Basildon shown within Essex
|Population||99,876 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|- London||25.6 miles (41.2 km) WSW|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||SS13 - SS16|
|Ambulance||East of England|
|EU Parliament||East of England|
|UK Parliament||Basildon and Billericay|
|South Basildon and East Thurrock|
It lies 25 miles (40 km) east of Central London and 11 miles (18 km) south of the city of Chelmsford. Nearby smaller towns include Billericay to the north, Wickford northeast and South Benfleet to the east. It was created as a new town after World War II in 1948 to accommodate the London population overspill, from the conglomeration of four small villages, namely Pitsea, Laindon, Basildon and Vange. The new town took the name Basildon as it was the most central of the four.
The local government district of Basildon, formed in 1974 and encapsulates a larger area than the town itself; the two neighbouring towns of Billericay and Wickford, as well as rural villages and smaller settlements set among the surrounding countryside, fall within its borders. Basildon Town is one of the most densely populated areas in the county.
Some of Basildon's residents work in Central London due to the town being well connected in the county to the City of London and the Docklands financial and corporate headquarters districts, with a 36-58 minute journey from the three Basildon stations to London Fenchurch Street. Basildon also has access to the City via road, on the A127, and A13.
- 1 History
- 2 Politics
- 3 Culture and people
- 4 Transport
- 5 Shopping
- 6 Education
- 7 Twinning
- 8 Regeneration plans
- 9 Society, leisure and popular culture
- 10 Modern architectural buildings
- 11 Media
- 12 Healthcare
- 13 Sports
- 14 Notable people
- 15 Nearest places
- 16 Climate
- 17 See also
- 18 References
- 19 External links
The first historical reference to Basildon is in records from 1086. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as 'Belesduna'. The name 'Basildon' may be derived from the Anglo-Saxon personal name 'Boerthal' and the Anglo-Saxon word 'dun', meaning hill. In historical documents, this name had various forms over the centuries, including Berdlesdon, Batlesdon and Belesduna.
Railway service started in the 19th century to Pitsea (1856) and Laindon (1888) but it was only later that proposals to provide service to the new town of Basildon, shelved for many years because of concerns that it would simply become a commuter suburb of London, were eventually forced through. A significant number of modern day residents do commute to London.
By the beginning of the 1900s, Basildon had evolved with much of the land having been sold in small plots during a period of land speculation and development taking placed haphazardly with building by plot owners ranging from shelters created from recycled materials to brick-built homes and with amenities such as water, gas, electricity and hard-surfaced roads lacking.
In the 1940s, Billericay Urban District Council and Essex County Council, concerned by lack of amenities in the area and by its development, petitioned the Government to create a New Town. Basildon was one of eight 'New Towns' created in the South East of England after the passing of the New Towns Act. On 4 January 1949 Lewis Silkin, Minister of Town and Country Planning, officially designated Basildon as a 'New Town'. Basildon Development Corporation was formed in February 1949 to transform the designated area into a modern new town. The New Town incorporated Laindon and Pitsea and was laid out around small neighbourhoods with the first house being completed in June 1951. The first tenants moved into homes in Redgrave Road in Vange. An large, illuminated town sign "Basildon Town Centre Site" at 3.5 feet (1.1 m) was erected in 1956 by the railway and stood until early construction was completed.
The first leader elected for the local government district in 1974 was Ryan O'Rourke. Unusually, since March 2010 Basildon has a miniature famous white Hollywood sign, reading "Basildon": at five feet tall, the new sign is one-ninth of the height of the Hollywood original. This was aimed "to bring the town into the 21st century and to attract more visitors" by Basildon Enterprise Park, its full landscaping and infrastructure improvements funded by £400,000 from the Prescott-spearheaded Thames Gateway. Opponents from all parties believe spending could have been directed toward social problems.
