For Eastenders travelling south it usually meant taking the Woolwich Ferry over to Kent for hop-picking, a time to get away from the smoke and earn a few bob in the process, but every so often it meant a non-working holiday to Camber Sands. It made a nice change from the Essex ritual.
Southend was never a full-blown holiday anyway, but more a day trip to see the illuminations, the slightly lesser Essex equivalent to brightly lit Blackpool. The day consisted of a steam train from Barking, a stroll along the seafront to wonder at Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind, a brightly coloured replica that didn’t look anything like the real thing, an hour in the penny arcade trying to win a two-fingered Kit-Kat before heading back home with a stick of rock to give to our best friend and a brand new bucket and spade we would never use again.
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