Shoeburyness (/ˌʃuːbəriˈnɛs/; also called Shoebury) is a town in southeast Essex, England, at the mouth of the Thames Estuary. It is within the borough of Southend-on-Sea, situated at its far east, around 3 miles (5 km) east of Southend town centre. It was an urban district of Essex from 1894 to 1933, when it became part of the county borough of Southend-on-Sea.[2] It was once a garrison town and still acts as host to MoD Shoeburyness.

Shoeburyness east-beach

Shoebury East Beach
Shoeburyness is located in Essex
Location within Essex
Population11,159 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ941851
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townSouthend-on-Sea
Postcode districtSS3
Dialling code01702
AmbulanceEast of England
EU ParliamentEast of England
UK Parliament


Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) girls at the Royal Artillery Experimental Unit, at Shoeburyness in Essex, using the Window Position Finder to sight shell bursts in the air or water, 1943. TR744
Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) girls at the Royal Artillery Experimental Unit, at Shoeburyness, using the Window Position Finder to sight shell bursts in the air or water, 1943.

The eastern terminus of the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway (c2c line) is at Shoeburyness railway station, services run to London Fenchurch Street in the city of London. The eastern end of the A13 is at Shoeburyness. The MoD Shoeburyness site at Pig's Bay is situated nearby and the facility is run by the company QinetiQ.[3]

Shoeburyness has two beaches: East Beach and Shoebury Common Beach (also known as West Beach), both Blue Flag beaches.[4]

East Beach is a sandy/pebbly beach around a quarter of a mile long and is sandwiched between the Pig's Bay MoD site and the former Shoeburyness Artillery barracks. Access to the large gravel/grass pay-and-display car park is via Rampart Terrace. East Beach is the site of a defence boom, built in 1944, to prevent enemy shipping and submarines from accessing the River Thames.[5] This replaced an earlier, similar boom built 100 yards (91 m) east.

The majority of the boom was dismantled after the war, but around one mile still remains, stretching out into the Thames Estuary. East Beach benefits from a large grassy area immediately adjacent to the sands, which is suitable for informal sports and family fun.

Shoeburyness is where, during the Second World War, a magnetic ground mine, which was deposited in the mud at the mouth of the Thames by the Luftwaffe, was discovered by the MoD. Up until that time, various sinkings of ships around the English coast were thought to be due to U-boat torpedoes. The discovery of the ground mine allowed countermeasures to be introduced to neutralise the weapon's effect; one of these was the degaussing cables installed in merchant ships in Allied and British fleets, and of course the wooden minesweepers.[6]

Shoebury Common Beach is bounded to the east by the land formerly occupied by the Shoeburyness Artillery barracks and continues into Jubilee Beach. Shoebury Common Beach is the site of many beach huts located on both the promenade and the beach. A Coast Guard watch tower at the eastern end of the beach keeps watch over the sands and mudflats while listening out for distress calls over the radio. A cycle path skirts around the sea-front linking the East Beach to Shoebury Common Beach, and thence into Southend and a number of other towns, including Leigh-on-Sea.

In popular culture

Joseph Mallord William Turner 033
Shoeburyness Fisherman Hailing a Whitstable Hoy by J. M. W. Turner, 1809

The English painter J. M. W. Turner depicted the fishermen of Shoeburyness in his oil painting Shoeburyness Fishermen Hailing a Whitstable Hoy. The painting was exhibited in 1809, and was part of a series Turner made of the Thames estuary between 1808 and 1810. The painting has been in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada since 1939.[7][8]

In the fifth Temeraire novel Victory of Eagles, Shoeburyness is the setting of a fictitious climactic battle in which Wellesley and Nelson drive Napoleon out of England in early 1808.[9]

Shoeburyness is home to "the commuter", protagonist in the eponymous song and music video by Ceephax Acid Crew.[10]

Shoeburyness is mentioned in the Porridge episode "The Harder They Fall" (S2 E6), at approximately 6'10".[11]

Notable people

  • Tony Holland (18 January 1940 – 28 November 2007), BBC screenwriter


  1. ^ "Southend Ward population 2011". Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  2. ^ Shoeburyness UD Essex through time: Administrative history of Local Government District Archived 1 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 18 November 2017.
  3. ^ "MOD Shoeburyness". Qinetiq. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Blue flags awarded to a dozen sunny Anglia beaches". ITV News. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  5. ^ Gordon, Dee (3 February 2014). The Secret History of Southend-on-Sea. History Press. p. 84. ISBN 9780750955454.
  6. ^ Simpson, James (23 November 2014). "How Britain Beat Germany's Magnetic Sea Mines". War Is Boring. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  7. ^ Shoeburyness Fishermen Hailing a Whitstable Hoy, before 1809, National Gallery of Canada website; retrieved 18 June 2013.
  8. ^ Shoeburyness Fisherman Hailing a Whitstable Hoy,; retrieved 18 June 2013.
  9. ^ "The Temeraire Reread: Victory of Eagles". 18 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  10. ^ "The Commuter" by Ceephax Acid Crew (2010) on YouTube; accessed November 18, 2017.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Shoeburyness Climatic Averages 1981–2010". Met Office. Retrieved 23 December 2012.

