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Rob Noxious

Retro Supremo⭐
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
7,364
Location
Penzance
[video=youtube;WrZyqo-kiZE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrZyqo-kiZE&nohtml5=False[/video]
This might resonate a little for anyone who's come back to Southend after a little while away. I was staying in town over the w/e and was at a bit of a loose end between an afternoon curry and seeing a gig at The Railway. I had a wander around the High Street and drifted towards 'Victoria', then wrote a few notes whilst sitting in 'Ye Olde Trout'. I wrote the note to myself 'Quit This Town' after a song that Graeme Douglas (who was playing at The Railway that night) wrote for Eddie & The Hot Rods and I think that it's likely to appear in a pop novel I've been trying to write for a few years that I've provisionally entitled 'FM247: Radios In Motion':

"Greetings, groovers! I think that it was seeing Graeme Douglas play at The Railway which made me realise that I had to leave Binfield again – and this time for the last time. Don’t get me wrong, it was nothing about Graeme, who I met at the gig and who is a lovely man. No, it was hearing this song that he wrote with Ed Hollis – Graeme’s first song for the Hot Rods, as it happens – after a Sunday of alienation traipsing around the places I used to go. It was when I saw some gangly youths slipping into Victory Circus down by the entrance where ‘Victory Shoes’ still is. And it started off with my shock at encountering doors where the entrance used to be open. My guess is that it’s to stop the homeless people who I saw in the shop doorways of the High Street at night bedding down under cover in Victory Circus which would be much better shelter from the elements, if truth be told.

Then I was hit by scenes that I associate with those once futuristic sci-fi movies of anodyne shopping malls and piped music wafting pungently in the air. Despite it being sunny outside, there was an eerie half-light permeating the wide incline up towards the centre of what used to be Victory Circus. It’s just called Victory now, though I don’t know why. Victory Shoes no longer had the great array of footwear the Pouk Hill kids used to love drooling over in the window. It just looked a bit sorry for itself. There was hardly anything on display except young kids’ shoes. Though I knew my beloved Guy Norris Records was long gone, I felt sad seeing its great display window – which used to have those fantastic album covers gazing down at me, including ‘Slayed’, ‘Slade Alive’ and one by a group I’d never heard called The Groundhogs – now housing the latest furniture items that I didn’t want. And worse was to follow. There was a concourse in the middle of what was Victory Circus. "And so what?", I hear you say. Well, previously there was nothing there except a floor below you could look down onto and maybe drop something into someone’s path if you felt so inclined. It had an openness about it, and natural light, as there was no roof in that part. Now it felt hemmed in and suffocating. I looked up to where the dodgy disco Zhivago’s used to be. Gone. And the Chinese restaurant next to it. Gone. Terry’s Bookshop, where I got my Marvel Comics. Gone. Terry’s brother’s bookshop, ‘Bobin's Corner’ – yep, you’ve got it - gone. I decided to go for the whole forlorn experience and walk on through to the other side. I knew Ryan’s Records over the Victory Station end had gone even before I left Binfield the first time but it was still worth acknowledging. I then had a memory of once seeing Binfield United footballers vaulting over a gate next to the railway line when I was at the top of the escalator. I’d read that one of them had to have one of his legs amputated recently. I felt a great sadness as I descended the steps next to the up escalator. I also had a great urgency to urinate and thought that I’d pop in the Victory Station bar. But where was it? I went through the station. The newsagents was gone. The bar was on the way out, wasn’t it? Hold on, they’re the windows the bar used to have. Ah, the bar had now been shut down though it looked as though it hadn’t been that long ago. It didn’t matter. It could have been as long ago as everything else. My Binfield was gone."
 
