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Episode 42 - 1954-55 the Last Season at the Stadium


The PL League Boss
Apr 28, 2006
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
For the few that actually enjoy my historical stuff here is the start of this season's offering:


EPISODE 1 : Summer 1954 Developments

The Roots Hall Development
Southend United supporters would be well advised to overhaul their umbrellas as United Chairman alderman Smith in a special statement declared “Southend United will move to Roots Hall whether the stands are up or not even if we have to take our own umbrellas”. The Profit and loss has not yet been established by the directors for the season just closing but the figure of £7,000 to £8,000 loss quoted recently in the Southend Pictorial is far from correct it is in fact considerably less.

Is their anybody in South East Essex with £30,000 they want to invest? If there is then the Roots Hall Trust Committee would like to hear from them. The committee are now faced with the task of raising this money to build the required stand accommodation, dressing rooms and other administrative needs. The next task is to erect a wall enclosing the ground and prevent trespassing and cut down pilfering. United would like the assistance of volunteers for this purpose preferably those with brick-laying experience. Working at Roots Hall are Blues players Jimmy Stirling, Leslie Dicker and Jackie Bridge.

Letters to the Southend Standard:

Sir – How much longer can the directorate remain a parasite living on a very able Supporters Club a grand band of supporters and season ticket holders. A loss of over £5,000 would have been sustained in season 1952-53 had it not been for the transfer of French and Stubbs. The 1953-54 gate receipts are said to be considerably lower than the previous year and the club appears to be drifting into liquidation. Regardless of these facts the chairman says we will move to Roots Hall whether the stands are built or not, expecting fans to give up the comforts of one of the best grounds in the country to go to a derelict open piece of land not centrally situated not having amenities requisite to a football League Club.
Burgess Road, Thorpe Bay.

– A lot has been said and written regarding the United move to Roots Hall, I would earnestly ask all who are interested in the future of Southend football to take a look at the ground from West Road. In spite of the growing pains I feel it would be madness to let such an opportunity of a permanent home that could accommodate 50,000 spectators, slip from our grasp.
Season Ticket Holder.

June 1954
An amended scheme for Blues new headquarters at Roots Hall will shortly be brought before the board, but at present the details are a closely guarded secret meanwhile work is carrying on at Roots Hall but damage has been caused by the heavy rainfall that fell during the week-end. .

July 1954 A statement was issued that there will be covered accommodation at Roots Hall for 8,600 fans. There will be 2,100 stand seats, standing accommodation in the North Stand for 2,500 and another 2,500 in the West stand and in front of the seating covered standing for another 1,500. Uncovered accommodation will be for 4,000 with a further 8,500 on the South banking. Eventually it is hoped that the ground will accommodate over 30,000 people. During the past few weeks some of the players have been helping at Roots Hall, keeping the cement mixer working at full pressure etc and their help is greatly appreciated. Southend United Supporters’ Club is wasting no time in getting down to work on the new ground, a start is being made to clear the ground of stones and broken glass and volunteers will be warmly welcomed between 6.30 and 8.30 and don’t forget to bring a sack or bucket.

With the proposed move of Southend United from the Stadium to Roots Hall the age old question is raised, of Could Southend support a top amateur club as well as the United? The main problem is where would they play and with the Stadium vacant this would seem an ideal answer but is it? Historically the town had Southend Athletic prior to the formation of Southend United and then at the Kursaal Southend Corinthians had a season, but the reality that neither venture was particularly well received in the town and the indifferent reception inevitably lead to their failure. Surely an amateur club must not be seen as direct competition for United as that would defeat its purpose, but with the population of the town and the surrounding areas there are sufficient local players that could rise to this level. Perhaps the biggest reason against is the ground itself and the very reason why the Blues are moving. local players who have played in inter-league matches in front of sparsely populated terraces say it is impossible to give you best in this lack of atmosphere.

Next Thursday Episode 2 ; Pre-Season
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