|The Oyster Fishermen's Cottages built by John Remnant in 1767|
just before they were demolished in the 1960's.
Unlike Bert's wooden bungalow at Leigh Beck, Canvey, Pleasant Row and the Slater home survives to this day - the house itself virtually unchanged. You won't find it, however, on any modern map of Southend. If you walk along the seafront you will come to Pleasant Road on the left. Up Pleasant Road you can still see the factory on the right that used to produce so many of the famous and familiar Southend "rocks" - pink on the outside, white inside with the town name running through it. On the left The Black Cat Cafe fondly remembered by many of the family is gone although the shell of the building lingered until only a few years ago. When you get to the top of the hill on the left there is a small road called "Ash Walk" - Ash Walk was the new name given to Pleasant Row during the redevelopment of the area.
|No.9 Pleasant Row, Pleasant Road, Southend.|
Esther and Joe's first child was born in 1948. He was named Brian Robin, although he has always been known as Robin in the family. I certainly did not know his name was Brian until I began my research. A second son, Ian Joseph Roger, followed in 1955.
After the war Joe gave up the seafaring life, although a love of boats and the sea has certainly continued in the family through his sons
. Esther had a series of jobs throughout her life, certainly working as a barmaid at one period. One job that I know she particularly enjoyed was working as an usherette at the Odeon Cinema in Southend High Street. The manager at the time was Arthur Levenson.. Many years later while talking to my partner Terry's son I discovered that as a teenager he had begun his career in cinema management as an assistant at the Odeon and had known Esther. In her last job she worked at Southend's Alexandra Yacht Club. While staying with Robin and his wife in nearby Prittlewell Square in the early Eighties a girlfriend and I visited Esther at the Yacht Club and were treated to a slap up English breakfast. Perhaps because of the times I had breakfast at the house in Pleasant Row, the smell of crispy bacon cooking is one I always associate with Southend.
|This picture taken in the garden at Pleasant Row shows Left to Right :|
Ethel, Esther, Joe, Ivy Seamons. Ian and Robin in front.
(sorry about the quality)
I saw Esther often at weekends although, obviously, she spent more and more time with her sons. I last saw Esther in 1990 in Southend Hospital (although she did not die there) shortly before her death. She was a lovely lady, generous in all ways and always ready to give wise advice. I am sure that she is lovingly remembered by all members of my generation. I believe it was Esther's death that was the trigger for the rapid decline in my own mother's mental condition. I know she missed her greatly.
Esther and Joe's sons still live in the Southend area with their families, Robin in the Pagelsham area and Ian in Leigh on Sea.
But the story isn't quite finished. I have deliberately not said to much about Esther's husband Joe. His story is a fascinating one that his sons and I have been trying to piece together for years - a real detective story with lots of clues and no real answers...yet. My next big article will be about Joe.