Last edited:

GrumpyBlue

Director⭐
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
2,712
Location
Devoran, Cornwall
What did Don Henley sing in `the Boys of Summer`- you should never go back :nope:

I think you have just found out Rob something I knew a long time ago - the Southend of our youth is no longer there
 

Rob Noxious

Retro Supremo⭐
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
7,364
Location
Penzance
What did Don Henley sing in `the Boys of Summer`- you should never go back :nope:

I think you have just found out Rob something I knew a long time ago - the Southend of our youth is no longer there

Yes - you're right, Rich. Think I'll stay in Rochford next time and hang out with the old guys at The Golden Lion. :smile:
 

Rob Noxious

Retro Supremo⭐
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
7,364
Location
Penzance
Gates Of The West

[video=youtube;AuhQf3ds14k]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuhQf3ds14k[/video]

"Greetings, groovers! It’s about time I told you about Linesend. I’ve been living here for just over ten years since I finally left Binfield in the noughties. I did go back to Harbour Head first though and spent a bit of time care of The Producer and his family. The Producer is one of those incredibly genuine guys who looked out for me when Donna kicked me into touch soon after we moved to Harbour Head back in the nineties. In fact, The Producer set me on my radio path after he procured this great tugboat moored in Harbour Head called ‘The Southern Star’. I made some of my finest broadcasts from that tugboat just before ‘Radio Binfield’ got the Lottery funding. But The Producer helped me yet again by fixing me up with another radio station out west called ‘Atlantic Coast FM’ and since I got back to being a proper DJ once more, I also started doing some charity work again between my shows.

And this track by The Clash, from ‘The Cost Of Living’ E.P. released in May 1979, is the one that I always start and end my shows with. It’s because I love Linesend, where Atlantic Coast FM broadcasts from, and because Linesend is the last station that you can get to right here way out west. When I get back from “up country” via the train, I go through those gates at the end of the platform and I’m just so delighted to be back here … in a seaside town where I belong.

Please don’t get me wrong, it was great to be back in Harbour Head when I returned from Binfield. I’ll always feel a great fondness for it. It’s only twelve miles from Linesend and I do go go back there every now and then to meet up with some of my old fans. They always ask me “How’s Linesend?” – every single one of them – every time I go back there. And I always tell them – every single one of them – “It’s well, thanks. And it’s getting better all the time.” Some of those rascals even start saying this when I answer the question. I know, I’m a cliché myself now.

I think what I really like about Linesend is that it’s a music town, like Binfield. It’s also a little bit rough in parts, like Binfield. It also attracts people who need to leave other places and situations and want to get as far away as they can on this island. Right to the end of the line. And that’s where Linesend is. Trains start and finish their journeys from and to Linesend. There ain’t nowhere to go after unless you head into its outlying hinterlands or into The Atlantic Ocean. And we can reach those places via Atlantic Coast FM. I love all the messages that I receive from the listeners in those hillbilly places in the hinterlands. There’s ‘Mad Ron’ from Madron, ‘Granite Stoneface’ from Logan’s Rock and my favourite regular messenger, ‘Fanny Tranny’ from Bone Valley. Franny sends me a message every show but they’re always unrepeatable on air. I do make a point of acknowledging them though and I always play her/him one of my “dodgy dedications” – those tracks that people never like admitting to like, such as Charlene’s ‘I’ve Been To Paradise (But I’ve Never Been To Me)’. I don’t do requests on ‘The Emperor’s Archives’ because a refusal often offends but I certainly do enjoy a dodgy dedication to my ‘Empiscenti’, as I call my regular listeners.

So this one, although not in the least dodgy, is going out to all the Empiscenti. Thank you for welcoming me to the gates of the west and thanks especially to The Producer for making it happen for me on the radio once again. A special mention too for my DJ pal, ‘The Groovemeister’, who tutored me in all this digital computerised stuff I’m still learning new things about. We’ve come a long way from the days of scratchy vinyl but this recording is actually straight from ‘The Cost Of Living’ E.P. that I bought from The Golden Disc in Binfield-on-Sea all those years ago. I’m gonna crank it up now and I wanna hear you singing along too. Go easy, step lightly, stay scratchy!"
 

