Wednesday, 12 May 2010

⎈ maybe it's because

I'm a Londoner ....
that's how the song goes:
yes I was born in London but for all, but a few years of,
my life I have lived in Southend:
*or nearabouts*

when I saw an invitation to exchange thoughts, comment and
memories of the High Street,
'why not?' I thought:
so today I met Ian Hurd, the man throwing out the invites
along with a free coffee:
Ian is part of Agency Southend:
a non-profit making social enterprise group:
their ethos ~
"Agency Southend aims to reconnect Southend residents with their 
visual landscape, allowing the creative spirit to add to our spaces 
and invigorate the locale"
as part of this Ian hopes to create an exhibition:
never mind the history books:
he wants our stories:
mine started here:
well actually it started at my Uncle and Aunts house around the corner:
but this was the door that we called home for a while:
it was bluegreen then:
living upstairs:
a lounge, a kitchen and a bedroom:
we shared the bathroom with the lady in the next flat:
a tiny place for a family of 5:
it's amazing how, seeing this today, it sparked so many
good thoughts of times spent in the Town:
shops long gone:
the smell of coffee from Planters and their delicious cakes:
Miss Rose, a tiny 'undies shop' packed to the rafters with
corsets and knickers:
next door the wig shop, with it's polystyrene heads adorned with 
hairdo's of every shape and shade:
the scary Toby jugs in the window of Owen Wallis
but the toys upstairs to gaze wide-eyed and dream of owning:
the pubs frequented on a Saturday night trawl:
the Tavern in the Town for the jukebox,
the Top Alex for the bands:
Scamps and Zhivagos, the clubs for afters:
drinking cider on the 'hills', waiting for friends to come from the
bus or train station nearby:
York Road Market ~ now sadly torn down by the council:
many teen hours & money spent buying fabrics to make my own clothes:
buttons and zips from the haberdashery:
thumbing through 2nd hand records in Gumbis:
the door has only changed colour since then:
but the town and I have seen much go by:


  1. Ahh Dee I loved this!! i recognize that house also, whereabouts is it?And i love that last photo its so cool but very sweet at the same time! LOVE your bloggs xx

  2. Thanks for today Dee - it was great hearing about growing up near the High Street and the nightlife etc. Like the pics - which one is you? Let me know if you find that old B+W photo you told me about and Bullock? Speak soon and thanks again for a good chat!

  3. Me too - I was a Londoner, who became a Southender. At first literally just around round the corner from Choco Towers - my parents ran a Grocers on Woodfield Road. Remember Owen and Willis and the magnetic bugs buzzing about in a glass cabinet. Other memories..
    Bermans for toys and togs, Rosehills for Lord Anthony boys clobber, Gowens Fishing Supplies on Pier Hill for catapult action.Man at Barry's York Rd market for Harringtons. Dayvilles Ice Cream parlour (32 flavours). Smokers World and The Golden Egg in the precinct. Terry's Books for comics. Those shrimp and shell sculptures in Vic' Circus that always smelt of wee..

  4. that's my Mama, me and the twins in the buggy ~ taken outside that front door:
    well it seems the locals are on a buzz of nostalgia now:
    loved Terry's Books too ~ knew you would Mondo:
    don't remember the sculptures but by the sounds of it ~ not a bad thing:
    miss the Rossi's kiosk at the top of the street and the fruit'n'veg one in the middle: *where Steve the pennypicker worked*
    remember those little plastic soldiers with parachutes?
    we used to set them off the top floor of the precinct ~ with the thermal they would rise up: hehe


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