Film crews and TV stars have descended on an Essex city centre as filming takes place for a major show - understood to be Netflix’s The Crown.

Photos taken by Echo camera club member Simon Murdoch yesterday (December 14) show the filming activities at the Civic Centre, in Southend.

Council bosses have been keeping tight-lipped about the name of the show, however, the Gazette's sister paper, the Echo, has been told scenes for the next season of the hit drama are being filmed in Southend.

And a board can be seen in these pictures which reads "The Crown, Derek Richard Strand and Ben Wilson, scene 51, take 1".

Gazette: Actors portraying press photographers Actors portraying press photographers (Image: Simon Murdoch)

Various United Nations Land Rovers, military vehicles, tents and a press conference with actors portraying press photographers were pictured.

Simon also spotted people with blankets on and spotted people holding placards with 'Kosovo thanks you" on them, as well as a burnt out car for a war scene.

Gazette: Scenes being filmed outside the Civic CentreScenes being filmed outside the Civic Centre (Image: Simon Murdoch)

He says the Civic Centre, in Victoria Avenue, was protected with a false front to show the war damage scenes.

The council says the building was chosen for its architecture, and have advised members of the public some of the actors will be carrying imitation firearms as part of the filming.


The eagerly-anticipated fifth series of The Crown launched last month with Imelda Staunton playing the late Queen.

Filming for series six, understood to be the final series, is now underway at locations across Europe.

Gazette: Flags of Albania and the United KingdomFlags of Albania and the United Kingdom (Image: Simon Murdoch)

Gazette: One of the United Nation tentsOne of the United Nation tents (Image: Simon Murdoch)

Members of the public and council staff will still be able to get into the Civic Centre.

Paul Collins, councillor responsible for inward investment, said: “Although we are not permitted to give away any of the details about the filming or exactly what is taking place, we are keen to reassure residents that there is nothing to worry about, and they can still access their public buildings.


“We regularly have television and film production companies request to film in Southend, because they see the great benefits our city offers.”

Production companies have often picked Southend to be the backdrop for filming, with EastEnders and Rise of the Footsoldier all being filmed in locations in the city.

Gazette: A 'filming in progress' sign, with a UN tent in the backgroundA 'filming in progress' sign, with a UN tent in the background (Image: Simon Murdoch)

Southend Airport was used in the film The Queen to portray Princess Diana’s coffin being flown back to the UK after her tragic death.


Gazette: 'Press photographers' on set'Press photographers' on set (Image: Simon Murdoch)


Gazette: More scenes being filmedMore scenes being filmed (Image: Simon Murdoch)

View our gallery above to see the other 10 pictures of the filming taking place.

All photographs were taken by Simon Murdoch