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Saturday, 13 July 2013

Southend Rock and more

We decided to pop out today to the seaside again. There isn't much choice when you don't have a car so we paid the £9.80 each for return tickets to Southend Central and we got there around 10am. We treated ourselves to a Greg's pasty and cuppa and sat outside to eat them with the company of a few character like pigeons. One we called hop a long because he had a dodgy foot and the others were just greedy sods! We strolled around to find a bank atm machine and Frank noticed a sign for a train station called Southend Victoria. We walked down an alley between shops and there it was, an old station that links you to London and we found that it goes to Romford too (handy to know this). We went back to the high street and carried on walking down towards the slope where the beach is and popped in a few shops. There was a crowd forming outside Marks & Spencers and we noticed a statue in gold. Well, he was flipping brilliant. Frightened the crap out of me, it was a HE. He was shaking peoples hands, giving them a sweet and generally being quite entertaining. Wish I had taken a photo of him now! We got to the slope that takes you down towards the coast and there was the usual screaming coming from Adventure Island. We watched some of the roller coaster's going by, well I should say down, straight down and felt a twinge of sickness cause you would never get me on them. We carried on walking along the parade and bought an ice cream and some sweet treats to bring home. I remembered in the week at work a colleague came into work with a lovely dress on and I said she looks like a stick of rock and I saw the exact same colours of a Southend Stick of Rock so I bought it for her and will let her enjoy it.
We then stood and watched the water jets squirt high up and kids running through it screaming and then enjoyed an ice cream whilst walking along. It is rather noisy there which is fine, there's nothing wrong with hearing kids enjoying themselves. We carried on walking and it was around mid day and I said lets get the train up the pier and walk back. It is not cheap, it cost £3.50 each for a ride and walk fare and it does go towards the upkeep of the pier. The train was brilliant, I thought it was still the old red train that you could not stand up in with old wooden seats and chipped paintwork. Nope, it is still a small train but it's got a reasonable height to it with uncomfortable seats and electric sliding doors. The train is a diesel and I took some photos of it for you here and the funny thing is, when we walked back there was grid lock. Frank said that the rail line had to be changed for one another to pass so we were standing there waiting for it to be done from the signal box at the begining of the pier and alas, no. The poor driver had to get out with his 'bar' and manually change the track line.
I remember the end of the pier as having small huts with bucket and spade shops and a the best fish and chip shop going but nope, that as all burnt down years ago due to vandalism. They have done the best they can and it has been modernised. At the very end is this monstrosity,
It houses a small pricey cafe that has some dodgy steps. I know my eyesight is deteriorating lately what with working on computer all day but some of the steps going down from the seating area is dodgy, you can't see where they begin and where they end. I just kept thinking 'some pensioner or child is going to fall down these'. To the other side of the big building is the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute) which patrols the area. Then down the side of it is where you will find some fishermen and a few hard uncomfortable seats to take in the view. It is much quieter at the end of the pier and I do prefer that because when you live in a town of traffic, sirens and commuting, it's just awesome to take in the sounds of the sea and the gulls.
The third photo is a view from the end looking down the pier towards the coastline. It was quite a pleasant time and took about 15 minutes to walk back. We ended up going into a posh restaurant for fish and chips and then walked up some steep stairs to get back to the high street. We popped into Clark's Shoes and Frank bought me a lovely pair of black wide fit shoes and I treated myself to a pair of cream shoes. We then got the train back to Dagenham and by then, it was 4pm. We were knackered, gone brown with the sun and ready for a nap. That nap ended up being 2 hours and I woke up feeling a little worse for wear. A cuppa soon put that right and now it's almost 9pm and it's getting dark and a bit cooler. We are suppose to have a thunder storm and I hope we do, I love storms to clear the air. Hope you liked our day out and am now going to enjoy some more crochet. Have got our eye tests tomorrow morning so a bit of jogging first thing and then a relaxing day. Take care..
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