Disclaimer: If you are from Southend please do not feel offended, this is a satirical piece and know that I love the town dearly.
I come from Southend, somebody had to.
I come from Southend. Somebody had to.
How would one describe a town like Southend?
The name Southend-on-Sea protrudes a little seaside town,
Where people who are gay and I mean in the happy sense, stroll down the seafront eating fish and chips in cones.
Living a stone throw away from the sea should have its advantages.
That would be true, however if you enjoyed swimming in a toxic greenly brown sea that bleeds pollution- crying for help. This is to no avail as the only civilizations are the teenagers that cycle on the ‘no cycling’ zones. The shattered glass glinting in the sun as it slices their precious wheels.
Along the seafront is ‘The World’s longest pier’ which has many faults, well considering its now been burnt down twice. Once because a teenager (again) forgot to stump out their cigarette, wooden floorboards and fire are not a good combination. The second from a gas leak, which happened to combust a light bulb, nice. Redeemed with a museum for the pier, however, there is no history of the pier inside. But there is an overpriced gift shop that sells jam, which you can get in any shop, for any tourists we may have.
The main attraction at the seafront however would be the amusement park, Adventure Island. It was known as Peter Pan Playground. They have corny rides, with corny names like; Pharaoh’s Fury and Cow Jumped over the Moon, which makes one think who comes up with these names? Well all the rides are from Germany, built to last, so they will be the only surviving things left when the world finally ends. Sick stained seats and all. The bumper cars aka dislocating your neck ride makes you pay extra, even though you would pay extortionate amount to go the rides already. Adventure island have their own unlimited supply of pensioners looking for a past the time activity, they are plonked at the cashiers. Well it’s either that or to become a lollypop ‘person’.
Another USP (unique selling point) of the end of the South is that of the Kursaal. The houses around, are known as the Kursaal estate, sounds quite posh. There are however a gated off set of flats. They look like something from a holiday home, palm trees and all. The electronic gate is there for a reason, as round the corner all the low lives of Southend congregate, comparing what and whom they sole from that day.
The mundane life of South of the end, everyone does the same. The weekends eager crowds come hurdling to catch a 27, 1 or 2 bus into, what the natives call it, town. Work the week and shop and drink the weekend. The grey landscape of town puts black and white film to shame. The layers upon layers of chewing gum and used condoms cushion ones steps. Don’t get me wrong there’s: Topshop, River Island and Miss Selfridge like another shopping center, but every so often a new ‘bargain’ shop develops. They sell generic leggings and t-shirts, trying to incorporate the saying YOLO into anything wearable.
In the past there was to be a 2000 millennium clock, a pride radiated from it. Now a distant version of the gleam that was… renamed the emo clock.
On several occasions shopkeepers had to leave their posts to divide a chav vs emo fight. Watch out for knuckle-dusters and that’s just the girls (as mum would say). Coffee shops miraculously appear from nowhere, probably to disguise the recession; one can now get a coffee whilst trying the clothes on in the shop’s changing rooms.
“Next up on our tour ladies and gentlemen… get you’re cameras out... it’s Hamlet Court Road” Jam-packed with dodgy decrepit men, juvenile mums and money-thieving businessmen, Welcome. The greasy spoons invite the greasily haired neighbours with open arms. Round the corner sleeps an ancient and abandoned church which now hibernates storing drug dealers in batches. Opposite this a pub lies waiting for the busker’s monies, a convenience to say the least. The slurred words sound like a foreign language.
Thank god I got out when I did.
Thank you for reading and please tell me what you think,