Charger, Southend speedboat rides, 2018
The first Bank Holiday Monday in May this year was the hottest yet so, a trip to Southend was full of sound.
This recording was made behind Adventure Island, the eastern end, what used to be the boating lake. You hear the general chatter and hubbub from the rides but you also hear the Charger leaving from the seafront off on its jaunt; you might also hear the pier train hooting as it arrives.
The Charger operates from the Prince of Wales jetty, that used to be double decked and had a much larger short excursion ship running from it. A short way along the beach there used to be mobile jetties that could be winched up and down, and I think that was the berth for the New Skylark, for quite a few years every time it set off they would play “Delilah” over the Tannoy. I’m sure the Charger used to be called the Swift and then the claim was it was supercharged. It used to winter in a road off the seafront; you could see it in front of a domestic garage in a front garden, up on trestles. For a while some years ago it didn’t really seem to be operating, or if it was it was erratic, but it seems regular, and busy, these days, another long running, familiar sound of Southend. High tide that day was about 6.oopm.