Thursday, 5 May 2011

SOUTHEND- A bloody marvelous seaside town!

Another bit on Southend's history that I learnt about the other day, was that our pier (the longest one in the world) not only had a bowling alley, a pavilion and a pub at one point in time upon it, but It's actually been destroyed on 5 separate occasions. 4 fires and a collision with a tanker.


Although I have a keen interest in Southend's history, I do often find it mocks me, for I can only visualize images in my head from the wonderful tales told to me by family and older mates about what used to go on in this lovely town. And when I see it in my mind, it all looks so good..The Kursaal, the gigs, the cinemas. In all honesty, there's not much about Southend at this precise moment that I feel competes with its history. Maybe I’m wrong, but I very much doubt it. What d'ya reckon?

For all of today's young people, here are a few facts about Southend you may or may not have known.


               We had an Astoria!                                                               
The Beatles played here!

Feelgood started off in good old Canvey Island!

 (Not quite Southend, but near enough!)

 We had a pukka bandstand! 

 We had the shop Nasty (was right opposite the railway!)

And what have we got to offer the next generation of Southenders?..

5 Tesco’s stores
1 very crap Odeon
A bunch of takeaway restaurants
Random useless poles on the Seafront
Way too many pound stores!

There's no comparison really, is there?

The only thing that puts a real smile on my face and makes me proud to be a Southender (almost put Southbender then..), is knowing we have the biggest fuck off pier in the whole world. Bigger than Brighton, Blackpool (central pier) and Clevodon! Who'd have thought shitty, chavvy Southend would be number 1 on the pier list.
And with that I think it's time to unveil the point to this  schnizzle dribble...

This summer, we are putting together what we hope to be in the future, The Southend Pier Festival. With 2 stages and possibly a bar selling booze and food, it'll be a wicked afternoon of live music and a day to get a seaside tan!
Bring your cameras and your beach bags cos we're goin to the Pier! Aug 13th! 


  1. Well done Fi for continuing to carry the baton for Southend. I think it's a great place despite the high street seeming a bit more dodgy nowadays. My family had several real old-fashioned shoe shops in the town for decades ('Curtis Shoe-fitters') and they got to know so many of the locals. Our largest shop was a stones throw from the Railway, in Alexandra Street (only closed down a few years years ago). Had a very spooky cellar that my bro used to lock me in! I bought many an item from Nasty's during my college days (American Graffiti was another good little shop). I remember watching the fire on the pier as a kid in the 70's (ooh feelin' ancient now! Ha ha!) i know what you mean about the past seeming better, but I think things are improving a bit for Southend recently..except I wish the bloody council would work WITH the Victorian feel, not against it. (I so agree about the random heart sank). Gig on the pier sounds great - be nice to see it being used for something more than the lifeboat! If we're not on our hols, we'll be there!!

  2. The Pier also houses some quality mosaics, by a really nice bloke Me! when you do your gig have a look, there are 18 in all, in and around the pier visitor centre see if you can spot them all

  3. We got The Railway!

    New podcast here, have a listen.

  4. I drove my mum along the seafront to show her the re-working, and she was sickened.

    Does anybody think the new road layouts at Victoria Circus or Cuckoos' Corner are an improvement? They seem to have been designed by idiots.

    My earliest memories of Southend are travelling on the trolleybuses in Southchurch Avenue, concerts on the end of the Pier and seeing the steam trains at Victoris Station. My most recent memories are of being stuck in endless traffic jams on the Arterial and driving along the seafront at 2 miles on hour. At least I get to savour the lovely poles and glorious palm trees.

  5. Wicked stuff Fi. Love the idea of the Pier Fest. Awesome! I can remember the collision happening and the pier being shut down. I can also remember turning up a few days after the 1995 fire on a visit to a friend that lived on the seafront (I was living in Sarf London at the time) and walked down pier hill to see what was once the bowling alley that had been replaced by what looked more like a box of 'genied' matches.

  6. Oh really. Wow! Missed all of that. My only experiene of the pier is walking to the end of it, and seeing nothin. Can you believe it! The longest pier in the world and there's fuck all at the end of it! Still, the history is good. And Jo, you're right, there is a lot of good stuff in the town now, but just not enough. Hopefully we can all change that.
    Have a look out for Paul and Fi's Mosaics when you're next at The Pier, they're the bollocks! xx


    This Was Created From An Image Taken At THe Railway ... Stormy Monday Blues Period. WG.