GOOD EVENING, I'M FROM ESSEX IN CASE YOU COULDN'T TELL… TRAVELS OF AN EXILED ESSEX MAN AROUND THE THAMES DELTA AND THROUGH GOD'S OWN COUNTY
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Having your Phill of Southend
Many thanks to Phill Jupitus for a great tour of the Southend environs. His thoughts will be appearing in my forthcoming book The Joy of Essex. We started off dog-walking on Two Tree Island at Leigh-on-Sea, where you get a great view of Leigh seafront, Canvey and the Thames estuary, moving on to the atmospheric Hadleigh Castle (an early victim of cowboy builders as it was built on subsiding sandy soil), the pubs and boat sheds of Old Leigh, the 13 coffee shops of Leigh, an excellent lunch at the Arches (a row of 14 greasy spoon cafes on the Southend seafront), a drive up to Shoeburyness where the artillery ranges start and an ice cream at Rossi's on the seafront. Jupitus is a man with a real passion for Essex, having grown up in Stanford-no-Hope and we even found ourselves discussing "the low lead lines" of Dickens as we looked out over the Estuary. Another hot topic was if Adam Ant, who once played Southend, was in fact "the Danbury Highwayman". Phill also confided that having seen the Grand Canyon he still prefers the views from Leigh-on-Sea, and quite right too.