The constituency of Basildon was considered a barometer of public opinion in general elections. The results of the constituency elections have been the same as the overall result of general elections since 1983. Basildon was said to epitomise the working class conversion to Thatcherism during the 1980s, though the town did not vote Conservative in 1979. Nor did the Conservative Party ever hold an absolute majority in the town - its success was due to the split between the SDP and the Labour Party. "Basildon Man" or "Essex Man" was coined to describe an aspirational working class voter. The current MP is Tory politician John Baron. Due to boundary changes, in the 2010 General Election the Basildon and Billericay constituency elected 1 MP and South Basildon and East Thurrock elected another MP. In terms of local politics Basildon District elects five Councillors to Essex County Council. Following the 2009 Local Elections all five of these representatives are Conservative. Noak Bridge has a parish council.
Culture and people
Although Basildon is a town situated in Essex, it has been heavily influenced by London and its people in contrast to native Essexmen. This is because Basildon's prime purpose was to house the over spill of London citizens after the Second World War. Thus many of the families in Basildon originate from the London areas, hence being more influence of the City culture. However, during the past few years (2000–2010) many migrant families have moved from London boroughs such as Hackney and Peckham, and settled in Basildon, thus adding to Basildon's growing rate in multi-cultured families and communities. These Communities (only major Communities) range from Polish, Albanian, Romanian, Nigerian, Ghanaian, Jamaican, Indian, Bengali, and more. It is because of these factors that the citizens and people of Basildon speak with a more London influenced accent as opposed to an Essex accent found in towns to the North of the county. Another reason as to why the people of Basildon speak and are influenced by London culture is because a large portion of the citizens living in the Town work in Central London, thus being there regularly. Basildon is also only two stops away from London Zone 6 (Upminster station) via the Fenchurch Street Line/District Tube Line from Laindon Station (West Basildon).
On the north side of the town, the A127 Southend Arterial Road and on the south side is the A13. The A127 is nearest to Basildon town centre at approximately 1.5 miles and the A13 approximately 2 miles. They both allow easy access to the M25 and the rest of the motorway network, placing Stansted within 36 miles (58 km), Gatwick within 51 (82 km) and London City Airport 25 miles (40 km). The A127 and the A13 are both important commuter trunk roads to London as well as linking the town to Southend. Locally, the A13 gives access to Pitsea and Vange and the A127 gives access to the town centre and Laindon.
Within the town, a number of main road names have included 'mayne' in their name. They link the town to and from the A13 and the A127. East Mayne(A132) runs between the junction of the A127 and the roundabout east of Barstable School. Two of the 'mayne' roads join this roundabout Broadmayne (A1321) goes to the town centre, in fact the northerly of the roundabouts at Roundacre and South Mayne(A132) goes to Pitsea. Nethermayne(A176) starts at the southerly side of the roundabouts at Roundacre and joins the A13 at the Five Bells Roundabout. Also Upper Mayne(A176) goes from the northerly side of the roundabouts at Roundacre and joins the A127 and West Mayne (B148) runs from a roundabout in Laindon and joins the A127 at Dunton.
Pitsea railway station, Basildon railway station and Laindon railway station are all on the London, Tilbury & Southend line, and serve Southend in around 20 minutes and London Fenchurch Street in 35 minutes operated by c2c.
Future transport plans
A127, Basildon Enterprise Corridor
|Proposer||Essex County Council|
|Completion date||March 2011|
As part of Basildon's redevelopment Essex County Council have proposed that the A127 undergo significant development at a cost of £15 million and is expected to be finished by March 2011. It is funded via the Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF). The majority of the work will take place at Noak Bridge, Fairglen and East Mayne.
The town centre has many high street stores. As well as shops and coffee houses in East Walk there is the Eastgate Shopping Centre which is also situated in the Town Centre, home to over 100 retailers. Further outlets can be found at Westgate Shopping park and there is also a pavement market selling fresh fruit and vegetables, and household goods.
There are several secondary schools in the Basildon district:
- Basildon Academies
- Beauchamps School
- Billericay School
- Bromfords School
- De La Salle School
- James Hornsby School
- Mayflower High School
- New Campus Basildon Studio School
- Woodlands School
Basildon's twin towns include:
Throughout Basildon there are major developments planned estimated to total nearly £2 billion. These include:
- The regeneration of Basildon, Pitsea and Laindon town centres.
