I’m following the Stranglers and Somersham with another legendary ’70s band and place starting with “So“.  You’d never believe this blog was so random.

It’s either raid the archives or bring you Fenland sunsets.  Perhaps you’d prefer Fenland sunsets.

A dead end in Landbeach

My garage clear-out continues under Mrs RM orders.  No idea why I’ve kept random programmes from 3rd Division matches from before I was born.

By omitting the date Southend were able to use the same cover all thru the ’60s

Two interesting things about a dull programme for a dull 2-0 Southend win (no adverts for pubs or beers).

Luxury” and Canvey Island in the same sentence,

Nice font, too

and a set of Pen Pictures to thrill students of brevity;

“A local player who was born in Barnsley”

More interest in that programme than my two blogged visit to the Essex coast.


It takes longer than you’d believe to get there, particularly by car.  “Take the A13” sang Billy Bragg, foretelling the road to hell that is the A127.

The approach via Sutton Road passes mobility scooter shops, retirement homes, and finally some striking tower blocks to the east of town,

Not brutalist
Not art

Mrs RM stayed here last year but failed to get me photos of blokes with tattoos in the scary Spoons, so I’ve had to raid Google Maps for some pics of the rather lovely promenade, a match for Coney Island.


There’s some good pubs in Old Leigh, but the Railway was the first Guide entry that could have come from a Proper Pub town.

Note “Pub” sign
Piano awaits Dire Straits cover band

From memory it felt very crafty South-East London, and I was a bit surprised how trad the beer range was;

Is that Dylan at the back ?

Some genuinely weird ’70s music could have been Viv Stanshall; whatever it was it created a singular atmosphere that I loved.

Into the tight-knit streets to the east, we get a bona fide micro in Mawsons.

On a day I was driving Mrs RM (we’d just been to Rochford) , she was taking full advantage.

Choose wisely

Mrs RM found the bench seating with space invaders on the table.  There were no controls.

Dark Star Crème Brulee, it’s gorgeous !” said someone at the bar.  “Oooh” said Mrs RM, “I’ll have that“.


She sank the crème brulee, grumbled about odd beer flavours, and then gave a withering assessment of the pub. And the beer mats.

That’s a chimpanzee not a monkey !  And it’s not blue !

The lady in the window was reading out a round robin Christmas letter from a relative.  Slowly and deliberately. Almost as if she thought I was BRAPA.

Creme brulee

For a moment I thought Mrs RM was going to go over and tell her to shut it, and wondered how I might restrain her. But she was just searching for her phone.


As the Kursaals sang “When she finished her laundry she was all in a quandry and made it for the street like a hare”. Odd song.


14 thoughts on “KURSAAL FLYERS

  1. Hard to believe one could once buy a 3-bedroom house overlooking the sea for under £4000. Then again, it probably required considerably more work to earn £100 back then.

    That hand-painted PUB sign almost tells its own story: “Oh dear, I’ve started with the P too close to the middle; the U and the B are going to look cramped.” “No matter, I’ll make the U unnaturally narrow, leave myself with plenty of room for the B, and no one will be with wiser, except possibly some irritating Yank some years from now!”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Certainly bargain properly prices Mark, but it’s all relative.

      My parents paid £2,000 for a new build semi, back in the late 1950s, and they really struggled with the mortgage payments.

      On the flipside it’s much harder for first time buyers to get on the property ladder, as my 28 year old son keeps reminding me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Martin,
        A school dinner cost a shilling in the 60s.
        They couldn’t get the cabbage right and so never attempted to cook broccoli.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Southend is the largest town in the UK that I have never even passed through, let alone set foot in.


    1. T’other Mudgie,
      Coincidently I think Southend and Sunderland the largest towns in the UK that I have never even passed through, let alone set foot in.


  3. Your guess as to the music is highly likely, Martin.

    Wiki says this:

    “About this time, the Stanshall family moved to the Essex coastal town of Leigh-on-Sea. He attended Southend High School for Boys until 1959. As a young man, Stanshall (known as Vic) earned money doing various odd jobs at the Kursaal fun fair in nearby Southend-on-Sea. These included working as a bingo caller and spending the winter painting the fairground attractions. To set aside enough money to get through art school (his father having refused to fund this), Stanshall spent a year in the Merchant Navy. He said he was a very bad waiter, but became a great teller of tall tales”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kursaal…from the germanic, meaning, literally, “cure hall”…curse all…the curse of the pharoahs was believed to strike anyone who disturbed a mummy…cursive…a style of handwriting, where the pen is seldom lifted from the paper, and following a generally flowing course. It was thought to increase writing speed, but a recent study found that it did not, for neither the French nor for the Latin alphabets at any rate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. George Kerr could well be he who had more than one stint as Grimsby Town manager, and doyenne of the glamorous Radio Humberside.


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