I was born in Southend in 1965. Back then Southend was a very different place from how it is today. Much of the redevelopment in the town centre and Victoria avenue was in the process of being constructed, and i grew up half a mile from where all this was happening.

Much of it went on unnoticed by me as the 1970s  were happy carefree days. I  would spend the seemingly endless summer holidays staying out until it got dark, that was the queue to be back home after spending the day riding my red Chopper bike, my pride and joy.

Many memorable events i can still vividly remember. The pier burning down, Twice ! The red Arrows screaming down Victoria avenue, so low they were lower than the buildings, something that would never happen today. Roller skating at the rink on Pier Hill sadly long gone. The lights at Never Never land were a magical experience for a small boy as was Peter Pans, now Adventure Island. All that remains of the old Peter Pans is the Slide and the Crooked house.

I had a fantastic childhood making Go carts with my friends, long adventures along Prittle Brook all to the sountrack of the 70s  Slade, Blondie, Then into  the 80’s where i became a teenager listening to Madness, The Jam, The clash. My Chopper bike now gone. I still don’t know what happened to it, discarded like it meant nothing. But today looking back, it means everything.

Such happy times growing up in a town i love, Southend.

 

James Roffey