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Blog: Southend Revisited

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Easter Saturday found myself and The Cross On My Hot Cross Bun once more using our new set of transport links to zoom EAST to Southend, for a bit of Bank Holiday Mild Sunshine.

The train before ours got cancelled so the trip down was a bit CRAMPED, also NOISY for LO! we were going to Essex where the people talk LOUD, and are in now way shy about complying to stereotypes. Whenever I go to Essex it always feels like I've stepped into a flash mob of people being CRASSLY RUDE about the county, as EVERYONE looked fake-tanned, footballer haircutted, gold chain be-decked and, basically ESSEX.

We got off the train and headed down the main street into Southend which was, to be polite, not perhaps the nicest, cleanest, friendliest place I have ever been to. In fact it was a bit horrible. However, once we got down to the pier things got gradually NICER. We got on the exciting ELECTRIC TRAIN which trundled us the 1.3 miles down the ENORMOUS pier - it's RIDICULOUSLY big, it goes out into the middle of the SEA! - and arrived in a tranquil space of CALM. We looked into the Royal Pavilion at the Only Fools And Horses exhibition, where BOYCIE (as all posters called him) was signing autographs. We looked at him for a minute, then went further out along the pier where we found a LOVELY spot. It was sheltered, looking out to sea, with gorgeous SUN beaming down on us and loads of little birds (which we later identified as RUDDY TURNSTONES) bobbing about. It was bloody lovely, we stayed there for AGES!

We got back on the train and then strolled along the sea-front, where I spotted Chinnery's, the venue I'd played at back in 2009. I'd forgotten that that had been Southend, to be honest, so when we got there I kept thinking "This DOES look familiar, how odd." We had a quick PADDLE (it was FREEZING) then walked back in the other direction, getting to the Clifftown area of town which was VERY different from the bit we'd first walked through. Looking back at the blog entry from 2009 I found I'd had exactly the same experience then too - I'd walked into town thinking "This is HORRIBLE" then come back through a slightly different area and found it LOVELY. The two parts of town were right next door to each other, and the atmosphere changed within a few yards from one to the other, it was a) strange b) MARKED, especially when we crossed back from the CHARMING area and into the RATHER LESS SO.

Anyway, we had a cup of coffee and then headed home again, SUN KISSED and tired, but happy to have found the NICE BITS. If I go again in another five years time, somebody remind me not to walk down the main street when I get there, I'll enjoy it much more!

posted 24/4/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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