TODAY, Lakeside Shopping Centre, has developed into one of our favourite shopping destinations.

The Echo archives reveal fascinating images of the much forgotten design and construction history of the centre.

The pictures show how towering cranes filled the skies of West Thurrock as the project for the growing centre progressed.

What began as a dusty old chalk quarry site was quickly completely transformed into the vast shopping complex.

The interesting black and white images remind us how the extensive work were carried out, and of course not forgetting the construction of the trademark spiked dome.

The construction work was completed in 1990, with an official opening with VIP guests and dignitaries.

The special visitors included Princess Alexandra The Honourable Lady Ogilvy and Angus Ogilvy, a British businessman, husband of Princess Alexandra of Kent, a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.

There was plenty of time for celebrations and good times as the huge centre prepared to welcome thousands of shoppers.

Design images show the leafy green, gleaming glass and airy buildings, that we’ve all come to know and love.

Aerial views remind us all of the giant that has now become a staple that we are longing to visit again when the coronavirus is beaten.