External links

2016 Southend-on-Sea Borough Council election

The 2016 Southend-on-Sea Borough Council election took place on 5 May 2016 to elect members of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections.

2018 Southend-on-Sea Borough Council election

Elections to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council took place on 3 May 2018. This was on the same day as other local elections across the United Kingdom.

A13 road (England)

The A13 is a major road in England linking Central London with east London and south Essex. Its route is similar to that of the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, and runs the entire length of the northern Thames Gateway area, terminating on the Thames Estuary at Shoeburyness. It is a trunk road between London and the Tilbury junction, a primary route between there and Sadlers Hall Farm near South Benfleet, and a non-primary route between there and Shoeburyness.

Arthur Hopcraft

Arthur Hopcraft (30 November 1932 – 22 November 2004) was an English scriptwriter, well known for his TV plays such as The Nearly Man, and for his small-screen adaptations such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; Hard Times, Bleak House, and Rebecca. Before taking up writing for TV, he was a sports journalist for The Guardian and The Observer, writing The Football Man: People and Passions in Soccer. He also had four other books published, including an autobiographical account of his childhood, and wrote the screenplay for the film Hostage. Hopcraft won the BAFTA writer's award in 1985.


Trenitalia c2c Limited, trading as c2c, is an English train operating company owned by Trenitalia that operates the Essex Thameside railway franchise. It manages 25 stations and its trains call at 28. c2c provides commuter services from its London terminus as Fenchurch Street & Liverpool Street to east London and parts of Essex along the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway, and is the only operator on the line.

The company began operating as LTS Rail in May 1996 under the ownership of Prism Rail, which had been awarded the London, Tilbury & Southend railway franchise as part of the privatisation of British Rail. LTS Rail rebranded as c2c in May 2000 and Prism Rail was bought by National Express in July that year. National Express sold c2c to the Italian operator Trenitalia in February 2017.

Foulness SSSI

Foulness SSSI is a 10,702 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest covering the shoreline between Southend-on-Sea and the Crouch estuary in Essex. It is a key site in A Nature Conservation Review, and is part of the Essex Estuaries Special Area of Conservation. It covers two Ramsar wetland sites of international importance, 'Crouch and Roach Estuaries' and 'Foulness'. An area of 6.4 hectares is Shoeburyness Old Ranges, a Local Nature Reserve managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust.Most of the site is owned and managed by the Ministry of Defence. Natural England describes it as "extensive intertidal sand-silt flats, saltmarsh, beaches, grazing marshes, rough grass and scrubland". The flats are of international importance for nine species of wildfowl and waders, such as dark-bellied brent geese. Rare plants include soft hornwort and spiral tasselwood, and the site is also important for invertebrates, with 71 nationally rare species.

Jack Shadbolt

Jack Leonard Shadbolt, (February 4, 1909 – November 22, 1998) was a Canadian painter.

London, Tilbury and Southend Railway

The London, Tilbury and Southend Railway (LTSR), also known as Essex Thameside, is a commuter railway line on the British railway system which connects Fenchurch Street station in central London with destinations in east London and Essex, including Barking, Upminster, Basildon, Grays, Tilbury, Southend and Shoeburyness.

Its main users are commuters travelling to and from London, particularly the City of London which is served by Fenchurch Street, and areas in east London including the Docklands financial district via London Underground and Docklands Light Railway connections at Limehouse and West Ham. The line is also heavily used by leisure travellers, as it and its branches serve a number of seaside resorts, shopping areas and countryside destinations. Additionally the route provides an artery for freight traffic to and from the port of Tilbury.

The railway was authorised in 1852 and the first section was opened in 1854 by the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway Company, which was a joint venture between the London and Blackwall Railway and the Eastern Counties Railway companies. The route was extended in phases and partnerships were formed with the Midland Railway and District Railway to provide through-services.

The main line runs from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness via Basildon over a distance of 39 miles 40 chains (63.6 km). A loop line between Barking and Pitsea provides an alternative route via Grays and Tilbury, and there is a short branch line connecting the two via Ockendon. The line has a maximum speed limit of 75 mph (121 km/h), although the Class 357 electric trains which run on it are capable of a speed of 100 mph (160 km/h).

The line forms part of Network Rail's strategic route 6. It is classified as a London and South East commuter line. Passenger services form the Essex Thameside franchise that is currently operated by train operating company c2c.

MoD Shoeburyness

MoD Shoeburyness is a military installation at Pig's Bay near Shoeburyness in Essex.

National Cycle Route 16

Bishop Stortford to Southend-on-Sea

Pig's Bay

Pig's Bay is a coastal area in East Shoebury, a small beachland area in Shoeburyness. The main entrance to the site is at Blackgate Road, Shoeburyness. This is also the gateway to the island of Foulness, the fourth largest island off the coast of England.

