Tesco’s Superstore in Pitsea opens. The new store, located off Station Lane, has 49 checkouts, an upper floor restaurant, outside gardening centre and petrol filling station.

It is built adjacent to the site of the original Pitsea Market which had relocated some years earlier to allow for the A132 South Mayne flyover construction. A new road called Hazelmere, essentially a continuation and realignment of the former Hazelmere Drive, linking the High Road to the station end of Station Lane (later Pitsea Hall Lane), was constructed with two entrance/exit points to the store’s car park.

The former market site is now covered by part of the Tesco car park. In 1997 the store was upgraded to become the first Tesco Extra to open in the UK and one of the largest within the company. An upper floor for clothing and electrical goods was added in 2006 bringing the total retail area to above 100,000 sq ft.

In October 1993 the main Pitsea Crown post office in the Broadway relocated to within the store in a move considered controversial (by some) at the time. In the early 1990s the petrol filling station was relocated to the western end of the site from its former eastern location adjacent to the garden centre and in the same decade for a short time the outside car park was used for a Sunday boot fair.

Scottish singer and television child star Lena Zavaroni appeared at the store on this day to promote her new album Songs Are Such Good Things and sign autographs.

Basildon - A Chronological History 1975 - 1979

Google Map: Fanz of Lena Zavaroni (Mapping Lena Zavaroni’s life)