The custodians of the Southend Pier apparently want to keep me off the structure! When I arrived here previously, I was told that although there was half an hour before it closed for the evening, I wouldn’t be allowed on because they needed all of that time to clear people off before closing.
It was not to be. Approaching the doors of the information centre I could see A4 notices taped to the glass, and a number of noticeboards resting against the inside of the doors. It seems that now we are in the Winter Season, it doesn’t open at all on Mondays or Tuesdays. Grrrr!
Still, putting my frustration behind me I decided to stroll along the seafront (technically the riverfront!) in search of other surprises, and I was rewarded for doing so, for I came across the Kursaal; one of the worlds first purpose-built amusement parks. Much has gone, having been redeveloped after years of neglect, but distinctive dome of the main building remains. Why the people of Southend chose the German word for a health room or spa to name it is a mystery to me, but it is unique enough to remind me of the town’s most famous band; The Kursaal Flyers. Their mentors, Dr. Feelgood, were renowned around that time for touring with really strong support acts (I saw them with Mink DeVille and Squeeze) but I never saw the Flyers so I can’t judge their pedigree.
Warmed by this little piece of nostalgia, I returned to my car and found my sunset imagery of fountains turned to gold, a settled squabble of seagulls, a pair of fortuitously aligned fishing boats, and the perfect funfair silhouette.
The pier is forgiven. For now.