Garon’s Southend


The first Garon shop was opened in 1885 at 64 The High Street Southend. Five years later Mr Henry Garon opened a cafe. By 1939 there were 37 shops, 10 restaurants, an hotel and a cinema, (Garon’s Imperial theatre.) In 1911 the New Imperial cinema was opened with 700 seats a cafe and  in 1920 a ballroom. The Imperial became known as just Garon’s, it was demolished in 1963.

By 1885 the business had passed on to Norman Garon, who gave land on which the Garon Sport and Leisure Centre was built.

In the 50s Garon’s shops under the bridge in Southend High Street, numbers 66-68 consisted of a Restaurant, a butcher, a grocers and a fishmonger, the fish shop had a large galvanised container outside full of live eels. The huge Garon bakeries in Sutton Road supplied all their shops and restaurants.

The elegant banqueting Suite at Victoria Circus was a very popular venue for dinner dances and  formal Ladies Nights.

By 1963 nos. 66-68 were Garon’s Self Service Grocers store.

2 thoughts on “Garon’s Southend

  1. During my last year in school (1957/8) I used to work on Saturdays helping a man called Dennis on his mobile bakers round. I used to carry a fair sized basket containing bread, cakes, rolls etc. The vehicle was similar to a milk float and would meet him at 0800 hours and work through until approx. 1600-1700 hours and was paid the princely sum of 2 shillings.

    Happy days.

  2. Hi there,

    This is a message to the author, Mr Barry Jenkin and any other readers who may be interested and have somtehing to offer.

    My name is Ben Driscoll and I am a local artist in Southend.

    I am currently working with a local Community Interest Company who are proposing the design of a new community sports and arts facility upon the bare ground of Garon Park. Alongside this project, I am constructing a text about the past, present and future of Garon Park and am currently researching for this. Particularly interested in the life of Norman Garon and those who have remembrances of the history and his impact upon Southend. And personal stories, real people who have encounters with the Garon family or the land: Garon park. I wondered whether you may be able to help with this.

    If this may be of interest to you then i would love to speak further and perhaps ask a few questions.

    Please get in contact via email: and hopefully I can gather more information within this field.

    All the best,

    Ben Driscoll

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