On 5th September 1958, extreme weather caused widespread flooding in Essex and led to landslides near Basildon. As people sought refuge from the rising water, cars and buses were abandoned and train passengers were rescued by the emergency services. Perhaps the most remarkable weather event in Basildon, however, was a tornado which was caught on camera on 3rd August 1979. Tornadoes are a very rare weather event in Britain.
Although the village of Basildon was mentioned in the Domesday book, the town of Basildon was not founded until 1948. Basildon grew out of a union of four villages (Pitsea, Laindon, Basildon and Vange) as a part of the government's 'London overspill' strategy after World War 2. Basildon is a culturally varied town which has welcomed a wide range of nationalities who now call it home.
Basildon has some great facilities including extensive shopping, a market, the Festival Leisure Park, Gloucester Park (which has the only 50 meter swimming pool in Essex) and the Wat Tyler Country Park. The latest site of interest is Basildon's very own homage to the iconic Hollywood sign which simply proclaims 'Basildon' in five foot tall white letters. Among the famous sons and daughters of Basildon are Footballers, Justin Edinburgh and James Tompkins, pop band, Depeche Mode, were formed in Basildon. Actresses Joan Simms (of Carry On fame) and Denise van Outen were also born in the town.