Let's move to… a seaside spot permanently helping the police with their enquiries! This week: Southend-on-Sea

What’s it about? 

Southend-on-Sea, pronounced locally with the traditional double-F intonation, was developed as a seaside resort in the 19th century despite being situated on an estuary.

Building the pier in 1889 let Southend-on-Estuary attract cruise steamers on their way to Kent, establishing the town as a gutter beggar for Margate’s cast-offs. It grew substantially in the 50s and 60s after all the Cockney gangsters fleeing the East End bought homes with gardens to commit crime in a slightly more exotic location until Spain became available.

Any good points? 

With a generational divide separating the youths who call it Adventure Island from the close-to-death for whom it will always be known as Peter Pan’s Playground, a £28 wristband for Southend’s premier theme park and you’ll be vomiting, terrified your heart will explode and feel like you’re flying. £25 for a wrap from a bloke called Pete in the nearby Hope pub will have the same affect.

The seafront’s Sea Life Centre offers the chance to get up close and personal with some old trout; good practice for Southend’s nightlife.

It also boasts the longest pleasure pier in the world. It would just be better if there was anything at the end of it. There’s only a lifeboat centre and the mostly disused set of a Jamie Oliver TV show, to which celebrity guests were bussed in under cover of night and then extracted as quickly as possible, minimising their exposure to the town and its residents as contracted.

You now have to pay to walk along the pier. While expending vast quantities of time trudging along to get nowhere is frustrating, it does provide a fascinating insight into the locals’ career trajectories. And it’s a mile-and-a-third long, which gets you a mile-and-a-third away from fucking Southend.

Wonderful landscape? 

The sea’s alright, though enjoying it while used wipes whip around your ankles and discarded barbecues smoulder underfoot can be difficult.

Most of Victorian Southend’s gone in favour of concrete shops, now empty. Situated by the now-demolished Foresters Arms, once known for its Operation Yewtree-busting combination of strip shows and bouncy castles, the Kursaal was in its heyday a dance hall. At various stages it’s been a casino, bumper cars, a ski jump and a wall of death, and is now mostly empty except for a Tesco Express.

Hang out at…

Not Michael Jackson’s ranch of a similar name but as much fun for children, Never Never Land is six miniature stone castles nestled in shrubberies. Seafront amusement arcades Sunspot, Fantasia and Happidrome let residents to spend their Universal Credit in 2p buckets. It keeps them occupied so they’re less likely to kick seagulls to death.

Oliver’s on the Beach, a café run by Jamie Oliver’s family, suggests that the celebrity chef will not rest until the entire town is named after him like some deranged Soviet dictator.

The pubs range from genuinely warm and welcoming establishments like the Legra Tap to The Elms, a Wetherspoon’s and warning to middle-aged men about the consequences of divorce. The Saxon King was built on the burial site of an unknown Anglo-Saxon King of Essex, discovered in 2003 surrounded by golden crosses, swords and Indian garnets, neither the first nor last time gold, smuggled jewels and weapons have been found buried around here.

For clubbing, Southend residents continue to mourn the loss of Mayhem, which drummed up business by repeatedly pretending that Rihanna had been booked only to be predictably exposed in the Southend Echo when she didn’t turn up. The Rhythm Rooms replaced former staple of the scene Dick De Vigne’s, astonishingly christened in honour of an actual person who with that name only had the career options of nightclub owner or porn star.

Where to buy? 

Yearning for the days when there was always a bobby on the beat? A property on York Road will always have a policeman in the vicinity, and frequently a police helicopter overhead.

Got money from your grandfather’s bank job? The redeveloped Shoebury Garrison, overlooking East Beach, has houses named Officers Mess after their erstwhile inhabitants. Or for gritty apartment living there’s the Queensway, the backdrop for unflinching BBC Three documentary Tower Block Dreams, JG Ballard-style high-rises within convenient walking distance of the high street, cinema and county court.

From the streets:

Wayne Hayes, aged 35: “You fucking want some, mate?”

Sign up now to get
The Daily Mash
free Headlines email – every weekday

Six tips for romancing MILFs, with Michael Bublé

CROONER and enduring source of mystification Michael Bublé has taken time out from touring Britain to tell us how he drives women over 35 wild with desire: 

Be just the right level of handsome

If you want to snare yourself a MILF, not that I would, I’m happily married and anonymous sex with women in unfulfilled marriages means nothing to me. But if you were to want that, you need to be just a few levels above average.

No Spanx-owning woman’s going to throw herself at a Styles or a Chalamet. No, they want a man who’s improbably handsome to be fixing a boiler or managing a Londis. Not unattainable and definitely carrying timber. Too thin and they just want to make you soup.

Be largely absent

The mistake most men make is simply being around. After a certain point, women only need a man in the house for high shelves, weird noises downstairs at 2am and in some cases spiders. Other than that they’re annoyances. So I’m sexual dynamite because I disappear for months on end, only popping up with a new album or at Christmas. They love it.

Play the numbers game

You don’t meet cougars in bars. They’re drinking seriously enough that only supermarket booze prices will do, and there’s Love is Blind USA to catch up on. Skip one-to-one approaches and hire out the Glasgow Hydro. That place can hold 14,300 women who had two bottles of prosecco before leaving the house. With odds like that you can’t miss.

Smash the karaoke

Women love confidence so step up to the mike. George Michael, A-Ha, Iron Maiden, no matter what song you butcher you’re better than her ex-husband. A two-hour rant about what a bastard he is later and you’re enjoying full intercourse quietly so as not to wake the three-year-old twins he ditched her with.

Appear mysterious

When MILF-hunting, stay mysterious. Take off your wedding ring and give yourself an alias. Maybe put on an accent. They’ll see straight through it because they have children, but women in their 40s with three kids love confidence or, failing that, even the most cursory effort. Any man who doesn’t wear the same North Face fleece 24/7 counts as trying.

Wear tight trousers

If all of this fails. I’ve found one thing that always works is to wear slightly tighter slacks. Sing big band tracks, with a voice as smooth as silk, showing off an ass that’s prime Canadian beef and ladies looking to get in one last score before the menopause won’t be able to resist. Your wife won’t care, you’ve got four kids, she’s happy to outsource the job.