HMS Leigh

Come and discover the untold history of HMS Leigh also known as Southend Pier and it’s forgotten role during World War Two as Naval Command centre for the Thames. 

 Join us in celebrating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day throughout the special VE75 bank holiday weekend Friday 8 - Sunday 10 May 2020.  

Winston Churchill with a Sten Mk II in S
RNVR Officer Uniform WW2 02
Outside The Royal Hotel - Southend

Discover the secrets 

Interact with multiple actors, dressed in original vintage 1940’s clothing, who will be bringing to life the real-world stories of people who lived in the Southend area during World War Two: from commodore J.P. Champion to the extraordinary Mona who ran the Pier NAAFI. 

Immerse yourselves in the fascinating history of HMS Leigh within pop-up exhibitions, curated in partnership with local history associations and Southend Museums, along the stretch of the pier where you can learn about HMS Leigh’s crucial role in truly being the Guardian of the Thames. 

Dance and Celebrate

Celebrate and dance like it’s the end of the war 1945 style, with upbeat 1940’s inspired live jazz music performances at the end of HMS Leigh (Southend Pier) within the Royal Pavilion over the event days. We will have the Music Man, So Slam, YMCA Music and Scarlet Taylor at the event    performing for us so you won't want to miss out.

Support our armed services: past, present and future 

A fantastic opportunity to talk with members of the Royal Artillery Association, Royal British Legion, Royal Naval Association, local Cadets and other members of the community over the event days. This is a opportunity to get up-close and personal with original WW2 artillery and military vehicles, and local legend the Endeavour, with many more exciting surprises to be announced verry soon! 

Remember those you have lost 

We are inviting everyone to visit our dedicated Remembrance Garden, hosted by the Royal British Legion, and supported by other local organisations - alongside people who experienced World War Two as children. Here you will be able to talk openly about those you have lost at any point in your life - to people who are there to listen. You will also be able to contribute towards our Rememberance Wall, by bringing photos and stories of, or letters to those you have lost. Please only bring copies of any photos or documents, and those you do not mind other visitors from seeing. 

Main image courtesy of Dean Trotter

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Blade Education is a not for profit company registered in England and Wales. Company No. 06228254. Registered office 43/SS93DT.