- A new "Sporting Village" and improvements to playing pitches and sports facilities throughout the District.
- The creation of a health and education research centre near Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital.
- Investment in the Basildon Enterprise Corridor, a large business area.
- The creation of a new wetland nature reserve in the Thames Marshes by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Land Restoration Trust, Basildon District Council and Veolia.
- A review of the district's housing, with investment in housing estates such as Craylands, Five Links and Felmores which will be re-designed to allow for less trouble and having more streets with roads, rather than a street with just pavement.
Society, leisure and popular culture
Festival Leisure Park is a trading leisure park located in the north of Basildon and owned by Aviva. The Festival Leisure Park, includes several restaurants, a bowling and arcade centre, two hotels, an eighteen screen Empire cinema and two health clubs as well as the third largest nightclub complex in the UK. The Festival Leisure Park is colloquially known as "Bas Vegas", and is a well-known trouble spot, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, usually fuelled by alcohol.This name which was adopted by the organisation in charge of the new casino development, who used the slogan on signs welcoming people into Basildon by road.
In 1989 the culture and history of the town was documented by the newly re-opened Towngate Theatre, when it commissioned a community play from Arnold Wesker for the town's 40th anniversary. The potted history that Wesker called "Boerthal's Hill" was acted out by a 100 or so members of the community and portrayed a welcoming haven for visitors. Although it was generally positive in its view of the town, controversy arose where the play touched on the apparent racism of politicians throughout the 1970s.
The Borough has a number of leisure centres, including the Basildon Sporting Village, a multi-million pound project that opened in April 2011. It has a fifty metre swimming pool, fitness suite, athletics track and is home to the South Essex Gymnastics Club, a well regarded club where Olympian Max Whitlock trains. The centre attracted over one million visits in its first year of opening. It was also revealed in January 2014 that more people swim in Basildon than anywhere else in the county.
Basildon was indirectly referred to in a long-lasting hoax on Wikipedia. The article was about a nonexistent novel entitled The Fax Machine Monster of Basildon, which (according to the article) was just the first book of a (completely fake) series of horror novels about killer office equipment.
Modern architectural buildings
The town of Basildon currently has many modern architectural structures due to the town's economic growth. Basildon has many 'tall' structures and buildings in comparison to other New Towns that were constructed in the 1950s-1960s. One of Basildon's first tall buildings was 'Brooke House', a tall block of flats situated in the Basildon town centre. However, since the incline of trade in the town centre, many great business buildings have been constructed in central Basildon. Although there are many tall buildings in central Basildon, there are also many newly constructed buildings closer to the 'Basildon Enterprise Corridor' situated in North Basildon and it is these buildings/constructions which have gained much fame with the local community and neighbouring townsfolk.
Basildon has its own community radio station which is aimed towards the residents of Basildon, East Thurrock, and its surrounding areas called Gateway 97.8 which broadcasts from the Eastgate Shopping Centre.
Although Basildon is situated within the Essex Region, the Town generally receives the London television channels, such as BBC London, and ITV London. This is mostly due to the strong economic links between the Town and the City, and also with the Town being geographically close. ITV London & BBC London are the local television regions received in the town.
- Basildon Town
- Basildon United
- Basildon R.F.C.
- Basildon and Pitsea C.C.
- Keith Dube – Founder of Aspire Essex.
- Bob Downs - former professional cyclist
- James Tomkins (footballer) – footballer, West Ham United FC
- Kunt and the Gang - musical comedy act
- Stuart Bingham – snooker player.
- Justin Edinburgh - ex- Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Portsmouth F.C. and Southend United F.C.
