We moved to Brightlingsea in '88 because we wanted to be nearer to the sea. We used to come up to Brightlingsea every weekend to sail and stay in our caravan so it made sense to move up here. It's just as well we did, because when we had great hurricanes in about 89 the caravan blew over and was un recoverable.
Because Brightlingsea is small then there isn't a lot to do (in fact it is completely lifeless except for the few pubs that there are and I think we counted that there was about 16 in total!) as it only has a population of 8,000. If you want to buy any thing then you have to go into Colchester which is a larger town near us, famous as being one of the oldest towns in England. If you want to go out in the evenings I allways go to Colchester as it has all the nightclubs, decent pubs and the cinema. This is ok, except for the price of the taxis, and the fact that the public transport, which is just buses, is a real pain. Basically there are two buse companies, and both there buses run once an hour and they both turn up within about 3 minuites of each other.
Apart from the pubs in Brightlingsea, there are a few other good points! We have about 4 fish and chip shops, an Indian, a couple of Chineses, a Stationary shop, Newsagents and a couple of other really tacky shops (typical of seaside towns). We also have a really freezing non heated open air swimming pool, but hardly anyone uses it because you would probably catch somethging from it! If it wasn't for the sea and the sailing Brightlingsea would be quite boring.
As you can probably tell, the majority of Brightlingsea, in the way of shops all sell food, and most of it is really quite bad. However, we do have one of the best potato Shops in the world (I challange anyone to find better!). This is where we go after sailing every weekend, and I think that we must be the biggest customers. I have scanned in a menu from 'Tastespuds' so you can see what you are missing and if you ever go to Brightlingsea I would recomend you to do there.
Basically Brightlingsea has always been a pretty lifeless place, that was until January of '95. This was when we started to have live animal exports running through the town.
We had three tier lorries with live exports of lambs and calves coming through the town against most peoples wishes. You could never imagine what it was like to see loads of animals going past your doorstep every dad all smalling, and making terrible noises as they were all suffering in pain. These animals were to be in their lorries for hours and hours before being loaded onto a ship and taking them the long way across the North Sea, in winter, standing, before driving them goodness knows how many more hours just so that they can have their throats cut, or be stuck in a veal crate, at the end is really cruel.
I know that I have got strong views about this, as I have been Veggie for years, in fact most of my life, but believe me anyone that saw these disgusting sights they would also have been converted. I can tell this because my sister, dad and mum, who have all been strong meat eaters for years have all been converted into vegetarians, Although my sister swears that the only way she can be veggie is because of the veggie bacon they sell in Tescos so she is still able to have her bacon rolls!
I have seen animals dead in the lorries as they come through the town and after seeing the condition of the animals everyone wants the trade to stop. One day the police sent 600 riot police into our small town to force the lorries through the crowds. Lots of people were arrested (I haven't but I can say that My sister was along with my mum.) and some of my friends got badly crushed in the crowds! We made the papers and even the regional news and after weeks and weeks of standing in the rain and snow at 6 in the morning all the protesting worked in Brightlingsea and the trucks have stopped coming through. We are however aware of the fact that the animals are going out else where.
Basically this is the most excitement that happens in Brightlingsea that is even worth mentioning.
We do however have lots of old wrinklies in the town, who go around with watering cans, to help water the plants that we have aroung every where. This may sound a little bit wierd, well I think it is, but the old folk of Brightlingsea decide that every year we should enter a wierd competition, which I can only see is about covering the town in as may flowers as is physically possible and giving all the flower pots strange names like peace, and goose gander green (you have as many clues as I do as where this actually came from!). Yes they have actually put them every where, I can even say that they have filled up old boats with compost and planted flowers in them. I think this is supposed to look artistic but if you ask me it's just very very strange!
You can see from the picture (I'm sorry if it's a bit unclear) that Brightlingsea is very small, well it has to be if it only houses 8000 people. Most of the focus of the town in to do with the sea and the sailing, well it is from my point of view, but I suppose I am a little bit biast. You can vaigly see that therte is alot of water and lots happening at the water side. In fact we do hold events in Brightlingsea, like the town reggata, which actually is a really great day. Basically every one from the town goes down to the sea front and they have loads of events on, like the greasy pole (where you get to bash the socks of those people who have been really annoying you all year with a pollow whilst sitting on a pole covered in grease. It also envolves all the drunks from our many pubs coming down to the water side and building a raft to compete in the raft race. I don't actually know if we have had a winner of this ever because I'm not sure that anyone has ever built a raft that has stayed together for long enough to complete the course. It is however good for a laugh, just as long as you don't expect to stay dry. The picture of me and a few friends in the rowing poat was actually taken whilst we were competing in a race in the regatta several years ago!
If you wish to go to the regatta this year then it is at Brightlingsea sailing club on the 9th August. Unfortunately I won't be there because I shall be in the world championships in Canada.
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