Last Updated: 25/08/2016
While the history of Basildon isn’t as long or as illustrious as many areas in the south east of England, there is still a lot to learn and know about the area. Here are 10 secrets of Basildon you never knew or maybe forgot about, so why not have a read through and see what you know or don’t know.
1. Basildon was one of 8 new towns that were established in the south east of England in the aftermath of the Second World War. Basildon was created in 1949 due to lengthy waiting lists with soldiers returning from their wartime efforts and the aftermath of the damage London received during the war.
2. The first residents to move in to the area did so in 1951, moving into property at Redgrave Road, Vange.
3. While the creation of what is recognised as Basildon today dates back to the 1940s, the name dates back to Saxon times.
4. The 1,000th new home to be built in Basildon appeared in 1953 at Denys Drive in Fryvern. This indicates the volume of property that was added to the area in a short period of time, allowing Basildon to develop quickly in a short period of time.
5. The first area of parkland to appear in Basildon arrived in 1957 when Gloucester Park was officially opened. The park currently expands over 250 acres and is considered to be a key meeting point and place to socialise or relax in the local area.
6. The very first shops in the town centre of Basildon, and Basildon Market, opened in 1958.
7. 1962 was a landmark year for Basildon because this was the year that the tallest building in the area was finished. This accolade goes to Brooke House. The building stands at 162 feet tall and it is a Grade II listed building.
8. There were many different landmarks that were celebrated and noted in Basildon over the years but for many people in the local area, a notable event occurred in 1971. This is because this was the year that the very first Marks and Spencers opened in the local area.
9. For an area to flourish, it is vital that transport links are in place and in 1974, the residents of Basildon benefitted through the opening of Basildon Railway Station. This made the commute to London easier and also opened up the possibility of travel across the south east of England and beyond.
10. Basildon is twinned with a number of areas in Europe including Meaux in France and Heiligenhaus which is located in Germany. Basildon also holds international relationships with Gweru, which is a city in Zimbabwe.
These facts about Basildon help showcase the development of the area, which has come a very long way in just over 60 years. Basildon is no longer referred to as a new town, but it stands as a great example of what can be achieved with planning and a desire to grow.
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