- Darren Caskey – ex-Tottenham Hotspur F.C. and Reading F.C. footballer
- Mark Crick - photographer and author
- Depeche Mode – electronic music band, formed in 1980 in Basildon
- Daryl Bamonte - former tour manager, Depeche Mode and The Cure
- Perry Bamonte - ex-guitarist, The Cure
- Michael Kightly – footballer, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southend United and Grays Athletic
- Freddy Eastwood - footballer, Coventry City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southend United and Grays Athletic
- Robert Marlow - singer
- Terry Marsh - boxer, only English boxer ever to retire as an undefeated World champion
- QBoy – rapper
- Scott Robinson, singer from Five
- Joan Sims – actress
- Kara Tointon – actress, Dawn Swann in EastEnders and film The Football Factory
- Denise Van Outen - actress
- Nathaniel Woodard - educationalist
- Keith Chapman – creator of Bob The Builder
- Alison Moyet – singer
- Gemma Ray - musician, singer, composer and producer
- Andy Barcham - footballer
- Tony Way - comedy actor/writer lived in Felmores, then Wickford
- Brian Belo - winner of Big Brother 2007
- Josh Dubovie - singer, Eurovision Song Contest 2010 in Oslo, Norway
- Bobby Lockwood - Actor (Wolfblood)
- Emma Blackery - YouTuber
||Steeple View||Billericay, Noak Bridge||Wickford|
|Langdon Hills||Stanford-le-Hope||Benfleet, Canvey Island|
Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate).
|Climate data for Basildon|
|Average high °C (°F)||8
|Average low °C (°F)||3
|Avg. precipitation days||18||14||16||15||13||13||12||12||14||16||16||16||175|
|Source: Weatherbase |
- Key Statistics for urban areas in the South East. 2001 Census, National Statistics.
- "Basildon History Services Information Guide". Basildon.com. 2002-02-24. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "Basildon History Online". Basildon.com. 2009-07-16. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- Association of Train Operating Companies National Rail enquiries
- "National Archive Summary Record for Basildon". nationalarchives.gov.uk. November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-08.
- "The History". Basildon. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- Peers, Deborah (November 2008). "Once upon a time in ... Basildon". Essex Life (Archant). pp. 72–73. Retrieved 2009-01-24. (Registration required)
- "A Chronological History 1950 - 1959". Basildon. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- Basildon Echo Basildon's name was up in Lights...54 Years Ago. ( April 2010.
- BBC News 29 March 2010.
- London Metro "Basildon Gets Hollywood Sign Essex Style" 30 March 2010
- Boggan, Steve (1997-03-27). "Basildon opens its doors to the big guns - UK Politics, UK". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "John Harris on former tabloid editor Andy Coulson's success as David Cameron's spin doctor | Media". London: The Guardian. 2007-11-03. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- Dennis Hayes and Alan Hudson (1993-01-01). "spiked-politics | Article | Basildon Man: beyond the shell-suits". Spiked-online.com. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "Essex County Council Election Results - Map Of Divisions". Countyelections.essexcc.gov.uk. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "Noak Bridge Parish Council | Home". Essexinfo.net. 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "A127 Basildon Enterprise Corridor". Essex County Council. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
- "Essex County Council". Essexcc.gov.uk. Retrieved 2009-08-06.[dead link]
- Basildon Council - Basildon's Twin Towns, Heiligenhaus & Meaux
- "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-20.
- "Basildon Renaissance Update" (PDF). davidlawson.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
- "Leisure real estate market makes waves (appeared in Property Week February 1998)". davidlawson.co.uk. November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-08.
- "I’ll take you for a spin (appeared in Basildon Recorder)". basildonrecorde.co.uk. April 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
- Catherine Milner (27 August 2005). "If Kafka made the dinner...". Telegraph. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- Miller, Jonathan, Stripped:Depeche Mode, p3
- "Denise Van Outen, famous people from Basildon". Information-britain.co.uk. 2007-06-22. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- Climate Summary for Basildon
- "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on July 5, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Basildon.|
- Basildon Council
- Basildon History
- Basildon Radio - Basildon local Internet Radio station
- Basildon in the Domesday Book