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Rob Noxious

Retro Supremo
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
7,242
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."
 
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