Now Southend Council is urging local people, businesses and visitors to vote for the iconic attraction which could see it being part of a landmark exhibition to mark St George’s Day.
The search to establish England’s Hall of Fame began in February when VisitEngland asked the public to submit their suggestions on what England has brought to the world and what makes the country such a diverse and fascinating place to visit and explore. From Harry Potter to James Bond, the mini skirt to the tuxedo, The Beatles to punk music and the Magna Carta to the World Wide Web, the Hall of Fame app has received almost 1,000 submissions.
The public submitted their hometown or favourite holiday spot’s greatest claim to fame under the following categories: The Great, The Good and the Notorious; Inventions & Discoveries; Food & Drink; History & Heritage; Culture & Entertainment and Sport & Leisure. A panel of experts have spent weeks trawling through these claims to fame to select the top 60 (10 per category) in time for English Tourism Week (29th March – 6th April). Now the Hall of Fame app is set to re-open on 2nd April asking the public to vote for England’s ultimate claim to fame.
The top 60 claims can be viewed at www.englandshalloffame.com, and the public have until 13th April to vote for their favourite. The People’s Choice will go on display, alongside 18 of the best claims to fame (a bronze, silver and gold per category) in a one-off exhibition on London’s Southbank. Launching on St George’s Day (23rd April) and running until 30th April, VisitEngland’s Hall of Fame exhibition at the Southbank’s Observation Point will celebrate what England has brought to the world and what makes the country such a diverse and fascinating place to visit and explore.
Southend’s famous pier, the longest pleasure pier in the world comes under the sport and leisure category and is competing with the birthplace of cricket, rugby and tennis, the boat race and the world’s first helter skelter.
Cllr Derek Jarvis, executive councillor for culture and tourism, says: “We have always known that the world famous pier is our jewel in the crown and this just goes to prove it. I think that it is absolutely fantastic that we have made it into the final sixty and alongside some other fantastic and traditional English places and events. However, I would urge local people and our visitors who love the pier so dearly to vote it as their favourite and see it crowned as number one!”
Some examples of the shortlist are below:
History & Heritage
From Capability Brown to the world's first national public museum to the Magna Carta
The Great, the Good and the Notorious
From Andrew Lloyd Webber to Dracula!
Food & Drink
From Earl Grey Tea and the sandwich to – love it or hate it – Marmite
Inventions & Discoveries
From Brunel's engineering masterpieces to the discovery of DNA to gravity!
Sport & Leisure
From the world longest pleasure pier to the Grand National
Culture & Entertainment
Shakespeare, Downton Abbey, Glastonbury… what gets your vote?
View the full shortlist at www.englandshalloffame.com, and on VisitEngland’s Facebook page from 2nd April.