Jim Jimmy James

Walking the Thames (Sec 1.)

So up & out for a day trip. Arriving at Shoeburyness, Southeast Essex. The Thames estuary; the mouth of The River Thames.

I chuckled when I spotted this shop just along from the train station. February the 17th and they are still advertising Christmas trees. I was also wondering if the valentines stuff was now discounted.

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I was going to take a photo of the tea hut over looking the estuary but I was shocked at their prices. Still it was a warming cup of tea on a cold-ish day.

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River Thames @ North Sea towards Belgium & Holland (Feel free to correct me, I haven’t looked it up and my geography is rubbish).

Just near these stairs were the first of many beach huts. They were for sale at the bargain price of £45,000. No electricity, no gas…..

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It doesn’t take long to see some of the history for the area. Due to its location it had a garrison based here.

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A more subtle reminder are the mounds that cover the old bomb shelters and the houses in the background that were once the garrison officers homes and mess.

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Walking along The Thames toward southend central there are more derelict reminders of our coastal defences from invasion. I don’t mind graffiti but I do find it a little disrespectful when it is slapped on places of historical importance.

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If you are visiting this location please be aware that the MOD still has some activities here and for your own safety take notice of any signage.

Further along is one of Her Majesty’s Coastguard Stations (HMC). Although a uniformed service HMC is involved with maritime search and rescue within the United Kingdom’s waters and coast line. They are not part of the military forces or law enforcement agencies.

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More beach huts. Over six hundred of them! Some at land level and some built up and looking a bit fancy. Beach huts can cost a fortune and many that have them love them.

Some with have some facilities but many have no water, no electricity, no gas and I believe many, if not most have a no overnight licensing agreement.

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Beach hut history seems to go back to Victorian times. Women would get changed in a sort of wagon that would get towed across the beach to the sea so the woman could maintain her modesty before having a plunge into our cold british waters.

At some time in history it became acceptable for men and women to swim together and these wagons, sea machines were abandoned; later to be used for changing and storing belongings.

I wonder what the Victorian men and women would make of modern day beach wear?

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Well as I am at the seaside so I guess I need to show some water and maybe a boat or two.

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Naturally a day at the seaside has to result in a fish ‘n’ chips meal. Please not that as part of my healthy and balanced diet I opted for the contradictory Pepsi.

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Southend pier marks the end of this short walk. So its up to southend central train station before heading back into London.

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I’ve only scratched the surface of what there is to see, do and the history, so if you know the area please feel free to add any recommendations for venues to visit or annual events in the comments section.

Thanks for visiting.

Jim Jimmy James.