Benfleet A1

Hector Of The House
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
8,299
Location
Slade Prison
[video=youtube;WrZyqo-kiZE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrZyqo-kiZE&nohtml5=False[/video]
This might resonate a little for anyone who's come back to Southend after a little while away. I was staying in town over the w/e and was at a bit of a loose end between an afternoon curry and seeing a gig at The Railway. I had a wander around the High Street and drifted towards 'Victoria', then wrote a few notes whilst sitting in 'Ye Olde Trout'. I wrote the note to myself 'Quit This Town' after a song that Graeme Douglas (who was playing at The Railway that night) wrote for Eddie & The Hot Rods and I think that it's likely to appear in a pop novel I've been trying to write for a few years that I've provisionally entitled 'FM247: Radios In Motion':

"Greetings, groovers! I think that it was seeing Graeme Douglas play at The Railway which made me realise that I had to leave Binfield again – and this time for the last time. Don’t get me wrong, it was nothing about Graeme, who I met at the gig and who is a lovely man. No, it was hearing this song that he wrote with Ed Hollis – Graeme’s first song for the Hot Rods, as it happens – after a Sunday of alienation traipsing around the places I used to go. It was when I saw some gangly youths slipping into Victory Circus down by the entrance where ‘Victory Shoes’ still is. And it started off with my shock at encountering doors where the entrance used to be open. My guess is that it’s to stop the homeless people who I saw in the shop doorways of the High Street at night bedding down under cover in Victory Circus which would be much better shelter from the elements, if truth be told.

Then I was hit by scenes that I associate with those once futuristic sci-fi movies of anodyne shopping malls and piped music wafting pungently in the air. Despite it being sunny outside, there was an eerie half-light permeating the wide incline up towards the centre of what used to be Victory Circus. It’s just called Victory now, though I don’t know why. Victory Shoes no longer had the great array of footwear the Pouk Hill kids used to love drooling over in the window. It just looked a bit sorry for itself. There was hardly anything on display except young kids’ shoes. Though I knew my beloved Guy Norris Records was long gone, I felt sad seeing its great display window – which used to have those fantastic album covers gazing down at me, including ‘Slayed’, ‘Slade Alive’ and one by a group I’d never heard called The Groundhogs – now housing the latest furniture items that I didn’t want. And worse was to follow. There was a concourse in the middle of what was Victory Circus. "And so what?", I hear you say. Well, previously there was nothing there except a floor below you could look down onto and maybe drop something into someone’s path if you felt so inclined. It had an openness about it, and natural light, as there was no roof in that part. Now it felt hemmed in and suffocating. I looked up to where the dodgy disco Zhivago’s used to be. Gone. And the Chinese restaurant next to it. Gone. Terry’s Bookshop, where I got my Marvel Comics. Gone. Terry’s brother’s bookshop, ‘Bobin's Corner’ – yep, you’ve got it - gone. I decided to go for the whole forlorn experience and walk on through to the other side. I knew Ryan’s Records over the Victory Station end had gone even before I left Binfield the first time but it was still worth acknowledging. I then had a memory of once seeing Binfield United footballers vaulting over a gate next to the railway line when I was at the top of the escalator. I’d read that one of them had to have one of his legs amputated recently. I felt a great sadness as I descended the steps next to the up escalator. I also had a great urgency to urinate and thought that I’d pop in the Victory Station bar. But where was it? I went through the station. The newsagents was gone. The bar was on the way out, wasn’t it? Hold on, they’re the windows the bar used to have. Ah, the bar had now been shut down though it looked as though it hadn’t been that long ago. It didn’t matter. It could have been as long ago as everything else. My Binfield was gone."

Bloody hell Rob, that was depressng reading. After you with the knife.
 

Rob Noxious

Retro Supremo⭐
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
7,364
Location
Penzance
Bloody hell Rob, that was depressng reading. After you with the knife.

Ha - I did feel sad when I walked up the High St., Al, and especially so by the time I got through Vic Circus. Lucky 'Ye Olde Trout' was a short crossed-legged walk away so all my troubles could flow freely into their urinal.
 

