I grew up in sight and sound of Southend Pier and took my friend with me as we walked the length for the first time together, it was windy, it was cold and we enjoyed it!!! Both of us have our own memories of Southend Pier, even going back to our respective childhoods, for my friend it was particularly poignant for many years ago she scattered her mum's ashes from the end of the pier.
We walked the length and this pair of 50-somethings were like a couple of teenagers reliving our past!! Got to the end and had a few minutes silence before a coffee in the 'Cultural Centre' - to me, Southend and culture are two words that don't go together, nor does the cafe within the centre - for it appears to be run by the clueless and can only appeal to the lowest common denominator as Cappuchino, Latte, etc do not appear there! Perhaps Southend Borough Council needs to look at the pier head catering franchises very seriously.
Took the train back and we finished the day with presenting my friend with a personalised certificate for walking the pier - her face just beamed!!!
The title is Sir John Betjeman's description of both town and pier, and very apt it is.
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