What do Londoners do in the summer? The moment the sun comes out we head outside and find the nearest patch of grass, bit of water, chair, box to lie on — anything will do so long as it’s outside and in the sun. The feeling is that the sunshine won’t last long, so you’d better make the most of it.
And if you really want to treat yourself, you head to the seaside. There’s a choice of places for a day out within an easy train journey from London —Brighton, Margate, Whitstable, Mersea… and Southend. If you like your sun, sea, sand and ice cream mixed with roller coasters and a trip on a train down a 1-mile-long pier, you can’t beat Southend-on-Sea.
Last summer I posted some black and white photos of Southend. But I went back and tried something different — Southend as a multi-cultural, no-pretence, family and community idyll.