Firestorm

Pedant
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
15,210
Location
Immersed in the accounts
[video=youtube;WrZyqo-kiZE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrZyqo-kiZE&nohtml5=False[/video]
This might resonate a little for anyone who's come back to Southend after a little while away. I was staying in town over the w/e and was at a bit of a loose end between an afternoon curry and seeing a gig at The Railway. I had a wander around the High Street and drifted towards 'Victoria', then wrote a few notes whilst sitting in 'Ye Olde Trout'. I wrote the note to myself 'Quit This Town' after a song that Graeme Douglas (who was playing at The Railway that night) wrote for Eddie & The Hot Rods and I think that it's likely to appear in a pop novel I've been trying to write for a few years that I've provisionally entitled 'FM247: Radios In Motion':

"Greetings, groovers! I think that it was seeing Graeme Douglas play at The Railway which made me realise that I had to leave Binfield again – and this time for the last time. Don’t get me wrong, it was nothing about Graeme, who I met at the gig and who is a lovely man. No, it was hearing this song that he wrote with Ed Hollis – Graeme’s first song for the Hot Rods, as it happens – after a Sunday of alienation traipsing around the places I used to go. It was when I saw some gangly youths slipping into Victory Circus down by the entrance where ‘Victory Shoes’ still is. And it started off with my shock at encountering doors where the entrance used to be open. My guess is that it’s to stop the homeless people who I saw in the shop doorways of the High Street at night bedding down under cover in Victory Circus which would be much better shelter from the elements, if truth be told.

Then I was hit by scenes that I associate with those once futuristic sci-fi movies of anodyne shopping malls and piped music wafting pungently in the air. Despite it being sunny outside, there was an eerie half-light permeating the wide incline up towards the centre of what used to be Victory Circus. It’s just called Victory now, though I don’t know why. Victory Shoes no longer had the great array of footwear the Pouk Hill kids used to love drooling over in the window. It just looked a bit sorry for itself. There was hardly anything on display except young kids’ shoes. Though I knew my beloved Guy Norris Records was long gone, I felt sad seeing its great display window – which used to have those fantastic album covers gazing down at me, including ‘Slayed’, ‘Slade Alive’ and one by a group I’d never heard called The Groundhogs – now housing the latest furniture items that I didn’t want. And worse was to follow. There was a concourse in the middle of what was Victory Circus. "And so what?", I hear you say. Well, previously there was nothing there except a floor below you could look down onto and maybe drop something into someone’s path if you felt so inclined. It had an openness about it, and natural light, as there was no roof in that part. Now it felt hemmed in and suffocating. I looked up to where the dodgy disco Zhivago’s used to be. Gone. And the Chinese restaurant next to it. Gone. Terry’s Bookshop, where I got my Marvel Comics. Gone. Terry’s brother’s bookshop, ‘Bobin's Corner’ – yep, you’ve got it - gone. I decided to go for the whole forlorn experience and walk on through to the other side. I knew Ryan’s Records over the Victory Station end had gone even before I left Binfield the first time but it was still worth acknowledging. I then had a memory of once seeing Binfield United footballers vaulting over a gate next to the railway line when I was at the top of the escalator. I’d read that one of them had to have one of his legs amputated recently. I felt a great sadness as I descended the steps next to the up escalator. I also had a great urgency to urinate and thought that I’d pop in the Victory Station bar. But where was it? I went through the station. The newsagents was gone. The bar was on the way out, wasn’t it? Hold on, they’re the windows the bar used to have. Ah, the bar had now been shut down though it looked as though it hadn’t been that long ago. It didn’t matter. It could have been as long ago as everything else. My Binfield was gone."

Pouk Hill Kids ? that is one hell of an obscure Slade reference .....
Did Angelina tell you to write it ?
 

Another Surrey Shrimper

Life President
Joined
Jun 4, 2011
Messages
8,878
Location
Carshalton, Surrey
Rob - I've not lived in Benfleet for 25 years now but my two trips to the Railway at the tail end of last year lead to the feeling that when my wife eventually kicks me out I could easily move to Southend. The shops have changed but though Vic Shoes was an iconic image - in reality you probably bought from them once every two years. For me the record shop in Vic Circus was Golden Discs and that was never the same when it moved but now they have a record shop just round the corner named 'South' that is keeping the vibe alive.


