Date: May 2019
I was trying to think of a song to describe Southend at the moment. Personally I think that old Monty Python song “Always Look on the Bright Side” probably describes it best.
There’s a lot of negativity in the County at the moment and unfortunately a lot of that negativity seems to be directed at Southend. No town is perfect but lets reflect for a moment on some of the good things about ours.
The two things that probably everyone knows Southend for is of course the Pier and Adventure Island. Sir John Betjman once said “the Pier is Southend, Southend is the Pier” so I can’t be far wrong. It is of course iconic being the longest pleasure pier in the world and a Grade II listed building to boot. Whilst Adventure Island has grown to be one of the best loved theme parks in the Country located right by the Pier.
Our sea front literally stretches for miles and has some gorgeous views across the Thames Estuary, especially at sunset. We have our gardens and the Cliff Lift, which is unique and dates back to 1912. Of course Southend is about more than just the Pier and the sea front.
Away from the sea front we have some wonderful parks and for recreation of a different kind the Palace Theatre, the Cliffs Pavilion and the Beecroft Gallery, all of which goes to show that we’re more cultured than some people make us out to be. The town also has its own professional football team Southend United FC whose fortunes have fluctuated recently but they do put us on the map as a Football town.
Southend is also home to many successful businesses. Some are long established while others have moved into the area fairly recently. The Airport is expanding rapidly and proving increasingly popular with people who don’t want the hassle of some of its’ larger competitors. Alongside that we are seeing the start of the business park that will bring other businesses into the area.
As someone who has lived and worked in the town for many years it saddens me to read some of the comments we see reported in the local press and on social media. A town is what you make of it and we all have a stake in its’ future. So let’s stop carping and work together for a change.