Our Schools' Days will be greeted by the Royal Artillery Association on the Upper Desk of the Northern Southend Pier Entrance who will be guarding HMS Leigh with their WW2 artillery guns.
A quick stroll through the HMS Leigh Checkpoint will bring guests to the sheltered Remembrance Garden, where everyone is given the opportunity to bring a picture of a loved one they would like to commemorate or buy a Red, White or Blue Ribbon to tie to the pier railings in memory of a family member who served during the many British wars and conflicts since 1829. The Leigh-on-Sea Branch of the Royal British Legion will be there to guide everyone through this process and direct them on to the next stage of the journey.
The Old Pavilion Stage is next, where schools can muster their forces and prepare everyone for the next 1656 metre walk down the Main Stem of this WW2 Royal Navy Shore Station. Along the way, classes will be met at the 4 covered shelters by actors from HMS Leigh dressed in period costumes who will share with them the exhibitions that chronicle the major events in the life of Southend during World War 2.
After their brisk perambulation through the bracing sea air – much enjoyed by our Victorian and Edwardian ancestors - visitors come to the South Station section of the Pier, where more HMS Leigh actors in period costume will be there to point the way to the facilities available on the Old Pier Head just to the South.
Following a quick comfort break, the stroll to the Outer Pier Head and St Georges Extension will bring you to the end of Southend Pier, where you will be greeted by the HMS Leigh Team, and given the opportunity to listen to 1940s Southend Music, learn the hidden stories of the People of HMS Leigh and WW2 Southend, enjoy a break or eat your packed lunch, possibly tie your ribbon to the railings to see if the wind will carry your thoughts to those who lived and served for our freedom during some of the darkest days in recent history.
The VE76 Event is will bring you live music and performance as well as offer snacks, mementoes to take home and refreshments depending on the COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time.
Your Visit back to 2021 will be on the Southend Pier Railway where your classes will be asked to remain in their bubbles within the carriages and travel in the path of over 1.5 million servicemen and women who rode the same route during World War 2.
Alighting at the North Station guests will be signposted to activities and further resources to help us all remember and celebrate the world-class heritage on our seafront.