Strangely I was on a tube heading east last night and struck up a conversation with a girl wearing Misfits merch and she was really enthusiastic about punk and hardcore bands of now and the past but when she said she was from Brentwood her mood dipped and spoke of the lack of community for artistic outsiders. I said to her that Southend is where she should search out community as there are gigs (Railway / Chinnery's), a record shop (South), an internet radio station (Ship Full of Bombs), festivals (Village Green / Leigh Folk), even Shrimperzone has at least one member making and releasing records (he hasn't posted this info on here so he may not want that known). As we got off the tube she said she could give me her details so we could Facebook but as she looked about a third of my age I declined, which is a shame really as I think that I could have sent her pointers where she would have got a lot out of the Southend that a few 40 something's keep going. You maybe need to just dip down a few years to look for contemporaries as there is an active 'underground' community still doing things in Southend and no doubt there are people in their teens and twenties doing interesting stuff if you know where to look.


The problem with underground culture is that it is often hidden and you need to know where to look - which is tricky if you are new to an area or have been away too long.


Your Southend is still there I reckon but in a different guise.
 

Rob Noxious

Retro Supremo⭐
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
7,364
Location
Penzance
Pouk Hill Kids ? that is one hell of an obscure Slade reference .....
Did Angelina tell you to write it ?

[video=youtube;kHjfvppoBQQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHjfvppoBQQ[/video] Spotter's badge, Sir! Yes, quite a haunting song that 'Pouk Hill' ... it's in the lyrics of the song ... "Pouk Hill is tall always will be, Pouk Hill is older than you and me" ... as a symbol for a school being so much bigger than the kids who had the pleasure to pass through its portals.
 

Rob Noxious

Retro Supremo⭐
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
7,364
Location
Penzance
Rob - I've not lived in Benfleet for 25 years now but my two trips to the Railway at the tail end of last year lead to the feeling that when my wife eventually kicks me out I could easily move to Southend. The shops have changed but though Vic Shoes was an iconic image - in reality you probably bought from them once every two years. For me the record shop in Vic Circus was Golden Discs and that was never the same when it moved but now they have a record shop just round the corner named 'South' that is keeping the vibe alive.


Strangely I was on a tube heading east last night and struck up a conversation with a girl wearing Misfits merch and she was really enthusiastic about punk and hardcore bands of now and the past but when she said she was from Brentwood her mood dipped and spoke of the lack of community for artistic outsiders. I said to her that Southend is where she should search out community as there are gigs (Railway / Chinnery's), a record shop (South), an internet radio station (Ship Full of Bombs), festivals (Village Green / Leigh Folk), even Shrimperzone has at least one member making and releasing records (he hasn't posted this info on here so he may not want that known). As we got off the tube she said she could give me her details so we could Facebook but as she looked about a third of my age I declined, which is a shame really as I think that I could have sent her pointers where she would have got a lot out of the Southend that a few 40 something's keep going. You maybe need to just dip down a few years to look for contemporaries as there is an active 'underground' community still doing things in Southend and no doubt there are people in their teens and twenties doing interesting stuff if you know where to look.


The problem with underground culture is that it is often hidden and you need to know where to look - which is tricky if you are new to an area or have been away too long.


Your Southend is still there I reckon but in a different guise.

Thanks, Greg. Yes, I'm a big fan of The Railway and it was a great haven on Saturday and Sunday night - saw the legendary Steve Hooker and his fine band there on Sat. and as mentioned, GD & The Hot Flyers there on Sunday. This was just an articulation of a moment of sadness where I couldn't square what was with what is anymore. And yes, 'The Golden Disc' was probably my most-frequented record shop in my years of searching out the essentials of yesteryear. I first discovered a branch of it on the corner of Clarence Street - a stone's throw from The Top Alex - back in '77. They had a bigger shop in Southchurch and then moved to Queen's Road circa late '78/early '79 if I recall correctly? It then moved over the road and then appeared in a Morrissey video too - 'Every Day Is Like Sunday' - about a decade later. Glad to hear that it continues in another guise.
 

