Southend Shakedown set to be safer next year

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With dramatic scenes taking place on Southend seafront last Easter, the Shakedown organisers and the council are working together to ensure the next year’s event is safer if it goes ahead. Local operator Martin Richardson is hoping talks will transform the seaside town’s Frankenstein.

A committee has been set up in an attempt to improve the organisation of Southend Shakedown, a highly popular event which saw hundreds of bikers descend on the Southend seafront over Easter Monday.

Originally organised by London’s Ace Cafe, local operator Martin Richardson explained the event has turned into something of a Frankenstein for the seaside resort, continuing unofficially beyond the control of businesses in Southend. On Easter Monday this year, footage was captured showing the police trying to control the bikers, which led to a face off ending in the police using a stinger – a strip of spikes to puncture tires – against the visitors.

While blaming the worst of the bikers for their behaviour, Richardson believes the solution involves sitting round a table and choreographing a safer, more organised Shakedown – which he explained to Coinslot shortly after the event.

Last week, it seems Ace Cafe and the Council did heed that advice, with biker Adam Ball posting a video on Youtube talking about the plans for next year.

“A brief update regarding Southend Shakedown. We hope to recommence the event in 2019, so far we have a committee put together and we have some councillors on board,” he said.

“We have agreed to keep it to Easter Monday as it is tradition to have it then and the traders want to keep it then as well.”

Councillor James Courtenay, cabinet member for growth, is one of those “on board” and will attend the Shakedown committee’s future meetings.

“Since Easter Monday – the day when the Southend Shakedown traditionally took place – the council has met with a number of seafront traders and biking
enthusiasts keen to bring back a motorcycle meet on this date, called the Southend Shakedown Resurrection,” he said.

“The group have since formed a committee and we have shared the safety plans and guidance used previously for the Southend Shakedown. We have been clear and consistent throughout – we want to see a whole range of events across the Borough and we will help facilitate safe and well organised events that bring visitors to our town. I, along with our director of culture, tourism and property, will be attending the group’s next meeting, to offer our guidance and support and we are hopeful that the Shakedown will be able to take place on Easter Monday next year.”

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