South End Beach

South End Beach



mix lockdown bank holiday
percent last resort explosive mix
wide adventure seek/sought/sought
rule (2) seafront take advantage of
obvious crowded keep their distance
scenery adopt (2) can be forgiven for
slogan resort (2) country (2)
distant heatwave forgive/forgave/forgiven
council flood (2) distant memory
appeal stuck (2) say/said/said
traffic pretty (2) explosive (2)
seaside blow (2) deal/dealt/dealt
arcade as well as amusement
island attraction far and wide
miss (3) aquarium out of bounds
expect employee executive (2)
hire chairman it’s up to you
decide take notice build/built/built (2)
sink (2) deck chair go down the sink
offer inevitable deal a heavy blow
as well majority observe (2)
sensible wash down challenging
gap every time begin/began/begun






A heat wave after eight weeks of lockdown was always going to be an explosive mix. And on Southend Beach the inevitable happened: thousands of sun-seekers came from far and wide, taking advantage of the new rules allowing travel.

As the temperature rose, the seafront got more and more crowded.

Beach Goer, One: “We come from Hartfordshire, and I don’t know; it was just obvious with the lockdown, we’ve just been stuck in the garden. So I thought it’s a bit change of scenery for them.”

Beach Goer, Two: “I’m Manchester, and it’s nicer than there.”

Beach Goer, Three: “I’m from Liester. And I came here because it’s the sea, and I love to sea, and I like to take the energy from it, you see. Yeah.”

During lockdown the resort adopted a new marketing slogan: “Don’t visit South End.” No one here was taking much notice of it today.

It’s the middle of the day, in the middle of the week. Yet looking at the beach, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a bank holiday Monday, with lockdown a distant memory. The town’s council said there was nothing it could do to stop the flood of visitors other than appeal to people to keep their distance.

Cllr Martin Terry, Southend Council: “If it becomes dangerous we will have to close the seafront — but with that that would be a last resort. We’d only close; it wouldn’t stop people coming. But it closed to traffic, so that people can move around safely.”

Lockdown has dealt a heavy blow to Southends traditional seaside businesses: amusement, arcades, shops and cafes have missed the start of the season and are still closed.

Adventure Island, Southend’s biggest attraction is out of bounds. The owner who also runs the town’s aquarium as well as cafes and bars would normally expect to have a thousand employees at this time of year — instead there are just thirty.

Philip Miller, Executive Chairman Adventure Island: “If it was up to me now I’ll just reopen the country. That’s what I’d decide as a business move, because you know we worked long and hard to build our businesses, and we’re just seeing them all just go down the sink.”

But Mark Johnson is back in business, hiring deck chairs; he opened again on Sunday.

Mark Johnson, Deckchairs UK: “Ninety-nine percent of people were being sensible, keeping their distance.

We personally offer, we wash these deckchairs down with sanitizers every time they used. We’ve got gloves. We wash our hands every time. We ask the public to wash their hands as well, which most do, not all, but yeah the majority of people are distancing themselves pretty sensibly.”

Many people on the beach did their best to observe social distancing to begin with two meter gaps weren’t a problem. But as the shingle got busier and busier staying apart became increasingly challenging.

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1. “A heat wave after eight weeks of lockdown was always going to be an explosive mix.” What did the reporter mean by “explosive mix”?

2. Did only a few people come to the beach? Do people feel depressed, sad, so-so, normal, cheerful, happy or exuberant and wonderful at the beach?

3. Government and health officials have encouraged everyone to come to the beach and beachfront establishments (restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs). Is this right or wrong?

4. Has everyone obeyed and followed government rules and restrictions? Do beach goers abide by the rules or flout them? Have the police dispersed crowds?

5. Do business people totally agree with government officials? What do they want?

6. Adventure Island is very busy and making huge profits. Is this correct or incorrect?

7. For Mark Johnson, is his business entirely back to normal?


A. In my country or region, people enjoy going to the beach. Yes or no?

B. Have authorities imposed strict lockdowns? What happened?

C. How do people feel about staying indoors? How do they feel about staying home from school and work?

D. Every nation faces a dilemma. What do you think?

E. What should governments and people do?

F. What might happen in the future?

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