Firestorm

Pedant
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
15,210
Location
Immersed in the accounts
[video=youtube;kHjfvppoBQQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHjfvppoBQQ[/video] Spotter's badge, Sir! Yes, quite a haunting song that 'Pouk Hill' ... it's in the lyrics of the song ... "Pouk Hill is tall always will be, Pouk Hill is older than you and me" ... as a symbol for a school being so much bigger than the kids who had the pleasure to pass through its portals.

And by some remarkable coincidence it came over my headphones whilst I was in the gym yesterday, (150 albums on shuffle)
 

Another Surrey Shrimper

Life President
Joined
Jun 4, 2011
Messages
8,878
Location
Carshalton, Surrey
Thanks, Greg. Yes, I'm a big fan of The Railway and it was a great haven on Saturday and Sunday night - saw the legendary Steve Hooker and his fine band there on Sat. and as mentioned, GD & The Hot Flyers there on Sunday. This was just an articulation of a moment of sadness where I couldn't square what was with what is anymore. And yes, 'The Golden Disc' was probably my most-frequented record shop in my years of searching out the essentials of yesteryear. I first discovered a branch of it on the corner of Clarence Street - a stone's throw from The Top Alex - back in '77. They had a bigger shop in Southchurch and then moved to Queen's Road circa late '78/early '79 if I recall correctly? It then moved over the road and then appeared in a Morrissey video too - 'Every Day Is Like Sunday' - about a decade later. Glad to hear that it continues in another guise.
I just.....want you to be happy! x
 

Rob Noxious

Retro Supremo⭐
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
7,364
Location
Penzance
I just.....want you to be happy! x

I am generally a happy if cynical person. If that makes sense. I don't know if you've ever read 'Coming Up For Air' by George Orwell? That left a huge mark on me about a home town, Binfield, an idyllic place to grow up in becoming a different world when revisited years later. That's where I'm at with all this. I even thought it in 1979 when I first went back to my old school, Earls Hall. It just gets magnified the more fogey-fied I become.
 

Another Surrey Shrimper

Life President
Joined
Jun 4, 2011
Messages
8,878
Location
Carshalton, Surrey
I am generally a happy if cynical person. If that makes sense. I don't know if you've ever read 'Coming Up For Air' by George Orwell? That left a huge mark on me about a home town, Binfield, an idyllic place to grow up in becoming a different world when revisited years later. That's where I'm at with all this. I even thought it in 1979 when I first went back to my old school, Earls Hall. It just gets magnified the more fogey-fied I become.
I don't 'know' you know you but I can tell you are passionate about things and happy in life and I know you were telling a story. It was just a coincidence that I read it just after I'd suggested to a young pup she goes to Southend to seek community.

'Homage...' is my fav Orwell, 'Coming Up For Air' is on bookshelf but I can't remember reading it so I'll need to change that.
 

Rob Noxious

Retro Supremo⭐
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
7,364
Location
Penzance
I don't 'know' you know you but I can tell you are passionate about things and happy in life and I know you were telling a story. It was just a coincidence that I read it just after I'd suggested to a young pup she goes to Southend to seek community.

'Homage...' is my fav Orwell, 'Coming Up For Air' is on bookshelf but I can't remember reading it so I'll need to change that.

It is one that tends to be overlooked but I think it's up there with his other greats. 'Homage To Catalonia' is one I haven't read in a long time but I remember it demonstrated what a great journalist he was and I loved his account of how Barcelona changed during the short-lived ascendancy of POUM.
 

Another Surrey Shrimper

Life President
Joined
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Messages
8,878
Location
Carshalton, Surrey
It is one that tends to be overlooked but I think it's up there with his other greats. 'Homage To Catalonia' is one I haven't read in a long time but I remember it demonstrated what a great journalist he was and I loved his account of how Barcelona changed during the short-lived ascendancy of POUM.
That's the one - inspiring.
 
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