Basildon at 70 - Our heritage
2019 marks 70 years since Basildon New Town was created and everyone is invited to celebrate!
This year Basildon New Town turns 70! It was back in 1946 that Lewis Silkin outlined the New Towns Bill vision, towns where 'friendliness, neighbourliness, comradeship, and the spirit of helpfulness' could thrive.
In 1950, work began on the first new road, Eastmayne. This was quickly followed by the first tenants who moved in houses in Redgrave Road, Vange.
The 1960s unveiled Basildon Bus Station, the much loved Mother and Child Fountain, St Martin-le-Tours church and iconic Brooke House. 1974 saw the 4.45am to Fenchurch Street train leave Basildon Train Station for the first time. The 1980s welcomed headliners including the Towngate Theatre and Wat Tyler Park, much loved attractions today.
It was in 1997 that the town was rechristened 'Bas Vegas' following the launch of Festival Leisure Park before morphing into 'Basilwood' in 2010 with the installation of the iconic Basildon sign. Looking forward, future developments include the introduction of a new cinema complex in East Square.
There's plenty of archive material available. You can see a selection of images below and why not visit Basildon Heritage Group or check out the Laindon & District community Archive. If you have any photos to share we would love to hear from you, use #basildon70 on social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Basildon heritage photos
June 1951 - First new town homes in
September 1959 - Basildon market
July 1962 - The Mother and Child
August 1958 - First Basildon
April 1973 - Basildon Hospital opens
November 1974 - The 4.45am to
August 1980 - Eastgate Shopping
April 1984 - Wat Tyler Country Park
September 1998 - Festival Leisure
March 2010 - A new landmark
July 2012 - The Olympic Torch visits
Coming Soon - Empire Cinema complex,