I'd just like to update you on a few things that are no longer 'warnings or dangers'
The Forresters Arms was a disgusting pub and has now thankfully been ripped down by the council and will not be returning to tarnish the seafront!
The city beach has recently undergone a renovation and it is now no longer possible for boy racers to tear up and down the seafront in their cars!
The mudflats and the tides are obviously still a huge danger so make sure you check the timetable for tides here: http://www.pla.co.uk/display_fixedpage.cfm/id/11/site/navigation and look out for a lifeguard and let them know where you're going before you attempt to walk out on the mudflats!
Just be aware that there are a great many 'boy racer' type drivers who meet at weekend evenings (don't know about during the week) to race, 'Fast and Furious' style, in continuous loops up and down the whole length of the promenade road, seemingly largely unchallenged by the police. Apparently they are 'allowed' to do this every so often. I don't know if it's part of some pc decision to appease them on the part of the council or what, but a local told us that there is some arrangement in place whereby they are allowed to this, unless it gets really out of hand. However, what defines 'really out of hand' I don't know - quite apart from the very obvious dangers (keep hold of your kids hands because if your little one runs out into the road, as little ones sometimes try to do, there is no way one of these idiots could perform an emergency stop in time to avoid hitting someone, ) the amount of noise they make revving engines and screeching brakes is extremely invasive and annoying, and it goes on into the early hours - be aware of this if your hotel is on the seafront as it is the far and away the single biggest reason why I will not be going back to Southend on Sea for a break. I can't help wondering how many people will have to be hurt or worse, killed, by these stupid and irressponsible drivers who seem to care more about image and showing off than anything else, before something real and proactive is done about them. Apparently, (again, hearsay but from a local copper so am assuming therre's some truth in it) the police are holding 6000 odd cars in a lot just down the road which have been confiscated from these people in the past. Not enough obviously, as they seem to just go out and get another car. Something more obviously needs to be done. Anyway, for little kids, the elderly, dogs, anyone a little unsteady or slow on their pins or who has difficulty with judging distance/speed etc, be EXTRA CAREFUL on the roads at night. never seen anything like it in my life - this coupled with the mostly empty, although loud and none too welcoming bars, don't make Southend a great place for families with youngsters or elderly members. Don't expect much sleep because of it either.
Coastguards have warned youngsters and adults not to take chances and walk out too far on the mud in the Thames Estuary. Over the bank holiday weekend, there were special warning notices along the seafront and stewards patrolled along the beach.
Coastguards are warning Southend beachgoers to beware of potentially treacherous tides that could sweep them out to sea. The estuary bed in Southend does not have a a steep gradient but there are many raised mud flats. This means the tide can come in very quickly and the unsuspecting can get caught on a sand bank, surrounded by water, and currents in channels could be too strong for people to swim through.
Today, the Environment Agency are responsible for maintaining both the county flood defences together with an effective system of warning the public of impending danger. The experts tell us that at some time a flood of the same magnitude as that in 1953 will again occur, but systems of meteorological and tidal prediction are such that warnings will be given in plenty of time. This has to be coupled with the fact that the level of the flood defences is far superior to that of 1953, communications have improved vastly and people in the areas worst hit in 1953 live in much more substantial accommodation.
Whilst a flood of 1953 magnitude could still lead to extensive flooding throughout the county, Essex Police flood plans are now integrated with those of the Environment Agency, the County Council and local authorities. The Police of Essex will not have to stand alone as they did in the early hours of Sunday 1st February 1953 but will control and co-ordinate an integrated response, should the North Sea pay us an unwelcome visit once more.
The seafront at Southend has it's fair collection of different and indeed indifferent pubs. Some are better than others, but hardly any could be considered suitable for familes.
The Forresters, for example, has for years has 'exotic dancers' on virtually every lunchtime and evening. I took my then girlfriend in one day, as having led a sheltered life she had never encountered the joys of a group of pervy men putting 50p each into a pint pot to see some old tart get her knickers off - not exactly exotic I admit.
Still if you want to see Essex culture in the raw then the loud and racous Forresters is your place.
You will of course note that I avoided calling this tip "Forresters - somewhere to get wood"