The bay is the site of MoD Shoeburyness, a military installation established in 1849 and which is still used as a firing range.One of the other uses of the site is the storage and scrapping of old railway vehicles. It has its own private railway network, stretching for around six miles, linked to one of the sidings at Network Rail's Shoeburyness c2c electrical multiple unit depot by means of two unmanned level crossings across Shoeburyness High Street and Blackgate Road, respectively.

The site has also featured in a few episodes of the Channel 4 series Scrapheap Challenge. The front locomotive of the passenger train involved in the 1997 Southall rail crash – when an InterCity 125 train collided with a freight train, killing seven people – was scrapped here, being cut up by Serco three years after the incident once the inquiry had been completed.

Richard McEvoy

Richard McEvoy (born 13 June 1979) is an English professional golfer who plays on the European Tour. In July 2018 he had his third Challenge Tour win, the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge and then won the Porsche European Open, on the European Tour, the following week.

Shoeburyness Boom

The Shoeburyness Boom (also known as the Sheerness Boom, Thames Boom or Thames Estuary Boom) refers to two defensive barriers erected across the Thames Estuary in the mid-20th century. The first example was built in 1939 during the Second World War to protect shipping from attack by submarines, mines and surface vessels, with the second being built between 1950 and 1953 to prevent access to the estuary by Soviet submarines during the Cold War.

Both booms ran from Shoeburyness in Essex to Sheerness in Kent, a distance of 5.6 miles (9.0 km). The first boom consisted of wooden piles driven into the estuary bed at either end with the deep water channel protected by an anti-submarine net. The second boom was formed of concrete piles at either end with the gap in the channel to be closed by moored Royal Navy vessels.

The development of nuclear missiles, jet bombers and the hydrogen bomb quickly rendered the Cold War boom obsolete and it was partially demolished in the 1960s. A 2 km (2200 yard) stretch of the later boom remains at the Essex side. It has been designated a scheduled monument and forms the boundary of the restricted area of the MoD Shoeburyness firing range.

Shoeburyness High School

Shoeburyness High School is a secondary academy school in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. It caters for male and female students aged 11 to 18. It had 1650 students on roll in 2013, 250 of which were on roll in the sixth form.

Shoeburyness Old Ranges

Shoeburyness Old Ranges or Shoebury Ranges is a 6.4 hectare Local Nature Reserve in Shoeburyness in Essex. It is part of the Foulness Site of Special Scientific Interest, and of the Gunners Park and Shoebury Ranges nature reserve, which is managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust.The site has flora unique in the county, on a habitat of unimproved grassland over ancient sand dunes. There are areas of grasses and sedges, while rushes are found in damp hollows. Rabbits graze the grassland, and close cropped areas have many lichens.There is no public access to the site, but it can be viewed from a footpath around the perimeter. The site was formerly part of MoD Shoeburyness.

Shoeburyness railway station

Shoeburyness railway station is the eastern terminus of the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway line (Engineer's Line Reference FSS), serving the town of Shoeburyness, Essex. It is 39 miles 40 chains (63.57 km) down the main line from London Fenchurch Street via Basildon; the preceding station is Thorpe Bay. Its three-letter station code is SRY.

It was opened in 1884. The station and all trains serving it are currently operated by c2c.

Southend Central railway station

Southend Central railway station is on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway line and is one of two primary stations serving the town of Southend-on-Sea, Essex. The town's other main station is called Southend Victoria which is the terminus of a branch line off the Great Eastern Main Line. Southend Central is 35 miles 55 chains (57.43 km) down the line from London Fenchurch Street via Basildon and it is situated between Westcliff and Southend East stations. Its three-letter station code is SOC.

It was opened in 1856 as the original eastern terminus of the line, which was later extended to Shoeburyness. The station and all trains serving it are currently operated by c2c.

Thorpe Bay railway station

Thorpe Bay railway station is on the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway line, serving the Thorpe Bay area to the east of Southend-on-Sea, Essex. It is 37 miles 73 chains (61.0 km) down the main line from London Fenchurch Street via Basildon and is situated between Southend East and Shoeburyness. Its three-letter station code is TPB.

It was opened on 1 July 1910, originally being named Southchurch-on-Sea, being renamed Thorpe Bay on 18 July 1910. The station and all trains serving it are currently operated by c2c.

Tony Holland

Anthony John Holland (18 January 1940 – 28 November 2007) was a British actor and television screenwriter best known as a writer and co-creator with Julia Smith of the BBC soap opera EastEnders.

Climate data for Shoeburyness, Essex 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.5
Average low °C (°F) 2.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 42.3
Average rainy days 9.5 8.0 8.6 8.4 8.0 8.0 6.9 6.9 7.6 10.0 10.0 9.4 101.3
Source: Met Office[12]
Unitary authorities
Boroughs or districts
Major settlements

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