The Essex Coast in watercolours #3 : Jaywick

Tim-BaynesThis is the third in a series of guest posts from artist Tim Baynes, with whom we share a love for the Essex Coast. If you hadn’t spotted we recently launched our Essex Coast page.

Previous posts from Tim covered, Maylandsea, and Canvey Island. In this post he covers Jaywick – look at his pictures, then read his words below.

We’ll be sharing details of Tim’s ‘Curious Coast’ book shortly.

Jaywick – another in the series Travels with my architect

A semi-sunny day, Trevor and I travelled through the yellow rape fields of east Essex to the coast, to Jaywick. Jaywick, planned in the 1930’s as a holiday village for Londoners and now on record as one of the most deprived places in England.
We had a jolly time.

Parking easily we headed down the Broadway, the main street and into the arms of Phrills Diner. We chatted with Mr and Mrs Phrills, their excellent establishment is open all year round “for our regulars” said Mrs P. After a sausage sandwich (me) and egg and bacon sandwich (Trevor) we strolled down the Broadway, admiring the architecture, T taking many photographs.

Eventually out onto the sands, clouds scudding across the sky, a multitude telegraph wires and sand blown across the roads and walkways. A wide clean sandy beach and quite unspoilt.

Friendly locals responded to greetings from two odd strangers, one bearing a Moleskine the other a huge camera. However Jaywick has become a bit of a mecca for writers and filmmakers because of isolation and despair (and strange) disposition.

Back along a narrow promenade, towards our car, we stopped coffee and bourbon biscuits at LJ’s Beach Bar. Another good chinwag, with the LJ’s, Mrs was polishing the already spotless counter and Mr was perfecting his cheese toastie for intended for Mrs LJ.

We headed to the south-western outskirts to the Martello Holiday Park, acres and acres of trailer homes with shops and laundrette and key-pad gates; a complete city-state. The sun was now out and the ice cream van had kindly parked right next to us so we were really obliged to relish a Ninety-nine Flake before heading home not before buying some lovely free-range eggs on the way out.

Wikipedia: The village of Jaywick was planned by Frank Stedman as a cheap holiday retreat for Londoners in the 1930s. Many of the original houses became permanent residences, and the population now includes large numbers of retired and working people. A 2009 report found that four out of Eastern England’s ten cheapest streets in which to buy property are in Jaywick, with property on Tamarisk Way selling for an average of £44,050