters.

Cockles (1946) – British Pathé on YouTube

Leigh Regatta 1952

The focus of the 1952 newsreel are the fun and games on the beach and water, which certainly brought out a big audience.

But there are some nice views of the nearby structures and buildings, from different angles.

Football In The Mud Aka Old Leigh Regatta (1952) – British Pathé on YouTube

Leigh Regatta 1953

The following year the news camera was back for more fun and games, but includes a great shot of the nearby homes.

News Flashes – Football In The Mud (1953) – British Pathé on YouTube

Teenager’s Planetarium 1962

At the age of 14, Peter Garrard started building a planetarium in his bedroom, with the help of his father.

He was inspired to do this after his visits to the Planetarium in London (the 1950s building on Marylebone Road is still there, but is now the home of the Marvel Super Heroes 4D attraction).

Leigh-On-Sea Stars Go To Bed (1962) – British Pathé on YouTube

1970s Fishing Boats

Silent footage from the 1970s was recorded on the shore, taking in nearby building and men working on their boats.

Cockle Fishing Boats (1970-1979)- British Pathé on YouTube

1970s Cockle Shed

Silent footage from the 1970s shows how cockles were processed by two young men and an older man in a small scale industrial setting. It looks heavy, tiring work.

Cockle Shed Of Leigh On Sea (1970-1979) – British Pathé on YouTube

Historic Book

Extract from: The Monthly C.T.C. Gazette’ and Official Record – Volume 16

Published in 1897

Page 439 – 440

I daresay a good many readers are familiar with a very
highly coloured pictorial advertisement which represents
Leigh ( mis – calling it Leigh-on-Sea , by the way ) as an

extensive and handsome watering place . It is , in more
senses than one , highly coloured .

All the same , Leigh is
worth visiting , whether en route to Southend or by a stroll
over from that town .

It has ambitions to be a yachting
station , and usually has a few small craft about ; it
also boasts coastguard station and a swimming
bath , but its chief feature is the old church of St.
Clement , on the steep hill above the town , which has
an interesting series of brasses and monuments to a
number of departed sea – dogs .

Curious names some of them
had , with a fishy and nautical sound about them .

is a whole string of Haddocks , from 1453 onwards , including
Admiral Sir Richard Haddock ( died 1714 ) and his son ,
Nicholas Haddock ( 1746 ) , Admiral of the Blue , whose
portrait is at Greenwich . Nicholas , when a captain in
command of the Ludlow Castle , fought and thrashed two
French privateers , each larger than himself , December 30th ,
1707 .

There is a fine mural monument , too , to one Robert
Salmon , Master of Trinity House , 1641 , and an inscription
to another Salmon with a wife and ten children .

There is a brass to Captain Price ( 1709 ) , a hero of the
Dutch wars ; and Richard Chester , a Master of Trinity
House 1632 ) .

Others commemorated are the wife of
Admiral Sir Edward Whitaker ; Captain Rogers , R.N.
( 1683 ) and Captain Goodlad , Master of Trinity House
( 1639 ) .

The church itself has been largely rebuilt , and lost much
of its interest and many of its monuments at the ” restora
tion ” in 1838. There are fine views from the churchyard .

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