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Look up Basildon in
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Basildon (Essex)

Basildon shown within Essex
Population 99,876[1] (2001)
OS grid reference TQ735895
District Basildon
Shire county Essex
Region East
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BASILDON
Postcode district SS13, SS14, SS15, SS16
Dialling code 01268
Police Essex
Fire Essex
Ambulance East of England
European Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Basildon
List of places: UKEnglandEssex

Coordinates: 51°34'34?N 0°29'19?E? / ?51.5761, 0.4887

Basildon (pronounced /'bæz?ld?n/) is a New Town located in south Essex, England at 51°34'34?N, 0°29'19?E. It was designated as a New Town after World War II in 1948 to accommodate the London population overspill. Basildon was created from four small villages; Pitsea, Laindon, Basildon and Vange. The larger Basildon district was formed in 1974 by the Local Government Act of 1972, and includes two neighbouring towns Billericay and Wickford, as well as rural villages and smaller settlements set among the surrounding countryside.


[edit] History

The first historical reference to Basildon is in records from 1086. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as 'Belesduna'.[2]

The name 'Basildon' means 'Beorhtel's hill' and is derived from the Anglo-Saxon personal name 'Beorhtel' and the Anglo-Saxon word 'dun', meaning hill. In historical documents, this name had various forms over the centuries, including Berdlesdon, Batlesdon & Belesduna.

The constituency of Basildon is 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 1974.

History and politics came together in 1989 when the newly re-opened Towngate Theatre commissioned a community play from Arnold Wesker for the town's 40th anniversary. He chose to create a potted history of Basildon called "Beorhtel's Hill", which referred either to a Saxon hero Beorhtel or, more likely, to a version of the word "bright". (then see "dun" = "hill", above). It was generally very positive about the place and the way it has always been a haven and a "bright hill" for different generations, and to "strangers in our midst". It was quite gentle, a little sentimental, tremendously heartfelt (by the 100 or so members of the community who put it on). But it also said some uncomfortable things about the dyed-in-the-wool racism of politicians in the 1970s and this inevitably led to some controversy.

[edit] Transport

A significant number of residents commute to London, which is assisted by excellent transport links to the city by rail and by road.

The London, Tilbury & Southend line transects the south of the town. The line is operated by c2c and there are three train stations in the town: Pitsea railway station, Basildon railway station[3] and Laindon railway station. This line connects Basildon to central London via London Fenchurch Street by rail. From Basildon, Fenchurch street can be reached in 35 minutes, Southend in around 20. Basildon is well situated for access into Central London.

On the north side of the town, the A127 Southend Arterial Road is next to Basildon and on the south side is the A13. The A13 allows 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 just 25 miles (40 km). The A127 and the A13 are both important commuter trunk roads to London and the M25 and in addition, link the town to Southend. Locally, the A13 gives easier access to Pitsea and Vange and the A127 gives more convenient access to the town centre and Laindon. Within the town, many main road names have include, 'mayne,' in their name. Broadmayne goes through the town. There is also a Nethermayne to the west and Southmayne to the south, along with 'East Mayne' and 'West Mayne'.

Buses provide a local form of public transport and also connect Basildon to nearby towns, such as the District towns of Billericay and Wickford, which although they both have their own rail service on the Shenfield to Southend Line of the Great Eastern Main Line from London Liverpool Street Station, are difficult to reach directly from Basildon by rail. First Essex Buses Ltd is the dominant bus operator in the town.

[edit] Shopping

Basildon Town Centre
Basildon Town Centre

The town centre boasts many high street chainstores and independent local retailers. 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 including one of the largest Debenhams department stores in the UK. Further outlets can be found at Westgate Shopping park and there is also a pavement market selling fresh fruit and vegetables, clothing and household goods.

[edit] Education

[edit] Secondary schools

There are several secondary schools in the Basildon District:

Barstable School & Chalvedon School became federated in 2005 to become The Federation Of Barstable & Chalvedon School. This was initiated by the need to stabilise and improve Barstable School's reputation as a good secondary school.[neutrality disputed]

[edit] Twinning

Basildon's twin towns include:

[edit] Regeneration plans

The New Town included a large industrial estate which attracted manufacturing plants. This included the defence division of STC and the transfer from Dagenham of the Ford tractor factory, now Case New Holland (CNH). Basildon District is a prosperous business location and has in recent years seen significant inward investment and jobs growth. 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 to make Basildon the Centre for Sport in South Essex
  • The creation of a health and education research centre near Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital and FE College
  • Investment in the Basildon Enterprise Corridor, the largest business area in the Thames Gateway outside of London, home to 45,000 jobs and over 5,000 businesses, including Ford, Selex, Visteon, Case New Holland, First Data Europe, International Financial Data Services Limited (IFDS), RBS, and Starbucks
  • The creation of one of the largest wetland nature reserves in Europe in the Thames Marshes by the RSPB, Land Restoration Trust, Basildon District Council and Veolia
  • A strategic review of the District's housing, with investment in housing estates such as Craylands, Five Links and Felmores to create first class places to live

Coordinating and promoting this programme of investment is the Basildon Renaissance Partnership which was set up in 2003 by Basildon District Council. Its partners also include the East Of England Development Agency, English Partnerships, Essex County Council, and the Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership with support from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

[edit] Festival Leisure Park

Festival Leisure Park is a trading leisure park located in the north of Basildon. It is owned by Norwich Union.[6] The Festival Leisure Park includes several restaurants, a bowling and arcade centre, two hotels, a twelve screen cinema, two premium health clubs while the green acres of Gloucester Park with its lakes, is just a short stroll away. Festival Leisure Park is affectionately known locally as Baz Vegas.[7]

[edit] In popular culture

Basildon has been mentioned a few times on television. Most notably on the film Love Actually.

It was also mentioned on They Think It's All Over when Jonathon Ross said that Nasser Hussain 'lives in a flat above a chip shop in Basildon'.

Also in an episode of Eastenders a popular T.V show, some main characters talk about moving there.

Basildon was mentioned early on in Russell Brand's book, My Booky Wook as he is from neighbouring area, Grays.

On Thursday 20 March 2007, BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans mentioned Bas Vegas in a message and said how much he likes it.

[edit] Famous Basildonians

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. , 2001 urban areas headcounts
  2. , National Archive Summary Record for Basildon (HTML). (November 2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-08.
  3. , Railway service started in the nineteenth century to Pitsea (1856) and Laindon (1888). Later, proposals to provide service to the New Town of Basildon were shelved for many years, because of concerns that it would simply become a commuter suburb of London. The objections were eventually overcome, and the new station at Basildon finally opened in 1974.
  4. , Basildon Council - Basildon's Twin Towns, Heiligenhaus & Meaux
  5. , Basildon Council - Basildon's Twin Towns, Heiligenhaus & Meaux
  6. , Leisure real estate market makes waves (appeared in Property Week February 1998) (HTML). (November 2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-08.
  7. , Viva Baz Vegas (HTML). Queen Bee: (November 2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-08.

[edit] External links

(Source: Wikipedia)
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