I’ve come back to Essex for a long weekend to see my mum. She lives in Rochford but anyone outside of Essex has no idea where that is and seeing as it’s only five or so miles from Southend I just tell everyone I’m heading back to my seaside home of Southend on Sea – land of the longest Pier in the world, Ford Capri’s and lots of dire Essex girl jokes…
As I’m here I thought it would be a great opportunity to snap some photo’s around those places I remember so well as a child. Places I played, people I’ve met there, memories that were made. So here it is – my Southend:
Living here throughout my childhood I never appreciated the beach being so close to home but I had loads of fun at this beach. Took many a walk along the shore when I was feeling low and had loads of laughs with friends from school and college. During college I remember a few of us took out the full size filming cameras and tried to replicate an episode of the X-Files. Ironically we managed to come across an alien head graffiti on a wall.
Rossi’s Ice Cream
You can’t come to Southend and not enjoy this ice cream. Rossi’s ice cream is the most distinct and delicious ice cream this side of Italy. It’s white in colour and is just as good either in blocks or whippy style.
Just a few miles up the Southend promenade you find yourself in a very different place. Leigh-on-sea. It looks like an old fishing village and the boats still go out to fish every morning in the season for local whelks, winkles and cockles. It has a lively cafe cosmopolitan feel to it now-a-days and hosts many an art and music festival.
The Royals Shopping Centre
Not really anything touristy about this but this shopping centre, to be found in Southend High St, was the place I got my first Saturday job (At Choices Video, remember them?), my best ever Uni job as a sales assistant in a temporary Hamley’s in Debenams (I got to wear this rather colourful shirt and got discounts on fluffy toys), and in my school days had many a humerous lunchtime with friends before we all used to tramp to the bowling alley on the pier for PE (we had it made!).
A big thank you to my mum who drove me all over for this shoot. We had a few laughs along the way as she drove me down bumpy roads kept the car engine running while I made her park in odd places and having to eat all that ice cream.
Just before you go, I wanted to include one more photo that my old college buddy, Max, recently took of the seafront at dusk.
I think it beautifully captures the fading daylight and shadows the outline of the beach and breakers. I especially like it because it’s how I always think of Southend when I’m away from the town. Thanks Max.
Click on the photo for more of Max’s great insights of Southend.