Westcliff (On Sea)


As a boy, Westcliff seemed like a foreign land,

A place of weekend fun, and frolics in the sand.

Later, he went there twice a month, for steak and sex:

For no other reason, whatever the season.

From their tiny window, they used to crane their necks

To see how pale, unsated passers-by

Would run towards the shelters to keep dry.

◄ An old man's job

The Big Lie ►


Profile image

Stephen Gospage

Tue 30th Nov 2021 21:08

You are very kind, John. Twice a month - O God, I've given myself away! Seriously, it's true it's not that often, even if you don't like steak. Twice a week? That could be exhausting.

Thanks for the like, Tom.

Profile image

John Botterill

Mon 29th Nov 2021 20:29

Intriguing poem, Stephen. Why twice a month, I wonder? Enjoyed the subtle rhyme pattern. Thanks. John Botterill

Profile image

Stephen Gospage

Sun 28th Nov 2021 14:54

Thanks, KJ. I've been to Skeggy but will now have to put Cleggy on my list (if only for the chip butty).

Profile image

kJ Walker

Sun 28th Nov 2021 11:34

Sounds a nice place.
Especially with all that steak and sex going off.
Cleggy is much the same. Folk round here often nip there for a chip butty, and a bunk-up.

Profile image

Stephen Gospage

Sat 27th Nov 2021 16:22

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Greg, and thanks for your very kind comment. Who would else would have thought of a 'thumping' crook? (Not me).

Many thanks for your kind words, M.C.

Ray - as a very young boy, I just remember the steam trains on that Fenchurch Street line in the late 1950s. As I said, Westcliff (indeed anywhere on the Thames Estuary) was a big day out then. I can't pretend that I later visited for either of the other two reasons though! So pleased you enjoyed it.

And thanks for the likes, Holden, Rudyard, Keith, Stephen and Graham.

Profile image

M.C. Newberry

Sat 27th Nov 2021 13:00

Style never goes out of style! Nicely done.

Profile image


Sat 27th Nov 2021 11:37

Poignant for me Stephen, as I went to visit my Nan who lived there in 1953. Steam train from Fenchurch Street and plenty of atmosphere. I remember trolleybuses too. I liked the vignette you present!


Profile image

Greg Freeman

Sat 27th Nov 2021 09:35

I enjoyed this, Stephen. Reminds me, a bit, of that Betjeman poem about the couple in the tea shop.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message