Southend bid for The City of Culture a few years ago. It didn’t get it, but the council and one of our MPs, Sir David Amess, are very keen on the idea and along with the local paper, The Echo, do as much as they can to promote what does go on here and the very idea of a town full of culture.
The big noise around here is Metal, who have got themselves a load of funding and put on “Village Green”, organised the “Estuary Festival” last year, have community events, artists in residence, the whole lot. For the last 10 years we’ve also had The Estuary Fringe, who see themselves as the people beyond the orbit of Metal or who struggle to be heard ahead of their favourites. This year The Estuary Fringe had got someone else doing the organising, a lot more going on and better publicity, and they had an Art Trail in the High Street all week, and also, Free Art Friday, under the railway bridge which you have here. You should be able to hear people calling out that it’s art and it’s all free, just choose one and take it away; it’s the college work for exam courses I think.
You hear various sections with trains and gulls and pedestrians coming and going, the usual High Street traffic.
The banner in the photo is something else again, but it’s not unusual for the bridge to be used for things like it, and the bridge is fairly new; the old one was cut out and carried away over a weekend a few years ago.
I may have got the politics of the Southend art scene all wrong, but, unless someone else is going to write in and give you all the facts, it will have to do.