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Sunday, 12 May 2013

Southend Pier... We took a trip to Southend on Sea today and it brought back some memories of my day trips out as a child. I must be honest though, it's not like I remember it to be. The sea front use to have a large slope of slabs going down to the beach but they are all gone now and it has been filled with pebbles, millions of them. I do recall hearing on the news a few years ago that the tide's were getting higher so this must be a precautionary thing. I also remember the parade being a much longer street, filled with slot machine arcades, small knick knack shops, candy floss stalls, doughnut stalls, sweet stalls selling southend rock but to see it now, it's sad. The Kurzle at the end use to be a big monstrosity of an old building and now it's a Tesco and a bowling alley, what a shame. I know we all have memories of our day's out and it's not all that bad there but it doesn't seem to have the same atmosphere. We went to a shop called 'The Rock' which sold mountains of Southend Sticks of Rock, fudge etc and I asked the shop keeper has it been busy and she said it's the quietest it's been. I asked her was it busy here last summer and she said no, not at all. I noticed as I was walking along that the large arcade shops were empty but what I remember as a child coming to visit this place, there was a slot machine shop with a big bingo game in the corner. I couldn't see it! Has that gone too! I did notice that there were a few bar's set up which is flipping typical of any seaside place (maybe that's what's ruined it). I bet it's not safe there of a night now. I also noticed that there are no huts selling the deck chairs that you could use and blimey, the cost of 4 hot fresh doughnuts is enough to buy you a meal in McDonald's. The improvement's I do see are the toilet facilities. My god, you haven't got to go down a load of steps to get to a narrow corridor of a row of toilets. Now there are stainless steel cubicles standing in a row and they are clean. There is also a police stand and a beach warden stand too, which is brilliant. Nearby built into the pavement are water jet holes that kids absolutely love. Just walk, stand or run through and you will get soaked. When we did visit Southend back in the late 70's there was no such thing as Adventure Island but from the photos you will see it's thriving with lots of rides for kids. There are loads of high bank's with gorgeous planting and a lift or stairs to get you back to the shop area. Now that has all changed to me. There was no flipping shopping centre there and McDonald's or a bakers was nowhere in sight. It was just a cobbled old street and I remember getting that smell of the sea as the breeze whooshed against your face. Now it just smell's of coffee beans and bakers. Oh well, it was nice to visit for a few hours but I wouldn't go out of my way to go there again!
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